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Car rental scam alert #42746
03/01/2015 03:47 PM
03/01/2015 03:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,764
Quebec
kish Offline OP
Traveler
kish  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,764
Quebec
With permission of Debbie Jacobsen Korotkin, I am sharing a post that she made on another site concerning a car rental she made in SXM. I thought it would be good info for everyone on this board. I only know what she posted so cannot answer any questions. This is FYI.

"I feel it is necessary to warn you about a scam/extortion. We went to return our rental car (Budget) and were informed we were involved in a hit and run in Philipsburg the day before. We were not even there. They said witnesses came forward with our license plate. They said they had pictures. We said "fine- show us, because we weren't there." The picture was of a SUV with the side pushed in. We had a tiny Toyota Yaris, and we had not a scratch on it. They said the guy we hit was an important man and he was coming over with his car. Meanwhile, we had to catch our plane. The guy, XXXXXXXXX, came over, and low and behold the dent in the SUV didn't even line up with the bumper of our car. They said they would not call the police if we paid. We told them to call the police. We then googled XXXXXXXX and found XXXXXXXXXXXX (edit as the information was incorrect). We called our attorney who told us to call Budget US Headquarters and the St. Maarten Police. The former is investigating. The latter said this scam is not uncommon, but they would not take a complaint over the phone- we had to come in! We took tons of photos, so we have that. Please watch out and be aware of this!"

The original information was incorrect and has been removed.

Last edited by Eric_Hill; 03/02/2015 11:31 AM.
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Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: kish] #42747
03/01/2015 04:17 PM
03/01/2015 04:17 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 221
Kansas City Missouri
kccouple Offline
Traveler
kccouple  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 221
Kansas City Missouri
We had trouble with budget years ago. said we had broken a tail light...we protested and they finally relented. never went to them again.

Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: kish] #42748
03/01/2015 04:18 PM
03/01/2015 04:18 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 57
M
Mpant Offline
Traveler
Mpant  Offline
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M
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 57
Why do any of the major carriers allow these scams to go on
Bad business

Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: Mpant] #42749
03/01/2015 04:32 PM
03/01/2015 04:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 12,963
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
Traveler
ruralcarrier  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 12,963
Ohio
They are not the same as the "major carriers" as in the US. This is why so many long-time visitors use local rental guys.


J.D.
Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: ruralcarrier] #42750
03/01/2015 06:03 PM
03/01/2015 06:03 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 369
San Antonio
sumbeach Offline
Traveler
sumbeach  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 369
San Antonio
We have used Lesley (Kennys) and Michael (Unity) numerous times with nothing but good results. In January I backed over something and ruined a tire (totally my fault). I was expecting a couple of hundred bucks - Michael got the tire for $69. Not sure if I could have gotten it that cheap at home.


Dan
Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: Mpant] #42751
03/01/2015 06:39 PM
03/01/2015 06:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 7,562
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Online content
Traveler
SXMScubaman  Online Content
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 7,562
Auburn, WA
Quote
Mpant said:
Why do any of the major carriers allow these scams to go on
Bad business

They are not really the same. Hertz for instance is locally owned but is called Hertz SXM and is not part pf Hertz in the USA. Budget is probably the same but not really sure.

Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: SXMScubaman] #42752
03/01/2015 06:51 PM
03/01/2015 06:51 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
Traveler
sail2wind  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
We are using Kenny's in April. Thanks for the good news

Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: sail2wind] #42753
03/01/2015 06:57 PM
03/01/2015 06:57 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,995
sebastian florida
silverfox82 Offline
Traveler
silverfox82  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,995
sebastian florida
If I recall correctly Thrifty was charging for "excess sand" in the car, seriously! I took the advise of this board and only rent from local companies and have never had a problem, thanks for the heads up about Budget.

Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: silverfox82] #42754
03/01/2015 07:07 PM
03/01/2015 07:07 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 612
Florida
W
wilsonck Offline
Traveler
wilsonck  Offline
Traveler
W
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 612
Florida
I'm surprised the major companies allow stuff like this to happen. As Franchisees of these companies, they should do more to protect their brands and reputations.

Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: kish] #42755
03/01/2015 07:35 PM
03/01/2015 07:35 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,141
Greensboro, NC
charlieh Offline
Traveler
charlieh  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,141
Greensboro, NC
This is indeed useful info.

Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: charlieh] #42756
03/01/2015 08:15 PM
03/01/2015 08:15 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,340
South East US, Carolinas coast
sailn Offline
Traveler
sailn  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 1,340
South East US, Carolinas coast
its called messing in their nests.

Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: charlieh] #42757
03/01/2015 08:20 PM
03/01/2015 08:20 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 269
mikeandsandy Offline
Traveler
mikeandsandy  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 269
If you cannot rent a vehicle from the Company website, it's probably no affiliated, as in, St Martin Budget is probably simply infringing on Budgets copyright. I call National a number of years ago to rent a car - was told they do not have cars in st Martin - surprised when I walked out of the airport and saw a National booth - not affiliated with the Company. If a business will steal a name, would you expect the run their business honestly?

Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: mikeandsandy] #42758
03/01/2015 08:27 PM
03/01/2015 08:27 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 11
F
filet2u2 Offline
Traveler
filet2u2  Offline
Traveler
F
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 11
We are rented from them on Thursday .. this concerns me and I called budget they said they have no record of it...Keep me posted.

Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: mikeandsandy] #42759
03/01/2015 08:32 PM
03/01/2015 08:32 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 1,597
Sint Maarten
transplantsxm Offline
Traveler
transplantsxm  Offline
Traveler
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 1,597
Sint Maarten
Quote
mikeandsandy said:
If you cannot rent a vehicle from the Company website, it's probably no affiliated, as in, St Martin Budget is probably simply infringing on Budgets copyright. I call National a number of years ago to rent a car - was told they do not have cars in st Martin - surprised when I walked out of the airport and saw a National booth - not affiliated with the Company. If a business will steal a name, would you expect the run their business honestly?


Is totally the norm on Sint Maarten. Kay's Jewelers is not the US Kay's, Starbucks was not Starbucks (closed by litigation from Starbucks), and many similar name rip-offs like "Office World", Seven-Alive (also renamed after litigation from Seven-11), lot's of gray market goods in electronics and the list goes on and on.

Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: transplantsxm] #42760
03/01/2015 09:22 PM
03/01/2015 09:22 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 11,584
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 11,584
Brookfield, CT.
Quote
transplantsxm said:
Quote
mikeandsandy said:
If you cannot rent a vehicle from the Company website, it's probably no affiliated, as in, St Martin Budget is probably simply infringing on Budgets copyright. I call National a number of years ago to rent a car - was told they do not have cars in st Martin - surprised when I walked out of the airport and saw a National booth - not affiliated with the Company. If a business will steal a name, would you expect the run their business honestly?


Is totally the norm on Sint Maarten. Kay's Jewelers is not the US Kay's, Starbucks was not Starbucks (closed by litigation from Starbucks), and many similar name rip-offs like "Office World", Seven-Alive (also renamed after litigation from Seven-11), lot's of gray market goods in electronics and the list goes on and on.


And don't forget the poster child for island name misappropriation - anyone remember Midass Muffler? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: kish] #42761
03/01/2015 09:43 PM
03/01/2015 09:43 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,108
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Tom Offline
Traveler
Tom  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,108
Hershey, Pennsylvania
First, we should all thank the OP for posting a warning. It really helps to know what to watch out for.
A long time ago I learned that the local brand name car rental companies are not affiliated with the US companies. In my case, I was quoted a good price and when we arrived the company had no cars. Had to go to another company and paid through the nose. In fairness to Hertz/USA, they rebated the difference I paid only because their good name was used (or abused) by a SXM company.

Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: wilsonck] #42762
03/01/2015 09:52 PM
03/01/2015 09:52 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 12,963
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
Traveler
ruralcarrier  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 12,963
Ohio
Quote
wilsonck said:
I'm surprised the major companies allow stuff like this to happen. As Franchisees of these companies, they should do more to protect their brands and reputations.


In most cases, they are NOT franchises of what you deal with in the US. You are NOT in the US and sadly, this stuff happens. It doesn't make it right but people need to understand (just like with some of the timeshare mess), you don't have the same protections you do at home.


J.D.
Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: kish] #42763
03/01/2015 11:37 PM
03/01/2015 11:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,481
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
Traveler
islandgem  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,481
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Thanks for this info. It is very sad to hear that some car rental agencies are stooping so low.Hopefully there will not be any more businesses pulling scams like that.

Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: kish] #42764
03/02/2015 07:13 AM
03/02/2015 07:13 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 901
falmouth,MA
wendyk Offline
Traveler
wendyk  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 901
falmouth,MA
I would think this warrants a letter to the editor of the Daily Herald!

Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: ruralcarrier] #42765
03/02/2015 08:58 AM
03/02/2015 08:58 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 888
SXM and NY
ESK Offline
Sponsor
ESK  Offline
Sponsor
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 888
SXM and NY
My car rental site lists seven local companies. I've heard nothing but good news about Michael at Unity and Alain at Triple A.


Erich Kranz
www.SXM-Info.com
Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: ESK] #42766
03/02/2015 09:00 AM
03/02/2015 09:00 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 12,963
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
Traveler
ruralcarrier  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 12,963
Ohio
Correct, deal with local and reputable companies that get mention on here and other good newsletters.

Sometimes what is perceived as the "best" price comes with a high price tag in the end.


J.D.
Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: ruralcarrier] #42767
03/02/2015 09:15 AM
03/02/2015 09:15 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 993
Pittsburgh PA
P
plequerre Offline
Traveler
plequerre  Offline
Traveler
P
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 993
Pittsburgh PA
Quote
ruralcarrier said:
Quote
wilsonck said:
I'm surprised the major companies allow stuff like this to happen. As Franchisees of these companies, they should do more to protect their brands and reputations.


In most cases, they are NOT franchises of what you deal with in the US. You are NOT in the US and sadly, this stuff happens. It doesn't make it right but people need to understand (just like with some of the timeshare mess), you don't have the same protections you do at home.


Exactly!
10 years ago my daughter was victim of a scam pulled by the so-called Budget franchisee in Guatemala and Budget US told her that they had nothing to do with them so they couldn't help.
Luckily, her CC Company reversed the charge amounting to close to $3,000 corresponding to the repairs for an accident she never had, and for which the crooks there forged her rental contract by unchecking the boxes and removed her initials where she took all the insurances.

To all, make sure you keep a copy of the contract you signed with the rental company. Without it, my daughter had no way of proving that the rental contract she signed had been forged.

Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: plequerre] #42768
03/02/2015 10:38 AM
03/02/2015 10:38 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 361
Varysburg, NY
Janma Offline
Traveler
Janma  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 361
Varysburg, NY
Just a thought == when you get your rental car, take pictures, or even a video, with your cellphone of the entire outside of the car. That way you'll have proof of any "damage" done. It may not help if someone claims you damaged their car, but could help if the car rental place claims you did damage to their car.



[Linked Image]
Re: Car rental scam alert [Re: ruralcarrier] #42769
03/02/2015 10:41 AM
03/02/2015 10:41 AM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 612
Florida
W
wilsonck Offline
Traveler
wilsonck  Offline
Traveler
W
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 612
Florida
Quote
ruralcarrier said:
Quote
wilsonck said:
I'm surprised the major companies allow stuff like this to happen. As Franchisees of these companies, they should do more to protect their brands and reputations.


In most cases, they are NOT franchises of what you deal with in the US. You are NOT in the US and sadly, this stuff happens. It doesn't make it right but people need to understand (just like with some of the timeshare mess), you don't have the same protections you do at home.


If they are not franchisees, then how can one go to (for instance) Hertz.com and book a car in SXM? All the major car rental websites let you book a car in SXM, which tells me they are franchisees and should help you in situations where the locals are trying to rip you off.

Last edited by wilsonck; 03/02/2015 10:43 AM.
Re: Car rental scam alert (some info incorrect) [Re: kish] #42770
03/02/2015 11:22 AM
03/02/2015 11:22 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 11,477
Eric_Hill Offline

Traveler
Eric_Hill  Offline

Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 11,477
Some of the information in the original post was incorrect.

The original post about who the individual was and their business was not correct.

We have also been contacted by the other party in the accident and a police report was made/requested. The police contacted the person who left the note, who changed their statement. The individual states that they were not trying to scam anybody but was following up on the note left about the accident. The situation has been resolved as far as the other party is concerned.

As a result of this new information we are closing this thread.


Eric Hill
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