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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney representing individuals and businesses.
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Had no idea what extra charges were being incurred by

Customer Question

Had no idea what extra charges were being incurred by renting through PRC INC. of Indianapolis, In and when I received the bill which was over 200% of what was expected,
asked them about a charge for roadside service out of area for $38.43....which was for a
PHONE CALL as they had not even informed me how the car started!! (Avis Enterprises answered the roadside call.) When I indicated this charge was unfair, the clerk of Payless indicated it would be taken off. It was not. Do I have any legal rights not to be charged for this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

This is a billing dispute (complaint over applicability of charges). There is a series of escalating things you can do to deal with this situation.

  • First: start with the company's customer service and dispute the claim. Keep your complaint in writing. If you speak to someone by phone, follow up promptly with a "confirmation letter" (see my note below).
  • Second: (you can do this at the same time), if you paid by credit card (not debit card) you can open a dispute with your credit card carrier (follow the instructions with your credit card company). (Some banks do allow for charge disputes on your debit card - but not all, the laws are not the same and debit card purchases do not have the same protections, if you paid by debit card, contact your bank and see if they do have dispute resolution remedies).
  • Third: open a dispute with the BBB. The BBB offers consumer dispute resolution that is fast, free to consumers, and is usually effective, they have no enforcement authority, but all BBB disputes result in a public report regarding resolution so businesses do respond to them. You can open a BBB dispute here: bbb.org/consumer-complaints/file-a-complaint/get-started
  • Fourth: if you believe that the company is acting fraudulently (not just charging high rates), you can report them to the IN Attorney General. The AG's office does not prosecute individual claims (so they will not get your money back for you), but they will investigate and potentially take administrative and/or criminal action against the company. You can file a consumer complaint here: http://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2434.htm
  • Finally: you can file a small claims action against them for breach of contract (although for $38.43 it isn't really worth your time or effort). But in an effort to be complete, here is a link to the Indiana small claims court: http://www.in.gov/judiciary/2710.htm

Confirmation letters: Keep written records of all communications - so if you speak to someone by phone, promptly send a follow up "confirmation letter" summarizing your conversation, who you spoke to, when, and any agreements you reached. Keep copies of your outgoing correspondence, as well as anything that you receive.

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