South Florida

Man Disputes Age-Related Car Rental Surcharge

He may be in his early 90s, but Jeshaye Rosenberg doesn't let age slow him down.

"He's an independent person, lives on his own," Jake Feldman said about his father-in-law.

Jake said Jeshaye frequently travels to his condo in Miami Beach.

"He goes down for a week," he said. "Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less."

So when Jeshaye planned to visit South Florida in August of last year, Jake said he helped him out and went online to book a seven-day car rental for him. He made the reservation through Orbitz and even though the website said additional charges may apply for drivers under 25 or over 70, Jake said he made sure to click on the terms and conditions for Right Cars.

He said he confirmed the booking when those terms showed there was no senior surcharge. But when Jeshaye showed up at Fort Lauderdale to pick up the rental, Jake said they mentioned something about a $10 surcharge.

"And he was not going to debate over some $10 charge so he went and signed the credit card charge slip," Jake said.

Jake told NBC 6 Responds his father-in-law has hearing difficulties and didn't realize the additional charge would end up costing him more than what he paid for the entire rental period, until he saw a charge for $129 pop up on his credit card bill.

"I was disappointed," Jake said.

According to Jake, Right Cars told him in an email there seemed to be an error in the terms posted on Orbitz, but the company didn't offer to return the money. Jake said he also contacted Orbitz, tried to dispute the charge with the credit card company and even filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, but nothing worked so he contacted NBC 6 Responds.

"I'd like to see a refund," he said.

After NBC 6 Responds reached out, Orbitz said they contacted the customer and requested to see the rental agreement to confirm the charges were, in fact, the result of a senior driver surcharge. In an email, they said: "…Right Cars confirmed that this surcharge was an error from their staff," adding that Right Cars "…contacted the customer to apologize" and agreed to issue a refund.

Orbitz also explained: "The rental terms & conditions are updated on our site whenever a supplier sends us a revised or updated set of terms & conditions per their policies" and that any changes are updated on a "rolling basis" whenever a company notifies Orbitz.

A person identifying himself as the co-founder and company chairman of Right Cars initially told NBC 6 Responds the charges were correct, pointing to the fact that the Orbitz website said additional charges may apply for drivers under 25 or over 70.

The company did not provide any additional information or clarification after NBC 6 learned a refund had been issued.

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