What should I do about a rental car company trying to send me to collections?

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What should I do about a rental car company trying to send me to collections?

About 6 months ago, I rented a car from a company in TX while I was there visiting. Then when I returned the car and they said there was a crack on the windshield. It turned out to not be a crack but a small chip that wasn’t even deep enough to be filled in, just superficial. Then they sent me a whole bill of $1400 for replacing

the front windshield as an estimate. I saw that was way too expensive for just a windshield. I look into the company that gave the estimate, they have an address of a post office, they don’t have a website and they’re not registered under the state or the county. I told them that I wasn’t going to pay anything because that

estimate company doesn’t exist under the state. Now theyre threatening to send me to collections on Monday if I don’t pay. I can send you the emails of them, what should I do? My insurance company won’t cover the cost either because it doesn’t cover rentals if my current car is drivable.

Asked on December 14, 2018 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You really have only three options:
1) Pay the amount, which will resolve the issue.
2) Negotiate with them some smaller payment which you are willing and able to pay and which they agree to accept to settle the matter in full.
3) Refuse to pay, and if/when sued, try to defend the case in court; you will try to defend it by trying to show that their bill for the window repair/replacement is excessive, since they can only get the reasonable cost. To do that, you would need to bring some car window replacement contractor, technician, etc. into court, to testify about the costs (under the rules of evidence, you need live testimony by an "expert" on this subject, and cannot rely on your, non-expert research or on proposals, etc. prepared by people who are not in court to be cross-examined), and would have (presumably) to pay him for his time; and note that if they sue you in Texas, which they likely can, you'd have to travel to Texas for the lawsuit and will have to pay your own travel, hotel, etc. costs out of pocket. So if they pursue you for the money, trying to fight could cost you as much or more than you hope to save.
 


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