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Review of Europcar: Unethical, dodgy, unfriendly, overall terrible experience
Posted by Evileuropcar on 04/05/2010
I hired a car from Europcar in Perth, Western Australia in October 2009.

I previously was a long term Europcar customer, hiring through work probably once a month, and normally I would hire the most expensive luxury car available.

Over the previous 12 months I noticed the customer service going downhill with each experince with Europcar getting more and more painful.

On this particular experience I hired an Audi A3 from Perth Airport when I was away with my girlfriend for a weekend. Our flighy arrived at around 8pm and it was dark when we collected the vehicle. After collecting the keys from the pickup counter at baggage collection we had to walk nearly a kilometre to the parking lot where the car was located. The carpark where the car was collected from was dimly lit and after a 4 hour flight from Adelaide it did not cross our mind to go over the car in detail to search for damage as it was my expectation that after renting cars quite literally hundreds of times in my life that I would not have to worry about this.

My girlfriend and I proceeded to drive the car to the Parmellia Hilton in Perth where the car was parked in an undercover carpark for the weekend, only taking it one night to a restaurant for dinner where it was parked in an onsite park out the front of the restaurant in a quiet Perth suburb.

When returning the vehicle to Perth airport on the Sunday, I was surprised to be asked to wait around for 10 minutes whilst the Indian fellow who processed the return performed a detailed inspection of the vehicle.

After nearly 10 minutes of checking over the vehicle, he came accross a tiny stone chip in the middle of the hood, something I would not have even been able to find if I had even inspected the vehicle. When returning the car, I noticed that he was holding paperwork that showed that I was a customer that hadn't taken out the excess reduction insurance - this is a scam where Europcar gets you to pay a large additional daily fee so that if they find damage of any sort they limit the amount you pay back to them.

It was quite clear that the company had advised the person in the incoming car park that I was a customer who had not paid the excess reduction and he was instructed to find any excess to charge me the $3,500 excess fee. It is a policy of Europcar if you do not pay their extra fees, then they will charge you $3,500 regardless of the level of damage.

The Indian fellow of course immediately proceeded to blame me for damage to the vehicle, howver upon closer questioning of him, he came to admit that Europcar had absolutely no way of verifying that the damge was or was not on the car when I had taken it out. Knowing that I would be up for a fight with the company I immediately pulled out my iPhone and recorded a conversation with him, and this has kindly been hosted by the good folk at boycotteuropcar.com - http://www.boycotteuropcar.com/europcar. mp3.

The Indian fellow said that he had no choice but to report the damage to the office in the airport where they would charge my credit card for $3,500.

I then proceeded to move to the Europcar office in the airport. After 10 minutes of discussing the issue with the manager, they sent a team out to the vehicle with a ruler to measure the size of the stone chip. They came back and reported to me that the size of the chip was 1milimetre over the threashold as to what they wall consider to be 'wear and tear', as result they would have to charge me $3,500 for the 'damage'. The most upsetting part about this was that both my girlfriend and I were absolutely certain that this damage did not occur whilst we were driving the car, and the staff at Europcar were completely unsympathetic, and almost excited to charge the $3,500 like they were getting a commission bonus from it.

I of course continued to engage in discussion with the manager in a calm, collected and mild mannered way. The manager at the desk told me that I was stopping her from serving the next customer and said that she was not willing to continue discussing the matter. She completely closed the book on further discussion and would not accept that it was unreasonable to continue discussing damage they wanted to charge me $3,500 for, over whether it was 1mm over the limit as to where they would just ignore it.

The managers method of dealing with the matter was, 'I'm sick of talking about this, go away now so I can charge your card and serve other customers'. I claimed that I had a right to a fair dispute process and her response was that she pressed a button under the desk that called over the federal police where she reported me to be a nusiance and I was warned that if I were to be un an unhappy state that I would not even be allowed to fly home.

Thankfully the time in which she spent discussing the unreasonable customer who was unhappy about being charged $3,500 over a tiny stone chip that he didn't cause with the federal police gave me enough time to call my credit card company and cancel the card.

