ATS Soaking Tourists With Car Rental Scam


It must be hard to keep coming up with new ways to scam the public and drive people away from the cities they operate in.

American Traffic Solutions of Scottsdale, AZ  just found another one, so congrats are in order.

Welcome to AZ where due process need not apply! Did you rent a car and get flashed by an error-prone scamera? Don’t worry, ATS will just automatically charge your card. You know, the same one you had to supply in order to rent the car in the first place. Let’s hope you still have upwards of $200 left on that limit!

In a story on a valley TV station’s website, they detail how ATS is now working with rental car companies to further gouge tourists, after they’ve gotten back from their trip. What a nice way to say, “Ya’ll come back now ya hear!”

From the Fox 10 story:

When you sign that rental contract, it allows some of the top rental car agencies to share your credit card information with American Traffic Solutions, the country’s largest operator of red light and photo radar cameras.

So if you commit a traffic violation behind the wheel of a rental car, ATS will bill your credit card directly for the ticket, including an administrative fee.

Motorists say it’s wrong, because ATS is assuming you’re guilty, without giving you a chance to dispute the citation.

It’s a good thing tourism isn’t a very big part of Arizona’s economy.

Not everybody who comes here and rents a car has enough to cover this fine on their limit. ATS should be forced to cover all the over limit fees and corresponding late fees from the tourists they soak.

Governor Brewer, are you ready to live up to your words and put this to a vote?

43 Responses to ATS Soaking Tourists With Car Rental Scam

  1. Talk about peeing in your own pool.

    Haven’t we had enough of this yet?

    Nanny-staters, please tell us why this is such a great idea to soak tourists on their way out of town with no due process!

  2. Dr Jett says:

    The rental companies are now acting as police officers without the proper credentials is what this activity sounds like to me. If it was my credit card that was charged then I would charge back the entire car rental for fraudulently accepting illegal service for me and wasting my time by having to clear up the problem caused by the rental company.

    • kandaris says:

      Actually that’s not a bad idea. I’d like to see if that works. It might just cause enough of a problem for the rental companies that they change their policy. The credit card merchant account issuers hold them to a certain very low percentage of chargebacks and if they get too many in costs them money.

    • photoradarscam says:

      I think if you dispute the charge they will send you to collections…

      I have confirmed that Hertz and Payless have this in their rental contracts and charge up to $50 to have a third party look-up your information and send it to the camera city or camera company.

      I asked Hertz specifically about the Arizona camera tickets because those tickets aren’t even legal/valid until they are served. I suppose once they rat you out and you wait for the charge to be dismissed you may be able to get your $50 back… but there is no proof that the charges were dismissed because they never filed the case because they never served you.

      I broke this story on my website over a year ago:
      http://photoradarscam.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/rental-car-companies-cashing-in-on-photo-enforcement/

      FWIW, I don’t think National or Enterprise do this. I tried to get an official response from them but they did not respond. I have rented from both and looked at the contracts and could not find any specific authorization for a third party company to rat me out.

      • So what has changed since then to make this news come back around?

        I am under the impression that the “news” is they are just charging the credit card now for the full ticket, plus the admin fee.

        Are you interpreting this as I am?

      • photoradarscam says:

        I’m not sure what has changed, excpet maybe they are paying the ticket for you and then charging you for it. What I just saw is that they were charging $50 for the privilege of ratting you out.

        I made news of it a year ago, but the media didn’t notice. Now they are making a story out of it.

  3. Sure says:

    Paradise Valley just laid off 24 employees and have a revenue decline of 6.4 million. They intend to give Scottsdale a million a year to promote tourism. They need to understand that no one, including tourists, want to go to a town with Redflex vans hiding everywhere. Personally, I never spent a dime in Scottsdale after I saw the first speed camera.

    CameraFRAUD.com

    Phoenix, AZ
    1,122 Volunteers

    Welcome to CameraFRAUD. We are united in our effort to get rid of every speed camera, red light camera, and photo radar van here in Arizona and across the country. We were suc…

    Check out this Meetup Group →

    • kandaris says:

      I avoid Scottsdale as a rule myself. I figure why give them any money since they are so busy stealing it from people.

  4. Dr Jett says:

    I charged back Voip.com when they sent me a voip phone connection for my computer that didn’t work properly. They tried to claim that I didn’t send the unit back within the 30 day trial. I contacted Prepaid Legal and the local law firm sent a letter to Voip.com stating the Arizona law that was broken by not giving a consumer a full 30 days to try out their device. I still didn’t get my money and Chase Bank tried to dismiss my claim. I told Chase that I would keep calling them every day and then show up at their local branches and picket them with fraud signs until they paid me back since Chase wasn’t honoring the chargeback after I informed Chase of the law that was violated. I got my money!!! I would do the same thing to a car rental company if they tried to scam me. There is nothing like bad PR to get results from corportations and letting them know that you are serious and won’t take no for an answer.

  5. L. Davis says:

    I have family in Arizona and usually visit 2 to 3 times a year. When I visit I help out the economy various ways, including car rentals.

    When I visit now (which is about 1 time a year now) I borrow a car from a friend or family member. I stopped renting cars for exactly this reason.

