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N860CR

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I had a bit of a drama with Europcar in Hobart about a year ago. I hired a Magna for 2 days while I was down there (not an easy place to get around otherwise) and upon returning it was advised I would be charged $200 for 2 stone chips on the front bumper. I disputed it and they took me out to the car and managed to find two tiny little stone chips that I honestly wouldn't have even noticed (so who knows if I did it or if someone else did it). Anyway, I stood my ground and they didn't charge me (I mean come on, stone chips on a car in Tasmania - it's gonna happen).

I think these companies just try to throw these things at people in the hope most won't dispute them. If you make an issue of it, they'll probably be inclined to forget about the whole thing.
 

gregdane

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Budley said:
Hi,

Sounds like some shonky person (company?) has got hold of the Europcar franchise in Oz.

I should check this out and complain to HO in Europe.

As for me, I'll stick to Hertz and Avis (where I'm a frequent renter and known commodity).

I did have a similar experience with Thrifty a few years back, and won't touch them ever again!

All the best,
Bud :)

I have to agree- I'm also a frequent renter with Avis- my last rental in Sydney was a bit chatoic on the return as we were short on time and didn't get to refill the tank on the way to SYD- when I returned the car at the drop-off, I told the attendant "Sorry, I owe you some fuel- we ran out of time!" He said "No worries," and- exactly that! No charge, no problem on the credit card- and, it was less than 3/4 full. Maybe we just were lucky-
 

toomuchgold

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Here's one to watch out for.

I rent all over the world all year long. Never had anything like this.
Last month in Sydney I had rented using my Hertz No 1 and the evening before returning the car I noticed one of the tyres was a little flat. I changed the tyre - turned out there was a nail in it. So, get to the airport, tell them, "You'd better get the puncture fixed so some poor sucker doesnt end up with no spare".
And hey presto, I'm charged $300+ for a new tyre.
How much to fix a punture - $20 or so, and you can bet they didn't buy a brand new tyre either. A bit rich I thought.
 

justinbrett

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A few years ago Europcar lost the Defence contract and now Hertz has it.

So I use Hertz all the time, as we have access to the rates for personal use. I've never really had a problem with them, mind you I probably trust them to much. I normally park at the airport, get my bags out of the car and throw the keys at the guy in the carpark. I've never gone into an office after rental before.

But I've never been burnt by this so I'll keep doing it. I'd rather spend an extra 5 minutes at the Qantas Club then make small talk in the carpark.

The only thing that happened to me was I was driving in Sydney (up from South Coast) and I had my personal express tag, which failed to go off on the Eastern Distributor (though it worked on the M2). I didn't find out until Hertz charged me an Admin fee. I rang up the motorway, gave them my tag number, they cancelled the fine (which I hadn't even received yet) and sent a fax to Hertz,who refunded the admin fee.

My only other complaint is they seem to hang on to your money for too long (the $200 they freeze on your credit card).
 

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justinbrett said:
My only other complaint is they seem to hang on to your money for too long (the $200 they freeze on your credit card).

They don't hold on to it for a long while per se; the length of time is dependent upon your bank. The day after returning the car I call customer service and ask them to release the authority and they do it within the hour

Dave
 

serfty

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Dave Noble said:
justinbrett said:
My only other complaint is they seem to hang on to your money for too long (the $200 they freeze on your credit card).

They don't hold on to it for a long while per se; the length of time is dependent upon your bank. The day after returning the car I call customer service and ask them to release the authority and they do it within the hour

Dave
This alos depends on the Hire Car Company. When you hire the car they make a pre-authorisation of that $200 (or whatever). On return, some staff are quite lazy and simply do another charge on your CC. What they should do is put the final charge against the original Pre-Auth which should immediatey cancel the extra.

Many Hotel Staff are guity of this as well.
 

Dave Noble

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serfty said:
This alos depends on the Hire Car Company. When you hire the car they make a pre-authorisation of that $200 (or whatever). On return, some staff are quite lazy and simply do another charge on your CC. What they should do is put the final charge against the original Pre-Auth which should immediatey cancel the extra.

