Transcript for BBB issues nationwide warning about Payless Car Rental
We are back with "Gma investigates" Payless car rental. It claims to offer deals at major airports across the country now facing the threat of a class action lawsuit and a new alert from the better business bureau. Gio Benitez here to show what happened when we rented from them. Good morning. Disputed fees, unsafe car, deposits customers never got back what some claim they experienced renting with Payless. Armed with hidden cameras we show you what happened when we rented four separate Payless cars. Take a look. How are you? Reporter: "Gma investigates" undercover renting cars from Payless which claims it can help customers find the best deals on rental cars. How did one of our rentals end up towed after our expert mechanic said it was unsafe to drive. I would tell you, no, you can't drive it. Reporter: We'll come back to that. Let's start with questions about fee, a big part of a proposed class action lawsuit filed after unhappy customers launched a Facebook group claiming they were charged for services they say they didn't want. Payless has used deceptive business practices in order to lure customers into the shop to rent their vehicles. Reporter: Lure customers. Lure customers in and use low rates online to get people to use them over other rental agencies but when you get there they slam you with additional fees. Reporter: Richard Alexander is one of the plaintiffs in that lawsuit. He says he rented a car from Payless in Vegas for a six-day family vacation. His online quote, 217 bucks. He says he was told he was getting a free upgrade. When he returned the car he was shocked. His total now $528 including fees and added insurance. I believe he was told two or three times I did not need this. Reporter: We wanted to try Payless ourselves. "Gma investigates" renting four cars if Payless locations in new York and New Jersey. We take each of our rentals to mechanic Audra Forden for her standard inspection. Three of the four pass the test but the one from JFK -- This is a dangerous tire. They all are. Reporter: She says all four tires are bald and look at these holes. It's a blow-out waiting to happen. Reporter: We call Payless. They tow the car and the manager apologizing giving us a full remupdz. That car should have never gone out repo. Reporter: When we walked wound a reservation at Newark airport specifically saying we don't want extra charges, we notice on the contract there's a $29 per day charge for insurance. You accepted the total. 2 comes with it. Reporter: Look, the contract says that noorgs is optional and we're being charged for roadside service protection. That charge also appears to be optional on the Payless website. With we return we're told it was a manager's special and they took off the insurance our rate would have actually gone up. You take the insurance, you get a cheaper rate. If you don't your rate is three times higher. Reporter: After receiving more than 800 complaints in the last three years, the better business bureau giving Payless the worst possible rating. An "F" rating. An "F" rating so they have sales practice issues and contract issues and billing issues with consumers. Reporter: Today they're warning cosbys nationwide and sending letters to the attorneys general general in four states to urge them to investigate Payless and its parent company Avis. Payless declined our repeated request for an interview and instead sent us a tape, the tire problem you described is highly unusual. Safety is a top priority and we have followed up with the supervisor at that location. Regarding our rentals at Newark, they told us they are investigating to ensure that our employees' statements and conduct always remain consistent with our policies and procedures. And as for the complaints in the lawsuit, the company told us it is unable to comment on pending litigation but you know what, guys, they say when you're at the counter the bbb says you can use your phone, record the conversation with the agent, tell the agent you're recording and then that puts the pressure on. Wow. You have to tell them you're recording. My guess is that would work. A lot more on "Nightline" tonight. That's right. All of you at home get more tips on renting a car on abcnews.com.
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