[Resolved] National Car Rentalcharging me for damage I know nothing about

R Review updated:

I was on a business trip in Charleston, SC last month and got a National rental car at the airport, based on best price.

I didn't immediately check it out thoroughly because I was expecting to be met by a rep on the way out to go over the car. However, nobody stopped me and by the time I realized nobody would be checking out the car I was on main road. It wasn't really until I stopped and looked around did I realize that the car had not been cleaned at all inside or out -- there was trash on the floor and the cupholders were sticky. I was already quite far from the airport and since I was supposed to be meeting someone soon I decided I didn't have time to go back, return the car, and wait for it to be cleaned. I called National at some time during my stay to inform them that car hadn't been cleaned.

When I returned the car, somebody met me to go over it. Amidst the dirt, there was a slight surface scratch/scuff mark but I informed the person that it was probably there already because nobody checked out the car when I picked it up. I know I didn't scratch it or was involved in any bumps or collisions. Nothing was said to me or written on my rental agreement when I went to the desk to settle the bill.

The other day, a month later, I received a letter from the National damage recovery department saying they had received a report of damage and that I was liable, so I need to inform my insurance company or credit card. They did not say what the damage was or how much it was. I tried to call this department yesterday and after going through several layers of voice menus, was told they were unable to take my call because of the high volume of calls, and to leave a message. I did, but didn't receive a call back. I then called National customer service. They looked up my rental agreement and verified that there were no notations on it. They told me I would have to call the damage recovery department to find out what it was about. I asked them, if I had done some damage, shouldn't that be notated on the contract? She said that she doesn't/cannot see that information and it would have been forwarded to the damage recovery department. I ended up writing the recovery department a letter telling them I have no idea what they are talking about because I returned the car in the condition I had received it and had not been informed of any damage.

Last night, I received a letter from a "billing service" company telling me that "due to their sheer volume of claims" National Car Rental has asked them to partner with them in the processing of this claim. Apparently I owe $478.39. For what, I don't know. I now have to write THEM a letter within 30 days to dispute this claim.

Is there any way they can have a claim against me when they never informed me that I did any damage?

I can see this being a long drawn out process of me having to keep writing letters defending against something I didn't do.

  • National Car Rental's response · Jan 30, 2014

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. As customer service is of the utmost importance, we would like the opportunity to look into this concern for you. Please contact us at [email protected] with complete details, including the exact rental location, your contact information, rental agreement number and any further information regarding this experience.

    When emailing, please list reference number 140130-002011 in the subject line. We look forward to hearing from you.

    Social Media Coordinator

  • Updated by Ta'Meshia Baker · Jun 28, 2019

    I just would like my money to be back in my account smh I’m really annoyed

  • Resolution Statement

    Customer Service has done everything in their power to resolve the complaint. All attempts to contact the customer have failed. Therefore, the complaint has been annulled and must not be considered where image of the company in question and its services are concerned.


  • Jt
    JT Beckett Mar 23, 2007

    Just had a similar experience with National. However, car was clean when I got it. It also already had a scratch on the front bumper but no one was around to tell about this.

    When I returned the man asked me about the damage. I told him it was already there. He said "okay" and when I asked what would happen next he said nothing, "everything is okay" is what he told me. I didn't have time to follow up inside but now I've received a letter saying I'm responsible for damage.

    Would be interested to find out how your situation worked out since I'm now going to have to deal with them.

    0 Votes
  • Fr
    Francis Dubus Mar 29, 2007

    I have a similar problem with Advantage Rent-a-Car. At the post-rental inspection, no issues...guy didn't tell me anything. Couple weeks later, I get a bill for $4000. Yes, that's the correct number of zeros. Apparently there's extensive damage to the hood and roof of the vehicle. My advice to you would be to very carefully scour the paperwork sent to you...mine contains some errors. These may prove useful in a litigation situation. Get all communication IN WRITING.

    This is a cost-recovery program employed by rental car agencies, and they hold all the leverage. My claim has been sent to a collections-type agency. I am sending a letter disputing the debt and denying liability. If they contact me again regarding the debt, I will find an attorney and sue the hell out of them for harassment. Same deal if they put a mark on my credit score. When it comes down to it, the burden of proof is on them to prove the damages happened during your rental. Good luck with that Advantage!

    If you want to settle and make it go away, chances are your auto insurance and/or credit card company cover you for this. Yes, your premiums will go up, but hey, at least you don't have to go to court. Let me know what happens, I'm curious.

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    Rosalind Mehra Apr 04, 2007

    I am the original poster and this is a follow up.

    I contacted American Express car rental protection department and told them the whole sorry story. I told them that I was disputing the claim. They said they would handle it directly with the agency so I sent them copies of the letters I had written to both National and the billing company, with a cover letter again reiterating that I did not do any damage and didn't feel that they should pay this claim.

    A few days later I received a letter from Amex with a claim number and a website to see the status of my claim. They said they would contact the the rental car company to obtain the documentation. Just now I visited the website again and it appears that they have not received any supporting documentation (such as damage report) from National. I haven't heard back from National or the billing agency either. It's been a month. No news is good news. Of course, I could get another bill any time.

    I just don't think they have any documentation to support their claim.

