7 On Your Side helps woman get refund after Payless car rental canceled

GILROY, Calif. (KGO) -- A proposed class action lawsuit with plaintiffs from multiple states some Payless car rental customers were charged for services they said they declined, and then had difficulty money back or were still waiting for a refund. One of the customers came to us with a similar complaint.

"I was going to go to Seattle, to visit my grandson and rent a car," Jeanne Mackie said.

Mackie, of Gilroy, went online and reserved a car with Payless rental cars. However, she later found she could actually pay less with a different company.

"Payless was $150 more," she said.

Payless said she could cancel for a $50 fee, so Jeanne agreed. However, instead of removing charges, she said, payless added them. "Not only did they not refund my money with the cancelation, they charged me twice."

Instead of no rentals, she was charged for two rentals at $468 each. She contacted Payless.

"They said, 'we'll look into it.' That was on March 20th," said Mackie.

Payless did remove one rental charge, but not the second one.

"About once a week I continued to call them. Honestly I called them 15 times," Mackie told ABC7.

Months later she still no refund.

"So, a friend said call 7 On Your Side, and I did," Mackie said.

We found Jeanne isn't the only one upset with Payless.

The Better Business Bureau says it has received more than 800 complaints about Payless in the past three years and has given the company an F rating. Last month, The BBB urged attorneys-general in four states - California, Florida, New Jersey and Oklahoma to investigate Payless and its parent company, Avis Budget group for what the BBB calls a pattern of issues in sales practices, contracts, and billing with consumers.

Also, it faces a proposed class action lawsuit which claims Payless and Avis "trick consumers into paying for insurance, roadside assistance, fuel options and other add-ons they specifically declined."

The suit claims fees from those add-on products, not rentals, are the company's bread and butter.

We reached out to Payless but a company attorney said it would not comment on pending litigation.

However, Payless did help out in Jeanne's case, finally wiping out that extra $468 charge.

The company issued a statement, saying "we were not aware of the second reservation until she contacted us again. Because the reservation was more than six months old, there was a delay in reviewing the case and processing the refund."

Mackie was happy with the results.

"7 On Your Side was amazing. You were fantastic, and I don't think you should ever stop doing this because it's such an aid to the consumer. You're great," Mackie said.
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.