Europcar - Bait and switch tactic : avoid with all costs. Overcharges with no explanation
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!