ZipCar is among the fastest growing self serve rental car companies in America. Mr. Ryan Blay (from Illinois) has recently sued the company for allegedly charging customers excessive and hidden fees. Mr. Blay has been a customer of ZipCar since 2007 and states that he has been charged some of these fraudulent fees along with many other individuals who may not even realize it yet. “The Plaintiffs seek to make the suit a class – action proceeding”. ZipCar rents out its vehicles by the hour and/or day in many cities. The company states that they have around 320,000 customers in 28 states, along with its locations in London. Determining the amount of clients this business has, their fraudulent charges of “so – called” improper fees could add up to millions of dollars in damages. The objection against ZipCar claims that they unfairly charged their clients in a discreet way. ZipCar does not send monthly invoices to their customer so many customers are naïve to the fact that they are even paying these charges. Some of the unfair charges include:
Every time a customer calls to speak with a customer service representative, they are charged with a $3.50 charge. This charge is billed to their account even if the client is calling about a problem that cannot be handled through the main website or the automated phone service.
If a customer receives a parking ticket or citation while they are renting the vehicle, they are required to pay the ticket in full plus an additional fee. Both are to be paid even if the ticket was issued in error.
If a client returns the vehicle late, the fee is $50 – $150 per hour. This fee is three times the normal charge for a rental vehicle just for a day.
If the customer forgets an item in the vehicle, they are required to rent the vehicle again for at least an hour unless the customer recovers the item within three hours of returning the rented vehicle.
Upon the situation that a customer has not used the ZipCar service for 12 consecutive months, a fee of $20 will be charged until the customer’s deposit is depleted.
In the suit against the company, it claims that these fees are “arbitrary and capricious” and “disproportionate to the companies actual costs”.