Rental Car Company Under Investigation For Not Returning Deposits

A rental car company with hundreds of customer complaints is now under investigation in two states.

NBC 6 Responds first started looking into Executive Car Rental, Inc. after a customer called us and reported she had waited weeks for the company to return a $250 deposit.

Terri Banks rented a car from the company’s Fort Lauderdale location in September. The company has a total of 16 locations in Michigan and Florida. She says the rental experience was not a problem at first.

“The car was fine, it was a new car. There was not a problem with the car,” Terri said. But her problem started when she waited to get back her deposit.

She says when she rented the car she was told by an employee she would receive it within 10 days of returning the vehicle. By the time she called NBC 6 Responds she says she had waited more than a month for the money to be returned to her account.

When we looked online, we found reviews filled with complaints like hers. One renter wrote, “It's been 5 months, can I please have my deposit?” Another saying, “18 Business days later and still no refund on my deposit.”

In January, the Michigan attorney general’s office sent a notice of intended action and a cease and desist order to the car rental company. The Michigan attorney general’s office says they have received more than 400 complaints and that “Many of the department’s concerns relate to damage deposits of $250 or more that were allegedly not returned timely. In some instances, deposits were either not returned or were withheld for allegedly questionable reasons.”

Since putting the company on notice, a spokesperson with the Michigan attorney general’s office sent us this update stating “Executive Car Rental has responded to the notice of intended action. Monday, Feb. 4, Michigan Attorney General staff met with Executive Car Rental’s owner and attorney for two hours. It was a productive conversation and the parties are exploring the potential for an assurance agreement that will address consumer concerns while improving the company’s business operations. More information will be forthcoming following further negotiations.”

We reached out to the Florida attorney general’s office to find out if they were also looking into the company. A spokesperson told us by email, “Since January 2018, we have received more than 160 complaints about Executive Car Rental. We currently have an active consumer protection investigation.”

After stopping by the company’s Fort Lauderdale location, we received a phone call from CEO Mark Waad. He told us over the phone that he had been in touch with Michigan officials and that he was personally looking into the operations at all Florida locations. He blamed many complaints on the miscommunication of the company’s policies and acknowledged the company is dealing with a customer service issue.

Terri says she was not able to get her money back after repeated phone calls to the company.

“I needed to get that money and put it back into my account,” Banks said. But a week after we called the company, the money was back in her account. She thinks the company should pay back deposits like other companies do.

“As soon as you turn the car back in they only charge you what the rental was and the rest of that deposit just drops off or the authorization drops off your credit card,” she said.

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