How car rental companies are stealing your money | New York Post:
"Today I’m going to help car rental companies steal more of your money.
Why would I do such a thing?
Because I don’t think the companies are being creative enough with the existing charges they sneak into the fine print of their contracts.
And also because I’ve been traveling a little lately and have become aware of deficiencies in the companies’ duplicity.
Let me explain. I recently got a letter from a reader who had the audacity to look at the fine, smudged print on his Avis contract.
Then he made me read it.
“The $21-a-day rate for three days — $63 before sales tax — becomes $83.03 before sales tax.
Note the security fee, the energy recovery fee and finally the battery fee,” the reader wrote to me.
Ah, but even those pesky fees didn’t bring the renter anywhere close to the net cost of the three-day trip.
There was also the fee that was listed as “Veh License Recoup 0.80/DY” — which turned out to be an 80-cent-a-day fee to help Avis pay for the cars’ paperwork — and the more mysterious fee just listed as “FTP SR$ 1.00/DY.”
What, I asked, could that be?
Well it turns out that Avis — and probably other companies, too — add a surcharge (SR) of $1 a day to pay for its Frequent Traveler Program (FTP).
After I inquired and Avis sent me some more fine print, I learned that the company “will assess a frequent flyer surcharge equivalent to 75 cents a day” (except when it’s $1 a day).
“The amount assessed is collected by Avis to offset a portion of Avis’ annual cost of participation in frequent flyer programs.”
Really, don’t you think this is brilliant?
Customers are charged for frequent traveler points even if they never use them..."