A car rental company is now accused of defrauding people in the Tampa Bay area. This comes as the Better Business Bureau has assigned Payless Car Rental an "F" rating.
In the past three years, over 830 complaints have been filed with BBB against Payless Car Rental. More than ten percent of the complaints were from consumers in two states, California and Florida, according to the BBB.
A review of these complaints and allegations indicated a pattern of complaints in three major areas: Sales Practices, Billing and Collection, and Contracts, according to the BBB.
The BBB sent this letter to four attorneys general, including Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, urging them to be aware of what's been reported to them.
“BBB has attempted to address the pattern of complaints with Payless on several occasions over the past three years,” notes Amie Mitchell, president and CEO of BBB Tulsa. “The most recent attempt was on March 29, 2017, in a letter sent by certified mail. The business failed to respond. Because consumers are still coming to us with the same complaints, week after week, we felt we had no choice but to turn this matter over to law enforcement.”
There is also a class action lawsuit concerning Payless Car Rental. The size of the class action suit is not determined yet, but it is anticipated to be tens of thousands, said Lisa R. Bouckenooghe, Esq., one lawyer bringing the suit.
"This has been a consistent pattern and practice of Payless to add unauthorized charges," Bouckenooghe said.
Wayne Zasada and his family say Payless Car Rental charged them hundreds in fuel costs after they returned the car to the Tampa location with a full tank.
"For them to cheat me out of 200 more dollars I just didn't feel that was right," Zasada said.
He's now joined in the class action suit and said he hopes it sends the company a strong message.
The Better Business Bureau is now telling people to document their interactions with car rental companies.
"Take out your cell phone, record the interaction and let them know you're recording it so you can document the conversation you had with the company," said Bryan Oglesby, a spokesman for Better Business Bureau Serving West Florida.
He said that helps offer an extra layer of protection if you need to dispute charges.
"You can submit that as information to help us work with the company and really tell the story of what occurred," Oglesby said.