McCollum reaches toll settlement with Hertz

Keith Loria Dec. 3, 2010, 2:30am


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum announced on Friday that his office has settled with a major car rental company that allegedly failed to properly inform its customers about its terms for toll pass usage.

The Hertz Corporation provides a service known as "Plate Pass," which allows car rental customers to avoid long lines at Florida toll plazas and instead charges the amount of the tolls and a fee for using the feature.

McCollum alleged that Hertz changed its pricing model in Feb. 2009, billing customers a $2.50 charge a day for the remainder of the rental period if the customer used the feature just once. McCollum called the practice unfair as Hertz didn't notify its customers clearly.

Even when Hertz capped the applicable fee at $10 in Nov. 2009, the company allegedly failed to clearly lay out the terms.

After customers complained to McCollum's office, Hertz cooperated with his inquiries and, in March, made voluntary changes to clearly disclose the rules of the service. Now, once the Plate Pass is used, customers will be charged a daily fee for the use of the plate pass, including days the Plate Pass is not used.

Under terms of the settlement, all customers who rented cars from Hertz in Florida between Feb. 9, 2009-March 31 are eligible for refunds for "Plate Pass" fees that were charged when the program wasn't used.

Hertz must also continue informing customers that they will be billed, even for days on which they do not use the service, in a clear manner.

Hertz has also agreed to make a contribution of $10,000 to the Florida Law Enforcement Officer of the Year fund.

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