Hertz Class Action Claims Fraud Over Damages
In January 2019, a Class Action Lawsuit was filed against the popular rental car company, Hertz, who is also the Parent Company of Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental. The Hertz Class Action claims that the company used the unlawful practice of dunning customers for damages on their rental cars months after the alleged damage had actually occurred. Plaintiffs claim that over three months after returning their rental cars (which were free of damages) they learned of Hertz’s damage claims for the first time after receiving a bill from the debt collection company, Viking. This bill was accompanied by an immediate offer to settle the matter for 80% of the purported amount due. For more information on the Hertz Lawsuit, or please click here, or simply continue reading.
Rental-Car Damage Collection Lawsuit Filed in California
A class action lawsuit has been filed in California on behalf of consumers who were accused of damaging rental cars months after the alleged damage occurred. Chicago class action firm Krislov & Associates, Ltd. and Andrus Anderson LLP, based in San Francisco, filed the case last month in United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
Viking Billing Service Collects on Damage Claims for Rental Companies
There have been numerous complaints from consumers across the country that Viking Billing Service, a debt collector, has been attempting to improperly collect debts from rental-car customers who allegedly damaged cars. In many cases, customers were notified for the first time by Viking of the purported damage claims months after their rental car was returned. For example, the plaintiff in the California class action returned a Hertz rental car undamaged in February 2018 and learned for the first time in May 2018 that Viking was seeking to collect $1,300 for damages he did not cause. By waiting months to initiate collection on alleged vehicle damage, Viking and Hertz have prevented customers from timely contesting claims, deprived customers who actually did damage rental cars of insurance coverage, and exponentially increased the likelihood of mistake and fraud.
Lawsuit Seeks Industry Reforms
The lawsuit notes that nearly 100 debt-collection complaints have been filed against Minnesota-based Viking with the Better Business Bureau; many allege that Viking waited months before alerting customers of purported rental-car damage. Notably, Viking collects damage claims for other rental-car companies besides Hertz (which also owns the Dollar and Thrifty brands). The pending class action alleges that Hertz and Viking violated federal debt-collection laws and seeks a court ruling that rental-car companies must notify customers within 30 days of purported vehicle damage if they want to attempt to collect on the claim.
A full copy of the Hertz Lawsuit Complaint is embedded below:
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff rented a car at San Francisco International Airport in February 2018. When the vehicle was returned, no employee pointed out any damage or indicated that the consumer was responsible for any charge other than the $43.82 rental payment. The following May, however, the plaintiff received a letter from Viking seeking to collect $1,303.70, and also offering to settle for 80% of the amount due. The amount due was in regards to damages that allegedly took place during the February rental. The plaintiff says that after he disputed the obligation, he was sent as proof of Hertz’s damage claims a vehicle incident report that detailed the car’s condition and falsely indicated the man did not speak English during his visit.
Editor’s note on the Hertz Lawsuit:
This piece is written about the recently filed Hertz Class Action Lawsuit. For more information, please shoot us an email to Outreach@ConsiderTheConsumer.com, find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or even connect with us directly on our website! We look forward to hearing from all of you. Please note that this investigation piece has been sponsored by Andrus Anderson and Consider The Consumer has received compensation for such sponsorship.
Interested in articles like these? Become a subscriber below!