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britboy
Hi,
I've had an accident in our rented RV that's taken the shine of what was a fantastic vacation. All I'm looking for is some advice so I can take this further.

I damaged a 2ft section of the RV when I struck rock at the side of the road while trying to avoid an animal. This resulted in a scrape down the side, damage to the bumper, a storage compartment and a small section of the side panel. Secondly, the awning was damaged during very high winds on the highway. We heard a bang and looking in my mirror I could see the top of the slide out hanging out. When we stopped and the awning above the slide out was twisted at one end.

The rental company concerned charged me for the repairs when both were accidents rather than negligence - obviously I have nobody to back me up other than my partner. Apparently I need to have police reports for both accidents. Without that they can't claim on the insurance. Secondly they say that any damage 'above the windows' is chargeable. They believe I hit something and that there are marks on the roof. I wasn't able to inspect the roof when I picked up the rental as I was told that their insurance wouldn't let me climb on the vehicle when it was on their property.

I feel like a fool as my arguments fell on deaf ears. Not wanting to prolong the agony any more I paid - the difference between the insurance excess and what I was charged was < $600. Firstly, I'd like to dispute the charges but being from the UK I don't understand what rights a consumer has in the US.

Secondly, I find it hard to understand why I would call the police for accidents that didn't involve any third parties? Nobody was hurt, I didn't hit the deer or any property. The police would just report what I told them and in my opinion it's wasting police time.

Thirdly, if I was unable to inspect the roof when I picked up the vehicle how can I know if the marks weren't already present.

...and finally I've been given an itemized list of parts and labor costs but I don't know where I can go to check if I'm being overcharged.

To those that have got this far I apologize for the long posting and thank you taking the time to read it. Any advice anyone can offer would be appreciated.

Regards

gsbogart
We just returned from a trip to Alaska and a motor home rental situation for 16 days. Know full well what you are talking about. We did go for the CDW which essentially takes the financial risk away, but is a total rip off. It cost us $383.00 for the collision damage waiver.

You were lucky they did not attempt to charge you for lose of rental income, which I understand they can. That and other reasons were why we opted for the CDW ripoff fee.

After the fact is a difficult thing to defend unless you have documented what the situation was like before and after. They have all sorts of built in contractual language that is structured totally in their favor, and unless you push the envelope, they will and can use it against you.

You could challenge the credit card charges, and force the situation into a court of law. Other than that the only advice I can suggest is education sometimes is expensive.

Good luck.

Gary
britboy
Thanks - I appreciate your advice. Its been an education that I will always remember. I'm going to speak to the CC company and both the rental company and travel agents head offices and see where that gets me. I have photographs that I can use as evidence but I don't hold any hope

In the meantime can I ask if anyone has any preferred suppliers of Winnie parts that I can call to get a quote for the repairs? I have a detailed work list but I believe the charges to be inflated
gsbogart
QUOTE(britboy @ Jun 8 2008, 10:12 PM) *

Thanks - I appreciate your advice. Its been an education that I will always remember. I'm going to speak to the CC company and both the rental company and travel agents head offices and see where that gets me. I have photographs that I can use as evidence but I don't hold any hope

In the meantime can I ask if anyone has any preferred suppliers of Winnie parts that I can call to get a quote for the repairs? I have a detailed work list but I believe the charges to be inflated

I think what you are thinking is an exercise in futility. Parts, labor, and profit are not something you can generally compare when you are fighting a complaint. I would go the CC route, and even threaten to refuse payment if the CC company refuses to get involved.

Good luck

Gary
Lee and Fran
Yep refuse the charges and try to get it into court one and second possibly talk to the BBB for the area you rented from and also the FTC. Sometimes they can be of assistance in these situations.
Bettter Business Bureau
Federal Trade Commission
Parkview
cool.gif I'm sorry, but I don't see a problem here. You rent something and return it damaged; you pay for the damage if you did not take out insurance to cover it. The question of negligence is not relevant. The only relevant issue is whether or not any of the damage existed before you you took possession of the vehicle.
pianotuna
Hi Parkview,

They did have insurance--but the insurance won't pay without a police report (so the rental company is claiming)

I wonder if they are good sam members?

QUOTE(Parkview @ Jun 10 2008, 06:04 PM) *

cool.gif I'm sorry, but I don't see a problem here. You rent something and return it damaged; you pay for the damage if you did not take out insurance to cover it. The question of negligence is not relevant. The only relevant issue is whether or not any of the damage existed before you you took possession of the vehicle.

Lee and Fran
I have never heard of any rental without either them having an insurance you pay for or you having an insurance company that covers you. Never heard of one where you pay for the damages. Must be and crummy rental company in my book. Yea I can see loosing a deposit or part of a deposit but usually that is listed as the insurance. I have rented rvs and I have rented cars and every one has required some kind of insurance. And a police report is not necessary under any law I have ever heard of. Hell if I wreck my rv which I have a two years ago and I file the claim under me having wrecked it I dont need a police report just my claim. Good grief Its still a BBB problem in my book and I think they are doing it only cuz he is from the UK. And no other reason.
RLM
Britboy> First, I suspect that the rental company sees in you a way not to have to report the accident.

