Purely hypothetical question. Recently I rented a car from a company, let's call them Thrifty, the total cost for the trip was ~$150. Days later I got a bill for ~$70 in administrative charges for having them pay ~$7 in tolls. They will automatically collect this money from the card used to pay for the rest of the rental. I'm sure this was specified in the contract and is completely legal(something like a $15 per toll they had to pay).

In addition to never using their services again, I was wondering if there would be any serious repercussions to marking the transaction as fraudulent on the credit card and making them justify the transaction to the credit card company to get payment. Obviously this would be unlikely to get me my money back, but I like the idea of spitefully causing them to have to do more work, since I feel taken advantage of.

This is in the United States.

If I take this action, am I breaking any law? If I am, am I likely to be prosecuted for the breaking of said law? Am I likely to have my credit score decreased (perhaps not on topic)?

  • 2
    Have you tried protesting the charge directly with the rental company? They might forgive the charge to maintain good will. It's a long shot, but worth a try.
    – phoog
    Nov 9, 2015 at 4:49
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    To claim fraud, you will typically have to sign a statement that says "under penalty of perjury, I did not authorize this transaction". Making a false statement to a federally insured bank, with the intention of receiving money to which you are not rightfully entitled, is very likely to be a federal crime under some part of 18 USC 1001-1040. I'd start your reading there. Nov 9, 2015 at 5:36
  • Not regarding the legal ramifications, but if it's like the rental car policies I've seen, they charge you something like $10 per day for every day of the rental if you use their transponder even once (not just on the days you used it).
    – stannius
    Aug 3, 2016 at 17:58

2 Answers 2


You can legally dispute any charge levied on your credit card. You can legally require a creditor to prove that you owe them money.

However, if they successfully prove that you owed them money then you are liable not only for the money you owed but their costs (including legal costs, bank charges etc.) in proving it and interest from the date you should have paid until the date you do pay.

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    In the U.S. I am not aware of any credit card agreements that would hold a consumer responsible for the counterparty's costs in addressing a disputed charge (a.k.a. charge-back).
    – feetwet
    Nov 9, 2015 at 21:55
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    Those weren't specifically the costs I was thinking of, I was thinking of the costs of recovery (litigation). Notwithstanding, if I were pursuing a debt and as a result of the debtors actions my bank had charged me a $10 reversal fee I would be putting that in the statement of claim.
    – Dale M
    Nov 9, 2015 at 21:58
  • The right to dispute credit card charges is at least two steps away from litigation. First the credit card company investigates any dispute/charge-back to determine whether to hold the consumer responsible, and whether to pay the company claiming the charge. Then, if either of those parties disagrees with the credit card company they are typically subject to arbitration before anyone can sue in court.
    – feetwet
    Nov 9, 2015 at 22:02
  • Not really relevant. The OP knows the charge is ligit - they will lose in arbitration or court and there will be costs either way.
    – Dale M
    Nov 9, 2015 at 23:27
  • Only if the OP takes it to arbitration. People dispute charges all the time. They virtually never take card companies to arbitration over a disputed charge. The correct answer to the question's first level is: "In the worst case, if the credit card company thinks you're abusing the dispute system, they can close your account."
    – feetwet
    Nov 10, 2015 at 0:00

You do have the right to speak freely on the internet. The number crunchers at corporate get very sensitive when they start to see a lot of one star reviews, because they can quantify the how much money that loses their franchises. So if I were you, I would pick a "Thrifty" with relatively few ratings, and simply state the policy and how it affected you and give them 1-star on Yelp. This won't net you anything, but will really aggravate them, and might even give them some incentive to change the policy.

P.S. If you are really mad and want to write a one star review for all locations in your state, it's probably best to do this in an Anti-SLAPP state.
P.S.S. If you are in NJ, take a close look at the NJ Consumer Fraud Act. It's fantastic. P.S.S.S I am in no way a lawyer.

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