ACRA 2022 D.C. Car Rental Conference a Hit for Operators and Vendors!
90 representatives of ACRA’s regular (operators) and associate (vendor) members enlisted in ACRA 2022 D.C. Car Rental Conference and made this Boot Camp on operational and policy issues a tremendous success. Held on September 18 – 21, 2022 in Washington, D.C., the Conference set new high marks in attendance (for an ACRA D.C. conference), education, networking and advocacy on Capitol Hill.
Day 1 of the Boot Camp consisted of five panel discussions on all phases of working in the car rental industry – from vehicle acquisition to insurance to fleet management and telematics to fleet disposition. Day 1 was highlighted by a panel of the General Counsels of ACRA’s three biggest members: Jean Sera of Avis Budget Group, Mike Andrew of Enterprise Holdings and Colleen Batcheler of The Hertz Corporation.
Day 2 of the Boot Camp took the attendees to Capitol Hill for a full day of policy briefings inside the U.S. Capitol complex. Among the speakers were Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), who received the ACRA Lifetime Achievement Award for his decades of friendship with the car rental industry, and Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), the legendary (at least in ACRA’s eyes) author of the 2005 Graves Amendment on vicarious liability.
Day 3 of the Boot Camp had the attendees back on Capitol Hill, split into geographic groups and holding meetings with House and Senate legislators and staff. The key policy issues being discussed by ACRA regular and associate members during these meetings were: (1) the recovery of the industry from the COVID pandemic’s impact on travel; (2) the delay in the scheduled sunset for full expensing of capital expenditures (including electric vehicle infrastructure); (3) federal privacy legislation; (4) federal vehicle data access legislation; (5) the ways in which the industry can lead the way to sustainable mobility with assistance from federal and state partners; and, (5) federal vehicular terrorism legislation. (ACRA One-Pagers)
2022 ACRAPAC Congressional Reception
The 2022 ACRAPAC Congressional Reception on Tuesday, September 21, 2022 was again a highlight of the ACRA D.C. Conference. Approximately 50 2022 ACRAPAC contributors joined with the following “who’s who” of federal legislators at the center of ACRA’s federal policy agenda for 90 minutes of networking and socializing: House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ); House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA); Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Reps. Buddy Carter (R-GA), Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Carlos Gimenez (R-FL).
Attendees at the D.C. Conference contributed over $5,000 to ACRAPAC during the conference, bringing ACRAPAC’s 2022 total to over $32,000 in funds raised – a record year for ACRA’s 6-year-old federal political action committee. This strong support from ACRA regular and associate member executives permitted ACRAPAC to distributed $20,000 in contributions to eight House and Senate legislators For more information on ACRAPAC, please contact Sharon at ACRA at firstname.lastname@example.org or Greg Scott at email@example.com.
“Boot Camp” Sponsors
The following companies generously sponsored the ACRA 2022 D.C. Car Rental Conference and all ACRA members thank them for their financial support! The Conference would not have been the success it was without your generous help!
- Platinum Sponsor Level:
- PurCo Fleet Services, Inc.
- Gold Sponsor Level:
- 1st Source Bank
- Alternative Claims Management
- Fleet Salvage Systems
- Geotab, Inc.
- NP Auto Group
- Silver Sponsor Level:
- Global Toll Services
- Williams & Stazzone Insurance Agency, Inc
- Bronze Sponsor Level:
- Auto Rental Solutions
- Automobile Recovery Bureau
- Hawkeye Claims
- Lancer Insurance
- Leslie Saunders Insurance
- Sonoran National Insurance
ACRA 2022 Annual Meeting –
Four members of ACRA’s Board of Directors were re-elected to new three year terms as Directors at ACRA’s 2022 Annual Meeting on Monday, September 19, 2022: Trey Breckinridge (U-Save Auto Rental); William Harris (Edge Auto Rental); Sharky Laguana (Bandago); Gordon Reel (Enterprise Holdings); and, Bill Wallschlaeger (Midwestern Wheels).
“They Said It . . . .” – Reviews of the 2022 ACRA D.C. Car Rental Conference
- “What you’ve done this week is fantastic and necessary; I believe these programs have been overlooked for many years.” – Bill Harnett, Zurich
- “I just wanted to thank you and tell you the conference was great! I heard lots of nice compliments from the other attendees. The content was very informative and interesting.” – Jennifer Gelder, Budget Atlanta
- “These last few days opened my eyes and exposed me to a new era of what power owners and partners can have when it comes to protecting this industry and supporting its continued growth.” – Mark Novak, Zubie
- “I wanted to say thanks again to you and the ACRA Board Members for putting on a phenomenal Boot Camp! I gained tremendous value from the overall event and was able to network with so many experienced leaders in the rental car space. I’m honored to be a member of the association and will make sure I do my part to introduce more people to the organization.” – Marlon Walls, RebuShift
2023 International Car Rental Show – Save the Dates
The 2023 ICRS will be held at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, NV from April 16 – 18, 2023. Save the date and plan to join your international car rental colleagues in Vegas for yet another great conference!
