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Just got back great experience EXCEPT Scooter Rental Scam!!

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New Jersey
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Just got back great experience EXCEPT Scooter Rental Scam!!

Just returned from 5 nites in key west this past thursday...just before the hurricane came. We had a great time and did a lot of the things all of you suggested. One of our favorite things to do was drive scooters all over the island however the first day we rented them was not so great.

Since we were staying at the La Concha..we thought it would be most convienient to rent from Paradise rentals from their parking lot. They charged $45/day for a pretty beat up scooter but since i hadn't ridden much before I thought this would be fine.

To make a very LONG story short, after a few hours of driving, my bike starting making a lot of noise...so my boyfriend yelled "i think your muffler is shot"...not 2 minutes later did my bike start making VERY VERY loud noises and another scooter driver came up behind me and said "you lost your muffler back there'. Since it was too hot to pick up, we immediately returned to the rental place and explained what happened. The kid that rented them to us laughed a bit, gave me a new scooter and said "we'll deal with this later". When we came back later to return our scooters for teh day, the manager or owner whoever it was, was NOT happy. He kept blaming me for dumping the bike, creating new scratches and therefore breaking off the muffler. I told him what REALLY happened and he didnt' want to hear it. It even came down to calling the cops but they couldn't do much. All he kept saying was he was going to charge me $350.00 for my muffler...again to shorten the story...we got copies of all the paper work and left. After a few days $250 was charged to my card and the cc company said i couldn't do much since I signed the rental agreement.

We did rent scooters the next day from Tropical Rentals across from the Southernmost Hotel on Duval. Their bikes were in much better condition and they only charged us $50 for 2.5 days total!!! They were much more professional and our experience was much better. I would def. recommend them.

So...to sum it up..we had a GREAT TIME...just wanted to share my one back experience so if someone else is going soon it won't happen to them either. $250 stinks, but I can deal with it..things happen...just wanted to inform you all.

Lancaster, PA
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303 posts
12 reviews
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1. Re: Just got back great experience EXCEPT Scooter Rental Scam!!

Thanks, NJLady:

This is what TripAdvisor is all about...finding out the easy way instead of the costly, aggravating way. When something like this happens to me, I wish I could post a sign at he business to let other unsuspecting customers know. Of course, you can't do that, but TripAdvisor is the next best thing.

Will TripAdvisor readers never get ripped off, never have a bad room or a bad meal? Of course they will...but not as often as non-readers! Keep up the good work, folks!

New Jersey
6 posts
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2. Re: Just got back great experience EXCEPT Scooter Rental Scam!!

Thanx for the warning NJLady. I'll keep that in mind when I'm down there next weekend. A scooter seems the way to go to appreciate the island. Any favorite/reasonable seafood restaurants to pass on from your recent experience? Even any other great tips as you've posted will be appreciated.

Memphis, TN
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5,100 posts
26 reviews
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3. Re: Just got back great experience EXCEPT Scooter Rental Scam!!

Thanks for the info NJLady. This sort of info is indeed very helpful to future travellers. I have been alerted to quite a few scams, con artists, and overall bad business establishments from forums like Tripadviser. Honest assessments here can be a godsend to future visitors, as well as a warning to unethical businesses. I'll be adding this guy to my boycott list. I rent scooters quite often from the place near Southernmost also, and they are good.

Summerland Key...
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2,253 posts
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4. Re: Just got back great experience EXCEPT Scooter Rental Scam!!

Did you complain to the LaConcha's management? If not, I would do so. If the business is operating out of their parking lot, they may have some sway over this guy. That's just ridiculous treatment, and they need to be aware of it. Make lots of noise.

Houston
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189 posts
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5. Re: Just got back great experience EXCEPT Scooter Rental Scam!!

Don't accept what any CS rep says over the phone, file a formal dispute with your credit card.

New Jersey
5 posts
1 review
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6. Re: Just got back great experience EXCEPT Scooter Rental Scam!!

To make matters worse, I just checked my credit card and even though I had put a hold on the account, they changed the charge from $250 to $500. I am waiting to hear back from the fraud department.

As for La concha hotel, yes..i immediately spoke to the hotel manager. The told me they had nothing to do with the rental company and had never really had any complaints but they were sorry that this happend and I should take it up with my credit card.

I am going to send the hotel, my credit card and my travel agent a formal letter so that they can all be aware of what happened.

If it doesn't help my case..maybe it will help someone else :(

What a way to start off the work week.

Memphis, TN
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5,100 posts
26 reviews
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7. Re: Just got back great experience EXCEPT Scooter Rental Scam!!

If it appears that they fraudulently made charges to your credit card, contact the Florida State Attorney General's consumer fraud office and make a formal complaint. Send copies to your credit card company, La Concha, and the Better Business Bureau. If you are not getting satisfaction from your credit card company, cancel the account to make sure no additional charges are made to your account.

The Bakery
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9,526 posts
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8. Re: Just got back great experience EXCEPT Scooter Rental Scam!!

Excellent advice Simkeith. Also complian to the Key West chamber of Commerce and about both the hotel and scooter rental activities. Another avenue you can expolre is checking to see if Florida has an Office of Consumer Affairs. It is often under the Attny General or Justice Dept. Run a google search. I've used the NJ version and gotten good help from the state. Complain long and hard.

New Jersey
5 posts
1 review
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9. Re: Just got back great experience EXCEPT Scooter Rental Scam!!

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. I am going to write a formal letter outlining all the details and send it to all the suggested places...It can't hurt and I'm sure the more place I contact the better chance I have of winning this or preventing it from happening to someone else.

I'll keep you all posted with what happens.