Dollar Rent A Car Faces Consumer Fraud Class Action Lawsuit

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San Francisco, CA: Dollar Rent A Car is facing a federal consumer fraud class action lawsuit over allegations that the car rental company cheated customers out of millions of dollars by signing them up for insurance and other services they declined.

The lawsuit, entitled Sandra McKinnon v. Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. d/b/a Dollar Rent a Car, et al., Case No. 12-cv-4457, claims: "Over the last four years Dollar has implemented a systematic program nationwide through which its employees and agents illegally dupe customers into signing up for collision damage waiver ('CDW'), car insurance and other added services that consumers have specifically declined. This is not an isolated incident with one consumer, but rather a systematic pattern of conduct that has occurred at a number of Dollar locations located throughout the United States."

"Dollar has received multiple complaints about these issues but incentivizes its employees to make such sales, even by illegal means. If employees fail to obtain an average 30 per day upsales of additional options for three months they may be terminated and not eligible for unemployment,"the lawsuit claims. "Employees are thus incentivized to take advantage of the customers' irritation, long lines, and misleading or high pressure sales tactics, by just telling them to tap certain lines to decline coverage when it may have the opposite result, or simply forge their signature."

The class action lawsuit is brought on behalf of Dollar customers who paid for CDW, insurance and other products from Dollar that they specifically declined or did not authorize during the past four years. It is seeking actual, compensatory, statutory and exemplary damages and an injunction barring Dollar from continuing this alleged scheme. The Plaintiff is represented by the law firm Whatley Kallas, LLC.

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Reader Comments

Posted by

Good evening,
I had paid in full with a rental booking company when I go to the car rental booth to pick up my car after having already paid $200.00 with insurance. I was sold hard on how I need to get more insurance and the toll pass @ $20+ a day. When I only needed to pass the toll booth 2ce driving to and from the airport, however, they said I had to if I was going to pass a bridge with no toll booth. The tappanzee bridge. So because of this bridge, I had to pay 100 more as well as 60 worth of fees. and a $360 hold, so my affordable rental took all my vacation funds and I ended up having an incredibly budgeted stay at home kinda vacation because of it. My boyfriend and I had a similar experience in January, except we didn't get the toll pas and they charged us over 150 on our card. My son in January traveled to California, and by the time it was all said and done a 150 rental turned into a 600 expense. How these companies getting away with ruining peoples vacation. I feel as if one has no choice and they know it and hold us hostage for it. I hope there is a huge revamping of these charges and how they are all treating their customers the same no one is protecting the customer. Help us make this a fair business and fair for all consumers.

Posted by

I had a similar experience with Thrifty. Is there still a chance in obtaining something? Here is the email I sent to their customer support, without getting an answer.

Dear Thrifty,

I'm really disappointed with my experience with your company and at the time I wouldn't recommend it to anyone because I feel like I got scammed. Here is why.

I reserved my car trough and decided to add a driver plus the premium road assistance services when I picked up my car at Vancouver Airport (YVR).

I was presented with a document to sign which indeed showed some weird fees, but the desk operator assured me that only the things I asked for would be actually debited on my credit card.

After my road trip, I had a surprise when returning the vehicle because 717.23 CAD were debited on my credit card! What I expected to pay was only the "TM Pack PDW 500 Deductible PERS" (188.79 CAD) which I assume is the premium road assistance and the "Additional Driver" (289.50 CAD).
The other things I paid that are visible on the receipt are unwanted and were debited without anyone informing me clearly : "8/8 Ppd Fuel/Unit#2068427" (65.12 CAD / THE TANK WAS RETURNED FULL !!!), "Veh Lic Fee and Air Tax Recvry Premium Location Charge, etc." (102.97 CAD), "Goods and services Tax YVR" (32.02 CAD) and "Provincial Sales Tax YVR" (44.83 CAD).

When I asked to the return personnel they confirmed what their colleague said when picking up the car, but after waiting for some days the full pre-authorised amount was indeed debited.


