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

A point out lawmaker is inquiring Charleston airport officers to look into the procedures of automobile rental businesses soon after he was billed much more than $21,000 for vehicle destruction he explained he never caused.

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

An airport camera recording confirmed Gilliard returned the Lincoln MKZ in what he called “mint affliction” in January, and an Avis Funds Group employee then took the car or truck out for what the legislator termed “a joy ride” that resulted in damages. 

Rep. Wendell Gilliard

Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, is trying to get improvements to rental car or truck companies’ polices just after an incident at Charleston Worldwide Airport. File/Brad Nettles/Staff members

Since Gilliard was the final recorded driver of the vehicle when it was returned, he acquired the invoice for the wrecked auto a several months afterwards.

“I just about went crazy,” he stated. “I was so irate.”

He sooner or later acquired it straightened out, but not before currently being harassed to shell out up or danger his credit ranking being adversely afflicted.

“It was like preventing a lion,” Gilliard said.

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Just after examining the movie proof, the New Jersey-based mostly rental vehicle corporation fired the personnel.

“Avis Funds Group terminated the employment of the staff accountable and has apologized to Rep. Gilliard for the billing error,” a rental car spokeswoman instructed The Put up and Courier.

“We have reviewed the uncommon and unique circumstances that led to this error and our procedures, and have carried out a review of method variations to avoid a very similar error in the foreseeable future,” the company representative said.

The rental motor vehicle firm did not say if the former personnel would have to pay for the damages.

Gilliard is not the only just one who was caught up in staying charged by the rental automobile firm to spend for damages that the renter was not accountable for.

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Whitney Borreson dropped off an Avis rental at the airport on Jan. 24, a few days in advance of Gilliard’s incident. She claimed it was totally free of problems, but she later on obtained a bill for approximately $2,800.

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

Gilliard wishes the Aviation Authority to overview harm promises produced via rental automobile companies working at the airport for the past 5 many years.

“If you are leasing out area to scammers, I am hoping there is a little something with disciplinary action,” he said. “If we you should not do one thing now, the scamming and ripoffs will continue.”

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

“We make it a follow to comply with state law and look at rental vehicle and licensing agreements and will ascertain our authority to appear into the matter,” airport CEO Elliott Summey explained after the conference.

Though Gilliard is the public encounter of what he thinks could be a even larger difficulty, he emphasised his ask for is about safeguarding the public.

Gilliard has taken actions a phase further.

As a lawmaker, he has filed a invoice that calls for rental car organizations to doc via movie recordings the affliction of a auto when it is rented and returned. The monthly bill also requires all signed files and video recordings to be kept on file for at least 3 many years.

He has also known as for the Point out Regulation Enforcement Division to investigate auto rental companies.

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