    1 Votes
  • Iy
    iya Jun 08, 2007

    National Car rental seems to do that to all their customer. I had the same experience but the car i burrowed was stolen on their facility. Because a man who pretended to be an employee stood in front of the office door to prevent me from dropping the key on the drop box myself. So he dropped the key in the box where I and my companions can see that he did drop it. The next day i called the rental and told me the car is stolen. they have me pay a second day 56.00 w/c is ok i don't care as long as i will no have problems with them. But after they know my card has loss collision damage because i was supposed to ask them to claim the money fro my insurance credit card, after 4 months they billed me 548.00 for damages w/c i really don't know if its true. the car was lost for 1 day only. Now they are asking me to pay it in 15 days. Thats the total earning that i only have for 2 weeks, so they don't want me to eat? This is something that they seem to do all the time.

    0 Votes
  • Gr
    Greg Rekounas Oct 06, 2007

    I am going through this experience now. I was on a trip and when I returned to the airport, the girl at the counter said that since I needed to get on a flight, they would by-pass the post rental inspection check. Fine.

    I get home and then on a Monday I get a call from their claims guy stating that there was an obvious scratch on the car and that I would be sent an estimate on the repair. I told him that I wasn't paying for it cause the damage could have been done prior to them bringing the car into the wash bay or even prior to my rental as the scratch was not nearly as obvious as he made it sound. He sent me a picture and the scratch was by the rear passenger side bumper by the tire.

    So, I wake up this morning and start some online banking and notice a charge for $596.40! I am calling Visa and disputing the claim this morning and if this doesn't get cleared up right away, I will seek legal action against National Car Rentals in Windsor, On Canada Airport.

    0 Votes
  • La
    Laura Rice Feb 14, 2008

    BEWARE OF National Car Rental. DO NOT RENT FROM THIS COMPANY. I rented a car in October 2006 and while traveling out of state, hit a deer on the interstate. I reported the accident to the State Highway Patrol and my insurance carrier. The damage was mainly cosmetic and I drove the car from VA to NC with no problem. The amount of damage to the vehicle was $3900.00. which my insurance carrier paid. Several months later, I began receiving demand letters from some idiot company named Purco Fleet Services on behalf of National Car Rental demanding I pay the total value of the car to the tune of $21,000.00! I had to retain an attorney who informed Purco IDIOTS that their demand for claims was illegal in NC. They ignored all letters and placed a $6K collection on my credit! Now I am having to sue these ###S for Slander of Credit. REPORT NATIONAL CAR TO THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION! I DID. DO NOT RENT FROM NATIONAL CAR RENTAL OR ALAMO!

    0 Votes
  • Bi
    Bill Apr 15, 2008

    I am living an almost identical experience

    I landed San Francisco at midnight and rented a car from National
    I was not given a sheetto mark or told to inspect the car by either the rental agent or the women in the yard.
    I picked up a RAV 4 - which at midnight had no apparent damage

    Next morning in bright sunlight I noticed a small dent in the door and the wheel housing was scratched
    When I returned the car in Sacramento the inspector said he had to call in the damage - he did - and when he came back he informed me and the other inspector from National that the damage had already been reported. I informed them about National's failure in San Francisco to perform or advise me to perform a damage inspection. I was told that this was a common problem at San Francisco airport.

    Now in the mail I get a damage report claiming I need to provide my insurance information for unspecified damages.

    This is nuts!

    0 Votes
  • Bi
    Bill Apr 15, 2008

    I wonder if the credit card companies monitor the car rental companies. I am suspicious that unethical car rental companies check the type of card you use and if you have damage/loss coverage they automatically issue a damage claim. This would be fraud but I am certain the credit card companies are too busy to investigate.

    We need a smart investigative reporter to research and expose the problem.

    0 Votes
  • St
    Steve Meltzer May 08, 2008

    Same here. Got National car from Ann Arbor airport one night, no walkaround taking it or returning it; damage claim arrives a month later. I didn't do it and didn't see it, nor did my 3 passengers over 4 days driving... but they want $297 for it. Launched same process as all others have described. Great use of our time, right? Nasty, reprehensible, slimy. Third world stuff.

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    Chris Aug 25, 2008

    Wow... Same story but I have a slight twist. When I checked in at Colorado Springs Airport, there was NO Initial Inspection. There was a lady standing at the counter at check-in and she told me where to go to pick the car up. No one was outside for ANY inspection. When I showed back up to return the vehicle, there was no on.. period. I had an 0300 morning flight, and there was only a drop off card board box sitting there. Either way, a month later I receive a letter about a TICKET!!! The letter stated I received the Parking Violation on Sunday (2 days after I showed up) exactly at midnight?? There was no ticket, I was back at my hotel because I had to be to work at 0500 that next morning!!! Either way I contacted the Court System and gave them the information. They confirmed that the ticket was for the month PRIOR to my rental time. They even stated this is a common problem with them that they receive the letter from the court system and they don't pay attention to it. They just automatically think the date they receive the letter from the court system is the date that the incident happens so they charge that customer! I contacted the Dispute office for National, and told them the facts. They said that I have to prove it with a letter from the court system. So I had to wait for a letter from the court system, scanned that in, and then emailed it to the Citations Dept like I was informed. 20 days later I receive an email from their company stating "due to high number of customer service request we are having a delay in addressing your issue. If is already been resolved please disregard. If not, them please re-submit your question". ALMOST an ENTIRE month later?!?!?! So I'm calling them up again to discover what is happening. Legal action is my next place to go if they want to play this game some more. And being military, I have quite a big stick to carry!

