Charged for tire wear!!!

 
Old Dec 31, 09, 2:38 am
  #1  
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Charged for tire wear!!!

We recently rented a 10-pax van from Thrifty in Johannesburg, SA. Other than a few issues like iffy AC, it worked fine for us. We were concerned about the tires--nearly bald--and they actually marked that they had just 7 mm tread left.

The tires held out, but when we turned the car in, on tire mysteriously had a gash in it--the rubber was flapping loose in one spot. We didn't know of any time where this could have happened, unless it happened on their own lot as we entered (over those spiky things they have). They said we'd have to buy them a new tire. We had them document that this was the only problem with the tires.

After we left, they called and said TWO tires were damaged, and all the tires were worn and that we'd have to pay for four new tires. We disputed it, but a charge for nearly $500 has shown up on our bill.

We've disputed it with the CC company, but I don't know how it will turn out. Have you ever heard of the customer having to pay for tire wear? This seems outrageous.

Is there a place we can call to lodge our complaints here in the US? Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old Jan 9, 10, 8:27 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by YDJanet View Post
We recently rented a 10-pax van from Thrifty in Johannesburg, SA. Other than a few issues like iffy AC, it worked fine for us. We were concerned about the tires--nearly bald--and they actually marked that they had just 7 mm tread left.

The tires held out, but when we turned the car in, on tire mysteriously had a gash in it--the rubber was flapping loose in one spot. We didn't know of any time where this could have happened, unless it happened on their own lot as we entered (over those spiky things they have). They said we'd have to buy them a new tire. We had them document that this was the only problem with the tires.

After we left, they called and said TWO tires were damaged, and all the tires were worn and that we'd have to pay for four new tires. We disputed it, but a charge for nearly $500 has shown up on our bill.

We've disputed it with the CC company, but I don't know how it will turn out. Have you ever heard of the customer having to pay for tire wear? This seems outrageous.

Is there a place we can call to lodge our complaints here in the US? Any advice would be appreciated.
You should definitely dispute with the credit card company. If they were worn to begin with (do you have this on a receipt of some sort?), you should not have a problem.

You should also dispute with Thrifty head office and tell them how they gave you a car with worn tires.

Stuff like this really annoys me! Good luck OP.
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Old Jan 10, 10, 10:48 am
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outragous and defitely deceitful!
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Old Jan 10, 10, 4:34 pm
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Which card company, what country was it issued in and billed to? These are important data points in responding to OP's original post. If USA and Amex, you should prevail. If CapOne, look out for trouble.

In any event, this sounds a bit like the ole landlord routine. The carpet needs to be replaced and walls repainted. You, vacating tenant, must pay.

Legal rule (USA and would likely apply to rental charged to US card): tenant not responsible for norman wear and tear. Similarly, renter not responsible for wear on tires.

Of course, rumor has it, some car rental companies seek to increase profits by charging for things that should not be charged for.
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Old Jan 10, 10, 5:22 pm
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Originally Posted by YDJanet View Post
We were concerned about the tires--nearly bald--and they actually marked that they had just 7 mm tread left.
How was this marked? Hopefully your copy of the rental agreement includes the notation. I would think having such documentation would make it easier to dispute the charges.

Have you tried Thrifty's Feedback form? Supposedly Thrifty responds in a fairly timely manner to emails received. http://www.thrifty.com/CustomerCare/...xperience.aspx

Good luck.
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Old Feb 1, 10, 2:44 am
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Originally Posted by YDJanet View Post
Is there a place we can call to lodge our complaints here in the US? Any advice would be appreciated.
1-877-283-0898, option 4.

I don't know how much oversight DTAG in the US has over foreign operations, but you may as well try.

Originally Posted by biggestbopper View Post
Legal rule (USA and would likely apply to rental charged to US card): tenant not responsible for norman wear and tear. Similarly, renter not responsible for wear on tires.
Normal wear and tear (i.e. tread wear, or further damage that results from previous damage or a manufacturing defect): no. But if a customer actually (intentionally or not) causes damage to a tire by driving over a nail, bumping into a curb, or whatever, then that is not normal wear and tear and is chargeable, whether if it's a small, repairable leak or a blown sidewall.

Last edited by jackal; Feb 2, 10 at 8:02 am Reason: Clarification of last statement
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Old Feb 2, 10, 3:50 am
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Thanks. We have disputed it with the Visa company. Today we received the "rebuttal," which was just an assortment of papers that had nothing to do with the issue. Now we have to make a counter rebuttal. The information given here should help.
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Old Feb 2, 10, 1:30 pm
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Good luck!
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Old Feb 8, 10, 9:36 pm
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Did I overlook how far you drove it? Usually the billing you are given at drop-off shows that figure.
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Old Mar 4, 10, 3:42 pm
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Originally Posted by YDJanet View Post
We recently rented a 10-pax van from Thrifty in Johannesburg, SA. Other than a few issues like iffy AC, it worked fine for us. We were concerned about the tires--nearly bald--and they actually marked that they had just 7 mm tread left.

