‘Just stealing money’: Man says Avis charged him $4K on less than $300 car rental

ATLANTA — A Georgia man has been battling with a rental car giant for five months over thousands of dollars in rental fees for what was only a one-day trip.

Avis claimed he kept the car 10 days longer than he agreed to.

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James Hagerman called Channel 2 consumer investigator Justin Gray for help after the store at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport charged him more than $4,000 on what was supposed to cost less than $300.

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Hagerman said that after he disputed the extra charges, Avis representatives pulled the surveillance video of the lot at the airport and confirmed that he dropped the car off within 24 hours. But they still refused to refund all of the extra charges.

That is, until Channel 2 Action News stepped in.


Hagerman said he just followed the instructions when he dropped a rental car off at the airport in February. It was supposed to be a $295 24-hour rental. Hagerman was bringing his brother’s belongings back to Georgia from Chicago after he suddenly died earlier this year.

“Within 16 hours, we had returned it,” Hagerman said.

But two weeks later, Hagerman got charged $4,000 more than he was expecting on his credit card.

“The $4,000, they said, ‘That’s for the extra days you kept it,’” Hagerman said.

Avis claimed that Hagerman kept the car for an extra 10 days, but it was after he disputed that that things got really crazy. Days later, Avis told Hagerman they checked the surveillance video and saw that he did return the car. But they told him they still were only going to return half of his money, charging him more than $2,000 for the 24-hour trip.

“It’s theft,” Hagerman said. “I mean, they’re just stealing money. That’s all it is.”

On top of that, weeks later, Avis sent Hagerman a letter saying they were adding another $450 charge because the car was allegedly dirty.

Hagerman has been fighting unsuccessfully with Avis for five months to no avail. But once Channel 2 Action News got involved, Avis finally paid attention.

Hagerman got his money back on Monday. Avis issued a statement to Channel 2 Action News saying,

“Based on a review of events, Avis Budget Group has contacted Mr. Hagerman to apologize. We have refunded the cleaning fee and tolls and adjusted the rental fee.”

A vice president at the company called Hagerman promising to pay back everything including his credit card interest.

Hagerman said this has been so frustrating because, while dealing with a family tragedy they rented the car for, he had to spend five months battling Avis.