    0 Votes
  • Je
    jeffery j. swenson Sep 26, 2008

    Dear National,
    I believe that I have been a good customer of yours for the past 12 years. I respect the vehicles I rent. Spent a lot of money along the way earning my executive status. Here's the deal. On 9/08 I rented a Toyota Highlander from the Rochester airport. On 9/12, round a bout 7:30 a.m. I returned the vehicle to Rochester airport, unloaded my bags and waited for a National attendent to check the car out and give me my reciept. This was done in a timely and professional manner. Cool. Fast forward to 9/18 when I get a hate letter from the damage/recovery unit asking me to fill out a damage/loss reportform.Whaaat? What did I damage? What is the loss? These are questions that legal will ask you. National, I returned your vehicle in good faith, in a timely manner and cleaner than it was when I rented it. Faithfully submitted j.j.s.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    MadridWorldTraveller Sep 30, 2008

    I rented a car with National one month in advance. I had to pick it up at their Union Square premises in San Francisco. I arrived punctually on the agreed time and date and had to wait for almost 5 hours to pick up the car.

    All clients from National and Alamo (both companies share the same premises) were made to wait in line, first in the street under the burning sun and afterwards in an unhealthy garage.

    No explanation was given by National or Alamo employees and they did not seem surprised by such unacceptable situation, so I guess it must be usual.

    0 Votes
  • Hu
    Hunter Feb 09, 2009

    If you have any advice please let me know:
    I joined the National Car Rental Emerald program to speed up the rental process. I landed in Miami and the car I had reserved was gone. I went inside and spoke with the clerk, who directed me to a Minivan. I was in too much of a hurry to care what the vehicle was so I left. The van sat parked in my garage for the next 2 days while I was home visiting. I went back to the airport and dropped the vehicle off.
    At the time I dropped it, 2ea National employees came over to check fuel, mileage and what I thought was an inspection of the vehicle. A young lady walked around the van and then gave me an invoice. Two weeks later, I get a bill for $1603. I called the Miami branch, since this is where I dropped the vehicle and they had NO IDEA what I was talking about. Then I was given a number to the "Damage and Recovery Unit". I promptly called and left a message. After a couple weeks of no response, I sent an e-mail through the National web page asking for the accident report and for them to insure that the "damage" was not performed AFTER I dropped the vehicle off. (I am under the impression that one of their employees bumped it from behind and this is the way to save cover themselves). I received a reply stating that they would look into this and get back to me. In the next letter I was being threatened, saying that I have not contacted them (at this point I contacted them 3 times) and they were going to take “LEGAL ACTION”. So, I called the Recovery Unit again. This time I was not as nice as the times prior. I demanded (on the answering machine) that someone contact me back to further discuss this issue. To date NO ONE has contacted me. Now I have a letter from First Financial Asset Mgnt, Inc. giving me 3 options of how I would like to pay the balance owed. I have tried to call them and give them a 4th option, but presently I am in another country and “800” numbers do not work from here. I need to find out if this bordering on harassment. They cannot ignore me then send me threats in the mail, can they?

    0 Votes
  • Do
    don't rip me off Mar 09, 2009

    I rented from National from the Ontario Airport in California. They did not pre rental inspection with me. The car was fine when I took it. When i returned it, the technician scanned the bar code of the windshield and said everything looks good. I stood there and asked if a physical inspection was necessary. He looked over the car quickly and said everything is fine you're good to go. I proceeded to the check out counter and wanted a receipt to see if any hidden cost were charged to my credit card. The gal asked if the technician notice anything wrong with the car, I said not. She said, okay here's your receipt and have a good day. Then 2 weeks later I get a claim about a CRACKED WINDSHIELD. I'm sure anyone would've noticed a cracked windshield when I returned it on the stop. I would've noticed it because I drove in the car for 4 hours straight. This is National Car Rental being a bullie. They are responsible for performing a return inspection. Any damages must be noted at the time of the return. The minute you walk away, you are no longer responsible for the car and if you are not informed of any damages at that time, any discoveries after the fact should not count. I am disputing the claim now. A return inspection must also be documented and signed by you acknowledging any damages they find. That way you can physically inspect the vehicle there yourself. I am reporting this to the FTC and I am looking to sue National Car Rental for filing a false claim. They just try to see how many people they can get to pay them for trumpt up charges. Get everything in writing. Send a letter to every address you can find for them. They have so many and the address you see on the documents they send you is for PAYMENT ONLY. If you send a written dispute there, its to the wrong place. I believe the correct address for everyone is in Tulsa, but you need to do your research. Calling them and asking for it does no good, they will not tell you. They also say to fax it, but its the wrong number, its for payment only. They try to hide, but they can be found. Best thing is to send it to every address you find. Good luck to anyone dealing with this frauduelent company with poor business practice similar to that of a crook. They need to go out of business and all be put in JAIL. I will post again once I have an out come to my situation.

