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


A point out lawmaker is inquiring Charleston airport officials to investigate the procedures of vehicle rental businesses following he was billed more than $21,000 for automobile destruction he stated he by no means brought on.

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

An airport digital camera recording showed Gilliard returned the Lincoln MKZ in what he named “mint ailment” in January, and an Avis Finances Team worker then took the car out for what the legislator named “a pleasure trip” that resulted in damages. 

Rep. Wendell Gilliard

Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, is searching for modifications to rental vehicle companies’ polices right after an incident at Charleston Worldwide Airport. File/Brad Nettles/Staff

Simply because Gilliard was the very last recorded driver of the car or truck when it was returned, he gained the monthly bill for the wrecked motor vehicle a few months later on.

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

He ultimately acquired it straightened out, but not in advance of currently being harassed to pay back up or risk his credit rating ranking becoming adversely influenced.

“It was like battling a lion,” Gilliard stated.

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Just after reviewing the online video proof, the New Jersey-primarily based rental vehicle company fired the employee.

“Avis Budget Team terminated the work of the employee accountable and has apologized to Rep. Gilliard for the billing error,” a rental auto spokeswoman explained to The Post and Courier.

“We have reviewed the unusual and exceptional instances that led to this error and our procedures, and have undertaken a review of process improvements to keep away from a similar miscalculation in the long term,” the enterprise agent reported.

The rental car or truck company did not say if the former staff would have to spend for the damages.

Gilliard is not the only just one who was caught up in remaining billed by the rental auto company to fork out 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, 3 times before Gilliard’s incident. She stated it was free of charge of problems, but she later on received a bill for approximately $2,800.

Borreson, who did not talk at the meeting, explained in an e-mail that she disputed the claim and it was dismissed.

Gilliard needs the Aviation Authority to review damage promises produced by way of rental vehicle organizations operating at the airport for the earlier five years.

“If you are renting out room to scammers, I am hoping there is some thing with disciplinary motion,” he mentioned. “If we you should not do anything now, the scamming and ripoffs will go on.”

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

“We make it a practice to comply with condition law and seem at rental vehicle and licensing agreements and will establish our authority to appear into the issue,” airport CEO Elliott Summey claimed following the meeting.

Even though Gilliard is the community facial area of what he thinks could be a larger dilemma, he emphasized his ask for is about preserving the general public.

Gilliard has taken measures a phase further more.

As a lawmaker, he has submitted a monthly bill that necessitates rental car corporations to document by means of video recordings the condition of a car or truck when it is rented and returned. The bill also necessitates all signed documents and video recordings to be kept on file for at the very least a few yrs.

He has also named for the State Legislation Enforcement Division to investigate auto rental businesses.

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