Budget shouldn’t have sent you a $3,000 bill – at least not with that kind of documentation. Ideally, any damage to a rental car would be recorded when you returned the vehicle and the renter would sign a form acknowledging it. This just looks like a “gotcha” – and a poorly executed one, at that.
What kind of documentation is adequate? A time-stamped photo of your rental car, showing that shortly after you returned the vehicle, the company discovered damage; a picture of the odometer that verifies your claim; and a repair invoice. The paperwork you received was less than persuasive.
I’m not sure why Budget didn’t respond to your letters and emails. If you’re being ignored, you can always escalate your case to a manager. You can find a list of executives on the Budget website, http://ir.avisbudgetgroup.com/management.cfm. Email addresses at Budget are formatted email@example.com.
I also list Budget’s executives on my website: http://elliott.org/contacts/budget-rent-a-car.
One thing is clear: Without conclusive proof that damage to this car was noted – and repaired – shortly after your rental, Budget shouldn’t have sent you a $3,000 invoice. I’m not saying the company’s claim is invalid. Only that it needed to make a stronger case.
I contacted Budget and asked it to review its claim. A representative called you and told you the company had withdrawn its bill.