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fredTOG's avatar

I want to ask your advice on something , I was in a fender bender but it was the other person's fault?

Asked by fredTOG (526points) May 21st, 2014

I was in a fender bender but it was the other person’s fault so their insurance was going to pay for the damage. So I take the car to the auto body shop they call the car rental place they come pick me up take me and give me a little crappy car to drive, so that day comes I take the car back they take me to get my car and it’s a done deal a couple months go by I get a letter in the mail from a collection agency telling me that I owe Enterprise for two days rental this is the tricky part the body shop told the insurance company that my car was done two days before I picked it up and they said I picked it up. But my receipt and Enterprises receipts say that I turned it in two days later do you think that enterprise since they’re the ones that sent it to collections should notice that the receipts say I turned it in two days later and said something to the insurance company or do I go to the body shop and tell them to pay for the extra days since they are the ones that were lying and wrote down I picked up my car when I didn’t or should I just pay it myself what would you do ?and are they allowed to charge you after you’ve left and your receipts says paid in full isn’t that illegal?

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14 Answers

Dan_Lyons's avatar

If the bill is less than the lawyer you will need to sort out this mess, perhaps paying the bill and keeping your credit rating intact is the smart move.

I don’t understand why you are getting a letter from a collection agency and not from the rental company.

You have skipped several important steps in your dilemma, have you not?

fredTOG's avatar

I never got anything from them 0

Unbroken's avatar

I would register complaints at both business. As well as contest smirch on your credit history.

If you don’t have a company where you can access your credit rating remember to check all three bureaus as they can all have differing info. Which I would contest whether or not you decide to pay to spare the inconvenience of it. Which brings it to the… If you pay are you also admitting “guilt” it could be seen that way. But I am not sure how that is done from a finanicial point of view.

I have talked myself into thinking I would pay it. Just two more phone calls, finding the paperwork and faxing it. Well in essence anyway.

jca's avatar

When you picked your car up from the body shop, you must have had to sign some papers saying you were picking your car up and it was complete. Those papers must have had the date on them when you signed ( signed and dated). I would bring that to the rental company.

GloPro's avatar

It isn’t about when you picked it up, it’s about when your car was ready. Otherwise people would be complacent and wait to pick up a car whenever, at the expense of the insurance company. They would never allow this.
If the auto body shop has it in their system files that it was complete and you were notified (say Friday afternoon), but you didn’t go get it until Monday morning because the body shop isn’t open on weekends, then unfortunately you are just going to be out of luck on this one. The charge can’t be worth the effort in my opinion. Just a little of life’s ankle grabs, sometimes.
Even if you say you weren’t notified, it would be too hard to prove you were or were not.

jca's avatar

@GloPro is right. When was your car finished and when did you pick it up?

GloPro's avatar

@fredTOG To answer your question about charging you after you have returned the vehicle: no, it is not illegal. If it was sent to collections then my best guess is that you gave them a deposit card that was rejected. Most of the time they just charge your deposit card and are done with it. If you contest the charge you have to do all of the legwork.
It’s in the fine print of your rental agreement that any charges incurred and determined can be charged to your deposit card. This covers fuel, vehicle damage, cleaning fees, and extra days.

janbb's avatar

You could call around and question it but is it worth it for the $50 or $60? I too question why it went to the collection agency already.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The other day, there was a question in the meta category about the mods being asleep at the switch. The only thing I can discern from this current question is that there is either a dispute over when the repair work was completed, or when the repaired car was picked up, and that the body shop lied about one or the other. I have yet to read a question on this site that flies so directly in the face of the supposedly lofty standards this place purports to require regarding the rules of English composition.

GloPro's avatar

As the OP cannot be sure of what the body shop reported to the insurance company, my guess is the body shop followed proper procedure in reporting the work complete and the OP is blindly assuming that they said it was picked up, too. He would have no way of knowing or proving what that interaction consisted of, not being a part of the conversation. The insurance company later noted the discrepancy in the car being reported ready and the charge of two extra days rental of the vehicle and charged it back to the rental company. The rental company attempted to charge the OPs deposit card and it was declined, so the charge immediately went to collections.

That is my speculation of the most likely scenario. The only possible crack in procedures would be the auto shop failing to notify the OP at the same time they notified the insurance company, OR they notified him on a Friday afternoon and were closed for the weekend, basically screwing him. There just isn’t much you can do either way, except drop the rental off Friday next time and do without a vehicle until Monday. Not fair, but life’s not fair.

JLeslie's avatar

I agree that the rental coverage from the insurance probably ended the day the car was ready to be picked up.

I don’t understand the bill going to collections without any warning. Usually there are at least two attempts before something is sent to collections.

I’m thinking you probably need to go ahead and pay the bill, but you certainly can check what day the car was ready and what day you turned in the rental car, and make sure you don’t overpay.

Also, something to keep in mind for the future, rental car coverage usually has a limit, so you would want to know that if you are ever in this situation again when it happens. For instance you might be covered for one week, and if the car takes ten days to get fixed, too bad, you either need to turn the car in at the week mark or pay the extra days.

jca's avatar

To add to what @JLeslie said, if the car takes longer to fix than the rental is covered for, you should contact your insurance company and they will usually work something out with the repair place. Just a heads up to them, and you being nice (not being nasty, aggressive or entitled) will get you wonders in this world.

GloPro's avatar

@jca The exact same thing just happened to me and the insurance company extended the car rental.

bolwerk's avatar

I have never been in this precise situation before, but I have to say the solution to most of my conflicts with insurance companies have always involved calls to the state’s attorney general’s office. Once you’re in collections with them, you’re in capitalist bureaucratic hell.

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