    To the car rental industry: I hope you’re happy, I do not need your business anymore, do you need our money?

  6. photoradarscam says:

    I just looked at a photo ticket form. If you weren’t the person driving, they ask you to identify the driver. Then you must declare under penalty of perjury that what you provided was correct.

    Just because someone rents a car still doesn’t mean they are the driver. Are the rental car companies comitting perjury by declaring the renter to be driver?

    • Malfeasant says:

      “Approximately 30 Phoenix officers and 25 firefighters had to be called in to shut down Central Avenue for about three hours to ensure the climbers reached the ground safely.”

      they got up there on their own, i think they could have gotten down just fine. just an excuse to add a large “rescue” bill to whatever criminal charges they might face…

  7. Sure says:

    Kill Tennessee Traffic Cameras – Facebook:

    http://www.facebook.com/killtncams

  8. Stacey says:

    The Civil Scam

    A motion responding to two $10 million lawsuits in Hamilton County chancery court says a camera infraction that carries a $50 civil penalty has a lower standard of constitutional protection than criminal offenses.

    The court filing obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press says offenders “are not entitled to a trial by jury, a presumption of innocence or a heightened burden of proof.”

    http://blogs.knoxnews.com/humphrey/2010/07/cities-ask-judge-to-toss-anti-.html

    • Dr Jett says:

      So, the US Constitution doesn’t apply to courts in Hamilton County? How can any court expect citizens to have a presumption of guilt. That violates the basis for having a trial in any court.

  9. At the end of the video for the Fox 10 story, he should have said, “don’t speed, run a red light, drive through an intersection with poor yellow timing and a camera, drive by any number of malfunctioning speed cameras, let someone else drive the rental or get stuck in an intersection because there’s heavy traffic.”

    That should be easy enough, right?

  10. Christine says:

    I rented a car from Hertz and was flashed *allegedly* doing 67 in a 55 on AZ-51. Hertz turned me in for a nice $30 convenience fee (which I will chargeback once my ticket is never served and adjudicated by the courts). The letter from Hertz says my card will be debited for the $30 fee but not the ticket itself. This is complete BS! My dealership contracts with Hertz to rent cars under my warranty, but I assure you next time my car needs service, I’ll take it to a different Nissan dealership that doesn’t use Hertz (if they exist?) or insist on using a different company!

    • Dr Jett says:

      Don’t wait, charge it back now. Inform Hertz that their company has no right or duty to act under the color of law as a police agency. Hertz is impersonating a police officer if they are taking on duties reserved for police officers.

      • Christine says:

        The charge hasn’t hit my account yet. I believe it’s scheduled it hit in the next couple of days.

        (By the way, I have a habit of flipping off every camera I pass since I know they’re always recording. This time was no different. ;))

    • photoradarscam says:

      You should find out who declared under penalty of perjury that you were the one driving the car. Then file a motion that that person be charged with perjury unless they can provide proof that they personally witnessed you driving at the time of the infraction.

  11. Stacey says:

    Put your name on it. Be a man.

  12. IWanna Know says:

    Does anyone have a list of car rental companies that DO NOT engage in the automatic scamera payoffs? It would be interesting to know if there are any rental companies out there worth continuing to do business with.

    • photoradarscam says:

      Like I said earlier, I think National and Enterprise are good, but I have been unable to confirm this.

  13. YourMom says:

    Wrong. Both Enterprise and National WILL send in a notarized affidavit identifying the renter.

  14. Casey Diana says:

    I received a notice from ATS that I owed $50.00 for a parking violation make on an Avis rental car on Grant Street in Denver while I was a tourist in Colorado in June. Only thing is, I was never in Denver–only Colorado Springs, which is in a different County. Now, I’m stuck making all this calls that go nowhere–unbelievable

  15. J M Bareeq says:

    I have attended a conference in Boston and I have rented a car through Hertz for 11 days. I have returned the car on 3 October 2010. on 8 October, I was surprised to receive a message from the Visa credit card company that I was charged $ 20.50 by American Traffic Solution Scottsdale.
    I was astounded because I have no recollection of making any traffic violation and how could my favorite rental car company pass my credit card information to a third party without my consent. Besides that, I have not been told about the type of traffic violation if I have committed one.

  16. murat mercan says:

    nice blog thanks for sharing.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Use a credit card you can cancel after your vacation.

  23. John Parnell says:

    This company needs to be put out of business. Years ago they scammed me out of money on a right turn on red, and then they didn’t deliver my citation within the stated period by law, yet the court denied my case. Then I got stuck on an on ramp to a toll road in Denver in a rental car and couldn’t get off in time. The toll was $2.75, but ATS is the processing center and they gouged me for an additional $15. Pure crap of a company.

  24. Joey says:

    I was caught in this scam via dollar. They allege that I went thigh several toll roads. I did not go any where near those roads. So I am not sure how-they did it. Fortunately I used my Amex to rent that vehicle. They caught the scam charge immediately and cancel the card. Now ATS has come after me though Hertz. This is a scam! Let’s see some prison time. We are on to you ATS. Expect AZ attorney general to call.

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