Double credit card charge for single rental car booking

When Wayne Mostek rents a car in Portugal through Rentalcars.com, two extensions and two credit cards equal a double-payment problem.

Question: We booked a Hertz rental car for ten days through Rentalcars.com starting at the Lisbon, Portugal, airport on November 8, 2015. On November 18, we extended the rental for an additional nine days.

We spoke to a Hertz agent about the extension and were told it was okay to extend through Rentalcars.com. The new return date was November 27, and the charge of $342 was billed to our American Express card.

On November 27, we extended the rental four additional days through the Hertz office in Portamal, Portugal. When we returned the car to the Lisbon airport on Dec. 1, we were presented with a final bill of 629 euros. I assumed the charges from Rentalcars.com had not been processed on our American Express card, so we put this amount on our Visa card.

We paid for this rental twice — once through Hertz and again through Rentalcars.com.

Rentalcars.com and Hertz do not seem to have any communication with one another. It would seem to be easily resolved if they simply talked to each other and recognized the mistake.

We ultimately paid $697 to Hertz and $641 to Rentalcars.com. We have sent numerous emails, faxed all pertinent documents to American Express, Visa, Rentalcars.com and Hertz, and had many email and phone conversations since we started this dispute 6 months ago. Can you help us get a refund?

Thank you for your help and consideration. — Wayne Mostek, Roseville, Minn.

Answer: I’m sorry this issue between Hertz and Rentalcars.com dragged on for so long. Dealing with credit card disputes involving domestic transactions is difficult enough. I can imagine the additional hoops you had to jump through with foreign offices and currencies involved.

You originally posted your story in our Forums, asking if any of our advocates had idea that could help you get this problem resolved. Our advocates quickly responded.

Several advocates asked if you had filed a dispute with your credit card companies, which you had. Both American Express and Visa denied your disputes. Neither Hertz nor Rentalcars.com was willing to refund the charges, and you were encouraged to appeal the decision by American Express.

The fact that you disputed the charges with both American Express and Visa could have been why your disputes were denied. It’s highly unlikely the two companies would negotiate which one refunds your money and which one keeps it. Disputes with Hertz and Rentalcars.com were likely refused for the same reason — one of the two companies needs to be paid for the rental, and neither is going to be willing to give up the money. If this happens again, I suggest starting the dispute process early with only one company, and if the dispute is denied, then appeal to the other company.

One of our advocates also asked if you were certain the charges were for exactly the same services, and suggested you look into the details more carefully. Following her suggestion, you used the executive contacts we make available on our website for Hertz.

The representative who responded to your email informed you that the charges levied by the Hertz office in Portamal, Portugal, and charged to your Visa card were for insurance charges, which you neither requested nor wanted. You pointed out to the Hertz contact that your contract with Rentalcars.com indicated that all extensions of the rental should go through Rentalcars.com, and that the contract showed you declined the insurance coverage.

It might have helped if you had presented a copy of your Rentalcars.com contract when you returned the car to the Hertz office in Lisbon. Pointing out to them at that time that you should not be charged anything additional might have saved you a lot of trouble.

Hertz refunded you $532 for the insurance you didn’t want, and you consider this a closed case. We consider this a win for our Forum advocates, and so do you:

I have been working on this issue since December of 2015 and thanks to you this was resolved in two days. This is one fabulous website. Thanks to everyone for their comments and for all the links this site provides.

We are glad we could help.

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