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dac5678

Advice on rental car collection

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I'm looking for some advice on car that I rented back in September. The company is charging me about $230 for a nail in a tire that I had no knowledge of. The tires never lost pressure for the week that I had it. Upon returning the car, the check-in attendant did a walk around of the vehicle and said it looks fine. I also received an email later that day with my total, and no damage was noted. 3 days later I received an email saying that they discovered a nail in one of the tires and asked me to fill out a form with any knowledge I may have had about it. I filled it out and didn't hear anything for a couple of months.

 

Fast forward to yesterday I received a final notice email saying that I have 15 days to pay the bill or it will be sent to a collection agency. This was the first I had heard about this debt, however after doing an inbox search for their company name, I noticed they first emailed about it in early November (still about 2 months after the rental was returned). It had just gone to my promotions folder though since I am also on their newsletter, so gmail just grouped them all up as ads. I have never received a phone call or physical piece of mail regarding this.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions on this one? They sent a picture of the nail, and it was towards the center of the tire. I know tires are a hard thing to fully inspect since the entire tire will not be visible at once, so the nail could have very well been there before I rented the car.

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does the contract you signed specify you're liable for this type of damage? did you use a credit card to pay for the car?

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Here are the only mentions of tires specifically in the contract.

 

Quote

Vehicle“ means the motor vehicle identifi ed in this Agreement and any vehicle we substitute for it, and all its tires, tools, accessories, equipment, keys and Vehicle documents, but “Vehicle” does not include portable navigation devices or child safety seats that you rent from us

Quote

Even if you purchase LDW and do not violate paragraph 5(a)-(o), you will be responsible for the following: the cost of replacing the keys or key fob and the cost of delivering replacement keys or key fobs or towing the Vehicle to the nearest Sixt location if you lose the keys or key fob to the Vehicle; the cost of delivering replacement keys or key fob or towing the Vehicle to the nearest Sixt location if you lock the keys or key fob in the Vehicle and request assistance from Sixt, fl at tire service, and jumpstarts.

I paid using my Amex with premium rental insurance. In their terms and conditions they state that insurance benefits will not be provided for damage to tires, unless other damage occured in the same accident.

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I'm no expert but it sounds like you owe the money. $230 sounds like a rip-off for tire repair, or even replacement. I don't trust scumbag car rental outfits like Sith Lords, I mean sixt. For all you know they sent the same bill to everyone who rented the car before it was discovered.

 

I'm surprised they didn't charge on file. I suppose you could contact and request a copy of the repair bill before you pay.

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Concur about Sixt being about as crappy as it gets.  Without knowing the vehicle or tire type ion question, I would guess that $230 for a car from Sixt is about $180 more than it actually costs them.  However, the time and energy it would take to try and fight the matter is not worth the cost of just putting it on the card.

 

Pay it and move on, mentally noting to NEVER give them another rental dollar.  There are plenty of DECENT rental outfits around...

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Before I offer input, who was the rental company (Heg mentions Sixt, but I think that was his own offering).  Second, who wrote the billing letter (in the case of Avis/Budget, it's typically a Claims Mgr firm).

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21 minutes ago, hdporter said:

Before I offer input, who was the rental company (Heg mentions Sixt, but I think that was his own offering).  Second, who wrote the billing letter (in the case of Avis/Budget, it's typically a Claims Mgr firm).

OP's second post mentions Sixt specifically...

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Thanks for the input guys. I was pretty much expecting to pay it, as I don't want to put in a huge fight over a small amount. I just figured I would see if anyone had an experience with this that could make it an easy dispute (ya right 😁).

 

25 minutes ago, hdporter said:

Before I offer input, who was the rental company (Heg mentions Sixt, but I think that was his own offering).  Second, who wrote the billing letter (in the case of Avis/Budget, it's typically a Claims Mgr firm).

The email was from  Claimsmanagement-USA from sixt.com

Edited by dac5678

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In most cases, the claims team are simply anxious to settle up. 

 

I dealt with Avis' claim rep at Sedgwick today.  In this case, they're all too willing to waive their junk fees (loss of use, in particular).  A second push back cut the remaining fees in 1/2.  My bill was slashed from $578 to $190.

 

Can't hurt to try a similar tack and call, saying "I'm looking to resolve this, but the $x charge seems excessive for a nail in a tire"; can you trim the charge?

 

<sorry for overlooking the Sixt reference>

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They pull this all the time; lease companies, too. They charge you for tires then never put them on the car. I've been in the tire / automotive business a long time, and a flat repair costs maybe twenty five dollars, especially in the center of the tread where the tire did not deflate.

 

Ask them why they want ten times the going rate; I'll bet they'll say they replaced the tire. I would then sneak over there, find the car, and see if they actually did. If not, take a picture and sue them for fraud.

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I agree with Centex.  I would give them a call and say that it was not reported when I turned the car in and I have a receipt (document) from you guys saying everything was fine upon turn-in.  How do you know it wasn't one of your people that ran over the nail, etc., however, instead of dragging this out, can we come to a resolution on a more fair amount as $230 seems excessive for fixing a flat tire, and if so I'll pay my share today.

 

Be polite and hopefully they'll offer to split the difference or something even better.

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20 hours ago, centex said:

Concur about Sixt being about as crappy as it gets. 

I vote this way too.  I made the mistake of renting from them ONE time.  NEVER again.  I posted a review on Yelp and TWO years that is right TWO years later they actually responded and offered me a free rental for their poor customer service.  I turned them down.

 

2 hours ago, CTSoxFan said:

 I would give them a call and say that it was not reported when I turned the car in and I have a receipt (document) from you guys saying everything was fine upon turn-in.  How do you know it wasn't one of your people that ran over the nail, etc., however, instead of dragging this out, can we come to a resolution on a more fair amount as $230 seems excessive for fixing a flat tire, and if so I'll pay my share today.

 

Be polite and hopefully they'll offer to split the difference or something even better.

I also like this plan.  I think they are scamming for $230.  Even where I live the priciest place to get a tire fixed is around $75 at the MOST. 

 

Personally for me I would fight them tooth and nail (no pun intended) since they inspected the car on return.  Waiting 2 months to notify of damages they state you caused is suspicious.  I would have no qualms about taking them to court if they damaged my credit over this since there is absolutely no chance they can prove you damaged the tire.  Not to mention a nail in the dead center is a risk of driving period not negligence in causing damage unless you personally hammered it in there.  But not everyone has that level of tolerance.  My guess is that if you contact them they will "settle" for a smaller payment cause they are just looking for some cash.

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How would you (or they) know the nail wasn't from their lot when they drove the car from the drop-off location to a parking space?

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