One company explains their procedure for charging client smoker's fees, also when the driver alleges castle don't smoke.

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BALTIMORE — for non-smokers, the stomach-turning stench of stale cigarettes is suffocating. And also once it"s in the car, it appears near impossible to gain out.

Rental auto companies have tools that attempt to remove the odors. To balance out the prolonged time needed to clean this vehicles, companies charge fees.

Dominique Stevenson was charged a $250 smoker"s fees after her co-worker offered her firm card to rental a car at NextCar Rental in ~ BWI Marshall Airport.

“Which I assumed was peculiar due to the fact that I recognize he doesn"t smoke,” said Stevenson.

Stevenson and also her co-worker discussed the charge with the manager and asked for proof.

“No one ever before sat in the car with him and also said, ‘Okay, us smell smoke.’ There was nothing however this woman"s word,” Stevenson said.

WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii spoke v two various other NextCar customers who claimed to have actually a similar experience. Jason Manelli, a spokesperson for the company, claimed they was standing by their employees and their procedure when assessing fees.

“You know, the thing with smell is it"s very challenging to show proof. We can present proof of damages from a photograph, us can"t show proof of a smell,” Manelli said.

In the lack of smoking proof such as a ashes, cigarette butts, or other debris, Manelli stated they have actually a three-person confirmation process.

“So once a auto is confirm in in ~ BWI Airport, an agent assesses the vehicle, walk a damages walk around and also checks the problem of the internal as well. If the agent identify the auto has been smoked in, the agent goes and gets the manager the the ar to execute an independent walk around and also evaluation. If the manager agrees that the automobile has a smoked-in smell, he will get one other employee,” stated Manelli. “If all three individuals agree the the car"s been smoked in, then we assess the fee.”

Out the the 21,530 transactions at BWI Marshall airport NextCar location in 2018, 166 customers were charged a fee.

Joey Sypolt, the NextCar plane manager, monitor the cleaning process. He supplies a an equipment that oxidizes odors in a little space. It have the right to take upwards of five to eight hours to detail and also suck the end the smell. Still, the firm has got dozens the complaints from customers around a smoked-in smell. Manelli claimed they"re always looking for new tools and an innovation to improve the process, yet wanted come emphasize the ripple effect and also disruption the happens as soon as someone smokes in one of their vehicles.

"So in simply one day, I have actually three sitting right here right now," said Sypolt.

NextCar will likewise fine vehicle drivers for excessively dirty cars. If it"s a small trash left behind, they to speak they won"t fee a fee, yet noticeable pet hair and also crumbs ground right into the cushions and also carpet will an outcome in a $250 fine.

"We"re in the vehicle rental business. The auto sits you make no money," Sypolt said.

The decision to fine someone may feel subjective, yet you agree to the company"s terms when you authorize the contract.

"We know an excessively dirty vehicle when you check out it, you recognize a really badly exhilaration in car when three civilization independently smell it, therefore I"m sorry i can"t offer you a an ext definitive prize on that, yet it"s really a referee call based on our years of experience and also what"s typical wear and tear within of a car," Manelli said.

With spring break approximately the corner, the much better Business bureau is reminding drivers to do their research before renting a car. Listed below are your recommendations. The reminder is an especially timely ~ the BBB received an ext than 400 complaints about a Michigan rental automobile company. In January, the Michigan Attorney basic sent a cease and desist letter come Executive auto Rental for failing to return customer"s deposits, among other allegations. Executive auto Rental has 12 areas in Michigan and also 4 in Florida. Come read more about the company"s alleged violations, click here.

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BBB referrals to making your rental experience a little easier:

Shop around, look for added discounts through credit cards and membership organizations.Understand your insurance policy and also whether you"ll should buy coverage indigenous the rental vehicle company. Consider location. Renting indigenous an airport-based rental facility may be much more expensive than an off-airport location. Also, numerous rentals have an extra drop-off dues if you room returning the automobile to a various location than wherein you picked it up.Ask about late or beforehand return fees and the company"s policy and fees on tolls.Read the well print, contract, and also make sure you know their terms.Thoroughly check your rental auto before you drive away. If you see any kind of damage or defect, do the agency representative aware of it immediately so the it’s provided on the vehicle condition form. Take pictures of the damage and also of the mileage.Before leaving the vehicle, be certain that the check-in attendant inspects the car’s human body in her presence and that girlfriend agree around any damage. Store receipts and also watch your credit card bill. Watch for unforeseen charges, together as damage to the vehicle, third-party toll fee bills, cleaning charges alleging girlfriend smoked in the car, etc. If you opt to return your rental v a complete tank that gas, keep your receipt and record the usage at the moment of the fill.

To view their complete list that recommendations, click here.