Auto Europe Car Rental- Scam??

Old Nov 6th, 2000, 09:27 AM
  #1  
cheryl
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Auto Europe Car Rental- Scam??

Either a Scam or ignorance on my part. Just a warning. We rented a car in Germany several weeks ago using Auto Euro Rental. Returned the car with full tank of gas as told! Just got a bill from the car company they CHARGED us 144.00DM on our Visa said we returned empty.We filled the car full 3 days before returning then topped off to full the day before returning. I can describe the bathroom in the gas station, what we bought in the convenience store(It was a Sunday
etc... we of course used DM to pay since we were trying to unload our extras.. low and
behold I have NO receipt..My fault for not thinking.. I do have 2 adult witnesses to attest to the purchases etc... But please don't do what we did..KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS. I was told that there was a WARNING to keep receipts on my voucher..Why is this WARNING even needed..When we checked the car in it was gone over with a fine tooth comb and nothing was said about the supposedly empty tank! I am mad at my ignorance and hope someone can benefit from my lack of being savy! Cheryl
 
Old Nov 6th, 2000, 10:26 AM
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Rex
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Is this supposed to be a reference to AutoEurope.com - - or Europcar? These are two totally different companies, and it seems that the name of Autoeurope gets smeared a lot for what some car rental companies do. AutoEurope is a consolidator that will get you a better price (usually) with established car rental companies like Hertz, Avis, Budget and yes, Europcar too. What car rental company did trhis to you?
 
Old Nov 6th, 2000, 10:43 AM
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Bob Brown
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I agree. Auto Europe as far as I know has no cars to rent! I have gone through Auto Europe three times and each time the actual renting agency was Avis.
I have had no trouble with Avis.
We got a good car, twice the local agency transported us between the garage and the train station.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2000, 10:51 AM
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Paul J
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Hi Cheryl: We just returned from Munich where we used AutoEurope. Our car actually was through Budget. While keeping your receipts is always a good idea, I "think" your problem may be with the actual company you rented from, i.e. Avis, Budget, Hertz etc. Check your bill and I think the bill may be from the car company and not from AutoEurope. At least that was how our rental was set up. You may get some relief from AutoEurope if you explain the problem to them. It's worth a try....Paul J
 
Old Nov 6th, 2000, 11:04 AM
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Jim
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Cheryl,
You mentioned a 144DM bill for gas. That equats to 18.5 gals of gas. Average price of gas in Germany is 2.05DM per liter. Doing the math, 18.5 gals of gas is a lot of gas for a European rental car. Check to see what the tank capacity of the car you rented is. I'll bet it doesn't hold nearly that much gas.I think you were charged for someone else's car/van/truck.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2000, 11:51 AM
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Al
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We arranged for a rental car in Belgium with a return in Holland, all this through AutoEurope. We picked the car up at the Europcar office and returned it to the same company. In fact, we were saved a drop-off charge by the Brussels office when they provided us a car with Dutch plates. At every step of the way, from dealings with AutoEurope to dealings with Europcar, we were treated with courtesy and correctness. I cannot say enough good things about the service we received from both companies. I agree with another poster here; you have been charged in error for another car that was turned in at the same place. What to do? Ask them to check out this error. If you have problems, write me directly and I will give you the name and e-mail address of a person who can square things at AutoEurope. But don't be so quick to make charges of a "scam" -- haven't you ever made an honest mistake???
 
Old Nov 6th, 2000, 01:11 PM
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greg
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The calculation above won't work because most of what has been charged will be a fee rather than actual fuel cost. I was caught like this once, thinking that the tank was 'full' when it was 'nearly full' - you need to fill right up at almost the last moment or they will top it up and charge you for it. While this seems a bit extreme, I always expect my rental car to be full when I pick it up. To top up they need to send someone out and there is a cost for that apart from the fuel.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2000, 01:17 PM
  #8  
John
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Hi Cheryl:

I have used Autoeurope on many trips to Europe. I was caught once in Italy with a charge for not filling the tank! Just like you, I had no reciept. I was very mad but could not prove I filled the car. I have not let that stop me from using Autoeurope, I just remember to always get a reciept from that day forward!
JOHN
 
