LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A major car-rental company is issuing refunds to customers who filed complaints after an investigation revealed agents might have charged them for insurance they didn’t need or want.
CBS2 Investigative Reporter David Goldstein discovered Dollar agents charged for loss damage waivers even after they were declined.
A class-action suit filed in California alleges that for the past five years, Dollar has ignored the law to victimize consumers resulting in a loss of millions in fees nationwide and beyond.
And judging by complaints on Yelp, it seems it’s business as usual since Goldstein’s November report.
Michelle Coffenberry of New Jersey rented a car from Dollar when her family flew to San Francisco for Christmas. She spoke to Goldstein by Skype.
“I told her I did not want the supplemental insurance,” Coffenberry said.
But an unpleasant surprise was waiting for her when she opened her email receipt and saw a $125 charge for supplemental insurance.
“It was done under false pretenses because they added that when I said I didn’t want to,” she said.
Hertz, the parent company of Dollar, issued this statement:
“We continue to comply with all state laws, and in the last few months, we have provided all California employees with refreshment training on the LDW disclosure policy for California. In addition to being communicated verbally by our counter agents, the LDW product and notice that it may be duplicative of similar coverage available through other sources is disclosed in our written rental agreement and through onsite signage.”
Coffenberry was determined to get her money back. When calling Dollar didn’t work, she filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
“Within, not even a week, they had a resolution,” she said.
Attorney and consumer advocate John Mattes says that since Goldstein’s story aired in fall, Dollar has been issuing refunds to customers who file complaints with the BBB. And that, he says, is no coincidence.
“When there’s a spotlight on people, people try to act properly,” he said.
Visit the BBB’s website to file a complaint.