Florida’s Attorney General has settled her office’s lawsuit against the Dollar and Thrifty rental car companies over misleading toll fees, requiring the companies refund customers and better disclose its fees.
The allegations against Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, the companies' parent group, revolved around how they charged their rental car customers who passed through cashless tolls.
The companies charged a $15 fee each time, up to a maximum $105. And an optional service, known as PlatePass, cost $10.49 for each day of the rental period, regardless of whether a customer went through a toll or not.
Customers who rented a car from Dollar or Thrifty between Jan. 1, 2011 and Jan. 7, 2019, and were misled about the fees can file a claim with the Attorney General’s Office for a full or partial refund.
All claims must be filed by July 6. You can view the claim form here.
Customers who have already filed complaints with the Office of the Attorney General, the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are already in the system and do not have to file a claim.
“Companies owe it to their consumers to be upfront about all of their services and the prices and fees that accompany them," Attorney General Ashley Moody said. “This case not only affected Floridians, but people visiting Florida from all over the country.”
The Florida Attorney General’s Office started investigating the companies in 2010, following a flood of complaints from tourists. And in 2017, it settled similar cases with Avis, Budget and Payless.
Under the terms of the settlement, Dollar and Thrifty’s parent company admits no wrongdoing and denies that it acted deceptively or unfairly. The company will pay the Attorney General’s Office $330,000 as well.
Also as part of the agreement, Dollar and Thrifty must clearly disclose its toll fees and PlatePass fees on the company websites, confirmation emails and on signs at rental counters.
Dollar and Thrifty must also explain how consumers can avoid the charges.