Proving the rental company wrong — reader success story

Sep 18, 2019

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Today I want to share a story from TPG reader Christy, who got rid of an erroneous charge after a recent car rental:

I rented a car from Hertz at Logan Airport in Boston, and when I looked at my receipt after returning, I noticed a $50 charge for “Fuel and Service.” I called customer service to ask about the charge, and they told me it was applied because I had returned the vehicle without a full tank of gas.

Of course, that was not true, as I had completely refueled the car at a gas station about three miles from the airport immediately before I dropped it off. Fortunately, I still had the receipt from the gas station, and the customer service rep said I could email it to Hertz and they would refund the $50. I did so, and the refund posted to my credit card two days later. Save your gas station receipts, folks!

Gas receipts aren’t the only documentation worth saving when you rent a car: I recommend keeping receipts for any tolls you pay in cash, which has spared me in the past from charges added by the rental company due to an overzealous transponder. You should also hang on to your rental agreement in case there’s a dispute about other facets of your trip (like whether you had unlimited mileage or opted in to renting a GPS unit). In particular, you should save the damage report (and your own pictures) from your pre-rental walkthrough in case the rental company later tries to hold you responsible for damage caused by someone else.

Beyond rental cars, you should always hold on to baggage claim tickets (in case your bags are misplaced) and boarding passes (to protect your personal information and to address questions about your reservation). You should also keep receipts from all your purchases until they post to your account; having a record of your transaction will be critical in the event that you get charged the wrong amount. I think it’s best to keep hard copies of all these items, but you can take pictures or scan them instead if the amount of paper seems overwhelming.

Related: The five steps to a perfect car rental

I love this story and I want to hear more like it! In appreciation for sharing this experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending Christy a gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I’d like to do the same for you. Please email your own award travel success stories to; be sure to include details about how you earned and redeemed your rewards, and put “Reader Success Story” in the subject line. Feel free to also submit your most woeful travel mistakes. If your story is published, we’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure. Due to the volume of submissions, we can’t respond to each story individually, but we’ll be in touch if yours is selected.

Safe and happy travels to all, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Featured photo by ablokhin/Getty Images.

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