False National claim, perfect storm

  • 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.
Feb 6, 2020
3
2
3
51
I rent 60+ days from National a year, executive elite status. For longer rentals I always use Amex car rental protection. For shorter rentals - a day or two - I use my Chase United Explorer card which has car rental protection built in, but I've never had to file a claim. I've had one damage claim in the last decade with National which was covered by Amex.

In this case I picked up a car at a smaller airport location. It was a one day, one way rental (700 miles). The car was the worst car Ive had from National. Just beat up in general, reeking of air freshener. I was running late and had a long drive so I didn't take pictures of it. Big mistake.

I used a free day coupon from National for the rental, using the United Explorer credit card for the reservation. Most of the time they charge the tax/surcharges to the credit card, this time no charge at all. Therefore there was no transaction on the credit card. I called Chase and they said since there was no charge on the card I wasn't covered.

Out of nowhere I get a damage claim for almost $2000. Front cracked grill, dent in rear bumper, and a dent in underneath rocker panel which you couldn't see unless you looked under the car. I drove this car straight from the airport to my house (private driveway with no other cars in it). The next morning I dropped it off at the location (small airport with no one at the counter). I didn't hit or get hit by anything.

So you're telling me I did all this damage to 3 completely different parts of the car in a 11 hour straight drive? The car also had 37000 miles on it which is very high for a National car. If I was at fault I would take responsibility.

I'm not sure where to start. I do have personal car insurance but with a $1000 deductible. It will barely cover anything as there was $700 in admin, diminished value and loss of use fees. I havent called National yet to fight it. I use National and Alamo often so I don't wan't to be put on a do not rent list. Any suggestions or advice would be appropriated. Thanks.
 
Jun 24, 2019
642
1,217
93
72
Following the advice elsewhere on this site, you can write to National (and not to their adjuster) and recite what you've told us. The car was a mess and you didn't do the damage. If they care about your repeat business, that's where you can succeed. Do not call, but use e-mail, so there's a trail. Don't threaten loss of future business, but clearly indicate you are a good customer.

You can (and maybe should) notify your insurer, but on a claim this size they may simply pay, with you being responsible for the deductible. If your policy excludes coverage for loss of use or diminution of value your personal responsibility could be more than $1,000. If your insurer is any good, they may negotiate the total down a bunch, but you may still be on the hook for the deductible. Of course, we don't know the effect of making a claim will have on your rates.

Had you taken pictures, you might not have covered at all the dent in the rocker panel. The other two items might not have shown up definitively at all. And, of course, had you rejected the car, National might have reported that it had no other cars available for a one-way rental.
 
Sep 19, 2015
5,580
8,358
113
49
"So you're telling me I did all this damage to 3 completely different parts of the car in a 11 hour straight drive? "

I do not doubt that the car was a mess, but National may have concerns with the narrative. Do you think National will believe that you drove 700 miles in 11 hours without stopping? They may argue that freeway debris or something flying off an open bed truck caused the damage.

I hope that National will be compromising for a good customer, but you may want to alert the insurance
 
  • Like
Reactions: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,042
23,001
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
This is where to start:

 
  • Like
Reactions: VoR61

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
2,843
3,643
113
Maui Hawaii
I rent 60+ days from National a year, executive elite status. For longer rentals I always use Amex car rental protection. For shorter rentals - a day or two - I use my Chase United Explorer card which has car rental protection built in, but I've never had to file a claim. I've had one damage claim in the last decade with National which was covered by Amex.

In this case I picked up a car at a smaller airport location. It was a one day, one way rental (700 miles). The car was the worst car Ive had from National. Just beat up in general, reeking of air freshener. I was running late and had a long drive so I didn't take pictures of it. Big mistake.

I used a free day coupon from National for the rental, using the United Explorer credit card for the reservation. Most of the time they charge the tax/surcharges to the credit card, this time no charge at all. Therefore there was no transaction on the credit card. I called Chase and they said since there was no charge on the card I wasn't covered.

Out of nowhere I get a damage claim for almost $2000. Front cracked grill, dent in rear bumper, and a dent in underneath rocker panel which you couldn't see unless you looked under the car. I drove this car straight from the airport to my house (private driveway with no other cars in it). The next morning I dropped it off at the location (small airport with no one at the counter). I didn't hit or get hit by anything.

So you're telling me I did all this damage to 3 completely different parts of the car in a 11 hour straight drive? The car also had 37000 miles on it which is very high for a National car. If I was at fault I would take responsibility.

I'm not sure where to start. I do have personal car insurance but with a $1000 deductible. It will barely cover anything as there was $700 in admin, diminished value and loss of use fees. I havent called National yet to fight it. I use National and Alamo often so I don't wan't to be put on a do not rent list. Any suggestions or advice would be appropriated. Thanks.
The other thing to consider is that this is a scam that they pull on any customer who rents this particular (or similar older beat-up cars) car. If the customer does not have pictures, they are charged for the same damages (which are not fixed) over and over. If the customer does have pictures, then they just drop the claim and wait for the next unsuspecting renter. We have seen similar scams with "trick" clutches that fail after a few miles and then the customer is charged for a new clutch.
You might wish to do a google search on the renting agency and see if there are other cases like yours, perhaps even involving the same car.
 
Sep 20, 2015
132
190
43
60
I suspect you're not going to get a newish car with a one way rental. The renting site probably saw this as an opportunity to get rid of a clunker.
 
Feb 6, 2020
3
2
3
51
Thanks for all the input. I am going to start by emailing the general customer service and cc:'ing corporate. I will update when I receive a reply.
 
Feb 6, 2020
3
2
3
51
Good news. After I sent out my detailed email I got a call from the pickup location the next day. They are waiving the entire claim. The manager stated all the damage was small and in different locations so they probably didn't pick it up. Thanks for everyones input.
 
  • Like
Reactions: VoR61 and Tanya