Six months later, Dollar wants me to pay $808

Talk about a late bill.

Six months ago, Les Baker rented a car from Dollar Rent A Car in St. Louis. The car experienced a “mechanical problem” and wouldn’t start. Now, the car rental company wants him to pay $808 for alleged damage to the vehicle.

If he doesn’t pay up, it threatened to report him to a collection agency.

“I thought I paid the rental then,” he says. “Can a car rental company demand payment six months after a rental and threaten to take me to collections?”

Actually, yes.

In an email to Baker, Dollar explained what went wrong:

While I agree that it may seem unprofessional to have not communicated for six months, the fact remains that there are outstanding bills associated with this account. By the time we received all of the invoices, your credit card had expired so I believe that may have had something to do with it.

As you can see from what I sent you, the car did not have a mechanical problem. The car was disabled due to having diesel fuel pumped into the car.

I discussed this with my service manager who went out to retrieve the vehicle and they could smell the diesel fuel odor that was coming from the fuel filling door. We also have a sample of the diesel fuel that had to be drained from the tank, after the vehicle had to be towed, per the invoices I sent you.

Unfortunately, I can’t discount invoices that we were forced to pay on account of this rental. I can remove one day off of the rental charges for the delay in bringing this to your attention, which would bring the bill down to $741.04.

This case set off all kinds of alarms, of course. Why had it taken six months to figure out the car was damaged? What was it doing in the meantime — sitting in a parking lot? Why couldn’t Dollar show Baker an invoice for the repair? And most importantly, why was the car rental company being so aggressive?

Here’s the latest email it sent him:

Since I have not heard back from you nor have I received your payment that we had agreed to of $741.04, this will be my last attempt to collect your unpaid balance. If I don’t hear from you by next Tuesday, then this settlement offer will expire and I will be forwarding this matter to our collection agency, Khoury Alternative Claims.

At that point, they will pursue the full amount due plus loss of use and administrative fees which you agreed to when you signed our rental agreement.

Come on.

I heard back from a Dollar Rent a Car rep after several attempts to reach someone there to get the company’s side of the story.

Here’s an excerpt from the lengthy rebuttal:

We agree that it should not have taken this long to rectify this issue with Mr. Baker. As was explained to him in our initial contact, we were auditing for our year-end and discovered that this rental had not been paid.

We are installing procedures that will keep this from happening. We think part of the reason this could happen was that we were waiting to receive the repair invoices for the associated costs, and by the time we had them all in hand, his credit card had expired.

Obviously it somehow fell through the cracks, but we do not feel that because of this that we should not be reimbursed for the rental costs nor our expenses to restore the vehicle to its pre-rental condition.

The way Dollar sees it, it rented him a brand-new vehicle with just 33 miles on it. It had to be towed after he drove 367 miles.

It added,

There was a diesel odor that could be smelled outside the vehicle after it would not start. A diesel-gasoline mixture was drained from the fuel tank. We incurred expenses of $445.45 to retrieve the vehicle and restore it to its pre-rental condition.

What’s more, Dollar says Baker never paid his rental bill.

“If he can show a charge then we will gladly drop that portion of our claim,” a representative said.

Baker has reluctantly agreed to pay $741. But he’s not happy.

“I consider this commercial extortion,” he says.

I see his point. Now, I’m not saying the Dollar charges are without merit. But it needs to show him a repair invoice in a timely manner.

Baker needs a friend in the Missouri legislature who can draft a law that prevents car rental companies from billing customers six months after a rental. Really, there ought to be a law against that kind of thing.

Is Dollar's late bill a scam?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by

With nearly 20 years in the industry, over 128 airport covered in the U.S. and Canada, and over 1,000 Hotel and Parking Partners-we provide travelers the best options on how to get to the airport when flying. Whether you want to; drive yourself and park near an Airport (Airport Parking), stay the night before your flight at an airport hotel and leave your car (Hotel and Parking Package), or take a shared Shuttle/Private Car/Limo to the Airport- we got you covered. The best deals can be found online, and booking a reservation has never been easier. You can explore all of our options by visiting us at,,, and

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Generali Global Assistance

Generali Global Assistance has been a leading provider of travel insurance and other assistance services for more than 25 years. We offer a full suite of innovative, vertically integrated travel insurance and emergency services. Generali Global Assistance is part of The Europ Assistance (EA) Group, who pioneered the travel assistance industry in 1963 and continues to be the leader in providing real-time assistance anywhere in the world, delivering on our motto – You Live, We Care.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners

Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by

Since its inception over three decades ago, G1G has continued to revolutionize the travel insurance industry by being the only aggregator to operate a customer portal, placing all of the user's primary needs in one place. We have continued to innovate and disrupt the market by reimagining the way travel insurance can be delivered to the end user in ways no competition can. Simply put, no one knows the market as well as its founders and no one else shares G1G values and mission.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

VisitorsCoverage is one of the world’s most trusted providers of travel insurance for millions of global travelers in over 175 countries. Working with top-rated travel insurance partner providers, VisitorsCoverage’s award-winning search, compare and purchase technology simplifies the travel insurance process and finds the best deals for the coverage you need to explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at VisitorsCoverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International,, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.

Send this to a friend