How I Quickly Settled an Unresolved Consumer Complaint

Resolve a complaint

A couple of years ago, my wife went down to attend a family member's wedding. She rented a vehicle from a company that we'll affectionately refer to as “Not-Thrifty Rental” for the duration of this post (or NTR for short)

After the trip was over and I was going through some of the expenses, I noted NTR charged my wife for some “optional” coverage that she didn't sign up for.

I'm sure you've experienced this too in your own travels where the rental car company offers insurance and other “upgrades” to entice you to spend a little more. I typically opt-out for any additional insurance coverage, because my individual policy covers me for accidents involving another vehicle.

And this is what my wife did at the rental counter when picking up her vehicle. Except in this instance, the agent at the counter insisted that my wife sign for this coverage even though she didn't want it. They told her the optional charges would be dropped soon after the bill was “settled.”

Long story short, this didn't happen and we were charged an additional $200+ in optional charges.

Let the fun begin

I generally believe that most businesses are out there to help customers. And while not all of the grievances that customers gripe about are legit or even warranted, most companies seem to lean towards the mantra “the customers' always right.” At least, that's been my experience with a few exceptions.

However, with NTR, this was not the case, almost from the get-go. They were in it to win it. After stating our case on what had happened and there may have been a misunderstanding they insisted there was nothing they could do and we were out the $200.

We went back and forth about 4x via their online ticketing system and still could not come to any type of resolution (I even called and tried to speak with someone – but to no avail).

I decided I would check out some Google reviews on the business and was surprised to see what I found out.

bad rental

There were others similar to this who had experienced issues as we had. Now, I felt like I needed to get some resolution for (at the least) the public good.

consumer complaint

How we got some resolution

I remember my uncle talking to me about an issue he was having with an appliance manufacturer – and that he wasn't able to resolve it with the company. But then he told me about how he brought the issue to the state's Attorney General office and was finally able to get some resolution.

After that, I thought I'd write an article on this to help other folks who've had legit complaints but weren't able to get resolution.

I finally had a chance to give this a real-world test.

I connected with the Arizona AG's office through their website and located the section on filing a consumer complaint against a company. I provided a fair amount of detail and how we tried to resolve it with the company – but had no luck. I also provided some correspondence we had with the NTR and what became of it.

The AG office lets you know they aren't going to “litigate” your case – but may bring it to the attention of the company in the hopes of getting a favorable result. The office lets consumers know they may want to retain a lawyer to help if they are unable to get any resolution.

While the whole process took a little time, it went fairly smoothly – and later that day – I got a reply back from their office the complaint was filed and they would be looking into it (but with no timeline OR guarantee things would be resolved).

It wasn't a but a couple of days later, we saw a refund in our bank account for the “optional insurance.”

Now, that was quick!

I was thankful we were able to get the money back – but admit I'm a bit concerned that others may have (or still are) gotten taken by this company.

Have you ever used your state's AG office to resolve a complaint?

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  1. The same rental scam happened to me. When I brought the car back, I asked a different customer service rep about the additional charge (I even had the crooked CSR write on the contract that I would not be charged). The new CSR checked the computer and said they HAD charged me, but he removed it. My guess is that the company pays a bonus to CSR’s who “sell” the upgrades.

    Later, I noticed the name had changed on that rental car building. I stopped in and asked about it. A larger franchise had purchased the “crooked” company. The new manager told me they had to “clean house” and let about 2/3 of the old workers go to change the culture. Karma, baby!

  2. We also had a problem with a car rental company. After we got home from our vacation, they accused us of putting a huge dent in the car roof. We knew we had not done this, and the car had been parked below our 2nd floor motel room and we certainly would have noticed any damage. They did not want to budge. I asked for pictures of the damage. Never got any. When we talked with our insurance agent we were told this was a common scam. I believe they contacted them. They finally called us and said they were dropping the charges because they couldn’t prove we had done the damage.
    ALWAYS check the car for damage, however small, when picking up the car, AND check it again when returning it and have an agent sign off saying there is no damage!

    We also got scammed by a homeowner who rented out rooms in her house through an agency that is gaining in popularity. I think most homeowners who do this are honest, but if there is a problem, it’s your word against theirs. She said we broke her microwave. We did not. We were charged $250 for a replacement when the microwave they had did not cost more than $100, probably less because it was a small countertop model. The agency said they could not do anything to help us. Now we only stay in motels.

    • Thanks for sharing your experiences Gee. Good reminder to always check around the vehicles (Maybe even take pics since everyone has a camera w/ them these days?) after renting.

  3. Good on you for not letting these people take advantage of you! It sucks that people can’t just be adults and do the right thing in business. It’s baffling to me that a business would act so shady in a world where consumers have so many avenues for recourse (which could destroy new business).

    • Thanks – I figured after I saw all the complaints on Google, probably better send this up the totem pole. Could be a bigger issue. :|

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