SC lawmaker wants Charleston airport to probe car rentals after getting $21K bill | Business


A point out lawmaker is inquiring Charleston airport officials to investigate the tactics of car or truck rental corporations following he was billed extra than $21,000 for automobile damage he said he hardly ever brought on.

“If there was that considerably harm, I would’ve experienced to have a flatbed truck to deliver it back,” S.C. Rep. Wendell Gilliard of Charleston stated April 21, when he tackled the Charleston County Aviation Authority over the incident.

An airport digital camera recording confirmed Gilliard returned the Lincoln MKZ in what he called “mint affliction” in January, and an Avis Spending budget Team staff then took the automobile out for what the legislator referred to as “a joy ride” that resulted in damages. 

Rep. Wendell Gilliard

Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, is seeking improvements to rental automobile companies’ rules after an incident at Charleston Intercontinental Airport. File/Brad Nettles/Team

Simply because Gilliard was the previous recorded driver of the car or truck when it was returned, he acquired the invoice for the wrecked auto a several months afterwards.

“I just about went ridiculous,” he explained. “I was so irate.”

He ultimately acquired it straightened out, but not in advance of being harassed to spend up or threat his credit rating ranking becoming adversely affected.

“It was like battling a lion,” Gilliard explained.

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After reviewing the video clip proof, the New Jersey-dependent rental auto corporation fired the personnel.

“Avis Budget Group terminated the employment of the employee accountable and has apologized to Rep. Gilliard for the billing mistake,” a rental vehicle spokeswoman advised The Article and Courier.

“We have reviewed the uncommon and distinctive situation that led to this mistake and our procedures, and have carried out a evaluation of procedure variations to stay away from a very similar oversight in the long run,” the business consultant claimed.

The rental automobile firm did not say if the former worker would have to shell out for the damages.

Gilliard is not the only just one who was caught up in remaining billed by the rental car or truck company to fork out for damages that the renter was not responsible for.

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Whitney Borreson dropped off an Avis rental at the airport on Jan. 24, 3 times right before Gilliard’s incident. She explained it was no cost of injury, but she afterwards gained a invoice for almost $2,800.

Borreson, who did not talk at the assembly, mentioned in an electronic mail that she disputed the assert and it was dismissed.

Gilliard needs the Aviation Authority to assessment problems promises designed by means of rental motor vehicle businesses working at the airport for the past 5 yrs.

“If you are renting out room to scammers, I am hoping there is a thing with disciplinary motion,” he mentioned. “If we really don’t do anything now, the scamming and ripoffs will proceed.”

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The airport board thanked Gilliard for his remarks but did not comment on his ask for publicly.

“We make it a apply to comply with condition regulation and glance at rental vehicle and licensing agreements and will decide our authority to appear into the make a difference,” airport CEO Elliott Summey said after the assembly.

Though Gilliard is the community confront of what he thinks could be a even larger challenge, he emphasized his ask for is about protecting the general public.

Gilliard has taken steps a phase even further.

As a lawmaker, he has filed a monthly bill that needs rental car or truck companies to document by means of video clip recordings the situation of a automobile when it is rented and returned. The invoice also demands all signed files and video clip recordings to be kept on file for at minimum three years.

He has also referred to as for the Condition Regulation Enforcement Division to look into vehicle rental businesses.

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