Did you rent a car from Dollar or Thrifty in Florida anytime in the past eight years? If so, you could have some money coming to you.
Regardless of where you rent a car in the Sunshine State, Florida toll roads are a rental car gotcha. But Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody says the low-cost sisters, Dollar and Thrifty, exploited the situation and took advantage of customers.
Moody has announced a settlement with Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc., which was accused of not being open about their charges to customers who drive the rental cars through Florida toll lanes that charge tolls based on the license plate. Many consumers also complained about Dollar Thrifty's PlatePass service, an optional product that costs $10.49 for each day of the rental period. Consumers said they were misled about the need for PlatePass to guard against fines or traffic infractions or were misled about the costs of PlatePass or the per toll charges imposed by Dollar Thrifty.
Some rental car customers were hit with toll fees up to $105.
"Companies owe it to their consumers to be upfront about all of their services and the prices and fees that accompany them. This case not only affected Floridians, but people visiting Florida from all over the country. I am hopeful that this settlement will provide relief to consumers harmed by the company's actions and prevent future harm," said Moody.
The agreement requires Dollar and Thrifty to clearly and conspicuously disclose its toll fees and PlatePass fees to consumers renting a Dollar or Thrifty car. Clear disclosures of the fees and charges must be provided on the company websites, online reservation paths, confirmation emails and at the rental counters. Dollar and Thrifty must also explain how consumers can avoid these charges.
Additionally, the companies are required to provide consumers with truthful information about damage waiver products. The rental car companies must clearly and conspicuously disclose the cost of any damage waiver product and cannot impose a damage waiver fee once the consumer has declined coverage. The companies also may not charge consumers for a higher car class when the car class reserved by a consumer is unavailable. The per day cost of any car class upgrade must be clearly and conspicuously disclosed.
How to File a Claim with the Dollar Thrifty Settlement
The settlement requires both companies to provide refunds to any consumers charged for toll fees or PlatePass charges without sufficient disclosures or who were misled or lied to about the terms or existence of toll fees or PlatePass charges, who have not already been reimbursed and who file a claim for a refund. Claims must be filed by July 6, 2019.
If you rented a car from Dollar or Thrifty between January 1, 2011 and January 7, 2019 and were charged and paid for either the Pass24 or PlatePass All-Inclusive ("PlatePass") service or for Toll-Related Fees in connection with incurring an electronic toll during your Dollar or Thrifty rental, you may be able to retrieve compensation.
You must be able to provide your rental car agreement number and the Dollar or Thrifty pickup location.
- Use a Toll Calculator to Estimate Your Road Trip Costs
- How to Avoid Toll Surcharges When Renting a Car