Advantage Rent A Car Complaint - Advantage Rent A Car Tries To Cheat Customer
Resolution Update on 10/10/2008:
I received a letter from Advantage Director of Loss Prevention stating "I have had an opportunity to review the file in its entirety, and have requested that our third party administrator, Subrogation Management Team close their file down." No apology. Attached was a supposed-email from the Advantage Albuquerque office, which I had never received. The supposed-email stated that my phone number "seems to be disconnected." My phone was not disconnected. The letter thanks me for my "corporation." (Are Advantage employees ignorant, dumb, thieves? Or all of the above?) I later received a letter from Subrogation Management Team Ltd. stating "Please accept this letter as confirmation that the claim brought against you for damage resulting from an accident...was done so in error. This claim has been closed. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced." That apology from Subrogation Management Team was nice, but the problem wasn't their fault. The problem was entirely the fault of Advantage Rent A Car. If I had not vigorously fought the Advantage claim, the company would still be pushing me to pay $962. My insurance company was a great help in this matter, demanding among other things, 6 months of prior vehicle history and copies of the rental inspection/condition reports from previous renters.
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- In May I rented a car at Advantage Rent A Car in Salt Lake City with drop-off in Albuquerque. The rental car was damaged before I drove it out of the lot, but I was not aware of the damage. I didn't find out about the damage until I returned the car to Advantage in Albuquerque, where the attendant pointed out the damage to me.
In the Advantage parking area in Salt Lake City the attendant had handed me a piece of paper that stated the vehicle was not damaged, and she asked me to initial it. I told her that I couldn't initial because I hadn't even seen the vehicle. She replied that the car had just been inspected and had no damage, that I should go to the car and inspect it myself, and if I found no major damage I should go ahead and drive the vehicle. I inspected the car and noted that the license plate was bent. I noticed no further damage, but snapped a picture of the front of the car "just in case." The damage is visible in the photo.
My flight had been 2 hours late arriving in SLC, I was already tired, and I had a 4-hour drive ahead of me that night, so I wanted to get going as soon as possible. The parking area was poorly lit, the car was a dark color, the bumper was a dark color, and I didn't see the damage to the bumper. In Albuquerque I disputed the charge that I had damaged the car. I tried numerous times to call an Advantage representative whose name and phone number were given to me, but I could never reach her, and she never returned my calls. I finally dropped the matter, thinking my explanation had been accepted, but I was wrong. Now Advantage is claiming I owe them $962 for damage that they say I am responsible for. I am certain that Advantage was aware that the damage was there before I rented the vehicle. I learned some lessons the hard way.
(1) NEVER rent from Advantage;
(2) inspect any rental vehicle with a fine-tooth comb;
(3) take pictures of the vehicle (and another picture showing other rental cars in the picture to prove that the picture was taken in the company's parking area).