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Europcar

Calgary, Alberta...
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Europcar

Just a heads up for anybody considering renting a car from Europcar. We got in at 10pm last Saturday had a confirmed car reservation with Europcar, which we booked online. When we got out after collecting our bags, there was no agent, so we wait for a while and finally took a cab to their office. It was about 11pm when we finally got there and they explained that they did not have our reservation and the had no cars. End of story. I brought out my computer and showed the my confirmed reservation and they just said they could not do anything for us.

So here we were at 11pm on Saturday trying to rent a car. We finally did get one from Avis, but at a much higher rate, plus cab far, plus the time it took us to get it done after flying all day.

So beware.

Staten Island, New...
Level Contributor
13,560 posts
12 reviews
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1. Re: Europcar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T2GmGSNvaM

Vierzon, France
1 post
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2. Re: Europcar

If it was a choice between Europcar and walking over broken glass, I'd go for the glass.

Booked through Easyjet for a trip to Italy. Seemed a great price (under 200 Euros for the week) - but 3 days after we got back Europcar took another 388 Euros from our card!

So we asked why, naturally. Found several places to email - no response. Tried again - "someone will look into it and get back to you." They were still busy "looking" but not "doing" a couple of week later when I got onto their Facebook page.

Suddenly some action - but not a refund, a claim that we'd damaged the car and were billed for that. (A) we didn't damage the car and (B) there's no mention of damage on the nonsense invoice we received by email. Looks like the Italians have ignored the fact we'd already paid and billed us for a full week - without any kind of discount and with additional charges for fuel, when we returned it full. Not Easyjet's fault - but will Europcar admit their error? What do you think. No - a series of excuses coming out of the French office that don't relate to the facts. Either they're not asking Italy, or Italy aren't telling them the truth.

I'd recommend Italy as a country to anyone. Fabulous place, great people - except those that work for Europcar. Shambles at best, although thieves and liars might be more appropriate.

Always on the Move
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1 post
8 reviews
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3. Re: Europcar

I rented a car in Spain through Europcar for a day a couple of years ago, but when I went to pick it up they said there were no reservations and they couldn't honor what I had presented as paperwork for the confirmation. I had pre-paid for a intermediate size car as there were four people, and all they could give us was a very small compact and would not give any price cut for the difference. Communications with the company since went nowhere. I do not plan to use them again.

Ventenac en...
2 posts
1 review
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4. Re: Europcar

Europcar is engaged in fraudulent charging for pre-existing trivial damage. The proof is that the damage report charging me £203.75 (including a £27 admin fee) was prepared 40 minutes before I returned the car! Below is an edited version of my email complaint to Europcar with all the details, but minus the attached photo and documentation. Note also the lack of recorded starting mileage, which could have been the opportunity for another scam, and the fact that the Assessors and Valuers company which supplied the premature damage report has the same legal and postal address as Europcar Group UK Ltd.

I have also reported the fraud to the UK police via the ActionFraud website. I await a response from Europcar. I shall post it when I get one.

My advice is to avoid Europcar at all costs.

----------------------------------------------------------

20 Sep 2014: Without prejudice

Rental agreement no. xxxxxx177

Please pass this letter to your legal experts.

I wish to challenge the validity of the charge being made for minor paintwork damage to the Fiat Panda, reg. no. WVxxxxx, which was allegedly incurred during my two-day hire from Bristol Airport between 16 and 18 September 2014.

1. The alleged damage

I assert that the minor paint chips, for the repair of which I am being charged, were already there when I picked up the car. Unfortunately, without my reading closely the existing damage description on picking up the car, I assumed, on walking round the car to check for damage before getting in, that the minor pre-existing damage that was noted (and was commented upon verbally by the woman at the airport checkout point) referred to these very chip marks. But in fact it refers to a wheel. Nevertheless, the description of the location of this wheel damage on the rental sheet is inconsistent:

'307 Cote Gauche Jant Av Cond griffe - de 5 cm'

This means in French, in full:

'307 Coté gauche, jante avant conducteur griffe - de 5 cm', which translates into English as:

'307 [a code number?] Left side, front wheel driver scratch - 5 cm long',

- which would only make sense if the car were a left-hand drive. Otherwise, how can it be on the left side AND the driver's side? It is not surprising that I might have been confused. This is evidence of inaccurate recording of the condition of the car on pickup.

2. Nature of the disputed damage

I attach a photograph of the alleged damage, noted as:

'13R Arriere - Pare-Chocs Arriere Cote Passager - griffe - de 5 cm', which is translated as:

13R rear - bumper rear passenger side - scratch - 5 cm long

This is a completely inaccurate description of the disputed damage, which in fact comprises 4 separate small paint chips in a line lying along a slight fold in the wheel arch (zone 12 in your diagram, not zone 13]. See the attached photo. In addition, the distance from the two furthest ends of the scratches is 3 to 4 cm, maximum, not 5 cm as stated.

The description of the damage is therefore inaccurate and misleading.

3. Disputed mileage covered during the hire

Your agent failed to record the mileage reading on hiring out the car. On return, I told him that I had driven to Exeter, then back to the airport via Weston-Super-Mare. Your agent estimated this as 225 miles. But I have calculated my exact journey, broken down into the following segments, as follows:

Bristol Airport - Blackall Road, Exeter, via M5 66 ml

Local within Exeter 4 ml

Blackall Road, Exeter to Tiverton 19 ml

Tiverton to Templeton Village Hall 4 ml

TVH to Weston-Super-Mare 51 ml

Local within WSM 3 ml

WSM to Airport via Congresbury 15 ml

Total 162 miles

Before I could point all this out to your agent he said that his so-called 'report' was now "closed" (time: 11:37) and that he therefore could not add in the fact, which I wished to be noted, that his mileage estimate of 225 miles was based on a non-existent outgoing reading. At my insistence he wrote in hand on the invoice "wrong mileage recorded for pickup". I attach a scan of this invoice showing this handwritten addition.

4. Damage estimate

Your estimate of the damage is contained in a so-called 'damage report' no.90000xxxxxxx allegedly prepared by 'Provincial Assessors' of Leicester. This correctly states the DLW Excess as £250, but then it notes simply 'Specialist Charges' as amounting to £176.75, for work quantified as:

Labour Cost - 0.00,

Parts Cost - 0.00,

Paint and Materials - 0.00.

It is difficult to understand what this charge is for. I see no rational reason to be charged for work which (a) cannot be described in any meaningful way, requiring as it does neither labour, parts, nor paint, and (b) has not yet been carried out. It is literally unjustified, sensu stricto.

The damage estimate is dated 19 September 2014, 10:38. But I arrived back at the airport hire area at about 11:20, and your invoice is timed at 11:37 on the same day, which is correct. I took the photo (attached) when I left the hire office at 11:39, before heading off to the airport (refer to the date-time code in the image for confirmation).

I filled the car up at Rontec, Congresbury (7 miles from the airport), paid for by debit card at 11:05 on 18 September 2014 (see attached VISA debit receipt showing the time). Therefore the damage report for which you are charging me £203.75 was evidently pre-prepared and printed off when I was somewhere between Weston-Super-Mare and Congresbury. This was some 40 minutes before your agent could possibly have seen the car on its return.

The above evidence shows that the assessment report is fraudulent. I note that 'Provincial Assessors' has the same legal and postal address as Europcar Group UK Ltd; it would appear that the fraud, if that is what it is, is being conducted entirely within Europcar, and that 'Provincial Assessors' is just a front company to try to give a suggestion of independence from Europcar.

5. Conclusion

Your reports on the condition of the car on pickup and return are both clearly inaccurate in several respects. The failure to record the outgoing mileage shows that your records are deficient. Furthermore, the timing of events documented above suggests that a systematic premeditated fraud is being conducted at my expense. It is perfectly possible that the failure to note the outgoing mileage was deliberate, and that, had I driven further than I did, could have been used to extract a further unjustified charge for exceeding the 600 mile limit over two days' hire.

If you attempt to deduct the disputed amount of £203.75 (this figure includes your £27 damage admin fee) from my card account I shall have no recourse but to take legal action to recover the money and all consequential expenses incurred. I want your confirmation that such an attempt will not be made.

I shall also be taking steps to expose your dishonest business practice for what it is. I intend to put the essential details of this letter on Tripadvisor and other widely-read travel review sites.

I await your full response, which should reasonably be within 10 working days from the date of this email.

Wollongong
Level Contributor
35 posts
51 reviews
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5. Re: Europcar

I'm not sure whether there's a forum or review capacity on Tripadvisor specifically for hire vehicles...? I haven't been able to find one on the site so far - I'd certainly recommend that one be set up, as many travellers would appreciate advice on this topic.

Anyway, I'd like to share my great disappointment with Europcar (in this case, the Exeter UK office). We hired a car from them at the end of August 2014, and returned it promptly as agreed (to the Oxford branch) at the appointed time full of petrol and with no problems whatsoever. We paid fully for the car hire before we collected the vehicle.

A security deposit was debited from our credit card (not simply blocked or frozen) at the time we picked up the car, and we were told it would be refunded within 10 working days after we returned the vehicle.

This did not occur. After 2 weeks we contacted what is laughably known as Eurpocar's 'customer service' several times (by phone and email), and were not helped at all. Finally we were told we just had to wait for this to be sorted out - and that this might take up to 45 days! Why?! It was a clear case of simply refunding the money onto our credit card. After a month or so we resorted to phoning the Exeter office ourselves. (We had tried this earlier, but they weren't answering their phone, even though it was business hours.) After several international calls and pressure from us, our deposit was finally refunded. Had we not persisted with calling, I seriously doubt we would have received our money back. (Needless to say, we've been left bearing the cost of local and international phone calls etc, despite the fact that this has all been entirely Eurpocar's error or malpractice).

This has been an extremely frustrating and souring experience, and I would now advise anyone to avoid Europcar like the plague.

6. Re: Europcar

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