This was the last I heard of the matter until January 2010. I received a letter from a lawfirm called Mendelsons seeking immediate payment within 7 days on behalf on Europcar for the amount $1,915.67.

I wrote back to this lawfirm advising them of what had happened. I received a call from the firm and they said that they were willing to reduce their legal fees by $225, and the final amount would be reduced to $1,690.67.

I explained that I would like the matter formally reviewed and would like to start a dispute process with the company. I also advised the company that I had personal travel insurance that would cover this amount of money, however felt the charge was unethical and would like it to be reviewed.

Without any further contact, I received another letter from the lawfirm saying that negotiation was unsuccessful and they would take me to court within 7 days if I didn't pay the balance. Copies of these letters can be found at http://www.boycotteuropcar.com/dodgy_lawyers. pdf

I am now at a crossroads where I am being extorted by Europcar, either goto court, pay the money, or damage my credibility with my insurance company by filing a claim that makes me look like a bad driver.

I warn people out there, do not trust this company, under no circumstances, NEVER hire with Europcar.

I have been using AVIS ever since and their service is amazing, I wish I had been using them all along instead of Europcar.

     
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Europcar Adelaide Is A Disgrace
Posted by Justin Carter on 06/27/2009
ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA -- Below is the original email to europcar once I received a bogus $98 repair charge. It has now been 5 months, at least 10 phone calls from me to them, 4 personal visits to the depot and promised returned calls from state managers that never happened. Basically the repair charge is bogus and they owe me money for charging me for more hire time than used. The worst customer resolution service known to man.

The vehicle was collected from Salisbury depot at 1541 on 14/1/09 at which time the exterior of the vehicle was inspected and discussed with the site Manager but I was assured the damage was due to general wear and tear and I wasn't to worry further. No damage was obviously noted in the interior as nobody would realisticaly check the boot release. The vehicle was driven to my house in Ridgehaven (15 minutes drive) at which time it sat in my garage for approximately 3 hours until my interstate guests and I were leaving for dinner only to discover that one tyre was completely flat.

Naturally we then went to change the tyre and discovered the boot release was broken when going to open the boot for the spare. The tyre was changed and then I promptly rang Europcar at the airport to see if a spare tyre could be brought to my house the next morning as my guests were preparing for a day in the Adelaide Hills with a view to ending up in the Barossa the next night and wanted to make sure they had a spare in case of another flat tyre. The female operator I spoke to at the time explained to me that because of the time of the call (approx 7pm) she couldn't give me an answer on getting a spare to me until the next morning when the Salisbury branch reopened. At this time I also made a mention to the operator that the boot release appeared broken. No mention of being charged for this occurred as she clearly understood it must have occurred prior to me collecting the vehicle.

The next day I was told over a series of phone calls over 5 hours from the Salisbury depot that my guests would have to cut short their time in the hills and return to the Salisbury depot in the afternoon to then have to go to a tyre dealer for a replacement. They therefore did rearrange their plans to ensure they had a spare.

Based on the letter I received it appears that Europcar are happy to charge people for an inconvenience to them but assume it's fine for the client to be inconvenienced when having to assist in sorting out a problem that isn't theirs to fix?

On top of this I have been charged for 4 days vehicle hire when in actual fact the vehicle was only used for 3. The vehicle was returned 28 hours prior to the original booked time so I am expecting the balance to also be credited back into my account with the false damage charge.

As a person who has hired countless vehicles from Europcar across the country I would hope my support of your company will count when settling this matter.
     
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Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-06-27:
When you noticed the bogus charge you should have disputed it with your credit card company right away. Now it may be too late to reverse that, but it may be worth calling them to see if it is still possible.

Europcar is a poor company and they only care about taking money that isn't theirs, I am certain they won't let it go. Voted helpful.
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Europcar Stansted Review
Posted by M28288 on 02/19/2014
STANSTED -- Do not be sucked in by a price of Europcar 'too good to be true'. Europcar policy is to rent out cheap and later charge your credit card for phantom services. Please read on.

