NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – In March, News 2 reported that Representative Wendell Gilliard was charged more than $20,000 for damages to a rental car at Charleston International Airport. Thursday afternoon, the representative spoke to the airport’s board members about his experience.
Gilliard is motivated to make a difference after encountering a rental car scam in January.
“If I have to use my position for anything on this Earth,” Gilliard said. “This would be a situation where I would have to use it for the people. To make changes.”
Gilliard was charged for damages by Budget/Avis after he returned a rental car he says was in “mint condition.”
“It was about a week and a half,” he said. “Two weeks later, my accountant called me, because that’s where all my invoices go. She said, ‘Look, we got an invoice here from Budget/Avis, for $2100.”
He says fifteen minutes later, his accountant called again, saying she had misread the invoice.
“She calls me back,” he said. “And said, ‘Are you sitting down representative?’ I said, ‘What the heck is wrong now?’ She said, ‘We made a mistake. It’s not $2100, it’s $26,000.”
Gilliard says after looking more into the scam, he discovered he wasn’t the only one.
“I also had people who were victims that called me that had similar situations,” he said.
The representative recently drafted a house bill meant to protect people from car rental scams moving forward.
“It requires that when you get to your car,” Gilliard said. “That there will be a sign-off with a video. The sign-off will have to be between the customer and the representative. And that customer will be given a digital video of the car.”
Gilliard says he hopes his proposed bill passes as quickly as possible.