Old Nov 6th, 2000, 05:07 PM
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mary
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Silly suggestion maybe, but if it was eg a Budget car then contact them in the country where you live and tell them the story. They may well want proof from you but then they should also supply you with proof that they filled your returned car etc. It is worth a phone call and a few letters. We recently rented a car in Australia and were charged an extra day on our visa and also for an additional driver. Our stupidity - on the contract we did not check the time stated we took delivery of the car and it was incorrect by 7 hours. Anyway they had taken an imprint of our visa and that had a time on it so I was able to supply them with that and also the plane boarding passes verifying that we were not where they said we were. I did get a refund.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2000, 07:41 PM
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Patrick
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Maybe I'm being naive, but I have never turned in a rental car without making sure that they look the car over in my presence for scratches or dents as well as to make sure that the fuel tank is full. I've always had a fear that someone will blame me later for damage to a car that I didn't do, and the same is true about the fuel.
 
Old Nov 7th, 2000, 04:18 AM
  #11  
Paulo
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When I rented through AutoEurope (pickup in Frankfurt, return in Brussels) I also was charged by Avis a considerable amount of money (something over $150). When I turned the car in at Brussels airport, the clerk said he was busy and that he didn't have time to check the car. As Patrick, I wrote down in the contract: "car returned with no scratches and dents, tank full" and made the guy sign it.

I was therefore puzzled about the charge. Once I turned the car in a couple of hours late, I was expecting to be charged at most for an extra day (I had kept the car for a month). I didn't bother to contact AutoEurope, because it was obvious that the problem was with Avis. I contacted Avis using their online service and questioned the charge. In no time (2 days) I got an answer stating that the amount was being credited back to my account. They excused themselves by charging me the one way return fee (Frankfurt/Brussels) that was already paid for in the contract.

Cheryl, I suggest you contact the customer service of the rental company that provided you the car. Be very candid on what really happened, say that you can't prove your allegations and they'll have to take your word for it if they wish. Ask them to check their logs on the car and fix the error.

I agree with Jim ... this bill appears a bit too high! Unless you rented a full size, no way this is correct.

Paulo
 
Old Dec 7th, 2000, 10:24 PM
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muyil
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GRRRRR! And here I thought I was the only sucker! Last year I rented a car in Ireland through AutoEurope. When I arrived at the Dublin airport and proceeded to pick up the car I found myself at Murrays Auto Rental. The place is so understaffed and the cars are in horrible shape - all dented and dinged up. After my trip was over when I received my credit card statement I found out that I had been charged for a tank of gas and one TIRE! The tire was $100 and the gas charge was $60! I was furious. I called AutoEurope and the credit card company to complain, but because I had no receipts or proof of any kind I was stuck with the bill. So please remember, KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS!!!
 
Old Sep 4th, 2003, 01:45 PM
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Thought I would add to this old post after just recently getting screwed. We rented through AutoEurope, although Europcar is the one I am really pissed at.

Despite all the assurances that there are no hidden fees, and that the car was fully covered we got hit with a "small administrative fee" of approximately $80. Our car was slightly dinged while parked in a lot. When we returned the car in Venice we informed the salesman/conman that the car was slightly damaged in a parking lot. We were told, "don't worry about it. you are fully covered. just leave it on the street."

Just got my credit bill and found this additional charge. Apparently if you don't fill out a form with them there is a E72 administrative charge. Very convenient of them to tell you not to worry about it and then charge you later.

AutoEurope's explanation is that this was "out of their control because this is something Europcar does to protect themself."

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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 01:43 PM
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Adding to an old post: Rented through AutoEurope in Florence, Italy last October. In March of this year, Avis in Florence (who actually provided the car) put through a $6 charge to my Am Ex card with no explanation. Wondering what such a charge would be and why so many months after the fact, I contacted Am Ex to dispute (really just to question). Today I received a letter from Avis, Florence informing that we had received a TRAFFIC VIOLATION with the car and the $6 is their "administrative fee" for passing along our name and address to the police.

Since we did NOT receive any traffic violation, I was a bit upset. Not that its a lot of money, but it is incorrect. There was included a supposed copy of the violation - completely in Italian - in which I can discern no recognizable violation statement. AutoEurope has said they will look into the matter.