    0 Votes
  • I am into exact same situation now.. I rented a car from National on 7/09/09 in RDU airport. I returned the care on 7/17/09, the guy at the returns looked at it, walked around the car, and said, "everything looks good", and gave me the bill for my upgrade (I booked it through priceline). Almost after a month, I got a letter from "Damage Recovery Unit" stating that there is a damage to the car. They didn't mention what damage or any other details.. I am trying to find out what to do next. I called the ph# given on the letter and they always say that they'll call me back.. I've gone through all your experiences, and looks like there is no solution as such.. I've decided fight this case and file a complaint in AG's office. If any of you have any other solution, please let me know..

    0 Votes
  • Se
    seantrudeau Sep 08, 2009

    Same thing happened with me. But with National's sister company Alamo rent a car. They have referred this to a collection agency and I am refusing to pay. I did the inspection when I picked up and dropped off and the gate agent said the car was fine. I rented the car in April from LAX Alamo in Long Beach... I got a $700 bill for scratches that happened during the time I rented the car. I have not been able to talk to anyone at Alamo/Vanguard/Enterprise as they NEVER pick up the phone or return phone calls. Steve Howard is the name of the Vanguard rep.. I recommend to EVERYONE renting a car to make a video with digital camera with a walkaround BEFORE and AFTER you drop off.. I did not do this, but I will still fight this.. Please keep up dates of all your progress as I will do the same. I WILL FIGHT THIS TOOTH AND NAIL AS I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE INCORRECT charges...

    0 Votes
  • On
    onemore Mar 02, 2010

    ya, I joined the club yesterday. I returned the car at Scottsdale Airport and the car was clean, new, and had absolutely no damage. No one inspected the car; the guy sitting at the counter said don't worry, just give him the keys;

    Two weeks fast fwd, I got a letter claiming $500 for front bumper damage; called them asked what kind of documentation they have to pin this on me.. no response; Stacey Moore ext 6158 never picks up the phone, nor does she return messages. I have sent a letter detailing the dispute and have called Amex and told them about the dispute. I am calling my legal department for help on how to deal with this.

    0 Votes
  • An
    Another rip off 2010 Mar 08, 2010

    Guess I am the latest entrant in the club :(
    I rented a Minivan with National at Plano, TX on 10/30/09 and returned it back on 11/01/09. As usual the agent inspected the car for any damage and handed me a receipt stating the amount due from me is $0.0, perfect. 4 months later in March 2010 I tried to rent through Enterprise and they tell me I am on the "DO NOT RENT" list. They tell me to call National's damage department and I am left stranded without a car for 3 days because the damage dept works conveniently Monday to Friday 9-4 CST. On calling they tell me the car I returned on 11/01/09 had a damaged windshield and they have sent me 4 letters that I never received. Further the case is now with First Financial collection agency and I dont know what to do next. I called 1st Financial and asked them to call me back. I am very concerned at this stage and am not sure what to do.

    P.S - I see a lot of similar complaints here but don't see any helpful resolutions, please post your feedback in case anyone has had luck getting these guys straightened up.

    0 Votes
  • Ki
    King1970 Mar 25, 2010

    One thin i noticed is that none of u people purchased any of the rental car coverage...if you think that you are covered by your own insurance or your "credit card" 100% then turn the claim to them...after all that's why we have insurance. Why wait and call and wait and call and end up in collection (good luck fixing that ) buy their insurance or use yours.

    1 Votes
  • Jf
    jfc3 Mar 29, 2010

    March 22nd, 2010

    Damage Recover Unit
    P.O. Box 842264
    Dallas, TX 75284-2264

    RE: National Claim Number XXXXXXXX
    To Whom It May Concern:
    I would like to begin my diatribe by letting the recipient of this notice know that this is not a personal attack on you, this is a valid and legitimate complaint about the manner in which your company has chosen to do business. Before I enumerate my specific contention points, I will let you in on the events that lead to this formal and extremely public complaint.
    On the morning I picked up the car from the desk located in Pensacola, Florida, I immediately proceeded to XXXX, Florida where I retrieve a backpack, a small roll on bag, and a cocker spaniel belonging to my mother. The purpose of my flight into that city and subsequent rental of your car was to transport the animal back to Charleston South, Carolina so that my mother would have the opportunity to travel and support my sister during the birth of her child. The trip was direct and uneventful. The next morning, I deposited my luggage and the animal at my temporary housing. My luggage was in the back seat and the dog was in the seat next to me; I recall this well, as I had left my keys in my un-laundered garments and retrieved them prior to getting out of the car. I did not wish to search for them at the threshold as it was particularly cold that morning.
    I next proceeded to refuel and returned the vehicle. When I arrived at the Charleston airport, I pulled up 2 spaces from the truck used by your employee. He was hesitant to get out of the idling vehicle as it was cold and windy just off the tarmac. Once he finally capitulated to the inevitability that he was going to have to join me in the morning chill, we did the traditional walk around inspection of the vehicle. This included the examination of the mileage, gasoline level, and condition of the body, windshield, cabin, and tires. This inspection was slow and thorough. Once he completed his duties, I was provided a receipt in the amount of 91.30 dollars and we parted ways.
    For your review, here is the detailed record of the transaction