When renting a car, my credit cards cover accident repairs. I don't know if that would hold true with a motor home or the credit card you used. I'd certainly argue that something with wheels is a vehicle even if it's also a RV. You might have a case if the rental contract failed to advise you that a police report was required.

I have empathy for you. Perhaps your plight will remind others to read the fine print on what they are signing. Most don't.
gsbogart
To my knowledge and after our recent trip to Alaska, credit cards specifically exclude RV and motor home type vehicles. I have several credit cards that offer free CDW for cars, but not RV's. Also, you cannot insure something you do not own, so your present RV policy will not offer protection for a rental unit collision.
Agencies that rent RV's offer CDW(collision damage waiver) for a rip off fee, but it does protect you.

From my observations, minor bumps and scratches do not get repaired in Alaska until the end of the season, but they collect the waivers for each rental period. They just exclude them if you are aware and bring to their attention during the walk around. If you miss, and they can press you for the repair, they will. Another thing they consider damage to roof and appendages as your fault. Any damage to the tail pipe or generator exhaust pipe is indicative of dragging the rear end from a steep drive because of the overhang.
That crap about not allowing inspection on their property because of insurance rules is just plain crap. A big profit item and a ripoff. All their contract language is written 100 % in their favor, and they will use the leverage they have to enforce unless you buy the CDW. They make a very forceful presentation when selling this CDW program because they know it is a high profit item.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Gary
rodman
QUOTE(Parkview @ Jun 10 2008, 05:04 PM) *

cool.gif I'm sorry, but I don't see a problem here. You rent something and return it damaged; you pay for the damage if you did not take out insurance to cover it. The question of negligence is not relevant. The only relevant issue is whether or not any of the damage existed before you you took possession of the vehicle.


I have to completely agree with Parkview on this. How can you possibly think the rental company should have to pay for this damage or have their insurance pay for it. Of course it was an accident but if I'm not mistaken that's what insurance is for. Yes, it probably was an outrageous amount but that's also what rental car company's charge you too, that's when you provide your own. If the Rental company wouldn't let you inspect the vehicle for previous damage then shame on you for not walking away and going somewhere else. I would never rent something I couldn't inspect and I'll bet not many people would, I'm not paying for someone else's damage.

As always just my opinion,
pianotuna
Hi Rodman,

The person who started the thread *did* pay for insurance. Now, apparently, they do not wish to pay.

QUOTE(rodman @ Jun 13 2008, 12:13 PM) *

I have to completely agree with Parkview on this. How can you possibly think the rental company should have to pay for this damage or have their insurance pay for it. Of course it was an accident but if I'm not mistaken that's what insurance is for. Yes, it probably was an outrageous amount but that's also what rental car company's charge you too, that's when you provide your own. If the Rental company wouldn't let you inspect the vehicle for previous damage then shame on you for not walking away and going somewhere else. I would never rent something I couldn't inspect and I'll bet not many people would, I'm not paying for someone else's damage.

As always just my opinion,

rodman
QUOTE(pianotuna @ Jun 13 2008, 02:00 PM) *

Hi Rodman,

The person who started the thread *did* pay for insurance. Now, apparently, they do not wish to pay.
My mistake, I didn't realize they purchased the grossly over priced insurance. Start with the BBB in they city the RV was rented, they can be very helpful. I had the help of the BBB in Georgia when I live in California fight a credit card charge. They can point you in a lot of useful directions. Don't give up and don't get ripped off, even if you don't live here.

Just my opinion,
Parkview
cool.gif

It's not clear to me from the original post that the renters purchased any insurance. I read that the rental company could not charge damage against "their insurance" (I interpret that as the rental company's insurance) without a police report. Such report could show that damage was the fault of a third party, and therefore, the third party or their insurance would be responsible for the repairs. Absent a police report showing third party responsibility, I do not see how the renters can claim that they are not reponsible for the damage unless they have insurance to cover their actions.
Illinois_Snowbird
You may want to send an Email to the Action Line of Good Sams Club. You may not be aware of Good Sam's ... it is a camping organization ... they have an action line where they do inquiries for members. You are probably not a member, but they may still consider you request since you are from GB. They say that: "Since September 2005, Action Line has received 3,225 letters ... and recovered 227,085.25". They publish inquires and results letters in their monthly magazine so vendor usual are more receptive to making things right.

The email address is: actionline@goodsamclub.com. They ask for a letter and copies of any related receipts. I would scan and send any documents (receipts, insurance policy, etc) you may have. You can indicate this was suggested by a club member ... we like to read the column.

