Motorist Alert: Find Out If You Are Eligible for a Refund of Florida Rental Car Toll Fees: NMA E-Newsletter #461

Motorists who rented a vehicle from Avis, Budget, or Payless in Florida between January 1, 2010 and July 10, 2017 may be eligible for a refund per a settlement reached between the Florida Attorney General’s (AG) office and Avis Budget Group, Inc.

The NMA first complained about the exorbitant administrative fees that the rental car companies were charging customers for toll service, often many multiples of the actual cost of the tolls. The September 2014 NMA letter included a list of over 700 names of members who joined the complaint. Excerpts of some of their comments were shared with the Florida AG’s office.

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office investigated and reached a settlement with Avis Budget within the past few months that includes a refund to eligible motorists who were hit with an administrative charge for e-Toll service that wasn’t disclosed beforehand by the rental car companies. The refund is for the first such rental transaction per customer. For more information on eligibility and how to file a claim, which must be done by January 7, 2018, visit this web page. Pass this information along to others who might be eligible.

The allegations against Avis, Budget, and Payless involved insufficient disclosure of a daily fee for e-Toll service, a charge that was over and above the cost of the tolls. The charge was imposed each day of the vehicle rental, regardless of whether the customer used one of Florida’s cashless toll roads.

After the settlement was reached Laura Boeckman, the North Florida Bureau Chief of the Consumer Protection Division of the Florida AG’s office, wrote to the NMA, “We share your concerns you and your organization expressed in your previous correspondence to us and are seeking to ensure that individuals that may have been charged these e-Toll fees by Avis, Budget, or Payless during the above-noted timeframe (January 1, 2010 to July 10, 2017) and without proper disclosure have an opportunity to seek refunds. We therefore ask that you assist us by sharing this information with your members so that as many eligible consumers as possible can apply for refunds before the January 7 deadline.”

The settlement requires Avis Budget Group, Inc. to clearly disclose its $3.95 per day charge to rental car consumers on its websites, online reservation information, reservation confirmation emails and at the rental counter. Avis Budget is also required to now advise customers how to avoid the daily administrative fee. That’s significant progress.

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