    This afternoon I received a letter, forwarded from my house at XXXXX indicating that the car was damaged. I was confused when my wife called me to inform me of the communication. She called and spoke with Tanya. She was told that there was damage to the right lower side of the trunk, in the form of a dent. If the damage was to the inside of the trunk it is not possible that I caused it, and if it was to the outside, your representative would surely have flagged it and had me fill out the necessary paperwork before issuing me a receipt and closing out the transaction.
    I feel that you have insulted my integrity and intelligence at this point. I can prove that damage was not present at the time of deposit at the Charleston air port, as witnessed by the absence of a report of said damage at that time. Your representative exercised due care during the inspection and any issues should have been brought up and addressed at that time! Since the burden of proof lay with the prosecutors, I fully expect that your company will investigate and have prepared for my review: the parking lot video, an interview with the employees involved, and any other evidence that you plan to use as documentation of the discovery process in this matter. I suspect that the damage was caused after I left the lot, perhaps even by your employees, acting carelessly.
    Further since the vehicle is the subject of investigation, I trust that it has been removed from service and the damage can be examined by me, my attorney, and a certified mechanic/body shop of my insurance company’s choice. Please provide us a full copy of your evidence via certified mail no later than 2 weeks upon delivery of this correspondence. Please also work with your training and legal department to council your staff and train them better to avoid this type of infuriation for customers in the future. The time to find, document, and resolve this type of issue is when an asset changes hand.
    I shall send copies of this letter to the South Carolina department of Consumer Affairs, all appropriate Better Business Bureaus with jurisdiction over the drop off location, my insurance company, my credit card, and our attorney’s office.

    -1 Votes
  • Sc
    scottsdalefool Apr 07, 2010

    I will NEVER rent a car from National again!!! My son and I were anxious to get on the road for our 7hr drive across Iowa from Chicago Midway when we picked up our Toyota Camry around 11:00 on Monday, March 8th. We were not advised to inspect the vehicle and foolishly, it never even occured to us. Upon returning the vehicle the following Saturday, the girl walked around it with her clipboard and brought my attention to a very small dent, which I couldn't even see without changing my angle and having the light hit it "just right". I told her that there was absolutely NO WAY that damage occured while the car was in my possesion. I thought that was the end of it until I received notice via mail from the Damage Recovery Unit.

    -1 Votes
  • Ju
    Justin Goring Apr 27, 2010

    I completely sympathise with you!!

    At 4.08pm on 27th May 2010, I made a transactional booking with the National Reservations team in the UK over the phone.
    I was told that the the computer had lost the details and so I went through the booking again making a second payment at 4:13pm.
    Again I was told that the system had gone down and therefore no payment had been taken and no booking made.

    However, after calling my bank I was told that BOTH transactions had been successful.
    Each payment was for £213.63. The transactional references are: 027142 and 027380.

    I called back the Reservations team and was told that no reference to my booking(S) remained on the system.
    They asked me to call the Customer Services team.

    I called and after explaining the above was put on hold for 5 minutes and then directly transferred to the Reservations team again.
    Again they explained that needed to talk to the Customer Services team.

    I called the Customer Services team again and explained the situation.
    This time I was put on hold for 3 minutes before the line went dead.

    First of all, National Car Rental have taken an unlawful payment twice from my account of £213.63.
    And did not provided me with ANY reference.

    Secondly I wasted over 30 minutes trying to sort the matter out and get a refund.

    This is completely unacceptable behaviour from National.
    I am disgusted with my treatment and the lack of help in resolving this issue.

    All I wanted to do was to book a car for 5 days.
    I have used National Car rental for over 3 years, booking and renting cars every few months.

    I am left out of pocket with no help or refund at this moment.
    My only course of action is to continue to call (at MY OWN further expense to get my refund).

    I am seriously disapointed and let down, and feel I want to take this matter to the highest authority, and of course will promptly make use of a rival car rental firm from now on
    Yours Sincerely,

    Mr Justin D Goring

    0 Votes
  • Mi
    Mike reston Jul 12, 2010

    Don't rent from national rent a car anymore. Looks like their real business is to scam customers for damage to cars. My insurance compay bad an agreement to only pay a part of the administrative cost not related to real damage. They turned around and hired a collection agency to go after me for the remainder. I will never rent a car from national or alamo

    0 Votes
  • Cc
    C. Chen III Jul 27, 2010

    I totally agree with the complaints. We have been fighting a b*llsh*t claim from Purco, the adjuster for National Rent-a-Car for several months. We rented and returned a car from the Salt Lake City Airport National Rent-a-Car in March 2010, and the agent at the airport said that the car was OK when we turned it in. Purco sent us a claim with photos from April - APRIL! - 12, 2010, saying that the damage was there when we turned it in. I truly believe their claim is bogus.

    0 Votes
  • Mj
    MJ94 Aug 20, 2010

    I'm in the same situation as many of the posts I have read above. I travel weekly for business and have never had an issue with fact, they were my favorite company due to the lack of hassle and getting to pick your own vehicle (I am an Emerald Executive Member). That is until about a little over a month ago. I picked up a vehicle (Chevy Pickup) from the Executive lineup. Not once, in all of my times renting from National have I ever had an employee go over the vehicle with me. I assume any damage on the vehicle has already been noted and filed. So, like the 100 other times I have rented from National, I just got in and went to check out. At the check out, everything was normal and off i go. Well, it's a bit hot in Arizona so I decide to stop and get some water. As I walk past the front passenger side of the truck, I notice a bunch of scrapes. My first thought was to call National, but then I think "I'm sure something this big would have already been noted". So I go about my business.

