Dollar - deceptive damage waiver scam

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Dec 26, 2019
3
1
3
31
I completed a car rental with Dollar Rent A Car at LAX airport almost 2 weeks ago now, on Sunday 12/15. I tried reaching out to Dollar's customer service about my issue the following day on Monday, 12/16, in response to my invoice, but I have still not yet heard anything back (so at this point, guessing I never will).

Basically, I made it clear at the counter that I wanted to decline all insurance and the LDW (as I was already covered by my credit card). However, when I received my invoice I found that the man at the counter had sneakily added on the LDW to my reservation at a total cost of $68, against my direct wishes. He had me sign the screen in front of me (presumably to confirm I was declining the damage waiver as I requested, but instead turns out as I found out after the fact he had instead added on the LDW with no way of me knowing).

In addition to my message I sent last week to Dollar (which I have gotten no response to), I have also tried reaching out to Dollar through Twitter, and they have been no help either - they basically just told me since I signed a blank screen (which I was made to believe was to decline the LDW coverage), that it was my fault that the guy at the counter added on the damage waiver without my knowledge or permission. Over Twitter message, they confirmed that there was effectively no way for me to read the rental agreement I was signing prior to signing it (so that I could find out he had added the LDW to my agreement against my direct wishes), but are still saying it was my fault for trusting the agent wasn't deceptively adding on the damage waiver.

Through a little bit of googling after the fact, I found out this deceptive practice/scam has been going on with Dollar in particular for years (see a couple articles from prior years: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/...let-may-mean-trouble.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1 , https://www.autoblog.com/2014/08/19/dollar-rent-car-insurance-scam-video/). I find it very troubling that Hertz/Dollar has not yet shut down this practice. Are there any suggestions on what else I could/should try in order to get refunded for these charges?
 

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
3,453
4,219
113
the United States
Yes. You can appeal to corporate at Hertz, since they own Dollar (and Thrifty)

Some do's and don'ts when writing
Do not use inflammatory language - be polite and professional
Do not attach files - their email system may discard your email before anyone reads it
Do not start with the CEO - begin at the lowest level in the company contacts shown here: https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/hertz/
Present a brief summary (list) and give each contact one (1) week to respond before escalating to the next level
 
  • Like
Reactions: huskiesfan

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
2,857
3,673
113
Maui Hawaii
I completed a car rental with Dollar Rent A Car at LAX airport almost 2 weeks ago now, on Sunday 12/15. I tried reaching out to Dollar's customer service about my issue the following day on Monday, 12/16, in response to my invoice, but I have still not yet heard anything back (so at this point, guessing I never will).

Basically, I made it clear at the counter that I wanted to decline all insurance and the LDW (as I was already covered by my credit card). However, when I received my invoice I found that the man at the counter had sneakily added on the LDW to my reservation at a total cost of $68, against my direct wishes. He had me sign the screen in front of me (presumably to confirm I was declining the damage waiver as I requested, but instead turns out as I found out after the fact he had instead added on the LDW with no way of me knowing).

In addition to my message I sent last week to Dollar (which I have gotten no response to), I have also tried reaching out to Dollar through Twitter, and they have been no help either - they basically just told me since I signed a blank screen (which I was made to believe was to decline the LDW coverage), that it was my fault that the guy at the counter added on the damage waiver without my knowledge or permission. Over Twitter message, they confirmed that there was effectively no way for me to read the rental agreement I was signing prior to signing it (so that I could find out he had added the LDW to my agreement against my direct wishes), but are still saying it was my fault for trusting the agent wasn't deceptively adding on the damage waiver.

Through a little bit of googling after the fact, I found out this deceptive practice/scam has been going on with Dollar in particular for years (see a couple articles from prior years: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/...let-may-mean-trouble.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1 , https://www.autoblog.com/2014/08/19/dollar-rent-car-insurance-scam-video/). I find it very troubling that Hertz/Dollar has not yet shut down this practice. Are there any suggestions on what else I could/should try in order to get refunded for these charges?
Did you review the paperwork you were given at the counter before you left the desk? If you still have this paperwork you should review it now to see what it itemized.
 
  • Like
Reactions: VoR61
Dec 19, 2014
636
1,771
93
48
Strange, every time I rent a car with Dollar or Thrifty (they are the same parent companies), you have to individually check yes or no for each option. At the end of the screen, you sign the rental agreement. The rental agreement is then printed out with the selected services and the estimated total charges. If there is an error, this is the time to dispute the charges, not after the fact.

Corporate MAY waive the LDW as a gesture of goodwill, but the corporate stance will be, you checked it and had the opportunity to sign the paperwork.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,093
23,045
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Strange, every time I rent a car with Dollar or Thrifty (they are the same parent companies), you have to individually check yes or no for each option. At the end of the screen, you sign the rental agreement. The rental agreement is then printed out with the selected services and the estimated total charges. If there is an error, this is the time to dispute the charges, not after the fact.

Corporate MAY waive the LDW as a gesture of goodwill, but the corporate stance will be, you checked it and had the opportunity to sign the paperwork.
I find the same thing. I actually read the screen to make sure I am declining or accepting . I never blindly sign.
 
  • Like
Reactions: VoR61
Jun 24, 2019
645
1,220
93
72
Last time I was at Enterprise (which I generally try to avoid) I was presented with the iPad approach. The Enterprise guy filled in the boxes (I said no to insurance) and he presented me the iPad. I asked where I could see the written contract and he said that would be e-mailed to me. So I said when I got the e-mail and reviewed it I would e-mailed back my signature. He declined. So in front of him I called my service advisor at the dealer who was paying for the rental and told him Enterprise would not let me see the contract, so they were unsatisfactory. Lo and behold, Enterprise figured out a way to print out a contract, and, imagine that, CDW was checked yes. Enterprise also refused to note various dings, saying that their corporate standards did not regard those as chargeable. Chris has a story elsewhere about that. I asked where I could find that in the contract. (Of course, it's not there.) So we marked each ding and I videoed the car.

I recently rented from Avis in Ft. Lauderdale. I had reserved on line through Avis.Com, where I accepted insurance through Allianz at $9 or so a day. My credit card had stopped offering insurance. At the counter, I got the hard sell about why the corporate offered Allianz insurance is not as good as what they offer at the counter for $30 or more a day.
 
Dec 26, 2019
3
1
3
31
Did you review the paperwork you were given at the counter before you left the desk? If you still have this paperwork you should review it now to see what it itemized.
I do realize this was my mistake for not immediately reviewing the paperwork I got before leaving the area. My flight had gotten in a bit late and so I was running a bit late in getting to my destination, so at the time I was just trying to get out of there as quickly as possible and assumed he had declined everything as I requested, so didn't take the time to look at stuff. I've learned my lesson for next time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: VoR61
Dec 26, 2019
3
1
3
31
Strange, every time I rent a car with Dollar or Thrifty (they are the same parent companies), you have to individually check yes or no for each option. At the end of the screen, you sign the rental agreement. The rental agreement is then printed out with the selected services and the estimated total charges. If there is an error, this is the time to dispute the charges, not after the fact.

Corporate MAY waive the LDW as a gesture of goodwill, but the corporate stance will be, you checked it and had the opportunity to sign the paperwork.
I don't have many other experiences with Dollar/Thrifty (think I rented from Dollar one time in the past), but this time at least I was never given the opportunity to personally check yes or no to any coverages (not sure if the agent at the counter was able to override these screens or something and select them himself?). All I was shown was a blank screen for me to sign/

As noted above, I recognize it was my bad for not looking over the paperwork and disputing at the time. But I find it pretty frustrating that at this location at least, there effectively doesn't seem to be any way to read the agreement you are signing prior to signing it
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,093
23,045
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
I do realize this was my mistake for not immediately reviewing the paperwork I got before leaving the area. My flight had gotten in a bit late and so I was running a bit late in getting to my destination, so at the time I was just trying to get out of there as quickly as possible and assumed he had declined everything as I requested, so didn't take the time to look at stuff. I've learned my lesson for next time.
And this is what you need to tell them when you write. It bothers me to no end that despite saying no, too many employees pull this.

I would tell them they can easily see the employee who checked you in and that they should educate the employee. I would ask if employees are given rewards for selling insurance.
 
Dec 19, 2014
636
1,771
93
48
To all other readers...

You can avoid these issues by
- Using a self-service kiosk
- Using online pre-check. We just used this option last month with Alamo, where you completed all the check in options online, and when you got there, they just directed you to the car.
- Signing up for the rental car "frequent renter" program, where all your preferences are pre-loaded. These programs are free to sign up. I don't ever use the rewards or points, rather, just use the program to have my preferences pre-loaded.

Honestly, I can't remember the last time I had to use a live agent.

One other side note... at least LDW is capped in California by state law, unlike other places in the US where LDW can be as high as $35 a DAY!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pixie Pie and VoR61
Dec 19, 2014
636
1,771
93
48
.... I would ask if employees are given rewards for selling insurance.
A significant portion of an agent's bonuses are based on the number of "add ons" they sell.

Another secret, is that just about everything is negotiable. As strange as this sounds, you can negotiate the cost of all the extras, including upgrades. Or if you want to stick to the original contract, just be firm.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pixie Pie and VoR61