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Bad experience with Edinburgh Motorhome Hire

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Prague, Czech...
Level Contributor
6 posts
3 reviews
Bad experience with Edinburgh Motorhome Hire

We loved our 2 weeks in Scotland by a motorhome, but could NOT recommend Edinburgh Motorhome Hire (www.edinburghmotorhome.co.uk) to anybody. We ended short of GBP 200 and feeling we were treated unfairly and improperly.

I booked with them despite reading one similar report. This is a small firm run by 2 men, William and Sam, out of a flat in outer Edinburgh. Communication was not professional - slow, lacking information and answers to questions asked. We had to prepay 100% of the hire 3 weeks in advance. On the first night, we had to pay a GBP 500 deposit (which we were not told in advance).

We got a motorhome with many flaws - a few were mentioned by William, most we found in the next day or two. The driver's central rear mirror was gone, two lights in the "room" had broken bulbs, water tank was leaking, so was waste effluent (so we left spills everywhere), sink waste was blocked, fridge did not work well when running on electricity. One thing that turned against us in the end - the "room" door had been damaged previously and was not working properly - difficult to close, not fitting properly in the frame, insulation coming off on every opening, difficult to lock (William pointed out at the start we needed to fix the insulation back when we open the door, and showed previous damage on the side which had been fixed). Text messages and voice messages during our first 2 days about the sink waste and fridge remained unanswered. At least he arranged a shop where they fitted back the rear mirror (nice way to spend your Sunday morning on a family holiday).

The door was hard to lock from the inside from the first night (I often had to go out, close, lock and open from the outside, then try again from the inside, or come back through the driver's cabin). But we managed ok for some ten days. The door once slammed open while we were driving. We were scared, and angry, but closed the door and went on - ok for several more days. One day before return, the lock stopped working completely - from either side.

On the return, I reported all the flaws and requested a discount as we should not be paying 100% of hire for a vehicle not 100% functional. However, once he heard about the lock, William claimed that is our fault, ignored my argumentation that the door was damaged at the start and the lock "stopped working" rather than being damaged by me by negligence or violence. He said the lock "worked when you started" - the fact is locking the door from the inside was not demonstrated. He rejected my argument things do stop working on an aged vehicle, especially if already partly damaged or behaving strangely - and it is not the user's fault (he actually said openly this vehicle would be put off in a few months' time!).

He then retained GBP 200 out of our deposit to buy a new lock. I have felt helpless and ripped off - he decided out of his own will to retain my money without any title and despite my disapproval. He ignored all other problems ("these vehicles always have flaws"). There is no paper about the GBP 200 being withheld (tax reasons, provability ?)...

If anybody has advice on where else to turn to make my case, let me know. My advice is to use a different company for your motorhome hire and try to avoid aged vehicles with flaws that may develop into damage or defects, or avoid the risk of being held responsible for them, if possible.

25 replies to this topic
Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
Level Contributor
29,434 posts
74 reviews
1. Re: Bad experience with Edinburgh Motorhome Hire

Thaks for the wel written post.

I think you made a mistake with the URL though is this one correct?

http://www.edinburghmotorhomehire.co.uk/

Edinburgh...
Level Contributor
5,099 posts
87 reviews
2. Re: Bad experience with Edinburgh Motorhome Hire

The FAQs mention a £500 deposit - unless that page has been changed since your booking.

If you have done all of this on credit cards, try an approach through them. I realise you're dealing country to country but they may be helpful and threats from them are more likely to be effective.

Edinburgh...
Level Contributor
5,099 posts
87 reviews
3. Re: Bad experience with Edinburgh Motorhome Hire

Do you have any paperwork regarding faults? When I hire a car I will go round the car with the hirer - and a diagram is marked with any pre-existing faults, and the document is then signed. Did anything like that happen?

Gifford, United...
Destination Expert
for Haddington, East Lothian
Level Contributor
3,187 posts
154 reviews
4. Re: Bad experience with Edinburgh Motorhome Hire

An email to the 'Trading Standards' department of City of Edinburgh Council outlining your problems with the company may also help you . They have the power to take the company to court .

