PORTLAND, MAINE -- I just had a very unsatisfactory experience with Kemwel and everyone should take note before doing business with them. I just read a review, on this site, about a problem someone had with Kemwel insurance. While insurance is not my complaint, my experience relative to insurance is relevant.
I made arrangements, via the internet, to rent a car through Kemwel and their pre-paid voucher indicated that I should pick up the vehicle at Europcar in Nice.
When I picked up my cat I was informed that my damage liability was $1,580 and that my theft liability was $2,265. I questioned this and told the agent that I understood from Kemwel that I had a ZERO deductible (and their voucher appears to verify this). The agent advised me that if I had damage I would have to pay Europcar and would then have to be reimbursed by Kemwel, In the process I asked if I was to bring the vehicle back with a full gas tank and the first response was YES. Then the agent looked at the computer screen and changed the answer to NO and said that under the Kemwel contract I could bring the car back totally empty.
I was concerned about this and when I got to my destination, I sent Kemwel an e-mail asking for clarification. their reply stated that I had been given the correct insurance information and that, indeed, I could bring the vehicle back empty.
The agent asked me for my credit card before giving me the keys and I asked why it was needed since I had prepaid my rental charge. I was advised that they would use my credit card to charge for any damage and if there was none no charge would be put through.
When I returned to the U S, I received a credit card charge from Europcar for a substantial amount of money covering "Full Tank Option", "Premium Station Surcharge" and charges for an "Additional Driver" (my wife). When I called Kemwel to question this, I was told that these items were in my contract. True, they were covered in the small, fine print under "Terms and Conditions" but the face of the voucher that Kemwel provided showed the "Required Payment", "Amount paid" and "Balance Due on Delivery" which was shown as $.00 leading a belief that all charges were paid in advance. Clearly these extra charges, if they were applicable, would have been incurred at the timke of delivery and should have been payable at the time of taking delivery, not one month after delivery.
The deceptive practice and misleading practice of including all kinds of extra charges in the fine print of a contract under Terms and Conditions, was abandoned by the U S auto rental car companies quite some time ago and now the rental car companies very carefully explain to customers every single charge they will be expected to pay and customers are asked to initial a box indicating their knowledge of these charges.
When the Europcar agent asked me if there would be an added driver and asked to see that persons license, no mention was made of any charge (US companies often do not charge for spouse drivers). And, when the agent took an imprint of my credit card, no mention was made of the fact that it would be used for additional charges not related to damages.
I am still very confused about what insurance I did have because of the information provided by Europcar and confirmed by e-mail with Kemwel, which information was totally contrary to the written provisions of the contract under Terms and Conditions.
Bottom line - READ THE FINE PRINT BEFORE YOU AGREE TO RENT from Kemwel because they appear to to engage in a deceptive and misleading practice of hiding extra charges in the fine print.
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Took extra £500 from our account through sneaky small print
Posted by Traveller1000 on 08/12/2010
I used Kemwel this summer and have had a horrible experience. We booked with them because they seemed to offer a good one-way service. We filled everything out online on their request form stating that we wanted to travel only one way, and the different airports that we would pick up and depart from (one in North Spain, the other in South France) the quote came back at a reasonable price and so we booked. On arrival to pick up our car we were stung with an additional £45 for picking it up at an airport. Then on returning to the UK 10 days later a further £590 was taken from our account without any notification. Apparently this was due to a 500 euro plus vat charge for the fact that they have to drive it back across the border. On studying the receipts we have found that it says this in the small print but was never included in the large 'Final payment due' details. How can 500 euros plus vat be just in the small print, when the final price quote has all the information about us doing that included but then does not add it to the price. It seems to me that they make you sign for the obvious amount and then just remove the rest hoping that you won't notice and then are cleared because it says it in the small print. Very, very bad customer policy. I write this here in the hope that no one else has to be ripped off like we were. We would never have taken the offer if we had known the real price as it was only a 4 hour drive!