so, when we were in scotland last summer we rented a car from europcar in edinburgh. at the end of the uneventful trip we returned it, after hours on a saturday. a couple of days later i called from london and confirmed all charges etc. this is mid-june. more than a month later i then noticed a new charge for $300+ on my credit card for europcar. i sent them an email asking about this and while waiting for a response googled around and discovered that europcar has a long history of shady charges and has even been investigated for it in the u.k. i alerted my credit card company and they said to wait to see if i heard back from europcar.
a few days later i did. they claimed the car had been returned with scratches on the bumper. however, in the paperwork (which was also in the attachments they sent me in their response) scratches on the bumper are clearly marked as existing damage. i pointed this out to them. they then said, "oh, the existing damage was on one side, you brought it back with scratches on the other as well". now, this is clearly bullshit--we did not return it with any scratches that weren't already there--but in any case i would have thought the lack of specificity in their original documentation would have been the end of it. i called my credit card company again, they agreed it was bogus and reversed the charges and told me i didn't need to worry about it. this was october and i thought the matter was done.
then a few days ago we received a letter in the mail from some collection agency/debt recovery company in the uk threatening legal action if i do not pay the original amount as an outstanding debt and referencing some earlier letter which we did not receive (this is an echo of their original email in response to me in which they claimed to have sent me a mailed notice of the charge before applying it to my credit card). i'm inclined to ignore this as it seems likely to me to be an attempt to intimidate/strong-arm me into payment of a clearly bogus charge which i have already contested (via email).
but i'm also not sure what their reach as a company in the u.k is over me as a resident of the u.s. is this something i need to worry about or respond to? has anyone else run into anything like this before? and either way, what would you do?