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Car Rental Scam

We once rented a car at Hahn airport in Germany. I had compared cars and prices beforehand in the internet and ended up booking a car from Avis. Problems occurred in Switzerland when we found our car dented at the parking lot of our lodging. It had happened during the night, but the wonderfull staff at the lodging was able to deduce the culprit from the pieces of the turn signal and stoplight covering that was left on the site: It was clearly from a Volvo, and there was only one Volvo in that village, and as it happens, the Volvo owner had been watching the soccer game the previous night at the restaurant.
Our host calls the Volvo man, who, very shamefacedly, arrives and apologizes to us. We still have to do the paperwork that has always to be done when your rental car gets into an accident. We are in a long mountain valley, where the small villages are located in a line next to each other, and nearly not everyone has a police station. However, there happens to be an Avis rental in the next village, just couple of kilometers away. Since our car is still driveable despite the dent, we drive to the Avis office with the Volvo man.

The man at the local Avis is very helpful and we fill in the damage report. He assures we don't even need the police, because the culprit has by a written confession admitted being the guilty part. We double, no, triple checked that we don't need the police, and since the rental company guy himself convinces it's ok, we shook hands and continued the vacation with the dented car. Although, we decide to lower the deductible from € 750 to € 75 by buying a Super Collision Damage Waiver instead of the regular CDW. This time we were lucky we found the guilty part, the next time probably not.

About six months later I get a letter from the German Avis which claims that my credit card has been charged € 750 because the Volvo man has retracted his confession! And because we never called the police Avis can't do but charge the deductible from me! In about a week I received another letter with almost similar information, but in that one there wasn't any reference of retracting the confession. I was furious. That monkey had the nerve to withdraw his confession. Obviously he had finally got the bill and decided to change his mind. And wait a minute, that guy in the local Avis rental, where we did that paper work, he was of course a friend of that scum of a Volvo owner. Of course he convinced us not to contact the police so that his friend wouldn't have to pay.

I called my credit card company (American Express) explaining the situation and indeed there was a € 750 bill coming from Avis, Koblenz, Germany. Amex was most friendly to freeze that part of the bill and they said they will also ask for an explanation from Avis. I used hours to track the people that months ago were somehow involved, and finally, through one employee of the lodging I managed to get the information that the Volvo man had actually never retracted his confession. If anything, he had been wondering why the bill hasn't come. The plot thickens...

Should I have reported this too?
I had emailed  my complaint to Avis since the beginning and kept them updated about my investigations. They never contacted me back. Not when I asked them something, not when I submitted my findings about the Volvo man denying he's retracted his confession. Nothing. Zero. Nada. The only things I got from Avis was the two abovementioned letters in the beginning and of course the € 750 charge in my credit card bill. They also didn't give any kind of clarification to Amex, who, after a while, cancelled the € 750 part from my credit card bill. When the original rental became one year old, Avis lost its right to charge my credit card, and the situation was over.

Now, Avis tried to charge me the deductable by lying about the guilty part. They also gave me false information at the village office by assuring that we don't need the police. They tried to use that against me, even when I had obeyed their direct advice not to contact the authorities. Always contact the police. This is why I will never use Avis again. I know it's a bit unfair, since I understand the Avis offices work with some kind of a franchising principle, and you can't blame everyone if one tries a scam on you. But still...

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