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Car Rental Rip-Off in LAX?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hiya amigos! In my recent and most excellent trip to Tahoe and Mammoth we rented a pre-reserved and gtd. car. Upon arrival we were told no cars were available. After calling ALL other car rentals with no luck, a car "miraculously" was returned, and we had our rental. But, we were forced to pay for ALL INSURANCE claiming it was a California LAW. I told them we pay and additional $24.95 per rental with AMEX for full coverage by AMEX, buth this fell on deaf ears. In addition, even though I'm a US Citizen with valid Passport (as well as my son and wife), I was charged an additional daily fee for using a foreign driver's license (we live in the DR).

Is it in fact a California Law to force renters to accept full insurance? And the additional foreign-license fee, is this law?

The additional charges were over $600, which I am currently disputing via AMEX.

Help me on this fellow Bears?

Gracias!
post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gpaul
Hiya amigos! In my recent and most excellent trip to Tahoe and Mammoth we rented a pre-reserved and gtd. car. Upon arrival we were told no cars were available. After calling ALL other car rentals with no luck, a car "miraculously" was returned, and we had our rental. But, we were forced to pay for ALL INSURANCE claiming it was a California LAW. I told them we pay and additional $24.95 per rental with AMEX for full coverage by AMEX, buth this fell on deaf ears. In addition, even though I'm a US Citizen with valid Passport (as well as my son and wife), I was charged an additional daily fee for using a foreign driver's license (we live in the DR).

Is it in fact a California Law to force renters to accept full insurance? And the additional foreign-license fee, is this law?

The additional charges were over $600, which I am currently disputing via AMEX.

Help me on this fellow Bears?

Gracias!
I am not an expert or lawyer, but I think you got screwed. When I have made car reservations and they didn't have any cars of the type I rented, they always upgrad me, and *never* required me to get insurance. I also use my AmEx so I always decline the insurance.

It's been a long time since I rented with a foreign license, but I never remember being charged extra for using a foreign license.

"Is it in fact a California Law to force renters to accept full insurance?"
Nope. I rented a car in California in the past year from different companies, and I always declined insurance.

Good luck. In my experience, AmEx has always been really good when disputing charges.

A.
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gpaul

The additional charges were over $600 , which I am currently disputing via AMEX.
: : : : : : :
post #4 of 17
No, not law. I have rented many cars in CA on my corporate rate of $35/day for a mid size car. When cars haven't been available, I've been able to get them to give me a larger car for the same price, but my guess is that they saw you with your family and knew you were in a jam, so they rode you loke a dime store whore. You got hosed. Seeing that you signed on the bottom line for that rate, I doubt AmEx will be able to help you. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try and report it to the BBB.
post #5 of 17
Don't know Ca law or AMEX policies. However most States do allow Car Rental agencies to REQUIRE "proof" of insurance. Thus, if you show your insurnace card---you are cool and would not have to purchase the coverage.

If I am a Car Rental agency, I would not expect my employees to "know" all the conditions and extensions of credit card companies. For all they know, the card and your id are stolen---or like many credit companies, they change conditions with each passing month. No---I think I would only accept proof of insurance.

Then, proof of insurance is not enough. You must have Comp, Collision and Liability Limits (acceptable) to waive. If you have this and they still do not let you rent without signing on the dotted line. Get the name, ailias etc of the employee and then write out a "you made me take this...insurance against my will to rent a car" and make him/her sign it. If they cite "because the law" says---request a copy of the law...if they advise they don't have it. Ask if they are "practicing law"---a criminal offense. If they say their policy is this or that----request a copy.


Both my wife and I rent in Ca---never had to purchase insurance. Though I do carry and show my card. Make sure you take your card to Illinois---they do require to see it.


Not buying or selling---but Car Rental Companies do loose tons of money on fraud and abuse. Bastards--though they are.

I continue my rant---why are many airport car rental companies charging airport fees---yet the airports are making the rental companies move way, way off site. In BWI you ride a bus for 8-10 minutes to get to your "on location" car. 2 other airports were the same way---Charlotte, NC being one of them.
post #6 of 17
Do write the BBB, but better yet.


Find the goverment body that regulates Car Rentals. Write a complaint to them. Like all govmt bodies, they push the paper back and ask for answers. Many times the company execs see these and react properly.


I would also write the CA department of insurance---While I personally do not like the guy...he is very, very, consumer friendly---too comsumer friendly. Some proper words in your letter like "forcing to purchase insurance" "Citing CA law" Unlicensed "agent" selling insurance and "double dipping" will most likely get a good response for you.

Let us know.
post #7 of 17
I would also write to the company in question. Include any BBB reference number that you have. Best of luck.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks amigos!

Would you know the address of the BBB for LAX businesses

I will also write the others you suggest, as well as the renting company.
post #9 of 17
Car rentals better not try that in New York State. NYS Attorney General Eliot Spitzer will eat them up for lunch, put their A$$ in jail, and throw away the key.

You may want to try California's office of the Attorney General Bill Lockyer
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gpaul
Would you know the address of the BBB for LAX businesses
Just google it. You should be able to file a complain online. I know that you can do it for NY and MA.
post #11 of 17
I would certainly dispute but I would go directly to the parent rental company (hertz, national, enterprise or whoever). These practises surely don't meet their business standard. I would also speak to the airport authourity, my guess is they have a view on how their concessions treat tourists and business travellers.
post #12 of 17
I rent at LAX regularly and always decline the insurance. My cc covers it. That's bull$hit and you should definitely contact the BBB and the parent rental company, don't bother w/ the franchisee.
post #13 of 17
Unfortunately, I have found complaints to the BBB to be more than useless.

I think you should share the rental company's name with everyone you can, including here. If that is their "policy" or they really think that is the "law", we all have a right to know about it, and I do not see how they could object.

Consumer pressure is the only thing that will matter to them in the end.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NE1
Unfortunately, I have found complaints to the BBB to be more than useless.

I think you should share the rental company's name with everyone you can, including here. If that is their "policy" or they really think that is the "law", we all have a right to know about it, and I do not see how they could object.

Consumer pressure is the only thing that will matter to them in the end.
Ace LAX, 11101 S Hindry St.

I will contact parent company, if I get the name...!!!
post #15 of 17
Ace Car Rental?...likely you're out of luck. I think they're a local independent outfit, and the clerks likely get paid commission on what they can cheat out of the customer.

A few years back Alamo was pulling a scam. What ever size car you had reserved, they were sold out. You could get a bigger car if you paid extra. I walked down the row in the airport, got to Budget (the first one that didn't have a "no cars" sign, and asked if they had cars. Yep, lots, and honest pricing. I got mine, then went back and told all the irate folks in the line at the Alamo desk.


Ken
post #16 of 17
I agree with SoftSnow. I think disputing the charge through your credit card is your best bet.
post #17 of 17
http://www.labbb.org/BBBWeb/Forms/Business/CompanyReportPage_Expository.aspx?CompanyID=131862 20
LA's BBB's report card on Ace Car Rental. A big fat F!!!

The definition of the 'F' rating:
We strongly question the company’s reliability for reasons such as that they have failed to respond to complaints, their advertising is grossly misleading, they are not in compliance with the law’s licensing or registration requirements, their complaints contain especially serious allegations, or the company’s industry is known for its fraudulent business practices.

Gpaul, you can file a complaint from that page. Please def. do!!! Might want to write to the LA tourism board (or whatever it's called).
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