ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- A local couple wants answers after a rental car company charged them for damages to a car that they did not rent.
When Victor and Darlene Bowman decided to celebrate their one-year anniversary with an overseas trip to France, they never imagined that some of the most memorable photos, were the ones they took of their rental car.
The Bowman’s rented a car at the Nice airport, but when they went to their assigned parking space, they say the car had already been driven away by another customer.
“As we were approaching the car the lot was blank, empty. Somebody was actually driving off,” the Bowman’s told CBS46’s Better Call Harry.
When an employee for Budget assigned a replacement car, the Bowman’s took a precaution that every rental car customer should take. They took pictures of the exterior, documenting any prior damage.
After touring the French Riviera, they returned the car and once again took photos of the vehicle before placing the keys in a drop box.
Days later, the Bowman’s received a $158 bill for damages. They also received a picture clearly showing damages to a black car versus the red car they were assigned.
Victor Bowman showed a photo, “If you look at this color it appears totally dark…that's a black car compared to this photo which is a red car.”
Despite the pictures, the Bowman’s say Avis Budget group held them liable for charges, until the couple contacted CBS46’s Better Call Harry. After providing a media representative with the photos, the company reversed the charges and offered the couple an apology and a free rental car for their next trip.
Better Call Harry encourages rental car customers to take pictures or video of the car both before and after the return to avoid unnecessary charges.