Victim Location 94517
Type of a scam Other
I frequent the Flathead County area and routinely rent vehicles at the Kalispell Airport. I would like to expose Avis Rent-A-Car for their business practices that involve false vehicle damage and the pressure to get the credit card supplemental insurance policy to pay for the repair. In a three-month period, I rented from Avis and they made false claims against me TWICE. It goes down like this:
The renter declines the supplemental collision insurance and the “administrative” loss-of-use insurance policies offered by Avis. (Which ends up being over the amount of the daily rental fee).
The renter opts to use a credit card that has supplemental car rental accident insurance.
The renter returns the vehicle and is later contacted by a third-party Collector (PurCo) claiming that the renter damaged the vehicle during their rental period. The Representative then pressures the renter to use the credit card company’s accident policy to pay for the repair even though the renter did not damage the vehicle. The renter being out-of-state has no way to remedy the situation or view the “damage” in person.
The first time this happened to me, May 2018, I did not video tape the condition of the vehicle before and after the rental period. I initialed a pre-rental inspection form indicating that the vehicle was not damaged. When I dropped of the vehicle, there were no Avis employees to check off the vehicle and I left the keys in the drop box. Three weeks later, I received a letter from PurCo claiming that I scratched the passenger side door. I contacted PurCo and obtained photos and a repair estimate of $1650. In spite of my pleading that I did not damage the vehicle in anyway, the represtative told me even if someone else caused the damage, I was still responsible because I declined the supplemental coverage. He then encouraged me to call my credit card company and have them pay for the repair.
When I received the (two) photos, they were not time or date stamped, did not include the license plate, and the type of repair requested was questionable (other remedies?). Also, the estimate included repair of the right rear door when no such damage was depicted on the photos. I responded with these issue and requested prior repair records, other comparable photographs from other renters, etc. I did not receive any additional documentation however PurCo sent me a letter advising that they would be dropping their claim.
In August 2018, I returned to the Kalispell area and had rent again from Avis. This time, I video taped the condition of the vehicle. I did find it odd that they “upgraded” my vehicle to a 2018 Subaru Impreza however I completed my trip without incident and parked it in the rental return area. Again, there were no Avis employees working at this time due to the early morning hour however I video taped the vehicle’s condition and left the keys in the drop box. To my shock, I received another notice from PurCo who now accused me of damaging the undercarriage of the Subaru! I immediately sent a letter to PurCo advising that I did not damage the vehicle and that I would be disputing the claim. I also requested additional evidence, such as photographs, etc however never heard back from PurCo. I contacted Avis corporation via email voicing my dispute and my suspicion that the actions of these employees had the likings of insurance fraud. In an email response, some employee of Avis in Missoula (not sure why they were involved) said that I signed the pre-rental inspection indicating that there were no damages and therefore they would not be dropping the claim. Yes, I completed this form however it did not include an inspection of the undercarriage! Sadly, I did not think I had to get on my hands and knees to obtain photographic evidence of the undercarriage. The ground clearance on this Subaru is approximately 5”. Is this what it is coming to? What if I was elderly or had a disability?
They included two photographs of the “damage” which again were not time/date stamped and did not include the license plate. It showed plastic skid pans hanging symmetrically on both the left and right front undercarriage. The skid pans were not damaged and simply hanging down and apparently missing their bolts to secure it back to the undercarriage. Seems to me that some commissioned “discovering employee” caused this to happen to dramatize damage?
I did not damage this vehicle. I am retired law enforcement officer with 24 years experience in vehicle collision investigation. Had I run over something, there would have been a loud noise and subsequent front end damage? Why wouldn’t the plastic be ripped or damaged? Would BOTH sides be equally damaged? When I compared my video to the photographs, there was debris/dust on the front right side of the body that was not there in the video. The vehicle was also moved based on my video evidence. Also, the employee apparently “discovered” the hanging plastic at 9:43am, five hours after I dropped it off. What happened to the vehicle during that time period?
I have yet to receive any additional requested documents/evidence from PurCo or Avis, including a repair estimate. I’ve even asked to share my before and after videos, but I guess they don’t want those either?
People need to be aware of Larson Inc Avis Rent-A-Car at Kalispell Airport and they should be exposed for their fraudulent business practices. Can you help me?