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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 102584
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I have a damage dispute with Payless Car Rental. Can you give

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I have a damage dispute with Payless Car Rental. Can you give me some advice if I give you more details??
Thank you for requesting me, friend. I am sorry to hear of your matter. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I'd be happy to provide more information if you tell me more?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Dropped off rental car at airport location. Handed keys to clerk #1 and she instructed me to go inside and finish up paperwork. Proceeded to do paperwork with clerk #2. Clerk #1 called clerk #2 and gave her ok to finish contract. I left to catch plane. 17 minutes passed and I received call from clerk saying there was damage to rental car and could I come back. I stated that there were no damages to car when i left and she responded the car had not been moved from where i dropped it off. i stated that, no I could not since I was getting on plane. She said she would email me pictures and asked for my address. Never heard from her. Tried calling Payless 2-3 times to get information, with no response. Approximately 10 days later I receive claim through the mail, still with no photos. I finally received photos after several phone calls.

This is what I concluded from it:
Car had been moved from where I dropped it off.
Gas tank had been filled.
Car had been washed
Photos have no date/time stamp

The car rental area at the KC airport is under very heavy construction. The only thing I can think happened was that the employees responsible for cleaning up car after it has been rented must of done the damage when moving it to the clean-up area. Their response to my letter denying my responsibility for damage is that the vehicle is not complete until washed.

One other note:
I was the only car that was being dropped off outside and I was the only customer in the office so they were not busy.
Thank you. So what state did you actually rent the vehicle in - where is KC airport? You mean Kansas City, Missouri?

Also, where do you live?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes, Kansas City, Missouri. I live in Fort Worth, TX
Thank you.

One more question (sorry!) - have they already charged you (i.e. kept the deposit, charged the card, etc), or not yet? What specifically has happened in regards XXXXX XXXXX charge?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No, however the email I received today states that my credit card was charged $250, leaving a balance of $148.87. I have checked all my accounts and nothing has gone through. If it is charged I do plan to dispute it. But I've read that most companies will then send it to a collection agency.

My apologies - an emergency came up. I will reply in under an hour.
Sorry about the wait - I had to step away.

Essentially, what you have here is a a "he said / she said" scenario. You claim (and I believe you) that the car was not damaged by you. They claim that it was. The charge has not yet gone through. However, know that if it does, and you dispute it, the credit card company will likely UPHOLD IT. This is because the only way that they would not honor the charge is if you can show that there was never any agreement to begin with. In short, that the car company was attempting to bill without authorization. They do have authorization technically, although they are billing under false pretenses.

So now may be a convenient time to lose someone's credit card and ask the credit card company for another. Gosh, wouldn't that be just the darnest coincidence?

So let us say that they cannot/do not charge the card. If so, then what to do to ensure that they do not send it to collections? Well, nothing.

However, once they send it to collections, you can likely scare the collection agency away with something akin to this:

To Whom It May Concern:

re: (name, account #, etc)

I have been receiving debt collection attempts from your company for the debt allegedly owed by me from (describe nature of debt). This debt is invalid. The original creditor knows this.

Demand is hereby made that you cease and desist - now.

If you continue on, then I may have no choice but to seek redress under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for the following violations:

15 U.S.C. § 1692f(1) (seeking unjustified amount)
15 U.S.C. § 1692e (threatening legal action without cause)
15 U.S.C. § 1692e(8) (threatening or publishing false debt on my credit history)

Every violation is $1,000 per incident, plus legal fees.

I now consider this matter concluded. Should you contact me again, I will seek counsel to file an FDCPA claim in federal court.




About 95% of collection agencies will likely then discontinue the file and the matter will essentially be dropped.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
My account was charged for $30 twice?

I do not know anything about this - I only answer questions. Experts do not have access to customer's accounts. This may have been an oversight - it can be very quickly cleared up; please contact customer service at (look to top right) and they can straighten this out immediately!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ok great. Thank you again for your advice!
You got it.