Monday, October 17, 2011

Ridiculously, Maddening Situation -- I surrender!

Yesterday I was checking something on my American Express bill on line and saw a charge from Dollar Rental Car for $25.40 and I couldn't imagine what it was for.

Not enough for car damage. Not enough for tickets. Too much for a toll -- or so I thought.

Last time I rented a car was in August so I was puzzled. Called Dollar this morning -- the woman was extremely nice, but when she told me what the charge was for, I thought (seriously) she was kidding. It was for a 40 cent toll that now had a $25 penalty. $25 plus 40 cents equals $25.40.

I only have the vaguest of memories of some exit somewhere that ONLY took EZ-pass, or whatever the local equivalent was. She asked me if I wanted to dispute it, and I said no. It really isn't worth the time, and I do believe you can't fight City Hall -- the $25 was NOT a Dollar charge which they might have waived for a customer, but it wasn't theirs.

So then, just to add insult to injury, I am enrolled in a rental car insurance program that American Express has for people who don't have cars and therefore have no primary car insurance. For years, I thought that the "automatic" rental car insurance I got by using a certain credit card covered me... but found out (fortunately NOT the hard way) that it didn't.

The car rental insurance from American Express is $24.95 per rental so it's a good deal if I rent for anything longer than a day or two, but I always get it because, once enrolled in the program, it's automatic. So when American Express's computers see a charge from Dollar Rental Car, it thought I was renting a car and charged me $24.95 for insurance.

Whew. I have to say what kept me from really tearing my hair out over this is that the woman I spoke to at Dollar and the man I spoke to at American Express (which is crediting my account) were so human, so funny, so pleasant that I was laughing about this with each of them.

Moral: Um... uh...try to pay your tolls?? I was thinking that one lesson might be to always have change  because I know many of the exits have no staffed toll booths so you have to pay in coinage.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

It probably was a "cashless" toll booth -- if you don't have EZ pass you are screwed. They are starting to convert the ones in NYC -- Henry Hudson Bridge (that I use) will be first. This will force us to pay the exorbitant EZ pass daily fee at the rental car place, figure out a route without tolls -- or get a fine! Insult to injury, the signs and slogans say this cashless system is for OUR convenience. UGH!