Consumer Warning – Payless Car Rental Lawsuit

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Next tonight a nationwide consumer warning pay less car rentals under fire over its fees hundreds of customers complaining they were charged for insurance and services they did not want and what happened when our cameras went undercover here’s ABC’s Gio Benitez ABC News undercover renting cars from Payless Car Rental we take each car to our expert mechanic for inspection this is a dangerous tired palest towed the car the manager apologizing giving a full refund pay less also facing questions about fees the proposed class-action lawsuit customers claiming they were charged for services they didn’t want plaintiff Richard Alexander says the online quote for his pay less rental $217 he says pay less told him he was getting a free upgrade but when he returned the car he was shocked the total $528 after charges for insurance and added services not the 217 I believe he was told two or three times I do not need this after receiving more than 800 complaints on fees in the last three years the Better Business Bureau giving pay less the worst possible rating an F rating and F rating is so they have sales practice issues and contract issues and billing issues with consumers pay less declined our repeated interview request in a statement saying the tire problem you described is highly unusual safety is a top priority and we have followed up with a supervisor at that location as for the lawsuit Kayla said they can’t comment on pending litigation and David tonight the Better Business Bureau is issuing a nationwide warning about what it calls a pattern of complaints about pay less sales practices David Gio Benitez tonight thanks to you we used hidden cameras tonight at the counter of a rental car company after customers complained of charges for services they say they didn’t want sometimes costing them hundreds of dollars what ABC’s Gio Benitez and his team saw listen as we go undercover at a Payless car rental locations and just a car right now no extra fees we’re getting charged a daily insurance fee even though the bill says it’s optional ABC News decided to rent cars from Payless after hearing about customers who say they were hit with unexpected fees just like Richard Alexander who rented a car from them in Vegas for six days you’re quoted price here 217 bucks I thought it’s a great deal and what happened I was given a bill for $528 pay less with more than 200 locations worldwide is the target of a proposed class-action lawsuit by Alexander and other plaintiffs who allege palest uses deceptive practices to charge customers additional fees Alexander says in his case it began when he accepted what he thought was supposed to be a free upgrade I specifically asked him it’s $217 right told yes I told him that I did not want any added insurance he says he initialed a contract where he was told but only later realized he had been charged for that insurance that he didn’t want and more you were charged $159 for this loss damage waiver $35 for the gas service option you have another $35 for roadside protection that adds up to a lot of money does we return the vehicle the same person haven’t be working and I confronted him and his response was you can open up the ticket complaint and what happened when you opened up this ticket complaint they got a response stating that there was nothing they were going to do about it complained about these add-ons insurance roadside service protection and fuel charges despite returning with a full tank are the main allegations in the lawsuit by customers who claim they were charged for services they didn’t want pay less has used deceptive business practices in order to lure customers into the shop to rent their vehicles lower customers lower customers and they use low rates online to get people to use them over other rental agencies but then when you get there they slam you with additional fees the Better Business Bureau giving the company their lowest mark for more than 800 complaints over the last three years and F ratings they have sales practice issues and contract issues and billing issues with consumers we set ABC producers with hidden cameras to rent cars our rental from Payless at LaGuardia Airport checks out no problems no extra fee our second one from JFK also had no extra fee but after we pick it up our mechanic notices a major issue this is a dangerous tire they all are all four tires are bold and look at these holes the blowout Waiters happens we call pay lesson they send a tow truck for the car mechanic said it wasn’t safe to drive but back at the office the producers get pushed back well mechanic said the car should be on the road just over here a manager intervenes that’s I said now he gives us a full refund we’re in cars anything the palest corporate office told us the tire problem you described is highly unusual safety is a top priority and we have followed up with supervisor at that location but it’s the Newark location where we have questions about extra fees we go in without a reservation and ask for no extra fees but we noticed the lost damage waiver comes with the rental but the contract says it’s optional we sign for the rental with a $29 daily insurance fee plus a daily 599 roadside service fee that charge also appears to be optional on the palest website we asked about the charges when we return the car the manager says we got a deal now if we’re a shop and we give you the actual rate and actually cleanses if I happen to alter anything within this here it’s going to increase your question four times so now we’re going to try to rent another car and see what happens we send to producers back to that same Newark location we CH want to rent an economy car for two days with no extra fees this time Shannan has reserved one online for a quote of $138 Sarah walks up without a reservation I don’t want any extra charges on it though but when Sarah tries to remove that insurance we get a different take from our last exchange when they said they could take away the insurance while increasing the rate do you think inhabitance with it in there okay there’s no way to get rid of that what if I pay a different a higher rate it smoothly we can’t charge you a higher rate okay Sarah passes on the rental next up Shannon with the reservation paleis tells her they don’t have any economy cars available despite her reservation that never came up with Sarah twenty-five bucks a day more but wait she reserved economy and their own website says if they don’t have that car available you’ll get an upgrade at no extra cost and she’s charged that daily roadside service fee of $with no option to decline a $138 quote ultimately jumps to 216 bucks what do you think people should do to avoid something like this happening to them look for a rental car company that you can trust that has a good grade with the Better Business Bureau make an educated decision don’t base your purchase decision solely on the price of the vehicle after repeatedly declining our request for an interview paleis sent us a statement saying they could not comment on the pending litigation as for our experiences they said we are concerned about any negative rental experiences that you may have had at a loss we always strive to provide customers with a positive rental experience we are investigating your concerns with your experiences to ensure that our employees statements and conduct always remain consistent with our policies and procedures but Richard Alexander is still looking for a better explanation I just think it’s ridiculous for nightline I’m Gio Benitez in Newark New Jersey our thanks to Gio and we’ll be right back we want to thank you for watching ABC news tonight and remind you that as always we’re online 24/7 at abcnews.com and on our Nightline Facebook page thanks again for watching and good night

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