2023 ACRA D.C. Car Rental Conference – Mark Your Calendars!
Based on the success of this year’s 2022 ACRA D.C. Car Rental Conference, planning is underway already for the 2023 Conference. Details to follow, but please mark your calendars for October 8 – 11, 2023 in Washington, D.C.
Guest Column – Second of a Three Part Series!
A Guide to Auto Rental Chargebacks – By Suresh Dakshina, Chargeback Gurus
Part 2: Fighting Auto Rental Chargebacks
As we discussed in the first part of this article, many of the fees and charges that auto rental companies pass on to their customers result in illegitimate transaction disputes known as friendly fraud. When a merchant receives a chargeback, the first thing they should do is investigate the transaction and try to determine exactly what went wrong. Often, what you find is that a customer who is unhappy with a legitimate transaction has gone to their bank and made false claims in order to get their money back through the chargeback process.
For example, a rental company might receive a chargeback from a customer who told their bank that they were charged for an upgrade they never asked for and did not use. Upon examination, the disputed transaction turns out to be a damage repair charge that the customer agreed to pay when they signed the rental agreement. This is a friendly fraud chargeback, and the rental company can fight it by utilizing the chargeback representment process.
Representment is an optional step in the chargeback process. When a merchant receives a chargeback, they can either accept it or fight it. To fight it, they have to present the charge a second time and submit compelling evidence that meets the conditions required by the chargeback reason code along with a rebuttal letter. The issuing bank reviews this evidence and decides whether or not to reverse the chargeback.
The type of evidence you will need to provide in chargeback representment is specified by the reason code. For auto rental companies, friendly fraud chargebacks frequently show up as claims that the merchant processed a transaction without the cardholder’s authorization, that the transaction amount did not match what the cardholder agreed to pay, or that the merchant misrepresented or failed to deliver the goods the cardholder paid for. In the example above, the chargeback could show up under any number of different reason codes.
- For fraud and authorization-related chargebacks, you may need to produce proof from your point-of-sales terminal that shows that you processed the transaction with proper authorization.
- For chargebacks related to the non-delivery or misrepresentation of goods and other merchant disputes, you will usually need to provide a copy of your rental agreement that explains the conditions under which the disputed charge is applied, proof that the customer signed the agreement, and proof that the conditions of the charge were met. In the above example, you might include before and after photographs showing the damage to the vehicle, and an invoice for the repairs.
Fighting chargebacks is necessary for protecting yourself and recovering your revenue, but it can be a lot of work, and issuing banks don’t always make the right decision. It is possible to appeal a rejected representment to the card network for arbitration, but if you lose the case, you can be liable for hundreds of dollars in additional fees.
The more cost-effective way to deal with chargebacks is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. In the final part of this article, we’ll list some of the best tips for proactively avoiding auto rental disputes.
Congressional Vehicle Data Access Caucus Created
Congressman Buddy Carter (R-GA) on September 20, 2022 created the “Congressional Vehicle Data Access Caucus” and invited his colleagues in the House and Senate to join him on working on important federal policy issues with respect to vehicle data access. (Carter Dear Colleague). The American Alliance for Vehicle Owners’ Rights (AAVOR), of which ACRA is a member, issued a press release supporting Congressman Carter and the Caucus. (AAVOR Release) ACRA looks forward to using the foundation of the Caucus to push for federal vehicle data access legislation in the near future.ACRA Membership Activity
Regular New Operator Members:
- Elita Rent A Car, Los Angeles, CA
- SS Unlimited Enterprises, Jacksonville, FL
Renewed Regular Operator Members:
- Chicago Van Rentals, Chicago, IL
- Greenvans, Peabody, MA
Another new feature for the ACRA newsletter – classifieds! Please submit classified advertisements to Sharon at ACRA by the 25th of each month to be published in the following ACRA newsletter.
Senior Management Positions
Betterway Rent-A-Car, the largest Budget Car and
Truck Rental licensee in the US operating in 7
major markets, is currently recruiting for senior
management positions in all locations. Interested
candidates should email a note and resume to Jennifer Gelder at firstname.lastname@example.org.