Undercover Operation, Lawsuit the Result of More than 150 Consumer Complaints to Attorney General’s Office
Phoenix, AZ (Wednesday, March 5, 2014) – As the result of more than 150 consumer complaints and an undercover investigation by the State, Attorney General Tom Horne has filed a Consumer Fraud lawsuit against Dennis N. Saban and his companies, Saban’s Rent-A-Car, L.L.C., D S Rentco, Inc., and A-AAAble Rental Ltd., also doing business as Phoenix Car Rental and Saban’s Rent a Car.
In the undercover operation conducted by the State, an investigator was promised a rental vehicle for $129 a week, a rate also advertised on the company website. After additional fees and taxes, the total rental was more than $250. The agent was denied a copy of the rental agreement and falsely told he would be arrested if he left the Phoenix area because of specially coded license plates. An employee also informed the investigator that an additional charge was the “county tax” when in fact it was a surcharge imposed by Saban’s. Upon inspection, investigators also discovered that although the rental car’s odometer displayed 99,840 miles the vehicle’s actual mileage was 199,840 miles.
“Many customers complained about this businesses failure to disclose additional fees to renters, and stated that Mr. Saban became abusive when they inquired about extra charges added at the end of the rental.” Horne said. “Our undercover investigation also confirmed customers’ complaints that Saban’s Rent-A-Car rented vehicles with part of the odometer reading blacked out, mischaracterized the documents signed by renters, refused to provide copies of the full rental agreement and identified additional fees as ‘taxes’.”
Until the case can be fully heard in a courtroom, the State has applied for a preliminary injunction asking the court to prohibit Saban’s from disconnecting or concealing engine warning lights; obscuring odometers and mileage; failing to provide a receipt when the vehicle is returned; renting vehicles that are unsafe and do not comply with AZ MVD regulations; charging fees that have not been disclosed at the time of the rental; charging for shuttle service to and from the airport without disclosing the charge at the time of the rental; and falsely advertising “airport tax” savings to consumers.
The suit asks for a permanent injunction prohibiting Dennis N. Saban and his companies, Saban’s Rent-A-Car, LLC; D S Rentco, Inc.; and A-AAAble Rental Ltd. from engaging in the business of vehicle rental. It also asks for the payment of restitution to customers, disgorgement of profits gained through illegal acts and civil penalties, costs and attorney’s fees.
To file a consumer complaint online, please visit www.azag.gov/complaints#consumer. If you have questions or would like to request a complaint form, contact the Consumer Information & Complaints Unit at (602) 542-5763 (Phoenix)/ (520) 628-6504 (Tucson) / or toll free outside metro Phoenix, (800) 352-8431.
The complaint and application for preliminary injunction are both attached.