Summer rental car rates

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Just-Thinking-51

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My local community has a court room. You can use the closest one to you, in the state that you live. So town or county is where you file. Of course read your term of service it might require mediation so that even easier to do. Fun fact once you file (fee needed) the other side has to pay a fee right there and then too. Most companies are hope you are like Michigan Mom and too busy to do it. It’s really easy the second time.
 

Abe26

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AFAIK, you caanot sue a car rental company for not having a car available after you made a reservation, unless you prepaid
 

flitcraft

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AFAIK, you caanot sue a car rental company for not having a car available after you made a reservation, unless you prepaid
Well, it's easier if you prepaid--that would make the transaction clearly a contract. But even if you didn't, I would argue consumer expectation--since they ask you what kind of car you want and collect your credit card information upfront, a reasonable consumer would expect that a car in that class ought to be present at the site where you indicated you would pick it up. Again, in small claims court, judges are much more sympathetic to consumer expectation arguments than to technical contract claims. Especially given the huge inconvenience of turning up somewhere expected a car to be there for them. In fact, I would add a claim for promissory estoppel, now that I think of it--a promise was made by the rental company which was intended to and did reasonably result in consumer reliance, and justice requires enforcement of the promise by the rental car company even if technically no contract resulted.
 

flitcraft

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If someone sues Hertz in small claims court and gets a default judgement, how does that someone collect?
I can't answer that question in the abstract; it would depend on the processes in your particular jurisdiction. But, as I noted, there should be information online regarding small claims court procedures, including enforcement of judgments.

I should note that some years ago, I got a judgment in small claims court against Bank of America--I was thinking about whether I should file a lien against their skyscraper in Seattle--and call the local media to watch the fun--but in the end, they paid the default judgment under the local rules. Not as much fun, but more efficient.
 

me_little_me

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I can't answer that question in the abstract; it would depend on the processes in your particular jurisdiction. But, as I noted, there should be information online regarding small claims court procedures, including enforcement of judgments.

I should note that some years ago, I got a judgment in small claims court against Bank of America--I was thinking about whether I should file a lien against their skyscraper in Seattle--and call the local media to watch the fun--but in the end, they paid the default judgment under the local rules. Not as much fun, but more efficient.
There was an issue in California years ago where someone won a small claims court judgement from AT&T back before they broke up, I think. They didn't pay so the sheriff deputy seized their building. It was quickly settled. Made all the news media.

I think all big companies now have arbitration agreements in the contract and on their web pages.
 

anumberone

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What kind of compensation can you receive after suing a car rental company that compensates for the difficulties you have endured when told, no cars available.
 

flitcraft

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What kind of compensation can you receive after suing a car rental company that compensates for the difficulties you have endured when told, no cars available.
First off, any money that you were out because of the lack of car provided. Cost of taxis, ubers, etc. Forfeited hotel or plane reservations. Those kind of damages would likely require receipts. But there are also the intangible harms--events missed, days of vacation time wasted, etc. Like pain and suffering, those intangible harms can and must be reduced to a monetary sum--depending on the circumstances and what you can persuade a small claims court judge to award given them.

It doesn't matter that it might not be Hertz' 'fault' that they didn't have a car available. They knew that they were having serious car shortages and continued to take and confirm reservations that people relied on, and their reliance on the confirmed reservation caused them harm. The rental companies could easily have changed their websites to reflect the situation that they fully understood, but customers did not. That's why they should lose.

As for any arbitration agreement in the relationship with Hertz, there may be two reasons why it won't bar recovery for victims. First, it's an affirmative defense to the complaint which has to be raised in small claims court by Hertz, which means they'd have to appear in person to raise it. And they probably won't and will simply default. Second, for it to bind the consumer, the consumer has to have notice of it at the time that they make the reservation. Is the existence of an arbitration requirement provided at the time of the reservation? (I'm too lazy this morning to make a pretend rental to find out, but I don't recall seeing one in previous rental reservations.) My guess is that the arbitration clause, if it does exist, is in the fine print in the form the consumer gets when checking out the car. Since that won't happen when you don't get the car, it can't be enforced in the case of non-delivery of a vehicle.

So as not to hijack this thread any more than I have, let me just say, in my final word on this, that I am a real believer in small claims courts as a mechanism for speedy justice. Depending on the jurisdiction, the amount claimed can be substantial--up to $10,000 in my state of Washington. Too many people simply feel forced to walk away from situations where someone else wronged them because of the time and expense of filing a lawsuit, so the wrongdoer gets away with it. Small claims court was designed to provide a way to get legal redress without the delay and legal expenses of ordinary liltigation.
 
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