I rented a car from Alamo in the Fairbanks Airport and they have made a claim against me that I have damaged the car's hood latch which I find to be highly unlikely because not once did I pop open the hood, and if the latch was broken, I think it would have flown open while driving on the highway. I declined their damage waiver because my insurance provides coverage. Before leaving the lot and returning it, I checked for damages and saw none. Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos for proof. In hindsight I should have. Now they are charging me upwards of $1000 for the repair, which seems impossibly large for a hood latch replacement. When I returned the car, they did not walk the car with me to check for damages. They also did not provide a receipt because their system or printer was down. They said an email would be sent but it was never received. They called me the following day telling me about the damage (Mar 4) but they called me again today (Apr 17) saying they've filed a claim. I asked for pictures, repair invoice and log of when it was checked/who last rented it, but they only sent a pdf with pictures with no time stamp.
You've listed a series of unfortunate events here. I've dealt with this in the past. Unfortunately there is also something called the "ding scam" where a rental franchise will repeatedly make claims for the same small damage.
The question is whether this is worth fighting over. The rental company is betting that it isn't and they may be right.
First, report this to your insurance company. Tell them what you think is going on. They may just pay it but at least you've told them so they can't claim delayed notice.
The real question is what to do about your deductible. Many credit cards offer insurance as part of the package when you rent a car.
If you fight this, they will start to tack on administrative fees and loss of use. Be prepared for this bill to go way up if you decide to fight them. The amount is too low to retain an attorney but your insurance may do that for you.
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