Alamo Passes On Charges for Imaginary Parking Tickets

When a $60 buck fine was billed to his credit card for a recent Alamo rental, Matt. A was confused: “I thought those suckers told me I didn’t owe them any money when I returned it?”

But Matt was wrong. According to Alamo, he owed them for a parking ticket he attracted when dropping off the car. The problem? Not only had Alamo told him to “just park anywhere” but the traffic ticket was for the day before.

Neither Alamo nor the police seemed very plussed: both claimed that they’d just change the date of the ticket to match the date of his hypothetical traffic transgression. But Matt A. is plussed… and he’s writing us! Matt’s email after the jump.

I returned my car to the Jackson Hole, WY airport at 6:00 am on June 15. As instructed by the Alamo agent, I returned the car to the Alamo Parking area. I dropped off my two small children and drove around the lot for 15 minutes looking for a vacant spot. All Alamo spaces were filled. I tried to park in another car company’s space but an employee said, “you can’t do that just park it close behind the other Alamo cars. They will move it, we deal with this all of the time.” I returned my keys to the CLOSED Alamo office and caught my early morning flight.

I later received a letter from Alamo stating that my balance was $0.00. A month later I receive my credit car charges with a $60 Alamo charge. When I called the Jackson Hole Alamo office to inquiry about the charge, the clerk said, “yes that is a parking ticket, this happens often.” I asked to speak to the manager. Donnie got on the and the phone and said, “we deal with this often, but I will not take the charges off of your card.” (Donnie is not the manager). Alamo corporate office was no help and
agreed that I should not have to pay the fine, and redirected me to the Jackson Hole franchise manager, Dakotah Dayton. Dayton said that he provides enough parking, but he does not. At 6:00 am on a Thursday morning, the lot was full. “You should have just parked anywhere,” said Dayton. Neither written, nor verbal instructions were given to me as to where to park when this “often” situation arises.

Bob Genner with airport security admits “those rental cars are all over the parking lot.” Dayton faxed me a copy of the ticket, which was written on June 14. Not June 15, the day that I returned the car and flew home. On the morning of June 14, my rental car and I were 75 miles north of Jackson Hole sleeping at Grant Village in Yellowstone Park. When I asked Alamo manager Dayton about the dates he replied, “the dates don’t matter, we paid the ticket, you now owe us.” Alamo charged my credit card
without my permission. The Teton County Sheriff’s Deputy had the same response when asked about the date discrepancy, “we’ll just get the judge the change the dates, we are already taking care of it.”

Wow! I asked the Deputy the number of parking tickets that Alamo cars receive weekly at the airport and he adamantly refused to give a number.

My experience and conversations with Alamo, Airport and Law Enforcement personnel proves that this is recurring business operations problem that Alamo refuses to address.

Alamo does not provide adequate parking services to their customers and just “often” passes the buck, or fines, to customer.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Yep says:

    If you haven’t already, contest that sucker through your credit card co. asap. Heck, you’ve already written the letter that you’ll need to include with the form from your cc company. Include all the juicy details, dates, names, etc. They’ll issue an immmediate credit to your account and charge it back to Alamo until they get to the bottom of it. You will win the dispute, believe me. BTW, $60 for a parking ticket? Even at the airport, that’s friggin’ robbery. Talk about Jackson someone’s Hole.

  2. ArtlessDodger says:

    I would have thought that it is illegal for a police officer (or other law enforcement officer) to change a date after the fact. Once a ticket is written and filed, is it not a legal document and thus changing something key (like a date) would be falsifying a legal document?

    And to Yep– $60 for a parking ticket is not all that far off…

  3. Triteon says:

    So it’s the owner of the car that committed the offense, and not the driver? You never got your day in court. Speaking as a major-league a-hole, I would have both my credit card company and an attorney on this.

  4. Anonymously says:

    Sounds like the rental car company is in cahoots with the police deptartment. Can you say “payola” boys and girls?

  5. By the way, we’ve gotten some emails saying “plussed” isn’t a word. I totally know… I was just being goofy.

  6. Yeah it really sounds like Alamo and the Teton County Sheriff’s Department have a little “arrangement” here. Change the date on a ticket??? I don’t think so. I hope you fight this and win.

  7. Kangarara says:

    I’ve personally (successfully) contested a parking ticket because it was dated for a Saturday and the location of the ticket didn’t have any restrictions for Saturday. There was *certainly* no discussion of changing the date. When I went to contest it, there was no judge involved – just the city clerk who looked at it & said “yup, that ain’t right”

    But agreed, just do it through the credit card company.

  8. BradC says:

    I immediately regret booking an Alamo car for this coming weekend.

  9. DeeJayQueue says:

    most tickets are printed on 3 or 4 (or more) part NCR paper, and you don’t get the original copy. this is a very good thing, because even if the officer scribbles out the date on his copy of the ticket, the one that you have is not written in pen, rather via a chemical reaction. This means that if you take your copy into court with you, it functions as an original and can’t have been tampered with.

  10. Drinker Nisti says:

    Crikey– glad I flew out of Idaho Falls on my visit to Yellowstone…

  11. johnsonjackson says:

    Hold on a second, Your admitting to parking illegally but refusing to pay a ticket. I think somebody here is passing the buck but it doesn’t see to be the rental car company. You say you asked another car rental employee where to park and I think that is the problem. Never ask the competition they do not care. My advice man up and pay for your actions don’t expect someone else to do it for you. Lastly to insinuate that a law enforcement agency is in cahoots with a rental car agency for money seems off the wall…..