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Old 18th October 2012, 12:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Rental company insists NSF owes it $67,000

Rental company insists NSF owes it $67,000



Dad of NSF who wrecks car says rental company forced them to sign papers agreeing to pay $67,000 in damages.

Wed, Oct 17, 2012
The New Paper


SINGAPORE - You wrecked our car so you must pay.

The amount?

A whopping $67,000, to be coughed up within a week.

That was the ultimatum handed to full-time national serviceman (NSF) Alan Tan Jun Rong by car rental firm Neo Rental And Resources after he crashed a rented Honda Civic car along Bedok South Avenue 1 on the morning of Aug 12.

The 20-year-old, who was driving alone towards the East Coast Parkway, lost control of the car and collided with a centre divider, causing significant damage to the vehicle.

He also fractured his right arm in the crash.

"I had just got my driving licence the week before the accident and I wanted to celebrate with friends," said Mr Tan, who has a brother, aged 10.

He had paid $388 to use the car for four days, but claimed that he was not told about the insurance for the car at the time.

Most big rental companies like Avis require drivers to be between 23 and 74 years of age and in full possession of a valid driving licence with at least one year of qualified driving experience at the time of rental.

But a car rental industry source told The New Paper that probational plate holders - who are at least 26years old - can rent a car from smaller companies.

He said this is done because the smaller companies need the business. As for insurance, anyone who does not meet the driving experience required will usually have to pay the excess of $10,000.

"Assuming the damages total to $15,000, the customer will pay the excess of $10,000 and the rental company will foot the rest," said the source.

When asked to recount the accident, Mr Tan admitted his error.

"While driving, I lost control because I was too tired, I had stayed up late meeting some friends the night before," he said apologetically.

Mr Tan said he called the police immediately after the crash and called the rental company to inform them of the accident as well.

He said: "But they were not happy I called the police and scolded me. I thought that was odd, shouldn't the police be informed of such incidents?"

A tow truck hauled the wreckage and the rental company picked him up at the accident location, said Mr Tan. It also picked up his dad, Mr Tan Choon Tsien, from his shop at Hougang Green Shopping Mall.

Both were then taken to the offices of Neo Rental And Resources at MacPherson Road.

The father, a 37-year-old shopkeeper, said they were kept on the premises until they signed papers agreeing to pay for the damage.

Police report

In a police report made on Oct 3, the elder Mr Tan alleged that the rental company forced them to sign papers agreeing to pay $67,000 for the damages on the car.

In the police report, he alleged: "I went to the company's office to discuss further on the payment... they then asked me to sign an agreement (for payment) without any explanation."

Mr Tan said no physical threats were made against him or his son.

But he said during the negotiations, the staff members of the rental firm were "very fierce", insisting Mr Tan "sign the agreement on that day or they will not allow me to see my son".

"I (then) complied (to their terms) without full understanding of the agreement," he added.

A police spokesman confirmed that the report was lodged, but the case has been classified as one of civil dispute.

An employee from another rental car company who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that such demands are "unheard of in our business".

He said: "In normal accident cases, even when the rental car has been totally damaged, the rental company would claim damages from their insurance company and not the hirer.

"The hirer is usually liable to pay the excess amount of the insurance, which ranges from $2,000 to $10,000, depending on the policy.

"Demanding cash over the excess is not the industry practice, unless an accident occurred while the driver was intoxicated or speeding."

When he spoke to TNP, the elder Mr Tan said the demands made by the rental company had caused his family stress.

He added: "I told them I cannot afford such an amount. I went there because I was told my son was injured as a result of the crash."

The younger Mr Tan is contesting the demands made by the company and he has hired lawyer Satwant Singh from law firm Satwant & Associates.

In a letter sent to the lawyers of Neo Rental And Resources, Mr Singh argued that the agreement Mr Tan and his father signed with the rental company after the accident was made under "duress and coercion".

The younger Mr Tan also said he was not told of the insurance procedures when he rented the vehicle.

Source: http://motoring.asiaone.com/Motoring...15-377765.html

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Old 25th October 2012, 03:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Rental company disputes claims

Rental company disputes claims


Mr Tan Choon Tsien and his son Alan claim that they were kept on the premises of the car rental company until they signed papers to pay for the damages.

The rental company involved in the spat is disputing the Tans' version of events.

Wed, Oct 17, 2012
The New Paper


SINGAPORE - The rental company involved in the spat is disputing the Tans' version of events.

The owner of car rental firm Neo Rental And Resources - who wanted to be identified only as Mr Neo - told The New Paper that his employees drove the son to Mr Tan's store in Hougang Green Shopping Mall after they learnt of the accident.

"When we reached the mall, the father whacked the son in public, (and) we had to separate them because we didn't want them to be violent," said Mr Neo.

In a bid to calm the situation, he said his employees suggested they go to the rental company's office at Macpherson Road.

"But at our office, the father again slapped the son, who then hid in the manager's office," said Mr Neo.

"So we told the father that his son admitted he caused the crash because he was tired. This is deemed a collision and not an accident," he added.

Though he did not elaborate, he might have been referring to the highly-publicised case involving Chinese national Ma Chi, who died after crashing his Ferrari at Bugis on May 12. The insurers, AXA, are arguing before the courts that the incident was a collision and not an accident.

Authorised workshop

On the Neo Rental And Resources' website, it states that the cost of repair for any vehicle damaged will be assessed by its authorised workshop.

"If any insurance claims are made by a third party, the hirer has to bear an excess of $10,000 as stated by our Motor Car Insurer," it added.

But Mr Neo said the company is not allowing the Tans to claim insurance because they have classified the crash as a "collision and not an accident".

Said Mr Neo: "We told them we will not allow them to claim insurance and they have to bear the cost of the damages themselves.

"Both the son and the father agreed to this."

But did they do so under duress?

"To say they signed the agreement under threat is impossible," insisted Mr Neo.

"Since he has agreed to pay for the damage, why should we claim insurance?"

But the elder Mr Tan disagreed with Mr Neo's version of events, especially the suggestion that he had hit his son in public.

"Yes, I was very angry with my son at that time, but I did not beat him.

"I also did not agree to pay the sum, despite what he says," he said.

"I am telling you this story because I want other people to know what we went through, to be careful and know the rules before you sign for something."

Source: http://motoring.asiaone.com/Motoring...15-377762.html

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Old 25th October 2012, 04:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Rental company insists NSF owes it $67,000

It sickens me that such companies exist in sg and that there is nothing to protect consumers from these dishonest and dodgy companies.

Insurance companies must be making a fortune in sg because either people don't claim during an accident to keep their NCD, or the insurance companies refuse to pay out for stupid reasons. It's a 1 way street for them, money into their pockets but never out.

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