Lowcountry lawmaker believes car rental company tried to scam him out of over $20,000

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CHARLESTON COUNTY, South Carolina (WCBD) – A Lowcountry lawmaker said he plans to take legal action against a national car rental service after it charged it for damages it didn’t. had not committed.

State Rep. Wendell Gilliard feels he was scammed by Budget/Avis after billing him for more than $20,000 in damages weeks after returning a rental. He said the car was returned in “new condition”.

After receiving the bill, Rep. Gilliard said he called the Charleston International Airport manager and asked him to investigate the incident.

An incident report from the Charleston County Aviation Authority shows they began investigating an incident on January 27 after security video showed the car, a dark gray Lincoln MKZ with a Florida license plate. , conducted by an Avis/Budget employee.

The dispatcher told authorities they believe the activities of the vehicle in question “appear suspicious” as it was seen driving in and out of old and new parking lots and picking up and dropping off other people in the late afternoon and in the evening.

An employee working at the Avis counter inside the terminal said the vehicle was rented on January 25 and returned just after 3:30 p.m. on January 27.

An Avis Rental Car official told investigators the car was seen on security video used by “what appeared to be an Avis/Budget employee on 1/27/22”. They also believe he was seen parked at the Embassy Suites that same evening.

The vehicle was reported stolen. No other details were provided in the report.

Representative Gilliard said he received an invoice totaling more than $21,199.

“I’m filing a lawsuit on Budget because they’re running a scam on me and God knows who else,” Rep. Gilliard said. “When I returned the car it was in perfect condition, but a few weeks later they billed me for over $20,000 in damage.”

Representative Gilliard said he believed that had he not called the airport manager to investigate, the incident would have ruined his credit and reputation.

News 2 has contacted Budget/Avis for more information. A representative told counton2.com they are investigating the matter.


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