Many Hotel Staff are guity of this as well.

Except that it doesn't. Until , either the charge for the authorisation amount is actually received and processed by the CC company or manually released, then the hold is maintained. If they do a auth for AUD300 and then use that auth code but process only $50, the $250 will not be immediately released

Actual times/rules may vary by bank

Dave
 

serfty

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Dave Noble said:
... Except that it doesn't. Until , either the charge for the authorisation amount is actually received and processed by the CC company or manually released, then the hold is maintained. If they do a auth for AUD300 and then use that auth code but process only $50, the $250 will not be immediately released

Actual times/rules may vary by bank

Dave
Well, that's how it seemed to work with my CCs a few years ago when it was often an issue to me.

I must admit, that any Hotel or Car stay I have done in the last few years has been with the pre-auth done on charge cards; theoretically without any credit limit.
 

oz_mark

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Dave Noble said:
serfty said:
This alos depends on the Hire Car Company. When you hire the car they make a pre-authorisation of that $200 (or whatever). On return, some staff are quite lazy and simply do another charge on your CC. What they should do is put the final charge against the original Pre-Auth which should immediatey cancel the extra.

Many Hotel Staff are guity of this as well.

Except that it doesn't. Until , either the charge for the authorisation amount is actually received and processed by the CC company or manually released, then the hold is maintained. If they do a auth for AUD300 and then use that auth code but process only $50, the $250 will not be immediately released

Actual times/rules may vary by bank

Dave

This has been my experience as well. The credit limit is reduced until the amount is released. I actually was able to figure out the when using a credit card at a Service Station pump, my local servo first did a $75 pre-authorisation, which took a couple of days to vanish.
 

justinbrett

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Dave Noble said:
justinbrett said:
My only other complaint is they seem to hang on to your money for too long (the $200 they freeze on your credit card).

They don't hold on to it for a long while per se; the length of time is dependent upon your bank. The day after returning the car I call customer service and ask them to release the authority and they do it within the hour

Dave

Yeah, I do that after a few days - but you shouldn't have to. If it can be done that quickly, then why don't they do it for every rental the day of return?
 

Dave Noble

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justinbrett said:
Yeah, I do that after a few days - but you shouldn't have to. If it can be done that quickly, then why don't they do it for every rental the day of return?

Don't wait a few days, do it as soon as the rental is closed off. The reason why they do not is because they have to send a fax to the bank requesting the removal of the authorisation amount

Dave
 

justinbrett

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I just realised I have been overcharged from a rental at ADL airport last week - by about $10.

I rang up to investigate, they told me it was a fuel charge. I told them it was impossible, I filled it up at the airport, and no more questions asked, they are refunding it.

So in summary, they may muck you around, but if you question them they'll fold every time.

Good customer service really.
 

Damien

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justinbrett said:
So in summary, they may muck you around, but if you question them they'll fold every time.

Good customer service really.

I would say average customer service. Good customer service would be getting it right in the first place.
 
P

Platy

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My AVIS story:

Rented a 4WD in a London Flight Centre for a week in Malta. Paid the money, got the receipt, but no coupon - it was the day before travel close to 5pm and the agent advised me that AVIS UK had agreed to fax the coupon direct to the Malta Airport office. The agent was no fool - obviously on the ball and well educated (a Cambridge graduate).

To cut a long story short, despite showing the AVIS agent in Malta my receipt on arrival and asking that he chase up the coupon which AVIS UK was supposed to send to him, he charged my credit card a second time over after we gave the car back, meaning I had then paid twice without realising this is what the agent had done.

Back in OZ I checked my monthly credit card and noticed the duplicate payment.

AVIS Australia/NZ agreed to chase up but were TOTALLY useless and over a 3 week period I escalated up to the MD who said it simply wasn't his problem and actually was a real cough!!! In any case AVIS have a policy of giving other offices up to 21 days to reply to any correspondence and simply refuse to take the expedient step of just picking up the phone and fixing the whole problem in less than 5 minutes!!!

