3 On Your Side

Complaints against car rental company continue

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(3 ON YOUR SIDE) - Sophia Alvarez said she went to Phoenix Car Rental because of the $129 weekly rental rates the company advertises. But when she arrived she was quoted $189.

"It was during spring break for my daughter and I wanted to take her and do a couple of things for her for her spring break." Alvarez was looking forward to taking her 6 year old daughter on vacation but needed to rent a car to make that happen. "It was kind of through word of mouth heard about Phoenix Rental Car."

Alvarez said she reluctantly agreed but when she handed over her debit card to pay, Phoenix Car Rental charged her $400. Her bank statement reflects the amount that came out. Sophia added, "It was ridiculous. I could not believe how this company is treating people. It's just unbelievable."

Alvarez said Phoenix Car Rental never provided her with any paperwork when she rented the car but she said the company verbally promised to refund her $200, half of what she paid if she returned the car washed, cleaned and with a full tank of gas. Sophia said she did but said the company kept her $400 and never refunded anything. 

When she finally did get her paperwork when she returned the vehicle, the numbers on the invoice just didn't add up. For example, it showed $314, less than $400 she was charged and a lot more than the $189 she was quoted. Sophia said when she questioned the paperwork and the numbers, tempers flared. "At that point, he told me to get the "F" out of his office. He's not returning anything to me. And that was the end of it."

Last year, the Arizona Attorney General's Office got an preliminary injunction against Phoenix Car Rental for various issues like quoting rental fees that are less than what they intend to charge the customer and failing to provide an itemized statement of charges to consumers before they agree to a total price. Alvarez claims that's exactly what happened to her and said the rental company is at it again.

Apparently Phoenix Car Rental isn't a big fan of 3 On Your Side, because Gary Harper has aired news reports on this company before and if you recall employees kicked him off the property."

When Harper went their last year regarding consumer complaints and the Attorney General's crack down, someone inside actually locked the office door and then used a loud speaker to talk to him, "You are trespassing. You need to leave the property."

When Harper went back recently to discuss Alvarez's situation an employee said he was sent out to tell Gary Harper to leave.

HARPER: "Here's my business card, tell management I'm airing a news report and they need to call me."

Someone with the company did call 3 On Your Side later, but claimed Alvarez isn't telling the truth. The company employee said Alvarez was provided paperwork up front with all the itemized charges and the company also claims it refunded a portion of her money for returning the car clean and with a full tank. But Alvarez said she and Phoenix Car Rental know the truth. "As many complaints as there has been against that company, I don't understand why they're still open."

Phoenix Car Rental has more than 120 complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau which has earned the company an "F" rating. 

Alvarez said she will also file a complaint with the Attorney General's office to see if that agency wants to get involved again.




3 On Your Side: Scottsdale woman disputes car rental charge

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