Always remember to check the state of a vehicle you rented and are now returning. You will be charged a ridiculously high fee for cleaning if you return it in a poor state.
That being said, we had loads of people who didn’t bother. I would usually refund the fee if the station didn’t bother to take pictures as per protocol, but the pictures I have seen will haunt me for life. Apart from the usual dirt and sand where there were beaches, I’ve seen pictures of gum and chocolate stuck on seats, vomit, and lots and lots of animal hair.
People would call and complain about the charge saying ”it wasn’t that bad”. If I didn’t have pictures, I would waive the fees since I didn’t have time to deal with every complaint (majorly understaffed). However, if I did have the pictures, I would straight up send them to the customer and tell them to look at them and tell me what they think of the car. Most people would continue to complain saying they still didn’t think it was that bad. I pity their homes.
But this lady was great.
C: I’m seeing a charge on my invoice that is not correct and I want you to tell me what it is for.
Me: Oh, it seems that is for cleaning of the vehicle. I’m sure you were told that you need to bring back the car in the same state you received it. I will check the notes from the staff at the station to make sure there weren’t any misunderstandings.
C: This is ridiculous. You expect me to do a full cleaning for a car I rented??
Me: No, I never said that. You are never expected to do a full cleaning unless absolutely necessary. You just need to bring the car back in the same state. I’m checking the information I have available and it seems like you had a dog with you? The cleaning is for all the hair that was left on the seats.
C: What?? I was never told I couldn’t bring my dog!!!
Me: Of course you can bring a dog, you just need to clean after it. Also, did you actually inform the people at the station you had a dog with you?
C: That’s not important. I wasn’t told any of this!!
Me: What’s not important?? Were you or were you not told to bring the car back in the same condition??
C: I was not told I needed to clean it!!
Me: What do you understand by ”in the same condition”?
C: I was not told I needed to cleeeaaaaan iiiiiiiittttt!!!!!!!!!! I’m not paying for this!!!!
Me: I’m sorry, but this fee is mentioned in our Terms of Service, and I have pictures of the state of the car, so I have to confirm that the charge will be maintained and we will not refund it.
C: Do not speak to me this way. I’m not paying for this. No one informed me of this, and the price is ridiculous.
Now, I took a look at the pictures, and they were horrifying. I get it, you have a dog and some hair might get stuck in places and it’s not the end of the world. But this car was COVERED in hair. There was hair EVERYWHERE. The seats were practically a different color and the floor was a mess. Also, it was clear that the dog was not secure in any way, as the front seats were covered as well. As per the laws here, the dog must be properly secured to the back seat and cannot roam around freely to the front.
Me: Ma’am, I’m sending you pictures of the vehicle so you can see it for yourself. Also, it seems that the dog also got to the front of the vehicle.
C: So? Who cares where the dog was?
Me: According to the laws here, the dog is supposed to be properly secured to the back seat and cannot roam around freely to the front. If you failed to secure him during your trip, it could result in a fine for you.
C: What?? I’m not paying any fines!!! My dog was perfectly fine and the car looks fine!!
Me: Alright, I’m done talking about the cleaning fee. I told you that that will be maintained. I just wanted to give you a heads up that in case you receive a traffic fine in your mail, it could be due to the dog not being secure.
C: What do you mean secure??
Me: I mean that it should have been secured to the back seat (by a leash, a harness, or one of those little cages – I don’t know what they’re called).
C: You want me to abuse my dog?
C: You want me to abuse your dog for your convenience? This is what you want? You want me lock my dog up so that your precious car won’t get ruined?
Me: Ma’am, like I said, we are beyond talking about the cleaning fee. This is about safety regulations when traveling with an animal. We’re done with this conversation. You can file a written complaint if you want, but like I said, the charge will be maintained, especially given the pictures I have provided you. No one is telling you to abuse your dog. A little common sense is required in this case.
She kept arguing with me for a bit more saying that she doesn’t care about the pictures and it’s not her fault the dog sheds and eventually I ended the call.
Please don’t abuse your animals. Also, please don’t get an animal if you lack common sense for basic things.