Australian watch dog to investigate ‘potentially unlawful’ car hire costs
Budget car rental has been accused of unfairly demanding tens of thousands of dollars from customers who have had hire cars stolen.
Pilbara Resources Group director Scott Dryland said the vehicle hire company are chasing him for more than $40,000 after a rental car was stolen from his business.
“They are denying liability and they have given me a bill … for $41,286.”
Budget claims PRG breached the contract for the car because he did not have the keys on his person, despite the keys being kept inside a locked key box, in a locked office.
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A similar incident happened to a woman holidaying in Broome, who was asked to hand over nearly $25,000 after her hire car was stolen and torched.
Consumer Protection director of retail and services Trish Blake said they’ll be having a chat to Budget.
“They didn’t invite the theft into their villa, they didn’t invite the theft into their office, they had control over those spaces, so in our interpretation they had control over the keys,” she said.
“At face value from what we can see we need to have a further investigation.”
She said Consumer Protection will investigate if the issue is prevalent across other car hire businesses.
“If this is a standard term and condition, then we will be reaching out to all of them and letting them know we don’t agree with this interpretation and that we think it is potentially unlawful.
“We will be engaging with all of them to make sure that we protect the consumers rights in this process.”
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