June 23, 2024

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SC lawmaker wants Charleston airport to probe car rentals after getting $21K bill | Business


A point out lawmaker is inquiring Charleston airport officials to examine the techniques of car or truck rental companies right after he was billed a lot more than $21,000 for automobile problems he claimed he never ever brought on.

“If there was that a lot damage, I would’ve had to have a flatbed truck to convey it back again,” S.C. Rep. Wendell Gilliard of Charleston mentioned April 21, when he dealt with the Charleston County Aviation Authority over the incident.

An airport camera recording confirmed Gilliard returned the Lincoln MKZ in what he identified as “mint situation” in January, and an Avis Spending budget Group staff then took the car out for what the legislator referred to as “a joy ride” that resulted in damages. 

Rep. Wendell Gilliard

Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, is trying to get variations to rental vehicle companies’ restrictions right after an incident at Charleston Worldwide Airport. File/Brad Nettles/Workers

Mainly because Gilliard was the last recorded driver of the motor vehicle when it was returned, he been given the monthly bill for the wrecked car a couple of months later on.

“I just about went outrageous,” he said. “I was so irate.”

He at some point obtained it straightened out, but not ahead of getting harassed to spend up or threat his credit rating ranking remaining adversely affected.

“It was like battling a lion,” Gilliard claimed.

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Following reviewing the video clip evidence, the New Jersey-dependent rental car or truck enterprise fired the worker.

“Avis Budget Group terminated the work of the staff accountable and has apologized to Rep. Gilliard for the billing mistake,” a rental vehicle spokeswoman told The Submit and Courier.

“We have reviewed the abnormal and distinctive situations that led to this mistake and our procedures, and have carried out a critique of system adjustments to steer clear of a identical slip-up in the foreseeable future,” the business representative reported.

The rental automobile enterprise did not say if the previous personnel would have to pay out for the damages.

Gilliard is not the only one particular who was caught up in being charged by the rental automobile firm to shell out for damages that the renter was not accountable for.

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Whitney Borreson dropped off an Avis rental at the airport on Jan. 24, a few times just before Gilliard’s incident. She mentioned it was totally free of hurt, but she later obtained a monthly bill for nearly $2,800.

Borreson, who did not speak at the conference, mentioned in an email that she disputed the claim and it was dismissed.

Gilliard desires the Aviation Authority to critique hurt claims created through rental auto organizations running at the airport for the earlier 5 many years.

“If you are renting out house to scammers, I’m hoping there is one thing with disciplinary action,” he said. “If we really don’t do a little something now, the scamming and ripoffs will continue.”

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The airport board thanked Gilliard for his remarks but did not comment on his request publicly.

“We make it a exercise to comply with condition law and appear at rental auto and licensing agreements and will decide our authority to glance into the make any difference,” airport CEO Elliott Summey claimed immediately after the conference.

Although Gilliard is the community face of what he believes could be a even bigger problem, he emphasised his ask for is about shielding the general public.

Gilliard has taken measures a step even more.

As a lawmaker, he has submitted a invoice that involves rental vehicle businesses to doc as a result of video recordings the ailment of a vehicle when it is rented and returned. The invoice also necessitates all signed documents and video clip recordings to be saved on file for at minimum a few many years.

He has also referred to as for the Point out Regulation Enforcement Division to investigate vehicle rental providers.

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