I chased up AVIS UK over many nights of sitting on the phone paying international call rates and again met with obstinate and unhelpful customer service managers in the UK call centre.

AVIS repeatedly refused to take my receipt as evidence that a transaction had been made. The agent at Flight Centre did her best to chase up from her end - BUT the problem was with AVIS - someone there had failed to do what they said and failed to issue the coupon!!!

Eventually I managed to get the name of the head of customer service and documented everyting in a long email - after about 6 weeks of persistent phone calls and emails I finally got my money refunded and a small amount of compensation for time trouble, phone calls, etc.

My THRIFTY story:

I am a Blue Chip memeber of Thrifty and generally found them to be good over the last few years.

Not this weekend past when I had prebooked a family car for Sunday in ROK to take Mrs Platy for a well earned day off sightseeing (we are between CNS and BNE in the process of moving jobs and location!!!).

Booked the car on Tuesday but was rung thursday to be told they had no cars and would i take a RAV4 - to be accommodating I agreed.

On arrival we were palmed off onto an ageing diesel landcruiser which wasn't even ready at the pick up location (was few blocks away in their commercial pound) - anyway stand off ensues with the girl behind the counter insisting she can do nothing to change the car whilst we insist on a family car or RAV4 as booked or subsequently offered, despite there being a RAV4 ready and waiting to go on the driveway.

After 30 minutes she produced a RAV4 (Surprise surprise), but this came from the commercial pound and wasn't detailed or completely full of fuel - obviously the vehicle had been available, but they couldn't be bothered to pull their finger out and get the car cleaned up and ready to go...when I suggested an apology was in order she gave me the line that nothing she did would ever satisfy a customer like me!!!

Meanwhile there was a driveway full of family cars, which supposedly were falling out of rego that night - she declined my sugegstion of bringing the car back that evening in retrun for a $10 taxi ride to the airport the next morning!

When you have bad experiences it saddens me somewhat to think that within these organisations there are undoubtedly many professional and courteous employees and it only takes the occasional dufus to really give them a bad name...
 
P

Platy

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THRIFTY STORY - postscript

I have now spoken with the local manager of Thrifty ROK (who was on a day off at the time) and had a constructive and satisfactory debrief and compensatory offer of a day's hire.
 

justinbrett

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Damien said:
justinbrett said:
So in summary, they may muck you around, but if you question them they'll fold every time.

Good customer service really.

I would say average customer service. Good customer service would be getting it right in the first place.

Well yes, that is true. But who does that nowadays?
 

cumaloon

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I hire cars all over Europe, Aussie and the US and the only place this has ever happened to me is ......Perth WA!
 

serfty

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coughaloon said:
I hire cars all over Europe, Aussie and the US and the only place this has ever happened to me is ......Perth WA!
I've had the fuel charge added in MEL, SYD, ADL, ASP, CNS & CBR.

I think many places are simply 'value adding' with the exprectation that your average coporate hirer is not going to be fussed enough about a $10-$15 additional charge to do anything about it.
 
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straitman

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justinbrett said:
I just realised I have been overcharged from a rental at ADL airport last week - by about $10.

I rang up to investigate, they told me it was a fuel charge. I told them it was impossible, I filled it up at the airport, and no more questions asked, they are refunding it.

So in summary, they may muck you around, but if you question them they'll fold every time.

Good customer service really.

Which rental company :?:
 

justinbrett

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straitman said:
justinbrett said:
I just realised I have been overcharged from a rental at ADL airport last week - by about $10.

I rang up to investigate, they told me it was a fuel charge. I told them it was impossible, I filled it up at the airport, and no more questions asked, they are refunding it.

So in summary, they may muck you around, but if you question them they'll fold every time.

Good customer service really.

Which rental company :?:

Hertz
 
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