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Old Sep 9, 02, 8:54 pm   #1
 
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Company Uses GPS to Detect Out-of-State Driving, Adds on Big Fee

I saw the article somewhere, but can't find it now. Someone rented a car from Budget and drove into another state. The Budget franchisee determined this from a GPS aboard the car. This out-of-state operation escalated the fee to one dollar a mile for the entire rental period.

Does anyone have additional information on this?

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Old Sep 10, 02, 7:31 am   #2
 
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I don't know how this could be true. I don't believe the rental agreement has anything in it about not taking the car out of the state. I would assume this is the reason that they have some rentals that have limits on the amount of miles you can put on the rental before they charge you extra.

On a similar note, I have read somewhere in the past how they can add a chip that will track your speed (recklessness) and stuff like that, but I doubt they are charging you if you take a vehicle out of state (but I thought this was connected to Hertz or Avis)??????
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Old Sep 10, 02, 9:45 am   #3
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I believe this article was in the Wall St. Journal, about a year ago.

Big Brother---- pretty scary.
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Old Sep 10, 02, 9:53 am   #4
 
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I take rental cars out of state all the time without any extra charges. Sometimes, I'll be asked if the car is being taken out of state.
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Old Sep 10, 02, 6:49 pm   #5
 
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Using GPS to Spy on Car Renters

By Shellee Smith
NBC NEWS
Aug 28, 2002

WHEN GENELLE and Art Rohe rented a car for a trip from Arizona to Texas last November, they expected to pay about $200. They didn’t notice that the fine print called for much higher fees if they left the state, but when they returned the rental car to Tucson, the bill was more than $2,000.

“I just went, ‘huh,’” says Genelle Rohe. “I didn’t know what else to say. I was just numb.”
So what happened?

“She said, ‘Our tracking records show you had this car in Texas, at a Motel 6,’” says Rohe.

That’s right. Budget Rent-a-Car in Tucson, an independent dealer separate from the well-known national company, had a record of their entire trip.

Using GPS, the global positioning system of satellites, Budget can pinpoint the location of every vehicle equipped with a receiver and charge customers extra when they leave Arizona without permission — a provision that few customers notice in the contract, and at a price that shocked the Rohes.

“Who would reasonably expect to return a vehicle on time, undamaged, and be presented with a bill for [up to] $7,000?” says Lynne Trenery, an attorney representing the Rohes.

Three dozen former customers are suing the Tucson Budget, charging invasion of privacy and fraud. Genelle Rohe says that no one ever told her that there was a GPS system on board.

NBC News decided to see what Budget in Tucson is telling its customers. When we mentioned driving to California, we did receive a warning.

“If you go into Nevada,” said the agent, “You’ll be charged a dollar a mile because it wasn’t on the contract.”

The National Budget Corporation says it only uses GPS to recover missing vehicles, and does not endorse Tucson’s policies. The Tucson franchise declined an interview.

Privacy advocates acknowledge the use of GPS technology in rental cars is legal, but the issue for consumers is disclosure.

“They should tell the customer up front, if you drive from Buffalo to Toronto, we’re going to know it and you’re going to be subject to this penalty,” says Stephen Keating of the Privacy Foundation.

New York tried to ban the practice after a Connecticut rental firm used it to track drivers for speeding, but the legislation failed.

Now, when the Rohes rent a car, they ask if there is GPS on board. They learned the hard way that if Big Brother is watching, it could cost you.

Source: http://www.msnbc.com/news/800536.asp?cp1=1#BODY

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Old Sep 10, 02, 7:00 pm   #6
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by boilermaker:
I take rental cars out of state all the time without any extra charges. Sometimes, I'll be asked if the car is being taken out of state.</font>

I have a friend who does all the time as well.
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Old Sep 10, 02, 10:35 pm   #7
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Talk about hindering interstate commerce.

I don't know about Budget, but I have a master rental agreement on file with Avis that certainly doesn't say anything about this. I wonder if you were to rent with Budget under a similar MRA what the legal implications would be.

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Old Sep 10, 02, 11:35 pm   #8
 
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I hear the Rhode Island branches of Budget were trying to add out-of-state driving charges as well but they didn't even need to add a GPS receiver because by the time your left the parking lot you were already in Connecticut or Massachusetts.
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Old Sep 18, 02, 9:09 am   #9
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I rent from Budget regularly at BWI,DCA,EWR and BOS locations. My habit is to drive up and down the east coast crossing many statelines. Frequently I will pickup at one of these airports and drop off at another.
Never had any problems.

I like Budget because of their drop off policy, no extra charges. This story is going to make me read the fine print from this point forward.
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Old Sep 18, 02, 11:19 am   #10
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Enterprise always asks me if I'm taking the car out of state, and I have with them in the past, and they don't charge extra for it when I have, they just need to note it on the rental agreement.
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Old Sep 18, 02, 3:40 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Middle_Seat:
Using GPS to Spy on Car Renters

New York tried to ban the practice after a Connecticut rental firm used it to track drivers for speeding, but the legislation failed.

</font>
I remember the Conneticut rental in question. The guy rented the car on a debit card and drove to Virginia. Upon arrival his debit card was rejected for a purchase because the rental company fined him $100.00 m.o.l each time his speed exceeded 80 for 120 seconds and they hit min for $700+ over the first several hours of his rental.

He sued on due process grounds.


I have read lots of rental contracts. Seems to me from memory they fall in to the following categories:

1) car can not leave the state.

2) the car can not leave the following 4 or 5 states.

3) the car can go to 48 states but not to Canada or Mexico or some combination of a little ways into mexico or Canada is OK depending on where it is rented.
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