minus $$$$ for not reading the fine print

Any opinions on this? Seems to me that the co. is in the wrong. I can understand the co.'s position if the driver received a moving violation for speeding, but where does the law enter the picture here?

Thems the breaks.

That’s what fine print is all about. Hiding the little stuff.

If they put a condition like that out in the open, do you really think anyone would rent from them? I sure as hell wouldn’t.

The guy screwed up when he signed that contract without reading it. I read it carefully every time I have to sign one.

Maybe now he’ll learn.

But, is it legal? If I borrow your car and getting caught speeding, I’M the guy who has to pay and my insurance will go up. Hey, legal-type Dopers, what can you tell us?

Well, it’s a bit hard to be sympathetic. The article makes it pretty clear that the clause was up front and had to be initialed by the customer. And the threshold for the fine was a sustained two minutes of 79 mph which, in a van, is moving along pretty damn fast. So it’s not as though the company is fining the guy for edging just above the speed limit by accident. Charging per incident on a single trip is pretty low, though.

That having been said, I suspect market forces will eventually get this clause either revoked or greatly reduced. Most customers are probably going to avoid car rental places that act like Big Brother.

The fine print will always get you.

I run Audiogalaxy on my computer, and when people go to the boards over there and scream “This program installed spyware (WebHancer) on my comp!” I usually retort with something akin to “You DID agree to the user agreement, didn’t you? It plainly tells you in the user agreement that it will install WebHancer, so it’s YOUR fault.

Companies add more and more fine print every year, knowing full well that most consumers won’t read all of it.
Then they’ve got you.

I can see holding consumers responsible for their own actions and choices based on the information they’re given, but expecting them to find all the information on their own (which a lot of them have to) is going too far, IMO. You don’t expect restrictions like the above example to pop out at you, and it’s a rude slap in the face when you find out your hands are tied.

Eh, I’m too tired to be sensible right now…~continues rambling~

There’s a nifty little program called Ad-Aware that you can download here that will, when run, scan your system for spyware and then get rid of it for you.

California Bar, '99.

Con Law is not really my area of expertise, but I don’t see why this would not be legal. Constitutional protections generally only apply to govt/public actions as opposed to private actions. Some sort of public policy argument would have to be succesful in order to get this item stricken from the rental agreement. IIRC, The S-K-I Ltd. case did not allow a ski resort to use a clause in the lift ticket contract that stated that they could not be held liable for accidents even when they acted negligently. A skier crashed into an unpadded support for a lift and died and the resort was held liable.

YoungESQ, you’re good at this kind of thing . . .

I do favor consumer responsibility, as well as individual responsibility for one’s actions. Plus, I understand a business’ view on liability for an individual’s actions. What bothers me the most in this case is that the business withdrew funds from the consumer’s account. According to the consumer, the funds were withdrawn before the consumer returned the car. I have to agree with the consumer’s view that no due process was involved here. In essence, the business acted as witness, judge and jury, without involving the courts. The way I see it at this point is, if the consumer did not receive a citation, then no violation was comitted.

I know. Got Ad-Aware already. :slight_smile:

Now if I can just figure out why my computer sometimes tries to access the A:/ drive when I open certain programs…I think I royally messed up some setting on my computer the night before.

It’s possibly legal for the company to do this, but it doesn’t mean they should. They say they aren’t doing it for the fine money. What a load of crap. If they want the cars to not go over 79 mph, they should put a governor on it.

Also, if a police officer cites you for a traffic violation you can go to court and challenge the ticket. Where do you go to contest the validity of the rental co’s claim that you were speeding? I want to see calibration information on the satelites. Prove I was speeding.

>> Where do you go to contest the validity of the rental co’s claim that you were speeding?

Umm,… that would be civil court Bob

According to the article:

So he deserved the fines if this is true.