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for The Hebrides
Level Contributor
5,395 posts
53 reviews
5. Re: Bad experience with Edinburgh Motorhome Hire

Dealing with a bigger company does not necessarily mean you avoid this kind of unfortunate experience. We hired a campervan from Avis in Italy, and it was similarly faulty. The one thing we will do next time, and I would urge anyone hiring a campervan always to do this, is take at least an hour crawling over it, checking the contents, operating the cooker and heater, using the toilet and water system, trying out the folding table and beds, etc etc. It's like picking up a hire car but there is much much more to check!

Prague, Czech...
Level Contributor
6 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: Bad experience with Edinburgh Motorhome Hire

Yes, this is the correct web address. Sorry and thanks. F.

Prague, Czech...
Level Contributor
6 posts
3 reviews
7. Re: Bad experience with Edinburgh Motorhome Hire

Yes, this is the correct web address. Sorry and thanks.

Prague, Czech...
Level Contributor
6 posts
3 reviews
8. Re: Bad experience with Edinburgh Motorhome Hire

Thanks, Derek for your comments. I did not study the FAQs on the website before the trip - I would have expected this information to appear in some communication from the company after we made our booking and prepaid them GBP 2,000. (Only got a strange looking Word file with overview of fees instead of real receipt ro contract or instructions...)

The paperwork regarding faults has just a few scratches marked - this was done by them and I should have paid more attention to this. But I did not foresee what could happen, also it was close to 10 pm and my kids were falling asleep sitting on luggage on the street outside. And there were many other things to ask and understand about using the motorhome which we used for the first time. Not good time to properly check and discuss things.

Switzerland
1 post
9. Re: Bad experience with Edinburgh Motorhome Hire

I do have to confirm almost everything you wrote down. Unluckely I did not read your comments before hiring myself a motorhome.

and furthermore...

They are not interested in in fixing the flaws. He was not interested in my reports, when we brought the car back.

Glasses broken, plates and mugs dirty.

The bedding stank of smoke, for nonsmokers not very usefull.

The hotwater does not always work.

The fridge on gas does not.

On top as I used my credit card for the deposit, he ripped me off 5 % by putting it (thats just for using the machine), and another 5% again when he gave it back to my card. So I lost 50 pounds just giving a deposit.

Of course he put 5% on top off the price aswell, as I paid by card, even so the price was set by email with no comment, that he would increase the price.

On top I have the strong impression that they claim the insurrance and let it fix again by the customers, or claim it again by the insurance. The back of the car was smashed, the sides are on many places. If you found a way to get your money back, please let me know in this forum.

(I do have their repair insurrance Nr from AA .)

I strongly recommend to everybody not to use this company Edinburgh Motorhome Hire!!!

Edited: 8:57 am, October 08, 2012
Prague, Czech...
Level Contributor
6 posts
3 reviews
10. Re: Bad experience with Edinburgh Motorhome Hire

Hello Tom; Thanks for putting in your post and thus reinforcing my message.

No, I have not succeeded in getting any refund. I did not try to get it directly from the company any more, no chance to find a solution with them in my case. I contacted the Edinburgh Trading Standards Bureau, however they only refer people to "Consumer Direct" for consumer protection advice, but that is not available for foreigners. They responded "As you are located out of the UK you will be unable to speak to Consumer Direct however i would advise that you seek civil advice from your local Citizens Advice/protection services." (I do not think an organization in my country could effectively help.)

I still did contact this Consumer Direct, whose general, perhaps automated email response said "As we are a general telephone helpline service (and cannot take on casework for clients), could we please ask you to telephone 0845 4 04 05 06 and speak to Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline (which works in partnership with local Trading Standards) for more specialist consumer advice. CACH is open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm. You may be able to negotiate with the trader to get a partial refund on the service received, or compensation to put you back into the position you would have been if the service was carried out properly; but if informal negotiations are not successful, you may have to consider court action (Small Claims court) against the trader." Frankly, GBP 200 is not worth the effort of filing a formal claim through British court, so I gave up.

My advice, 2.5 months from the end of our trip - do not let this bad experience spoil your memories of wonderful Scotland. That may be the most we can achieve... Of course besides spreading the word to warn others, and being smarter customers ourselves next time. I find it disappointing that the UK does not have any stronger protection in place for foreign tourists, but frankly I am not sure if my country or yours do better in this... Lesson learnt.

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