You are much braver than I would be ... I just came back from visiting Northumberland and Scotland. I found driving a compact car on the wrong side of the narrow roads very challenging. A motor home on the wrong side ... that a challenge!



rodman
QUOTE(Parkview @ Jun 14 2008, 03:08 PM) *

cool.gif

It's not clear to me from the original post that the renters purchased any insurance. I read that the rental company could not charge damage against "their insurance" (I interpret that as the rental company's insurance) without a police report. Such report could show that damage was the fault of a third party, and therefore, the third party or their insurance would be responsible for the repairs. Absent a police report showing third party responsibility, I do not see how the renters can claim that they are not reponsible for the damage unless they have insurance to cover their actions.

I also went back and reread that post and again I agree. They do not state that they purchased the grossly overpriced insurance. The damage was caused at least in 1 instance by the renter by which he should be fully responsible with or without a police report by his own admission. The 2nd not sure how the rental contract is worded and again renting something you can't inspect for damage ahead of time is just plain dumb on the renters part. I hate to see anyone get taken advantage of but this was mostly his fault.

Just my opinion,
pianotuna
Hi,

I interpret this quote from the original post as them having insurance.

"Not wanting to prolong the agony any more I paid - the difference between the insurance excess and what I was charged was < $600."
moqui51
The only thing I can comment on is the price, and from what you said the damage was, $600. is probably a bargain. My husband hit a limb on a tree with our rv and it only damaged the arm of the awning over the slide out and I think a bit of the awning, but I can't remember. The cost to repair it was just a little over $1000.00. Way too much in my opinion, but you had to buy the awning as a compete part. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and pay the price. Knowing how high RV repairs are, it isn't hard to get $600.00 in costs very quickly. And, I also agree with the person who said if you returned something damaged, you should expect to pay, unless you did have insurance to cover all damages. And, yes, read the fine print to see if it says you have to file a police report to get covered. We were told by our insurance company that we also should have filed a report, and I said why...it was a tree limb. What will the police do? Of course, our deductible was 1000.00 so we didn't file.

Now the roof part I would dispute if you have proof that they said you could not go on the roof when it was on their property. That makes no sense at all. I don't see why you could not get on the roof to inspect it.

Call any RV place and ask them what their labor charges are. Most are over $100.00 an hour now so you can bet it won't be long to rack up a big bill.


QUOTE(britboy @ Jun 7 2008, 12:01 AM) *

Hi,
I've had an accident in our rented RV that's taken the shine of what was a fantastic vacation. All I'm looking for is some advice so I can take this further.

I damaged a 2ft section of the RV when I struck rock at the side of the road while trying to avoid an animal. This resulted in a scrape down the side, damage to the bumper, a storage compartment and a small section of the side panel. Secondly, the awning was damaged during very high winds on the highway. We heard a bang and looking in my mirror I could see the top of the slide out hanging out. When we stopped and the awning above the slide out was twisted at one end.

The rental company concerned charged me for the repairs when both were accidents rather than negligence - obviously I have nobody to back me up other than my partner. Apparently I need to have police reports for both accidents. Without that they can't claim on the insurance. Secondly they say that any damage 'above the windows' is chargeable. They believe I hit something and that there are marks on the roof. I wasn't able to inspect the roof when I picked up the rental as I was told that their insurance wouldn't let me climb on the vehicle when it was on their property.

I feel like a fool as my arguments fell on deaf ears. Not wanting to prolong the agony any more I paid - the difference between the insurance excess and what I was charged was < $600. Firstly, I'd like to dispute the charges but being from the UK I don't understand what rights a consumer has in the US.

Secondly, I find it hard to understand why I would call the police for accidents that didn't involve any third parties? Nobody was hurt, I didn't hit the deer or any property. The police would just report what I told them and in my opinion it's wasting police time.

Thirdly, if I was unable to inspect the roof when I picked up the vehicle how can I know if the marks weren't already present.

...and finally I've been given an itemized list of parts and labor costs but I don't know where I can go to check if I'm being overcharged.

To those that have got this far I apologize for the long posting and thank you taking the time to read it. Any advice anyone can offer would be appreciated.

Regards

britboy
I would like to start by thanking everyone for their comments, sorry I haven't replied but I've been away on business. I'll now try and respond to the postings…….

Insurance was included in the rental, all I declined was the supplementary liability insurance as I already had this cover. I was told that the rental company couldn't make a claim without a police report. As far as I am aware my credit card and vacation insurance will not cover the rental but I'll be speaking to them later this week just to make sure. Then rental agent made it very clear that I couldn't inspect the roof when handing over the vehicle. As I'd paid in advance walking away wasn't an option. With regards to overcharging my research so far has shown that the parts and labor quoted are reasonable except for the slide out awning which is coming in at 250% more than all the estimates I've received so far. If I have to pay then I want the estimates to be reasonable. At present I'm writing a letter to the rental company head office and well as the travel agent I booked the rental through. I'd like to see how they respond officially.

I don't mind paying for the damage caused but it has to be fair. Unlike a lot of people I believe I should take responsibility for my actions I just don't want the rental company taking advantage of me. I think trying to recover some of the costs in an exercise in futility but I have time to spare and I'm prepared to make a couple of phone calls or write a letter. At the end of the day I've learnt a very expensive lesson.
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