    When I return the vehicle, the check-on employee asks me about the damage. I state, "that was there when I picked it up...should be in your files" She says I need to talk with their front desk. At the desk, the lady assures me everything is fine and I can go. A month comes the claim letter: $600+ in damages. Now it is my word against theirs. I'm so sick of these rental companies (and it is mainly the branches) abusing their lack of following procedures and taking it out on customers. That truck should never have even been on their lot if it had $600 in damages. I'm going to fight this even if I have to pay more in court costs...purely on principle. It is just wrong.

    0 Votes
  • Ki
    King1970 Sep 29, 2010

    On one part of you letter you said that the employee dodn't want to come out from the truck beacuse it was too COLD, and then you said that he excercised due care the inspection of the car, ...this part of the letter makes no sence beacuse if it was that cold then the employee did a quick look at the car, checked the miles and fuel level and printed a receipt. You may not have caused the damage to the car...and for sure the employee did not too...the point is that the car was damaged during the rental, maybe in a parking lot or somewhere else and you are 100% liable pay it or again turn it to the credit card company "another bs service that the credit company claims to provide " ...just remember that you will propably need to file a claim on your own insurance first "claim will be on your file" pay your deductible and then see what will happen...and cross you fingers that you also won't be hit by "LOSS OF USE " which is the time that the rental car stays at the collision place to be fixed and the company losse money for not renting that car

    1 Votes
  • Sa
    sah bunn Oct 01, 2010

    OK they got me too! After returning our minivan to the orlando airport I was told there was damage to the rear of the van. I followed the guy and called my husband over too. We both looked at each other in disbelieve. My sister was w/ us upon p/u and never seen this "damage" either. We never had a mishap or bump- nothing now after going through our insurance co (allstate) national is offering to "settle" for $ 293.21 as long as its in by tuesday, today is friday. We never had an accident or any problem and its our word against theirs, , , we lose. from now on I guess we'll be getting exytra insurance and photos all around!!! Beware

    0 Votes
  • Jp
    jpder41 Feb 04, 2011

    Wow. Exact same thing. Alamo car rental (National) at Hilton Head Airport. Drop car off, perfect condition ut curiously nobody inspects. Sitting in airport waiting for flight. 2 hours later call on my cell saying extensive damage. had 2 other travleers sharing the vehichle. They also speak with the person on the phone. Each of us explain the vehichle was perfect and it was either hit in the parking lot, or someone did it when moving vehichle. Thought nothing more of it until I ge a claim letter for 1K. We each email saying we are willing to sign affadavits saying vehichle was retruned in perfect condition. No response until a letter then a phone call saying this is going to collections. I asked for an escalation and was told all they could give me was the branch in Hilton Head where I rented it. Went on line to find contact info for Pamela Nicholson to send her an email and cannot find anything. Told the lady on the phone I was not paying for something I didnt do. Got back a "whatever" attitide. Really hoping someone from National Rental Car reads this or someone from Alamo Rental Car.

    0 Votes
  • Jp
    jpder41 Feb 04, 2011

    Hilton Head airport in November. Rented vehichle from Alamo with 2 other travellers. returned car in perfect condition. Nobody inspect but they take the keys at the counter and thank us for the business. 2 hours later just before boarding I get a call saying there is extensive collision damage to the car. I explain that this has obviously happened in the parking lot after I returned and have the lasy phoning talk to my 2 travel companions as well. She agrees that she doesnt know what happened. 30 days later I receive a claim for 1k. Each of us send letters saying we are willing to sign affadavits that nothing happened. These are ignored. It is now February and I receive a call today saying after "management review" this is going to collections. I tell them I am nnot going to pay regardless of who it is going to. I ask for someone to speak in "management" and am given the number of the branch of the Hilton Head Airport. What a joke. I hope someone from Alamo Car Rental or National Car Rental is reading this. I tried to find the COO Pamela Nicholson"s contact info and was unable to. No idea what to do at this point but I am not about to pay for something that looks to be either an employee trying to save their skin, or some random hit in their parking lot. I suggested they must have cameras in their parking lot- I guess they dont.

    0 Votes
  • El
    Ellenjm Apr 19, 2011

    Same thing. Has anyone had a good resolution. Has the FTC done anything? Like everyon else I am very angry about this and it occurs to me that it is part of a business plan or something of that nature. Obviously I will not rent from this company again, nor do I intend to pay for the damage that I did not cause. It seems like a scam to me and I intend to pursue remedies.

    Ellen Musinsky

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    Roy Walthall May 09, 2011

    Not only will I never rent from National Rental Car again, I will tell EVERYBODY I know what thieves they are. When I rented one of their cars in Boise, Idaho for a one way rental to Salt Lake City, Utah in July of 2010 there was nobody there at the agency to inspect the car before I left the parking lot. There was no evident damage I could see with the naked eye. I drove the rental car to Salt Lake City with my wife and son to Salt Lake City, all highway/Interstate in the middle of the night so there was very little traffic. I stopped only once to fuel up at the gas station near the airport. When I arrived at the airport we were directed to the common rental car return area where returned cars were parked side by side. Passengers with their children pulling large suitcases, crates and animal cages were all in a hurry to meet travel reservations. When I checked in with the car I was met with a gentleman carrying a vehicle status input machine. I did a walk around the vehicle and did not detect any damage. Nothing was mentioned by the man with the status input machine. When I got back from my vacation three weeks later, I found a letter my mail making claim that I had damaged the rental vehicle, a dent on the drivers door. National Rent a Car was claiming that I owed them $1, 200 for the damage and week when the vehicle was out of commission. I requested photos and the names of the National Rental employees that made the so called discovery and the time line following the return. These are items I planned on using for my defense in court. These requests were refused by the rental company and the Purco collection agency they contracted with. The Purco agency has threatened to destroy my credit without benefit of a court decision. Fortunately I have video and still photos of the rental return receiving area during vehicle returns. Needless to say, my witnesses and I are ready for any court and ready to shove their claim up their collective ### and counter sue for any financial hardships they cause.

