Court Sides with Budget on Refueling Fee Case

Lakewood, Ohio resident Michael Salling sued in federal court over a charge he claimed was a breach of contract after renting a Hyundai Elantra from Budget Rent-A-Car at Cleveland airport, according to a Feb. 29 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit opinion.

Salling opted for Budget's EZ FUEL refueling program. Although Salling returned the rental vehicle with a full tank of gas, Budget charged him a $13.99 fuel service fee. The company claimed that to avoid the fee, he needed to also provide a receipt for his fuel purchase, which he failed to do.  

Court records show Salling also sued Budget for engaging in fraud and unjust enrichment; however, the court sided with Budget, finding that Salling's payment was voluntary. Judge James Swin in the Northern District of Ohio ruled that the "contract was not ambiguous and that Budget had not breached the contract, committed fraud, or been unjustly enriched," according to Wednesday's opinion.

Click here for full court opinion.



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