Florida takes legal action against ‘grossly-inflated’ rental car toll fees

Attorney General Pam Bondi filed legal action against Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group for its billing practices involving toll fees and other charges to customers in Florida. The complaint alleges Dollar Thrifty misrepresents charges for cashless tolls as fines or violations, and bills customers a grossly-inflated fee for each toll incurred. Dollar Thrifty charges $10 to $15 each time one of its rental car customers drives through a Florida cashless toll, and up to $105 during the course of a rental.

The complaint alleges that Dollar Thrifty failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose to consumers the excessive toll fees it charges customers for the use of Florida’s cashless toll roads and misrepresented toll fees and information related to Florida’s cashless toll roads to coerce consumers into purchasing Dollar Thrifty’s toll product, PlatePass. Hundreds of tourists vacationing in Florida filed complaints with the Florida Attorney General’s Office, claiming they were unaware of the fees until receiving bills that reflected charges weeks after returning home.

According to the complaint, Dollar Thrifty also forced consumers to purchase damage-waiver products even if the consumers initially declined or did not need it. Many renters have insurance that covers rental cars and therefore do not need Dollar Thrifty’s expensive damage-waiver product. Additionally, the complaint alleges Dollar Thrifty wrongfully charged consumers for vehicle upgrades and failed to properly disclose the cost of the upgrade. Many consumers complained of charges for upgrades when the car class reserved was unavailable.

The complaint seeks restitution for affected consumers, injunctive relief and attorney’s fees and costs. The Florida Attorney General’s Office filed the case in the Fourth Judicial Circuit for Duval County.

Thrifty Car Rental is one of the largest car rental companies in the world and is a subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation with headquarters in Estero.

To view the complaint, click here.

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