    -1 Votes
  • Pa
    Paul_82 Jun 13, 2011


    I rented a car from national car rental at BDL, CT. There was no pre inspection and I took the car from their lot at around 12:30 AM. My flight was late, I was really exhausted and in my hurry to get to the hotel, i didn't care to inspect the car. When I reached my hotel, I parked directly under one of the lights. when i walked out of the car i noticed that there was a crack at the passenger wind shield. I called up the rental car center and the guy there said this was now my responsibility and asked me to call the road side assistance center . When I called road side assistance and told them my story, i even told them to show some proof that the car didnt have damage before it was given it to me .. like a pic from their gate security cam.In the end the guy there told me that I wouldn't be charged for the damage and I can go return the car and take a new one.. The next day evening after I work I went to their rental center and took a replacement car. It took me around 2 hours to go there in traffic and get a new car.. 10 days later I called Nation to extend my car rental and I the total amount they asked me to pay seems much more than I anticipated.. I checked the details and came to know that they have already charged me for the wind shield damage, without even telling me. I have never ever been cheated like this in my life. First I didnt do the damage, second they told me they will not charge, third they charged me without even letting me know..
    I thought stealing was better, a thief is so decent when compared to them... They said their manager will get back to me and guess what, even after three days there is no call from the manager... Now it up to me to spend my time, call them up, try to get their manager who is never available ...

    Please, I beg to you guys ..dont rent from National..they are a bunch of crooks out there..

    0 Votes
  • Wa
    wayne warburton Dec 09, 2011

    Make sure that you dont use ANY national car rental, Cars are good but you have to watch every move they make! As for me i got told not to bother filling up on returning the vehicle as they can do it cheaper by 5p per litre. It was a no brainer as i thought. BUT what they dont mention ( until now) is that you will be charged for a FULL TANK no matter how much is in when you hand over. in my case half a tank full. Its a nice little earner for them. Me ? wont be getting any more business from yours truly. Just a con!!!

    0 Votes
  • Had a horrible service with National in Kitchener ON on King street. I was travelling to Mississauga and when I notice I have a flat tire I called National to advise of the situation. I did however, get the Tire and windshield insurance. I explained the situation to the first person on the phone, then was put on HOLD. Then a second person when on the line and I had to explain my situation again. The person advised me that I should change the tire as there is a spare tired in the car. I told the NO as I got the insurance and I shouldn't have to do this. Then I was put on HOLD again. A third person came on the line and I have to explain the situation a third time. The person then asked me if I had caused the flat tire. I told the person no I did not and notice that it was flat and called immediately. Then the person told me to open the glove compartment and take the owner's manual for roadside assistance. This person was speaking to me in a demeaning tone and very rude. I explained that I couldn't find the manual but just the insurance papers. The person then said NO "LOOK FURTHER"! it's there. I then confirm that it was further in the glove compartment. I open the manual for no reason and the person then started to provide me with the phone number. I explain to wait a second as I was looking for a piece of paper but they continued giving me the number. I again explained that I was still looking for a number. I then advise that I was ready and then the person said the number but it's wasn't friendly. I advise the person that I did not appreciate the tone they were taking with me in this situation. The person then asked me what he was doing that was making me feel this way. I explained that I didn't appreciated the attitude and tone they were taking with me. was then put on HOLD again! I put then to the second person I spoke with and this person then explained to me that I can call roadside assistance. I then explain what next.. This person told me that I have to drive it back to Kitchener and get it repaired. The time I was speaking to the representative was 6:30. By the time I would get back it would be to late to get it repaired. The sales representative told me that I will have to pay and get refunded once I return the car to them. I told them that this is ridiculous as I got insurance so I wouldn't have to go through this. I then told this person that I need a vehicle for the next day. The person told me that she couldn't do anything for me. I was pretty much stuck in Mississauga and National didn't want to help me. They also wanted to put my safety in harms way and drive on the Highway with a spear tire. I then requested to speak to a manager as this was not right. The then said that it was the third person I was speaking to and who I told the person they were rude to me. I then said I will try to speak to them again. The person came back on the phone I then asked this person to just listen to what I have to say. I explained that I am stuck here in Mississauga and yes I can call the road side assistance but this is absurd that I have to drive back and get it repaired that the dealer, which they will not be open and need the vehicle the next day as I have to be at a place by 9 am. Once I was finished explained my situation the person said "are you done talking". The person then said what do you want me to do. Asking me to solve the problem when it's their business and they deal with these issues everyday. I started to get upset by this point as no one was really helping me out. the person the started yelling at me and I hung up. I then called roadside assistance and the tired was replaced with the spear over 1 hour. I then made other arrangements to get to my appointment in the morning as I couldn't not get the tire repaired for the next day. once I made these arrangement I called National again and asked for the 2nd person I was speaking with and advised them that I will be getting the spear put on the car and drive it back to Kitchener with my husband driving behind me and the risk they are putting me through is outrageous. I then said that I would bring the car back and ask for a refund for the last day of rental. The person on the phone told me that I can come in the morning for the refund. I told the person the I cannot as I have to be in a meeting in Mississauga in the morning hence why I need a vehicle. The person then said that she understand what I am going through. I told this person that no as she cannot help me. This rental was for a business trip for a large corporation. National has been trying for years to get a contract with the company I work for. National did not provide me with any solutions for my problem. Did not asked if I was safe or on the side of the highway or help me but instead belittle me accused me and yelled at me as if this was my fault. I am since sending in a formal complaint to National Car rental (Corporate) and to the travel department I work for. A solution National could have given is advise me to go to the nearest National car rental place and I would have a vehicle waiting for me after the spear was put on the vehicle.

