BBB issues nationwide warning about Payless Car Rental

The Better Business Bureau is issuing a nationwide warning to customers about Payless Car Rental, a major car rental company found at airports across the country.

The BBB says it has received more than 800 complaints about Payless in the past three years and has given the company an F rating. Now the organization is urging attorneys general in four states — California, Florida, New Jersey and Oklahoma — to investigate Payless and its parent company, Avis.

“They have sales practice issues and contract issues and billing issues with consumers,” Amie Mitchell, the president of the BBB serving eastern Oklahoma, told ABC News correspondent Gio Benitez.

Questions about fees are a major part of a proposed class-action lawsuit filed against Payless after unhappy customers launched a Facebook group claiming they were charged for services they said they didn’t want.

Greg Kohn, one of the lawyers who filed the lawsuit, told ABC News, “Payless has used deceptive business practices in order to lure customers into their shop to rent their vehicles. They use low rates online to get people to use them over other rental agencies, but when you get there, they slam you with additional fees.”

One of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, Richard Alexander, a police officer, said he rented a car from Payless in Las Vegas for a six-day family vacation with an online quote of $217 from a third-party website. He says he walked to the counter wearing a police shirt and badge. “The gentleman that waited on us thanked me for my service and offered me a free upgrade,” Alexander told ABC News. “I specifically asked him, ‘It’s going to be $217, right?’ I was told yes. I told him, ‘I’m covered under my own insurance.’ And I believe he was told two or three times I do not need this.”

Alexander says he initialed the agreement, expecting to pay $217. But when he returned the vehicle, the total was $528, with charges for, among other things, insurance and roadside service protection, which he…

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