Man says he was falsely accused of smoking in Turo car rental, sent to collections – WSB-TV Channel 2

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ATLANTA — There’s a new way to rent a car, but some customers find it has some of the same old issues.

Turo is an application that allows you to rent cars from individuals, but Channel 2 investigative journalist Justin Gray spoke to a metro Atlanta man who got into trouble when he was falsely accused of damaging the vehicle.

Josh Demspey found the rental car on Turo, a service that basically functions like an Airbnb for cars. The cars you rent are someone else’s personal vehicle.

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The Canton resident gave the car a five-star review on the app after vacationing in Nevada.

“It was about a week later, I got an email from Turo and they informed me that I had been kicked off the ward for smoking,” Dempsey said.

The Turo host claimed Dempsey left marijuana paraphernalia in the Jeep.

He was not only kicked out of Turo, but also sent to a collection agency on a nearly $300 smoking charge.

“I’m still so upset that they even made these allegations and made a judgment essentially without ever hearing a defense,” he said.

Channel 2 previously reported that Lyft and Uber customers were facing bogus claims of damages.

Lyft tried to charge Paul Bollender $150 for vomiting in a car while vacationing in Nashville.

“The complete and absolute lack of transparency throughout the process was probably the most frustrating part,” Bollender said.

For Dempsey, the dispute with Turo was more about his reputation than the money he felt he had to fight for.

“Do I want to pay $300? I am a teacher. No, every detail matters to me, but am I going to let you attack my character? ” he said.

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Clark Howard, Channel 2 Consumer Advisor gave the same advice as with a traditional care hire company: push back, even if it means you have to go to arbitration or small claims court.

“Administratively, they are the judge, the jury, the prosecutor, and nobody is defending you. You have to defend yourself,” he said.

Turo said customers can protect themselves by documenting the condition of the car when they return it.

Turo said in a statement:

“We have a no-smoking policy to protect our guests’ personal property. We also have a detailed travel photo guide for customers, so they can avoid any complaints. In this case, the host provided photographic evidence of a tobacco offense and the guest had not provided post-trip photos. »

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Turo has now refunded Dempsey and allowed him to return to the app.

A spokesperson told Gray to consider this like renting a U-Haul: Take photos and document it so you can prove the condition of the car when you returned it.

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