$450 cleansing price for canine hair finances invoice for non-dog-owner

Pricey Journey Troubleshooter: Funds charged me a $450 cleansing price for a automobile that had canine hair within the again seat. I solely had the rental automotive for someday. I traveled from the airport to my assembly, then to the resort and again to the airport the following day. I’ve by no means had any animals within the automobile. Are you able to assist?

– Russ Davis, Midlothian, Virginia

Christopher Elliott, travel troubleshooter...
Christopher Elliott, The Journey Troubleshooter

Reply: In case you did not deliver the canine with you, you do not have to pay the cleansing price.

Automotive rental firms are cracking down on clients littering their autos. I reviewed the correspondence between you and Funds, and here is the way it justified the cost.
“The fees for cleansing of autos returned in such poor situation can be charged in proportion to the extent of cleanliness to which the automobile ought to be despatched for detailing,” it stated in an electronic mail. ‚ÄúThis contains, however is just not restricted to, autos returned with meals stains on the seats, canine or animal hair that can’t be eliminated by regular vacuuming of the automotive, extreme odors, the scent of smoke and cigarette burns. We Finds that the placement has supplied documentation of the situation of the automobile upon return.

Funds stated it should fortunately waive the price when you can present the situation of the automotive earlier than renting. This can be a legitimate request. You must at all times take an image of your automotive – in and out – earlier than leaving the lot. If somebody forgets to wash the automobile, or if it has dents or dents on the skin, ask for an additional automotive.

The finances then informed you about canine hair, which you flatly denied. You had been on a enterprise journey and did not deliver your canine with you.

Lastly, it is tough to show you did not personal the canine. I see circumstances like this on a regular basis. Automotive rental firms choose to cost non-smokers a cleansing price for “smoking” within the rental automobile. However pet cleansing charges come second. And this is not restricted to automotive rental firms. Just a few years in the past, a trip rental administration firm in Sedona, Arizona, tried to cost me for canine hair in my trip rental. Nonetheless, I haven’t got a canine. Once I pointed that out the corporate dropped the price.

I might press finances for extra proof. In your electronic mail correspondence, the corporate insisted that it had proof. But it surely could not present you any proof that proved you (or your non-existent canine) tousled the again seat of your rental. I ponder why? If a automotive rental firm desires to cost you $450 further, they at the least have one thing to point out for it.

This is one other drawback in your case: Funds did not inform you concerning the cleansing price. As a substitute, it merely fees your bank card. You needed to ask the automotive rental firm concerning the mysterious $450 cost in your card. come on. At the least the corporate may have informed you it was billing you – and possibly ask in your aspect of the story.

A quick, well mannered electronic mail to one of many officers within the finances may have yielded extra proof. Or possibly it satisfied the powers that be of your innocence. There was no canine and due to this fact no canine hair.
I contacted Funds in your behalf. It refunded the $450 that was charged to your card.

Christopher Elliott is the Chief Advocacy Officer of Elliott Advocacy, a non-profit group that helps customers clear up their issues. Elliot’s newest ebook is “Methods to Be the World’s Smartest Traveler” (Nationwide Geographic). Contact him at elliott.org/assist or chris@elliott.org.

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