Europcar UK Complaint - What A Shame - Car Rental
Rented the a/m vehicle via auto europe uk and paid full rental in advance for 4 days.
At the Stansted station I paid for a full tank of fuel and extra insurance to remove all excess.
Before leaving their office I was made to leave a thumb print which my solicitor advises is highly irregular and will be investigating what course of action we can take.
On collection at Stansted airport I discovered that the first vehicle (also a kia) had a malfunction light flashing. The vehicle was changed to a different one .
On Sunday 02/03/08 I was involved in an accident at around 09.00 A.M. And rac advised that the car could not be driven and arranged for a recovery truck to take the car to the nearest Europcar station being bristol airport.
I phoned the Europcar desk at bristol airport and the person on duty advised that no replacement vehicle was available before 14.00.Hrs. At the earliest.
I advised that this was not acceptable being 5 hours after the accident. I advised that I was ready to accept a smaller car temporarily. Europcar however said that nothing was available as the key to the office at their station had been taken away by the employee on duty on the previous shift and they had no access to the office in which all car rental keys were kept.
I advised that this was not acceptable and to speak to a person of higher authority as I was on the last day of a family holiday with a party of 6 pax including a 5 year old and had planned a day in surrey at thorpe park ( 250 kms away) with pre-paid tickets costing gbp 102 in total.
Europcar put me on hold (for a good 20 minutes) and finally confirmed that a replacement car (7 seater) would be ready and waiting at bristol airport on my arrival there with the rac recovery truck & damaged vehicle.
We all ( 5 adults + 1 child) arrived in the recovery truck at bristol airport Europcar desk at around 10:15 hrs.
On arrival at the Europcar desk and after filling in all papers relating to the accident I was advised by the Europcar duty clerk (the same person who I spoke to on the phone) that the replacement car was not yet ready as it was being washed and would be ready in a few minutes.
A good 30 to 45 minutes later the car was nowhere to be seen. The Europcar clerk said they were now checking the mileage of the damaged car. Meanwhile he was joined by the duty clerk from the national car rental desk who confirmed the car would be available within the next few minutes.
30 Or so minutes later and no sign of the replacement car , a female employ (dressed in civilian clothes) turned up and was seen handing the keys of the Europcar office to the duty clerk and she told him “ you f-----g a------e did you have to wake me up after such a heavy night” to this the Europcar clerk, the national clerk and the female employ started laughing etc. The Europcar clerk also told her that “he were hoping for a peaceful Sunday and then “this guy had to screw it all up.”
The Europcar employee then went into the now open office and retrieved a number of wooden boxes with contract pouches and keys etc.
On seeing this I remonstrated with the Europcar employee and told him in no uncertain manner and in fact in a high voice and maybe not exactly using proper language that I would not accept being taken for a ride and that the story of the car being washed was a pack of lies and the real problem was the missing keys.
Suddenly the lady on duty at the avis desk started shouting and saying that I was disgusting and I should address my wife in that manner . I told her to mind her own business to which she replied that it was her business and to go back home. I told her that shortly before she was seen taking the mickey out of an old gentleman who was trying to obtain a better car rental rate. She objected to this but a number of people in the building said it was true and that her behaviour was shameful. She then shut up and did not intervene again.
The national clerk then said that they would not be replacing the car . This was confirmed by the Europcar clerk. I am aware that Europcar, national & avis form part of the same group.
I said I was going to contact Europcar customer service but they would not provide a telephone number.
I got even more excited and so did the other members of my family with the 5 year old literally terrified.
I told the family to move out of the building and I joined them.
Once outside my wife told me that a lady (kim) on duty at hertz had approached her and told her that she had called the police and that we were absolutely right and the behaviour etc. Of the Europcar,national & avis personnel was not on and Europcar were having problems all morning with the key problem. She said she and her colleague at hertz were shocked with their behaviour. She also said she would do her best to provide us with a car.
The police turned up after a few minutes, by which time I was very emotional and asked me for my version of events.
One of the officers then asked me to stay outside with my family and the other officer whilst he spoke to the Europcar clerk inside.
Kim from hertz was asked to go outside to give her version of the incident to the officer who remained outside. Which she did.
Having spoken to the Europcar clerk the first officer came outside again and the second officer advised him that kim’s (from hertz )version agreed word for word with my version.
The first officer advised that Europcar had given a totally different version and were adamant in not providing a replacement car. He advised that he could do nothing about this.
I asked him to accompany me to europe car to close the contract which he did.
I advised Europcar that I was being deprived of a vehicle 1 day early (having paid for a 4 day rental in advance through you+ 1 day full insurance to remove all excess charges paid on collection.) And that the damaged vehicle was returned with a tank 0.75 Full of diesel for which I opted to pay for a full tank on collection.
The clerk advised that all these charges would be refunded and credited to my credit card account. When asked for a hard copy of the closed contract the reply was “ not possible as we have problems in our system” this to the amazement of both myself and the police officer.
The officer advised that he could do nothing further at that time. He accompanied me to the hertz desk and waited with me and my family till hertz (kim) provided us with a family car to resume our holiday. Before parting he advised kim that he would be back later to speak to her again about the whole matter and see what further action he could take.
Please note that for the replacement car I was billed gbp.298 (Including full insurance) for a 2 day rental as by then the time was Sunday 13.00 Hrs.And as originally planned I was to return the car to luton on Monday at 15.30 Hrs.