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Strange Rental Car Bill
Old 03-24-2015, 09:12 AM   #1
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Strange Rental Car Bill

I recently traveled to Boston to visit family and picked up a rental car from Thrifty at the airport. Everything went smooth and returned the car as planned a few days later. Received a letter in the mail from Thrifty a couple weeks later with a bill for $51. They claimed my car had gone through tolls (Ted Williams tunnel, and a couple on the Mass pike) that were unpaid. They were billing be about $6 in unpaid tolls and a $45 admin fee (Thrifty adds a $15 admin fee for each toll). I wasn't even in the Boston area on the date and time posted for the tolls, I was visiting family in central MA. Also, the car license plate was listed as Rhode Island although I know for certain I had Pennsylvania plates on mine. I went through my receipts for the rental car but no where was the car license plate listed. I called to dispute the charge and they are reviewing the case now. Anyone ever deal with a similar situation? Hopefully they have my correct license plate listed on my account and this will get resolved quickly. I've probably rented 100's of cars over the years and this is a first for me.
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:27 AM   #2
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I have used rental cars in toll systems and always ask the rental company about what happens before I do it. They always have a mechanism to bill me, but NEVER have had an administrative fee, let alone one so high, added to the toll. I guess I never used Thrifty when hitting a toll. But then, I once used Thrifty and waited nearly two hours to get a car in a crowded and understaffed off airport lot, so I'm NEVER using them again.
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:54 AM   #3
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Probably an error in reading some other toll transponder ("EZ-Pass" most likely) and assigned the charge to your car's transponder's account. Or MA EZPass read someone else's license plate and entered it incorrectly as your car's license plate. I helped set up NC's new electronic toll collection system so I know weird mistakes can happen due to technology or human errors.

Or the rental car company screwed up.
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Old 03-24-2015, 10:10 AM   #4
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I would think your paperwork would show the car's license plate number? Maybe not.

The last few times we rented a car I take photos of it when we turn it in (sometimes to the amusement of the car rental checker inners). I will be sure that the license plate is included from now on.

I think the Alamo convenience fee was only $3 when we ran through an unstaffed toll most recently.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:24 AM   #5
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Probably an error in reading some other toll transponder ("EZ-Pass" most likely) and assigned the charge to your car's transponder's account. Or MA EZPass read someone else's license plate and entered it incorrectly as your car's license plate. I helped set up NC's new electronic toll collection system so I know weird mistakes can happen due to technology or human errors.

Or the rental car company screwed up.
When I picked up the rental car at the airport they did offer the option of adding EZPass, I don't remember the exact fee but I think it was a few dollars a day extra. They recommend it because there are toll roads in the Boston area that don't accept cash but I decided not to get it since I didn't plan on using any of those toll roads. It was obviously another rental car that went through the tolls and somehow got charged to my account. Still waiting on word if it's been resolved.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:51 AM   #6
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I've never had that happen but it obviously seems to be the wrong car and hopefully will get straightened out. I'm surprised that the license plate number isn't on your paperwork, but other identifying information (year, make, model, VIN, color, etc.) should be on it and will be at odds with the same data relating to the car with RI plates that went through the tolls and should prove that you didn't do it.

I do recall many years ago getting a parking ticket with a rental car that I ignored and the rental car company later sent me a bill for the ticket and a processing fee that I reluctantly paid.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:52 AM   #7
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Boston is phasing out toll-takers completely (but keeping the tolls). The plan is that whether you have EZPass, they ping your license plate and send you a bill.

Not sure how an "admin fee" can be so high though; kinda automatic via the computer.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:05 AM   #8
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That is really bizarre that your rental paperwork doesn't include the car license plate number. One of the jobs I took in order to work my way through college, was as a car rental agent. This was back in the 1960's. We had to include that information on the paperwork, for sure. Also in the event of an accident or other encounter with the police, it seems to me that the customer would need paperwork to prove that the car is a rental car rented to them, and not stolen.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:36 AM   #9
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DW was in Florida not long ago, and just got a bill in the mail for a couple of tolls. The bill included a photo of her license plate, so it's legit. But both tolls together totaled less than two dollars, and there was just a $2.50 admin fee so Thrifty's admin charge seems way out of line.
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:50 PM   #10
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I would think your paperwork would show the car's license plate number? Maybe not.

The last few times we rented a car I take photos of it when we turn it in (sometimes to the amusement of the car rental checker inners). I will be sure that the license plate is included from now on.

I think the Alamo convenience fee was only $3 when we ran through an unstaffed toll most recently.
I always take photos of dings and scrapes, now the plate.
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:19 PM   #11
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Thrifty Car Rental's administrative fees seem like a scam to me. They probably make a ton of money on their "PlatePass®" offering, and want to push people in that direction. They get you coming and going...you either pay for the service or you get hit by the huge admin fee. Shameful.

Oh, then they can't even keep their records straight and bill the wrong guy.

Thrifty: Avoid.
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Old 03-27-2015, 04:42 PM   #12
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I did get a response today that the case was closed and there will be no fines, no explanation provided. The issue was handled by rentalcarticket.com (ATS Processing Services) which handles traffic violations and toll issues for various rental car companies. That could explain the high admin fee that was originally added to the tolls.
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Old 03-27-2015, 04:56 PM   #13
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I did get a response today that the case was closed and there will be no fines, no explanation provided. The issue was handled by rentalcarticket.com (ATS Processing Services) which handles traffic violations and toll issues for various rental car companies. That could explain the high admin fee that was originally added to the tolls.
Glad it worked out in your favor.
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Old 04-06-2015, 01:56 PM   #14
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Glad it worked out for you. The last time I used Thrifty I got a $225 addition to my bill a week after the rental for a traffic violation. When I called about it I first got the run around, but got pushy and finally talked to someone who knew more than "we already charged your card, deal with it". As it turns out, a camera caught my rental car blowing through a red light, but clearly it wasn't me (I am not female and the violation was the day before I rented the car). Most of the fight after that dealt with who I had allowed to drive the car (no one) and how I could have been responsible when I wasn't even renting the car at the time of the violation and why it was too late for me to dispute the ticket. Thrifty finally caved in and removed the charge but the hassle was certainly not worth it.
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:00 PM   #15
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Regarding modern travel, about the only thing I hate worse than dealing with airlines is dealing with car rentals. There's always SOMETHING of a "gotcha" or special fee that wasn't specified (in the big print, anyway). I know these folks have to make money, but you'd think they would want to keep your business more than make a few extra dollars. Apparently, they are becoming like the airlines. Obviously, they will extract every dollar from you that they can and forget about "loyalty." (Speaking of "loyalty") I've had such bad experiences with airline loyalty (aka miles programs) that I don't even bother. Flying the same air carrier twice in a row is purely coincidental on my part. Now, same for rental car companies. Sorry for the rant as YMMV.
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Old 04-12-2015, 03:31 PM   #16
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Avis does the same thing. You literally have to take the reader off the car so this does not happen. It's just a huge profit making system for them.
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