In January 2014 Momondo provided the most convenient rent-a-car at Stansted and we booked via CarTrawler for 2 days a car with Europcar. CarTrawler offered for € 6.90 per day an insurance to cover the GBP 1,000 own risk Europcar applies. Collecting the car at Europcar Stansted we were offered the same extra insurance for GBP 30 per day. We felt for a rent of less than 40 hours we could do without the extra cover. What a mistake!
We drove the car carefully, no damage whatsoever and returned the car at 23:45 PM at Stansted. Notwithstanding Europcar claim to be open till 01:00 AM, the Europcar desk was closed. We had to leave the car keys at the key return box. We didn’t realize that now we were a Europcar hostage. A day late our credit card was charged for an extra GBP 92.
We should be happy we were not ripped off for a larger amount. Endless calls with the service dept finally revealed that Europcar proclaims we had returned the car with a scratch. A true lie that brings Europcar money they miss by renting out cheap and not selling you an insurance that costs more than the rental price.
Europcar is a rent-a-car company definitely to be avoided.
     
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Car Rental SCAM!
Posted by Mr.hwang88 on 10/26/2013
Our family travel abroad every year. We planned to visit Western Australia in September. My daughter rented a 12 seater from Europcar via Rentalcars.com. She paid the full rent and the excess damage insurance fee to Rentalcars.com one month ahead, in August. We were advised to get our vehicle at Europcar's counter at Perth Airport. We arrived on time as our agreement indicated. First, the lady of Europcar told us the 12 seater was damaged. She could offer an 8 seater or 2 small cars. Considering the road risks, gas bills, and other problems, we prefer to travel in one vehicle. So we went to the parking lot to check if the luggage capacity was enough for us (we were a group of 8). Then we decided to hold some bags on our laps to take that 8 seater. As to the price difference, the lady said "NO REFUND". That meant, we paid more money for a cheaper vehicle! OK, our family group included three generations -- I and my wife were around 75 and my youngest granddaughter was not 5 yet. We were tired and we just wanted to hit the road ASAP.

We accepted the unfair condition just because we really wanted a vehicle. Then, when we showed our domestic driving license and the international driving permit for the usual procedure of renting a vehicle overseas, we were asked to show the English translation of our domestic driving license. We had traveled so many countries, it was not the first time for us to travel in Western Australia, and we were a returning customer of Europcar...We'd never been challenged with this issue. The international driving permit has the English translation of our Taiwan driving license in it. The international driving permit was issued according to our Taiwan driving license by our government. It was impossible for us to produce the English translation of the driving license with notarization at Perth Airport! That lady insisted the third document no matter how hard we tried to explain. As a result, we had to give up our booking and turned to the next counter, Hertz, to rent a vehicle for moving on. Out of our surprise, we got the exactly the same vehicle with 2/3 price of the bill my daughter paid to Rentalcars.com. Besides, we weren't asked for the English translation. Just in a few minutes, we got our vehicle!

My daughter contacted Rentalcars.com for their non-fulfillment. The answer was the cancellation fee was the full payment my daughter paid in August. Think of this: we didn't use the car or the insurance for a second, why we should pay all these? They said, according to their Terms & Conditions, the cancellation is only accepted with refund when you notify them 48 hours before the picking-up time, AND the renter should prepare the valid driving license.

My daughter is still contacting with Rentalcars.com and Europcar. Because the truth was Europcar didn't fulfill the agreement, how could we predict the issue 48hrs ahead? AND, according to the Transport Department of Western Australia and the T&C of Europcar, there's no regulation says the English translation is mandatory. There's a regulation says the driver needs the domestic driving license and the international driving permit OR the English translation of the driving license.

Both companies ignore my daughter's complaint. My daughter's bank started to contact Rentalcars.com because the bank had paid Rentalcarscom already. Then, Rrentalcars.com email my daughter and said they closed the file, so my daughter's bank won't have the solution.