    Make Note that if you get windshield and tire insurance please ask what is the steps is an incident happens. Be prepared when renting a car look thoroughly and ask as many questions about the contract as you can as you don't want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere and having to resolve the problem yourself. Or put yourself in harms way. I hope this information is helpful to anyone.

    0 Votes
  • Dd
    dd99 Aug 27, 2012

    Just to add a comment about National outside of the US.
    I rented a car in Warsaw. No walkaround was simply given an existing damage sheet with one item marked.
    I returned the car at night, spoke to the attendant when dropping off the keys (as he was not at the desk he asked for them to be dropped off there - he told me he had seen the car) and then again an hour or so later (to pick up some items I left behind).

    Several days later National are planning to charge me for damage to the car. No, they did not inform me and no, nothing was said to me upon dropping off the car nor an hour later. Needless to say, I do not recall any damage on the car. I asked to inspect the car to see the damage for myself and was told it may or may not be available depending on existing rentals.

    This does seem like a cheap trick to boost the bottom line - they simply charge whatever they want under "damages" (and of course, these damages are never repaired - the car continue to be rented out with more and more dents and scratches until it is either sold, totaled or overhauled). Will try to avoid National in future.

    0 Votes
  • Fi
    FigFigger Jan 09, 2014

    National Car Rental, I asked on the last day of my agreement that I didn't have to bring the car back to take it for a one way rental. Then the bill charged the higher rate for the entire time I had the car. Now they won't give me an receipt of what the rate was for the days I had it for work. I won't be using them again and I'm an Executive Emerald Club.

    0 Votes
  • Jd
    jdfonz May 10, 2016

    I rented a car from National in March 2016 for business and vacation. While on vacation I was rear ended. The police were called, came out and made a report. The accident was obviously not my fault as i was hit from behind and no injuries thank God.
    I called the Emerald Club to report the accident. After being on hold forever then hung up on I finally talked to someone who i gave all the information to, I was told to hold as they had to transfer me to someone else...On hold again, after the next person came on the line, they had no idea what i was calling about so I repeat everything again.
    So moving on. I take the time out of my vacation to go the the Marco Island, Fl. Police dept. to get a hard copy of the police report. I Dropped off the car at Fort Meyers Airport and gave the police report to the attendant..
    Fast forward a couple of weeks. I get a letter asking how i want to pay for the damages. I called the damage recovery and explained it was a not at fault accident and I had given the attendant at the airport the police report, and if they did not have it they can call the Marco Island police dept. for the report.
    Fast forward two weeks, I get another letter, this one complete with pictures of the damage asking how I want to pay for the damages. This time I send an email stating the same thing.
    Fast forward one week. I get a call from the damage recovery unit. I explain again, (this time not so nicely) that this is the 4th time I've had to explain this. Now I get attitude. " well you think you would have kept a copy of the report" to which I replied, "you think you might have one competent person in your organization that can do their job". This lady explains to me that the police dept. will not give her a copy of the report without the report # because i was the driver...Hello???National is the owner of the vehicle!!!
    Sooo I said fine I will do your job and get the police report number. I will also ask if National called would they be able to get the number and report, and if I am wrong will apologize. Guess what? "Yes sir Absolutely we would give the rental car company this information, all they have to do is ask."
    I will be taking my Emerald Executive Elite Status to Hertz

    0 Votes
  • Ra
    Ray Tarasoff Oct 02, 2018

    I love the ads for National, however, since our bad experience inLas Vegas several years ago. I avoid renting from National like the plague. I was never treated so shabbily by a car rental agency before National, nor afterward. I think the use of foul language directed at us was the clincher. Keep up the good ads.

    Ray Tarasoff

    0 Votes
  • St
    Stacey Fonseca Oct 27, 2018

    I was returning a car and was very ill. Rubio the National Car Service Agent was amazing. He went out of his way to assist me with bags, emptying out the car and assisting me to ensure my safety and wellness. For those of you that have been to Newark NJ, this is rare. I just wanted to thank Rubio and recognize his commitment to customer service.

    0 Votes
  • De
    Denns Knopick Jun 17, 2019

    Your "Drop Off Fee" when renting at one location and dropping off at another location is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS. (even when NOT traveling ‘interstate' [PA to OH] ).

    When traveling between airports within the same state ... it is cheaper to fly than it is to drive. Something is economically contradicting with this service !!

    0 Votes

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