Ask not for whom the refund bell tolls. It tolls for thee, eligible drivers of Avis, Budget and Payless rentals who paid certain toll-related fees in Florida.
More than $1 million in refunds have already been paid, and more could be due under a settlement announced by Florida officials this week.
Drivers wrongly charged for certain toll-related fees between Jan. 1, 2010 and July 10, 2017 can apply for refunds by Jan. 7, 2018.
The Florida Attorney General’s Office said Tuesday it investigated allegations Avis Budget Car System LLC did not sufficiently disclose a daily $3.95 fee for the companies’ e-Toll service, in addition to any actual tolls paid by the consumer.
An attempt to seek comment from Avis was not immediately successful.
Many drivers were unaware of the fee or how to avoid it, only to get a bill for it four to six weeks later, state officials said.
The fees were charged as a means to pay for cashless tolls, but consumers can avoid these if driving on routes without tolls or on those that accept cash.
Under the settlement, Avis and related companies must clearly disclose relevant fees and train employees not to tell consumers the only way to pay is through their e-Toll system.
In addition, the companies are required to disclose fully the cost of any damage waivers and cannot charge for these if the consumer has declined coverage.
And there’s more: The companies may not charge consumers for a higher car class when the car class reserved by a consumer is unavailable, and the daily cost of upgrades must be clearly disclosed, state officials said.