DOLLAR

What’s this mystery bill from DTG Operations?

When Vuong Tg’s girlfriend rented a car from an airport rental lot, and returned it to a different airport, she and the clerk walked around the car, conducted a final inspection and noted no damages.

The clerk said, “You’re good to go,” offered the receipt, and sent her and Tg on their way.

That was at the end of May. Can you guess where we’re going with this?
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Her luck ran out on this Irish car rental

Is Tricia Kalinowski getting ripped off after a single car accident in an Irish rental?

Dollar doesn’t think so, but she does. I’ll let you decide after you’ve read her story.

Kalinowski’s case comes to us from our help forums.

As always, this is a case unfolding in real time and, as always, we could use a little help from you.
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Six months later, Dollar wants me to pay $808

Talk about a late bill.

Six months ago, Les Baker rented a car from Dollar Rent A Car in St. Louis. The car experienced a “mechanical problem” and wouldn’t start. Now, the car rental company wants him to pay $808 for alleged damage to the vehicle.

If he doesn’t pay up, it threatened to report him to a collection agency.
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Is this “convenience” just another scam?

dollar wrapI’m almost never accused of being too neutral, but when I covered a type of foreign currency exchange that affects international travelers recently, that’s exactly what happened.

I was writing about a little trick called a dynamic currency conversion (DCC), which works something like this: If you’re paying by credit card overseas, a merchant will sometimes ask if you want to make the purchase in dollars, “for your convenience.” If you agree, your money is converted from the native currency into greenbacks and sent to your credit card, but at an awful exchange rate. Bizarrely, you may still have to pay your credit card a fee for a foreign transaction — so you basically convert the money twice.
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The dangers of dynamic currency conversion

burning dollarProcessing a credit card charge for overseas purchases used to be pretty simple. You swiped your card while on vacation, your bank changed the money from pesos or euros into greenbacks, and the amount you’d spent appeared on your bill. Maybe you paid a small conversion fee, but you also got a competitive exchange rate.

Not anymore. Just ask Jae Cuadra, who recently tried to buy a round-trip train ticket between the Swiss cities of Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen. The purchase, at a train station in Interlaken, went on his Capital One Visa card, which doesn’t charge to convert foreign currencies. But “for the first time, I was offered a choice,” says Cuadra, a registered nurse from Westbury, N.Y. “Did I want to pay in dollars or Swiss francs?”
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Forced to buy car rental insurance that didn’t cover her

Aleksei Potov/Shutterstock
Aleksei Potov/Shutterstock
From time to time, a case comes across my desk that gets me turned upside-down, because it doesn’t make sense on so many levels. Julie Yu’s dispute with Dollar is one of them.

A few weeks ago, I shared a problem of one reader’s mandatory car rental insurance charge in Mexico. Basically, her vehicle ended up costing a lot more than she thought it would, even though she’d purchased insurance through a third party.

Turns out this happens often. But Yu experienced the same problem — with a dark twist.
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