What a fraud it is!!! Please avoid using these fraud companies.

     
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Posted by Paul on 2013-10-26:
Thanks for the warning. What an ugly experience - they could not even present the vehicle that you requested, yet held you to every bit of fine print.
Posted by Old Timer on 2013-10-26:
If you feel it is fraud, then file a charge back with your credit card company. Be prepared for these sleaze companies to prove you agreed to all of their terms and conditions. You will need something to prove they are the ones that violated the terms that you agreed too.
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Europcar provided me a dangerous car and cost me £1000
Posted by Rhyannonhanbury on 09/30/2013
IBIZA -- DO NOT TRUST EUROPCAR. DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR CREDIT CARD DETAILS - THEY COST ME £1000, PUT ME IN DANGER AND HAVE CAUSED ME NOTHING BUT STRESS SINCE.

Europcar in Spain provided me with a dodgy car with a worn out clutch on the verge of failing, the clutch burnt out after just 90 minutes of hiring it as they failed to checked or service the car properly. The car was dangerous which I would soon find out, the clutch failed whilst on a hill and would not go into first or second gear. It started rolling backwards down the hill with passengers in it so I had to push harder than normal on the clutch to stop us rolling off the hill and it burnt out. We had to jump out then and there, there was nothing more we could do.

Instead of rectifying the situation they shouted at me before even inspecting the car and gave me a bill of £1000. They ruined my holiday, the following 2 months were absolute hell trying to get this unfair situation resolved to no success. It was really upsetting and I've tried everything to stop them just taking my money but as it was booked in Spain there is nothing I can do, it is under Spanish law and would be very expensive to fight. I have tried the ECRCS and other companies out there to resolve disputes but after battling for months it is pointless, the whole situation is hugely unfair. I had even paid extra for full insurance which turns out does not cover clutches or brakes. On top of it all they even charged me for a day's rental and 150 euros admin charge!!! Would you believe...just crazy.

The big man wins.

Please for your own sake DO NOT TRUST EUROPCAR SPAIN. DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR CREDIT CARD DETAILS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, it's not worth the risk.

EUROPCAR CASE NUMBER - 6026377744. (Ref Nr 4680020-1)
     
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Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2013-10-01:
Have you contacted your bank to see if the credit card charge can be disputed?
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Bait and switch tactic : avoid with all costs. Overcharges with no explanation
Posted by Anonimu72 on 06/21/2013
JOHANNESBURG, SA, OREGON -- I booked a rental online for South Africa and paid ahead of time $370. On the reservation it says that the price includes Taxes, &Unlimited Miles and excludes CDW (collision damage waiver) ,PAI (Passenger Accident Insurance) and theft insurance. Again stated black on white at the time of reservation.

When I got to South Africa (Johannesburg airport) and pick up the car I mention at least 3 times to the Europcar representative that I don’t need any CDW, PAI or theft since my credit card used for reservation covers that . I stated also that I don’t want to see any other charges that those made at the time of reservation and he confirmed that, as long as the car is returned with a full tank of gas and in good condition. That indeed happened; they inspected the car and said that everything is fine. Now try to imagine my surprise after returning home (US) when I see an additional charge of about $320. I tried contacting them but with no success. For instance the e-mailbox for South Africa does not accept e-mails.

Needless to say that I never received an invoice for the additional $320;it just showed up on my bank account. May guess is that they charge for anything they could. These people are thieves and here I’m referring in particular for the South African branch inside Johannesburg airport+ Europcar website. I don’t like to generalize but judging by the volume of complains, the issue seems a lot more wide-spread. I will never rent a car from them and advise other people looking for a car rental to avoid them like plague.

Never come across a company that will tell you one thing online and charge you almost double in the end, since they have your credit card and they can. Caveat emptor!
     
