Consumers Upset About High Toll Fees From Rental Companies

A Plano woman received a high toll bill from a rental company and she wants to warn the public about additional fees that others could rake up.

Kimberly Scarlett spends a lot of time behind the wheel commuting all over the state of Texas.

Last year, she made several trips from Plano to Houston.

"A few months after Hurricane Harvey, I knew the rental car companies would be a little more pricey so I went with a rental car company I wasn't familiar with," she said.

Scarlett said she passed through four tolls throughout her trip.

But earlier this year, she got a bill from the rental company that she said made no sense at all.

Her toll charges came out to $66.50.

"I was shocked because I knew how much I travel, what my tolls are usually accrued at for each city that I travel to and it wasn't anywhere near where it should be," she explained. 

Each toll amount was under $2, but along with each charge came an administration fee of $15 charged by the rental company.

"They did not explain in detail what these are or why they charge them," said Scarlett.

When she called the rental car company, she said a representative redirected her to the rental agreement.

Problem is, she already threw it away.

"They said that I had signed the contract declining a flat rate of $8.50 that would have been the charge if I had accepted it," she said.

Scarlett is like dozens of consumers in North Texas filing complaints with the Better Business Bureau.

"A simple roll road can cost you a significant amount of money," said BBB President Claire Rosenzweig.

Planning is essential when it comes to road trips.

So before you head out, utilize online maps and toll trackers.

Then, go to that toll road authority's website for options to pay for crossings.

And when renting a car, Rosenzweig said consumers need to be sure that they ask about what their policies are regarding cashless toll roads and ask to point it out to you on the contract because it's usually hard to find.

Also, do your homework, because fees vary.

Avis and Budget charge $3.95 a day for each day of your rental after crossing your first electronic toll, up to a maximum of $19.75.  But you do have the option of using your own personal toll device.

Hertz also says you can use your personal transponder. If you don't, and you drive through an electronic toll, they'll charge $4.95 a day with no maximum.

Thrifty says if you opt out of their toll program and drive through an electronic toll, you'll be charged the toll and a $15 administration fee each time.

They also say that "personal transponders may not transfer to the rental vehicle and you will be charged a toll violation."

Scarlett said she filed a complaint with the BBB and the rental company quickly responded.

She said they ended up adjusting her bill, removing the admin fees. Her new bill is $6.50.

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