The tires held out, but when we turned the car in, on tire mysteriously had a gash in it--the rubber was flapping loose in one spot. We didn't know of any time where this could have happened, unless it happened on their own lot as we entered (over those spiky things they have). They said we'd have to buy them a new tire. We had them document that this was the only problem with the tires.

After we left, they called and said TWO tires were damaged, and all the tires were worn and that we'd have to pay for four new tires. We disputed it, but a charge for nearly $500 has shown up on our bill.

We've disputed it with the CC company, but I don't know how it will turn out. Have you ever heard of the customer having to pay for tire wear? This seems outrageous.

Is there a place we can call to lodge our complaints here in the US? Any advice would be appreciated.

I am not familiar with consumer protection laws in South Africa. I do belive that in most countries however, it is not legal to charge for wear and tear parts..esentially playing "tag, you are it". Tires, brakes, mufflers...all things that will wear down with normal use.

However, you did say there was damage...this is a tricky situation....on the one hand, the tires were worn down when you got the car, but they had not had tread seaparation until you brought it back. If the tires were NEW and this happened, they may have a better argument that you caused it..but in this case the tires sounded like they were about to do this anyhow with ANY driver, so you may have an argument that the tires were in such bad shape on pick up that it's actually their fault for not performing the maintenance.

I think you should fight this, if for no other reason then that they may let it drop the minute you show some resistance, and are just hoping you will simply pay without question. They (the manager of that branch) may also be in violation of Thrifty policy as well as local regulations in regards to basic safety conditions of the cars they rent. If they rent cars with tires so bald that they can disentegrate, they are putting the consumer at risk and being negligent. Find out what local regulator is in charge of such things and let Thrifty know you are going to report them to that regulator..they may drop the charges.

If they do not, file a lawsuit in small claims court sighting endangerment, negligence, and price-gouging or something of that nature (arbitrary charges). Once you do this, and let your CC know that the case is pending in court, they are likely to drop it because the cost of tires is lower than the cost of a lawsuit and they would rather take the hit on the tires.

Luckily you have the paperwork which shows they rented you a car with 7mm of tire tread left. This is the biggest, most important piece of evidence you have. It's their admission of knowlingly renting you a car with worn parts, then charging you for the failure of those parts.
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Old Mar 13, 10, 12:18 pm
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Originally Posted by YDJanet View Post
We recently rented a 10-pax van from Thrifty in Johannesburg, SA. Other than a few issues like iffy AC, it worked fine for us. We were concerned about the tires--nearly bald--and they actually marked that they had just 7 mm tread left.

The tires held out, but when we turned the car in, on tire mysteriously had a gash in it--the rubber was flapping loose in one spot. We didn't know of any time where this could have happened, unless it happened on their own lot as we entered (over those spiky things they have). They said we'd have to buy them a new tire. We had them document that this was the only problem with the tires.

After we left, they called and said TWO tires were damaged, and all the tires were worn and that we'd have to pay for four new tires. We disputed it, but a charge for nearly $500 has shown up on our bill.

We've disputed it with the CC company, but I don't know how it will turn out. Have you ever heard of the customer having to pay for tire wear? This seems outrageous.

Is there a place we can call to lodge our complaints here in the US? Any advice would be appreciated.
Wow, and wow...

Last edited by samsong; Aug 4, 10 at 5:05 pm
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Old Mar 14, 10, 4:15 pm
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This is still in dispute. The CC (USB Flex Perks Visa) removed the charge, but subject to resolution. Thrifty sent them a lot of documentation that had nothing to do with the tires (e.g. our passports, grr, and other personal information.)

It has been over a month and we haven't heard anything, but we will definitely fight it if need be. THanks for the pointers.
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Old Mar 14, 10, 6:13 pm
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Thanks for the update. Once more, I wish you good luck.
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Old Mar 15, 10, 1:59 am
  #14  
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Keep the law about time for resolution of billing errors in mind. The card company only has 90 days max (actually a little less without getting into the somewhat complex rules) to RESOLVE the problem. If it is not resolved within that time they should drop the charge permanently.

I won several chargebacks, including one large car rental in Europe.

For some reason, the card companies find it very difficult to meet the deadline. I suspect a lot of them don't even know about the rule.
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Old Apr 26, 10, 8:15 pm
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Just curious about the outcome. Have you heard any more?
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