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Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2013-06-22:
File a fraud complaint with your bank and have the charges reversed.
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Total Ripoff
Posted by Rosina229 on 04/22/2013
CANCUN AIRPORT -- I booked through Europcar 3 months in advance online because their prices were very reasonable. We go to Mexico on a regular basis and thought we would try another company. That was our first mistake! The confirmation included a picture of the car we would be renting and even listed the car as a 5 passenger. Upon arrival we were shown a hatchback 4 passenger car even though we had a confirmation for a 5 passenger car. We tried to reason with them but they would not even listen to reason .When we asked them what an upgrade would cost they really tried to "sock it to us" with an outrageous price because they thought we had no other choices.

We walked across the street to Thrifty and got a better deal and better car and was in and out of the car rental in under 20 minutes.

I hope a million people read this email and avoid renting with Europcar!
     
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Posted by BigAl on 2013-04-22:
I like it when consumers vote with their feet.
Posted by JAKFK on 2013-04-22:
BigAl> Best answer!

Rosina229> Glad to see you didn't let them push you around or coerce you into a deal you weren't comfortable with!
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Late Return Fee Rip Off
Posted by Martinh135 on 03/20/2012
I was charged a late reurn fee in Launceston, Tasmania (Australia).

The car was due back at 11.30 AM. I can prove I caught a plane at 11.20 AM. They say it was not returned until 4.30 PM, by which time I was at home about 2000km away.

     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-03-20:
Did you get a receipt when you returned the car? It's been years since I rented a car, but my memory is I always checked in with the rental agency upon return to do at least an odometer and gas level check.
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Credit Card Fraud
Posted by Amd213587 on 10/13/2011
I rented a car from Europcar in Italy (Catania) in June. I have now had charges on my credit card in September and October which are completely bogus. I think someone is running a credit card fraud scam out of their Catania office.
     
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Posted by Kris10 on 2011-10-13:
Have you contacted the company to ask them to remove the charges? Or have you refuted the charges with your card? either should get their attention.
Posted by At Your Service on 2011-10-13:
Kris10 has given a good suggestion. Have the charges reversed.
Posted by Old Timer on 2011-10-13:
I would never rent from Europcar after seeing the 1,000's of complaints all of the web on them. As stated above, just dispute the charges before your window to do so closes.
Posted by Ben There on 2011-10-13:
Are the charges on your bill actually from Europcar Italia, or another company?
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Bogus charges!
Posted by RenaRain on 03/02/2011
I WILL NEVER EVER RECOMMEND CAR RENTAL FROM EUROPCAR EVER AGAIN!

I regretted not renting from Avis instead!

1. I had rented from europcar from the airport 31 Dec 2011- 4 Jan and dropped off at Europcar Dandenong. Paid the toll through the phone and now, I received a letter saying I did not pay the citylink toll charge. Got proof for that in my credit card bill!! Have yet to call to clarify the charge as I just received the letter today.

2. Second time, I rented and extended the rental from Europcar Dandenong for 11 - 18 Jan. Upon return on 18 Jan at the airport, the guy who checked the car for mileage and petrol tank, said all was OK!
I got a shock when I was charged by Europcar Dandenong for AUD$39.51 on 19 Jan.... Called Europcar Dandenong to clarify. Debbie, who spoke to me on the phone, claimed that I was charged for 1/8 unfilled petrol! I practically lost my temper when I told her I had MADE SURE petrol was filled up upon return as I was well aware of the exorbitant charges I would incur. I had even gone an extra mile to wash and vacuum the car!
I did mention that from the nearest petrol station to the drop off area, she must be crazy to expect a full to the brim petrol tank!!
Anyway when demanded for her to send me a letter or invoice as a document/notification of charge, til now nothing has been sent! Emailed her to send to me again and still silence!
Just because it is in the terms and conditions that they can charge us for all these it does not mean that they can do that without notifying us. They should provide proof of these claims instead!

My sweet memories of Melbourne has been tarnished by this experience. I have spent nearly $2000 and yet they have the cheek to charge additional bogus charges!!
     
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Posted by Alain on 2011-03-03:
Looking at the previous Europcar reviews, your experience is apparently typical for Europcar customers. If you paid by credit card, dispute their charges immediately.
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