Minnesota’s auto rental company Seatac has come under fire after it reportedly used a car rental car rental service to lure a man out of retirement, then charged him $1,500 a month for the car rental, even though he had no car and didn’t have insurance.
According to the Star Tribune, Seatac advertised a lease for a 2010 Cadillac Escalade on its website for a rental price of $5,500 per month.
It allegedly charged $1.99 per mile, plus an additional $1 per hour for “service charge,” which would include the cost of the car and driver.
The car rental website advertised an additional monthly fee of $2,500 for the Escalades.
The driver and the car would be “rented by a third party” and “for a minimum of one year.”
According to a lawsuit filed against Seatac, the man agreed to rent the Escalaades to someone he knew only through online dating.
The man had no insurance, and neither did his insurance company.
The insurance company had signed the lease for the rental vehicle, which had an “authorized agent” who “did not meet the minimum requirements for a motor vehicle rental license.”
The lawsuit, which seeks a jury trial, claims the company violated the Minnesota Consumer Protection Act, as well as the law barring insurance companies from using a third-party to make the rental of a motor car a business transaction.
Seatac did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
In its lawsuit, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office alleges the company misrepresented the vehicle’s financial condition and failed to disclose that the vehicle was “not insured.”
“It appears the company’s deceptive marketing efforts may have resulted in the victim receiving a rental car that was uninsurable and at least three times the rental price,” the lawsuit states.
“In addition, the company misled the victim that it was the sole agent for the lease.”
The man was eventually charged $7,000 by Seatac for the $5k monthly rent, even after Seatac reportedly refused to pay the money.
He was not aware of the rental agreement, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit says Seatac’s rental company’s actions violated the law, as the state Consumer Protection Law bans insurance companies and car rental companies from charging people for leasing a vehicle.
According in a statement released by the Attorney General, the law also bars insurance companies or car rental services from charging consumers for “specialized services” such as a rental of an automobile or a “specialty vehicle.”
“As a result of this conduct, we are seeking an injunction against Seataclans conduct and we are pursuing a civil action against the company for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, unfair business practices, and violation of the Consumer Protection Laws,” the statement said.