Avis Budget Group is a leading global provider of car rental and car-sharing services, operating two of the most recognized brands in the industry. The company operates in more than 180 countries, with 10,000 rental locations worldwide. The company settled charges that it charged renters undisclosed costs for electronic toll payments by agreeing to pay $45 million. This settlement is a great example of Avis Budget Group’s commitment to upholding customer service standards and providing a great experience to its customers.
This proposed settlement is a result of the lawsuit brought by plaintiffs Dawn Valli and Anton S. Dubinsky, who both claimed they were charged hidden fees without being informed of the policy. In addition to the fines they received, Valli was also charged a $30 handling fee, and Dubinsky was charged a $490 fine and a $30 administrative fee.
The lawsuit also named American Traffic Solutions (ATS) as a defendant, alleging that the company was involved in helping Avis charge customers for traffic fines. Avis tried to get the lawsuit thrown out, but U.S. District Judge Claire Cecchi said no because Valli’s claims were strong enough and Avis’ rental agreements didn’t make their policies clear.
Avis Budget Group doesn’t agree with any of the accusations, but it agrees to the settlement so that there won’t be any more lawsuits.
If you are a U.S. resident who rented an Avis or Budget vehicle from a company-owned location in the U.S. from April 1, 2007, through December 31, 2015, you may be eligible to receive a payment from a class action settlement.
This includes individuals who paid e-Toll-Related Charges, such as e-Toll-Related Service Fees (a.k.a. convenience fees) and e-Toll-Related Toll Differential (the difference, if any, between the amount charged for a toll and the amount paid by HTA to a toll authority for the customer’s incurred toll).
The class period for Florida, Texas, and Colorado rental transactions is March 2, 2009–December 31, 2015.
Under the terms of the settlement, Avis Budget Group will pay $22 million in cash and another $23 million in rental credits that can be used to pay for future rentals. Those who submit valid claims could receive up to $35 in cash or up to $70 in credit.
The settlement also requires Avis Budget Group to make changes to their electronic toll payment policies. This includes providing customers with better disclosure of their electronic toll payment options, such as daily rate details and sign-up bonuses.
For individuals, the average payment ranges from $9 to $46, and here is the breakdown: