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Direct2CarRentals.com - avoid like the plague

Swansea, United...
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4 posts
6 reviews
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Direct2CarRentals.com - avoid like the plague

When I searched for car rental for Corfu in Sept 2011 for 7 days,on Moneysupermarket.com. I found a car rental through Direct2CarRentals.com. The car rental before paying the deposit, was a total of £97.52p. I paid a deposit of £11.70p, leaving a balance to be paid of £85.52p.

Their instructions were on our arrival at Corfu airport to attend the desk of the car hire company DIRENT A CAR in the arrivals area. There is actually no desk in the entire airport for this company. I asked all the reps present, and no-one had heard of them. I later found a piece of A4 paper selotaped to a railing in the arrivals lounge with my name, printed in bold letters. Written below was 'on arrival please call 0030-2661023999.' I rang the number and a lady answered, she identified herself as a rep for the car hire company DIRENT A CAR. She stated she would be with us in 5 minutes. She arrived 25 minutes later. We were then conveyed, with another tourist to their office which is situated outside Corfu airport.

At time of booking, the instruction from Direct2CarRental.com was that I had to pay the balance on arrival in Corfu airport, with the same card I had paid the deposit with at the time of booking. The representative declined the card as it was a debit card ~ they don't accept debit cards. We also had to pay an extra 20 euros as our arrival was 'outside of Working Hours' . Direct2CarRental.com were aware of our flight arrival times. Due to a particular exchange rate operated by this cowboy car hire company, we had to pay 123.77 euros, on top of the deposit that had been previously paid. There was also another British tourist present who was also charged 20 euros for the opportunity of using this company. The result was, I could have had a car hired at a cheaper rate with a competitor at the airport.

This whole experience has left a very bad taste in my mouth. We had arrived late at night, and were already exhausted, and it was a disastrous start to our holiday.

The woman concerned was rude and was unable to explain the exchange rate she operated, and the additional 20 euro charge. When I asked her what precisely were these hours, she was unable to furnish me with these. We are a very well travelled couple, and in fact, this was the first time a company has ever charged such a fee.

Since arriving back in the UK, I have emailed Direct2CarRental.com twice about my disatisfaction, and once through their own website, ~ they just don't answer. They also don't answer the phone. Steer clear of these cowboy ripoff merchants

Bolton, United...
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2,392 posts
15 reviews
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1. Re: Direct2CarRentals.com - avoid like the plague

Direct2CarRentals.com are a car hire broker company, they dont have any cars they use local agents. Better to deal with a local company direct??

Roda, Greece
Destination Expert
for Corfu, Roda
Level Contributor
3,374 posts
84 reviews
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2. Re: Direct2CarRentals.com - avoid like the plague

My recommendation has always been to rent a car in advance from the resort you are going to. It will be left at the airport for you, it is usually cheaper, and the company is on hand if you need them.

Steve

Lincolnshire
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299 posts
21 reviews
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3. Re: Direct2CarRentals.com - avoid like the plague

I had looked into car hire for a week in sep, and I have to say the original quote you were given was a good 20~40 euro less than what I was being quoted, this was with an arrival before 2200. A lot of the companies add an extra 20 if you arrive after this time.

I know you can't turn back the clock, and I'm sorry to hear of your experience, but if you hire again maybe ask for recommendations of companies on TA, or google some reviews on the companies. Whilst prices vary, packages vary too, I know of two companies who provide a fully comprehensive insurance where they include tyre and undercarriage damage, I also know of quite a few companies who do not provide this level of cover in their comprehensive insurance so if any damage occurs can be more costly~the key is always read the small print, this is also where the late arrival fee usually arrives too.

Roda, Greece
Destination Expert
for Corfu, Roda
Level Contributor
3,374 posts
84 reviews
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4. Re: Direct2CarRentals.com - avoid like the plague

Direct2CarRentals claim on their website, to have been created specifically to avoid the kind of problem you have outlined - "No more Unexpected Hidden Extras!" could not be clearer.

Statements like - "Before you place your booking you know EXACTLY the Total amount you will have to pay on arrival, including ALL the additional items you have requested on booking . . . . . . In case there are other charges which should be applied (Young Driver Charges, One way rental, out of working hours etc,) and which have not been indicated by you on the booking form, we will mail you back the exact amount of such charges to be added."

As BiddyEllen says, I suspect there are a few things in the small print that are designed to be easy to miss.

Steve

Swansea, United...
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4 posts
6 reviews
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5. Re: Direct2CarRentals.com - avoid like the plague

Thanks for the comments folks.

This was the first time I have not used one of the 'big boys' in 35yrs of holidaying ( I'm 52yrs young :- ) ) These were incidentally about the same final price as the 'big boys'. My reason for submitting this review is to warn people to steer clear of 'cheap deals'. Theres always a reason they're cheap ! I have also emailed Moneysupermarket.com where I originally found Direct2CarRentals.com

Roda, Greece
Destination Expert
for Corfu, Roda
Level Contributor
3,374 posts
84 reviews
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6. Re: Direct2CarRentals.com - avoid like the plague

My inclination is to steer away from the 'big boys', and go completely the other way, dealing with a company where the owner is in charge and contactable. If you return every year, you have the added advantage of establishing a trusting relationship.

Steve

Nicosia, Cyprus
3 posts
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7. Re: Direct2CarRentals.com - avoid like the plague

Just to correct some points regarding this post:

1.The car rental voucher mentioned that the service is MEET & GREET inside arrival terminal. Nowhere mentioned that customers have to go to a desk. Obviously this customer was wasting his time looking for a desk and asking around, when the representative were waiting with a label with your name on it. (as he found it half an hour ago)

2.The car rental voucher mentioned that MASTERCARD and VISA are accepted. Debit cards are NOT accepted from the rental partner.

3.It is stated clear in the Voucher that late Pick Up/Drop Off between 22:00pm-08:00am occur a charge of 20.00EUR per service.

4.The customer balance on arrival was 103.77EUR and he finally paid exactly this amount + 20.00EUR charge for the late Pick Up (123.77EUR).

5. We received the complaint on the 23rd of Oct 2011 and we replied 24th Oct 2011.

The above rate was inline - comparing like with like) to all car hire brokers as you mentioned (big boys).

Direct2carrentals

Swansea, United...
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4 posts
6 reviews
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8. Re: Direct2CarRentals.com - avoid like the plague

Strange that ? I haven't received a reply from yourselves as yet ?

Sale, United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Crete
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10,709 posts
78 reviews
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9. Re: Direct2CarRentals.com - avoid like the plague

<<The car rental voucher mentioned that MASTERCARD and VISA are accepted>>

Probably like most others in thr UK, I have a Visa debit card - would that be accepted? If not, you should make your terms clearer.

Nicosia, Cyprus
3 posts
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10. Re: Direct2CarRentals.com - avoid like the plague

Dear Steve

The Payment of the rental could be paid by Visa or Mastercard (No matter if it is Credit or Debit card). Could be paid in cash as well.

The DEPOSIT (excess amount) should be held on a Credit Card, as stated in T&C below.

4. PAYMENT CONDITIONS

METHOD: The balance amount could be paid locally by VISA and MASTERCARD

CREDIT CARD: A Credit Card will be required to be presented preferably in the driver’s name at rental counter.

DEPOSITS: The required deposit amount which is held until the vehicle is returned is generally the insurance excess and the fuel deposit. In the event that you fail to present a valid credit card or lack of sufficient funds available on the credit card, car rental agent may refuse to release the vehicle or request. In these instances, no funds paid will be reimbursed. Renters having insufficient funds to cover the required deposit guarantee will be required to purchase an insurance excess waiver insurance which would otherwise be optional if a sufficient deposit is available to guarantee the rental. Always make sure that the credit card has sufficient credit available at the time of rental.