CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SubscriberWise, the nation’s largest issuing CRA for the communication industry and the leading protector of children victimized by identity fraud, announced today the astonishing and fiction-like parallels to facts and theories postulated more than 5-years ago by journalist and consumer advocate Christopher Elliott.
See the Tribune’s story with its apparent and remarkable predilection for predictive accuracy: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-02-19/travel/sns-201302190000--tms--traveltrctntt-b20130219-20130219_1_damage-recovery-unit-american-car-rental-association-rent-a-car
“It’s almost eerie,” acknowledged David Howe, National car rental civil theft victim and America’s child identity guardian. “The similarities with the victims' accounts, Jerry Bitting and Walter Bird, and the precise prediction made by Elliott years earlier could only be a thing of fiction, any reasonable person would argue. In the article, Elliott details the accounts of the two victims. One, an account executive for a federal agency in Washington, was charged for mysterious damage in the amount of $667.00. The other involved a damaged tire claim, $154.00 charged to the victim’s credit card – Mr. Walter Bird.
"As hard as it may be to believe, I too was charged for patently bogus damage. I was also, ironically, charged for a ‘damaged’ tire involving an entirely separate event, but with exactly the same agencies detailed by Elliott,” continued Howe. “And in each case, the amounts pursued were similar."
"I wonder,” asked Howe rhetorically, “Is it really all just one big coincidence? Are all the stories and accounts by consumers across Canada and the USA about rental scams just exaggerations and lies to escape financial liability by otherwise honest and decent people? Or is it something much more insidious, like the theory offered to me by an attorney who protects those with disabilities, that the rental car scandal is a civil financial scheme operating under complex legal terms and protected through highly predatory -- but entirely legal -- arbitration clauses that are effective at stripping citizen due process rights?"
"Yes, I’d argue it is very insidious,” insisted Howe. “It also reminds me of a conversation with a close family member whose adult daughter was recently victimized by the rental car scandal plaguing the USA. We both agreed that the vast majority of people simply pay just to ‘get them off their back.’ We also acknowledged that virtually no one has photographic or other evidence to fight the predatory claims."
Interestingly and related to my family member’s recent exploitation, I learned from an industry agent about one of the dirty tactics employed to usurp money from unsuspecting renters -- including the most probable explanation for my family member's extortion.
"My goal is to share this information with the Lee County Judge Archie Hayward in open court,” admitted Howe. “I also intend to produce a video to reveal how it works and to educate consumers to be aware and extra diligent to the clever and very effective scam that I know, from direct experience, is used routinely.
“So, to be specific, to answer more precisely Elliott’s original thought-provoking question…YES, MR. ELLIOTT, sadly sir, the Canadian Car Rental Scandal has found its way south to the United States of America and it's speeding down the tracks," said Howe. "You were indeed correct with your inquiry years earlier, Mr. Elliott."
For the record and from the perspective of having felt the pain of very similar situations described in the Tribune’s story, the most significant inquiry proffered by Elliott was this:
"It's people like Bird who make me think that this time, someone, somewhere, is going to say 'enough.' If the Federal Trade Commission can stop hotels from hiding resort fees and the Transportation Department can force airlines to come clean about delays, then it's just a matter of time before this issue is taken up by an agency with meaningful regulatory oversight."
"I just could not agree more with Mr. Elliott,” Howe concluded. “Yes, that's exactly what I’m trying to say. ENOUGH. And, to be certain, it’s also exactly what I’m trying to accomplish.”