I really feel bad because they stole more than 200 CAD from me.

Thanks for your help.
Lorenzo Secchi

Posted by

Is this class action suit still active? My family got charged for tolls for toll roads they never laid eyes on. The toll roads they are claiming we used were not even in the same state!

Posted by

My Memo To Scott at PHX Dollar Rent a Car

Dollar Customer Service:

I asked for a phone number to call Scott at the PHX Dollar rental office and Dollar Customer Service refuse to provide it.

I gave your counter representative, Scott, my printed reservation slip and told him this is what I want and I don't want any additional services. I still have copies of reservation paperwork if you want to review it. Scott made several attempts to upgrade my service. He told me the Compact car I reserved was a three cylinder and wouldn't make it up the Sedona, AZ hills. He also told me it may not have enough room for our luggage. Scott offered me an upgrade for an additional $180, which I refused. Scott added the optional Insurance to my rental, NOT me.

I reserved the car in advance, and if I wanted to purchase the insurance, I would have added it when I completed the on-line reservation, at a reduced rate. I have my own insurance and I don't need the Dollar insurance. Scott was sneaky about adding the charges and changing the discussion at the counter from Dollar Car rental to promoting his boat rental business on a lake outside the Phoenix area. Scott should keep his personal business out of the Dollar Rental customer discussion and pay attention to what the customer is requesting. You have my reservation and I laid it on the counter in-front of Scott and he didn't do his job of giving me the reservation I made.
I did not request or accept option coverage. Scott added it to my reservation, not me. Please check my past rental record. I have NEVER taken the Dollar Insurance for past rentals.

After reading the Dollar reviews for the PHX I noticed Scott has told others the same three cylinder compact car story.
Your comment below on the charges listed on the slip Scott handed me.
Your Rental Record I received when I signed for the car showed a charge of $746.60 I asked Scott about the charge and he told me the charges will be adjusted when the car is returned. That night I checked my online Credit Card summary and it posted an early charge of $965.00 form Dollar Rental. When I returned the car it took a few days for the final charge of $684.76 to post.

I tried to call your office as soon as I saw the final charge was twice the amount of my rental reservation.
Your office is closed on weekends so I called first thing Monday morning to request an adjustment, Neka answered my call and told me to contact my Credit Card company. She also told me I had seven day to dispute the charges. Too I'm Disputing these charges.

I have had great past service from your PHX Dollar site. Your counter people have never been pushy to get me to upgrade or add more charges to my on-line reservation.
I do agree that you need to have Dollar management train Scott, but not at my expense.

I have request that the additional Insurance charge be removed from my rental bill.

My MasterCard has reversed the charges and after 40 days Dollar resubmitted the charges. I will continue to fight this additional charge Dollar Rent a Car added to my bill.

Please let me know how I take against Dollar?

Posted by

Credit card fraud by the fast talking folks at the Dollar Rent a Car at Phoenix Sky Harbour Airport... then they make it impossible to deal with theirr "Customer Service" people by putting you on hold and transferring you endlessly until you give up. We have phoned Royal Bank's VISA fraud people and they are putting a hold on this charge... and that's what everyone else should do.

Posted by

I booked a mini-van in Orlando for 72 hours via Travelocity for $220, but when I handed the Dollar agent the Travelocity agreement, he tossed it in the trash and the bill sky rocketed to $756!!!!! I'll never deal with Dollar again and I'm waiting for Travelocity's response to Dollars disregard. It's a black eye to Travelocity too if they continue offering Dollar Rentals on their site.

Posted by

I had a quote for $43 that would cover two days in a sub-compact in Nashville this past weekend. They were very argumentative and got it up to $150 at the desk (which was horrible, 3X my promised rate). When I turned the car back in, they now have decided that it was $482.50 - for TWO DAYS, in a compact car in NASHVILLE on a non-holiday weekend. I'm beside myself.

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