Ryder Charges Guy $200 For Damages He Didn't Cause, Gives Money Back

It doesn’t take much to please some customers. Patrick tells us Ryder charged him $200 for moving truck damages that already existed before he rented the vehicle.

He paid the money, then submitted a complaint via Ryder’s online form, and is understandably pleased that Ryder decided to refund the money. But Patrick doesn’t stop there, basically saying Ryder has won his loyalty for life by refunding the money it never should have asked for in the first place. He submitted this letter to Ryder:

To whom it may Concern:

On the morning of 9/25/09 at approximately 8:30 AM, I rented a Truck from your South Plainfield NJ location. Upon rental, prior to taking possession, a walk around was done on the truck identifying any damage to the truck on the Commercial Vehicle Damage Description Report – Safe Driving Tips form. Upon the walk around me and the person accompanying me identified that the front passenger side corner cap was damaged and had duct tape on it, either holding it together or on. I made sure that it was clearly marked on the Vehicle Damage Description Report, and did not inspect it any closer as I felt that the report was sufficient evidence upon return that I was not responsible for the corner cap damage. After my last stop that day and upon empting the truck I noticed that there was pieces of plastic with duct tape on them in the back of the truck(closest to the cab). I looked up and saw that the corner cap now had a hole in it where the duct tape damage was noted that morning. I thought to myself, not a big deal, this was clearly noted on the Vehicle Damage Description Report, end of story. The vehicle was returned at approximately 8 PM on the night of 9/25/09.

On Tuesday 9/29/09 I was contacted by the rental office and was told that there was damage to the previously stated corner cap and that I was going to be charged for the repair. I said that this was unacceptable and was directed to call the Rental Manager to dispute this. On 9/30/09 at approximately 11:30am I spoke with Dan DeMichael, the Rental Manager, and told him I did not feel that I was responsible for this damage, since it was clearly noted on the Vehicle Damage Description Report, prior to my taking possession of the truck. His position was that there wasn’t a hole there when I got it, it was just a piece of duct tape, and it had nothing to do with the structural integrity of the corner cap. The conversation ended there because he had no estimates for repair and did not know how much he wanted to charge me at that time. On the morning of 9/19/09 he contacted me again after getting the estimate and is now charging me $200 for the repair of the corner cap. I stated that this was unacceptable and did not feel that I should be held responsible for a repair of something that was clearly already damaged and documented on Ryder’s form. I asked for documentation of the previous renter’s damage claim and repair charge for the damaged corner cap with the duct tape on it, but that could not be provided. I can only assume that this corner cap was previously damaged and repaired to a sub standard state with duct tape in house to save money on the repair work. After I drove it around for 12 hours the duct tape lost its integrity and this sub standard repair fell apart. Now I am being charged for it because the previous repair was not done properly and happened to fall apart while in my possession.

I have used Ryder in the past with no problems. I have exclusively used Ryder the past few years because of bad experiences with competitors and never had any of those problems with Ryder. I have told everyone I know not to use said competitors and have always recommended that they go with Ryder. This, unfortunately, may not be the case if Ryder does sub standard in house repair work, and waits for someone with a $500 deductable to come along and then charge them for when the substandard repair doesn’t hold up, regardless of the damage being noted on the Vehicle Damage Description Report, which according to your contract is what should have been done. I would like my $200 refunded so I can stay a happy Ryder costumer and continue using your services in the future.

I disagree with Patrick that the insurance is a good idea. In most situations your own car insurance should cover any damages done to the vehicle. But of course you should check with your provider before you go U-Haul crashin.’

(Photo: Atwater Village Newbie)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.