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Original review updated by user Nov 17, 2022
They use predatory tactics to extract money from renters after rentals have been returned. I rented a car from here in May of 2022, and returned it without any visible damage.
After returning the car, I received an email from them asking me to fill out an "incident report".
When I informed them that no incident had occurred, they told me that there were damages to the vehicle, but they refused to provide any pictures of the damage. I did not fill out the incident report, since it was unclear whether that would considered an admission of an incident, and disputed the deposit charge on my credit card.
They then filed a claim with my car insurance company, Geico. It took a few phone calls with them to discover that Rent-A-Wreck did not provide them pictures of the damage either. Geico agreed that I should not be penalized, since there was no accident, but said they were unable to do anything about the charges that Rent-A-Wreck would ask for.
Rent-A-Wreck goes through a third party claims management company, who contacted me a few months later with a claim asking for $1459.79 in damages, $385 in "loss of use", and an $150 administration fee, which came to $1993.79 in total.
The claims agency was able to provide me a picture of the damage, which was a scratch on the *underside* of the front bumper.
Before dropping the car off, I had run my hand along the underside and did not feel anything there, but did not go through the trouble of lying down on the ground to visually inspect it, as it was raining and the ground was wet.
According to Rent-A-Wreck, rather than paint and refinish the scratch, the repair that needed to be done was to replace the entire bumper. When I looked up the shop that had given the estimate, it was one located at the exact same address as Rent-A-Wreck. Meaning that the repairs were happening in house, and Rent-A-Wreck themselves were the ones giving the estimate.
I asked for more details about how they had come to that number for the repair, as I had paid for a bumper to be replaced just a few years ago, and had it cost less than half that. A few weeks later, the claims agency came back with a repair cost of only $500 (my deductible for my car insurance).
I asked for proof that Rent-A-Wreck had even had the bumper replaced, since the scratch was entirely superficial and not visible unless the car was up on a lift.
The claims agency was unable to provide this, but offered to waive the admin fee and reduce the "loss of use" amount.
The fact that they were able to reduce the "loss of use" amount, and there was no proof the car was in the shop, makes me think it's possible the car never had its bumper replaced at all - but obviously I don't have proof of that.
The final cost was $750, which is a very expensive lesson to learn to not rent from this company, and I'm hoping to save someone else the same trouble. If you look on Yelp, Google, the BBB, etc, you will find many other reviews for this business from people with similar experiences.
User's recommendation: Avoid at all costs.
Monetary Loss: $750.
Preferred solution: I want them to go out of business so that they stop ripping people off..
Location: 3000 South 176th Street, Seatac, Washington 98188, United States
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