Just wondering if anyone else has been involved in this type of (dare I say) scam? I have rented in France from AutoEurope with no problem whatsoever.
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 02:23 PM
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>>>Just wondering if anyone else has been involved in this type of (dare I say) scam? I have rented in France from AutoEurope with no problem whatsoever.<<<

Who do you think is scamming you? Certainly not AutoEurope, and perhaps not Avis because they were able to produce a traffic ticket. I'm guessing that $6 os SOP for things like this. It may be a parking ticket and you did not notice it attached to your window, or it blew off, or it was a radar or camera detected violation. I think you got off lucky, since nobody has actually hit you with a traffic fine yet. It may be within Avis' legal right to charge your credit card for the traffic fine that they may have paid, but they did not do this - only an "administrative fee".

These things happen. Europcar added on a few fees (additional driver, and some sort of surcharge) on our final bill a few years ago, and AutoEurope later refunded them to us right away. That's why I like renting from AutoEurope in the US. About 15 years ago, I had the same bogus "refueling charge" that the OP had happen to him, and my dealings with Avis in France go me nowhere.

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 03:06 PM
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Stu, This is not a parking ticket that blew off the windshield...since we never parked the car in Florence other than INSIDE the Avis garage. Why on earth would you think I've gotten off lucky? According to the letter from Avis they have given my name and address to the Italian authorities to assess a fine - of what amount, I know not and for what violation, I know not. I question the claim by Avis Italy because they did not put through the "administrative fee" until nearly 6 months after the supposed violation and rental and have only now forwarded details to me and only after I questioned the charge through Am Ex. Why should Avis Italy be able to put through a 6 Euro charge to any tourist rental without proper documentation. Would you pay this to a car rental company in the U.S. and feel "you got off lucky"?
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 03:45 PM
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>>>Stu, This is not a parking ticket that blew off the windshield...since we never parked the car in Florence other than INSIDE the Avis garage.<<

OK - perhaps it's from a camera that detected you running a red light - I don't know - you have the ticket - what does it say??? (I know, it's in Italian)

>>>Why on earth would you think I've gotten off lucky?<<<

Because you have not been assessed a more severe traffic violation. Six months have passed. How are the Italian Police going to find you and make you pay?

I have received a few parking tickets in Europe (we spend 2-3 months there most years), and I have never been contacted about paying them.


>>According to the letter from Avis they have given my name and address to the Italian authorities to assess a fine<<<

Did the letter say that they would assess a fine, or are you are assuming they will assess a fine. I'm just guessing here (based on me not receiving any fines from past tickets), that this procedure is done to relieve Avis from any responsibility for the violation. Perhaps Italy has no interest in pursuing traffic violators outside the EU. I don't recall ever reading or hearing about any European country pursuing someone from the US after they have left the country.

>>>Why should Avis Italy be able to put through a 6 Euro charge to any tourist rental without proper documentation.<<

Because there are fewer consmer protection laws in Europe than there are in the US.

I've rented over 30 cars in Europe, and your situation does not surprise me. It's part of the cost of travel. In your case, that cost seems quite small so far. Like I said in my earlier post, I paid $50 for gas that was probably put in someone elses car, and a clerk wrote down the wrong contract number & charged it to me. I even had the receipt for the gas I put in, but my many inquiries through Visa & Avis got me nowhere.

Stu Dudley

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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 03:55 PM
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I was able to successfully dispute a charge with Avis this past February, even though it was somewhat legitimate.

We were an hour late turning in the rental car because the directions we received from the Avis employee on the phone were all screwed up. We were charged an additional day. I called to complain and very firmaly stated that as a preferred member, I had no intention of paying Avis anything extra for that one hour of pure hell that THEY caused us by providing incorrect directions. The charge was removed, though they weren't all too happy to do it.

If we had been late with the car because we were at fault, I would have paid the fee. But I just didn't feel like paying them anything after the circles and circles we drove in due to their employee's mistake!
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 04:13 PM
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I'd be interested in hearing about which part was "somewhat legitimate" to use your description.

Is there any possibility whatosever that you could have misunderstood the directions?????
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 04:24 PM
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The "somwhat legitimate" was that in fact the car was 53 minutes late.

No, we did not misunderstand. He told us the wrong highway number and we went several miles out of the way before we realized we were heading in an opposite direction as we had left all semblance of the town by then and were back out in the countryside. We then tried to use our mapbook and eventually did make it to the dropoff location after 2 stops at gas stations for directions. It was a frustrating mess considering we had left the hotel in the village we were staying at in enough time to have had the car there 30 minutes early had we not taken the incorrect highway that we were told to take. When we finally did turn in the car, a different employee was actually there and was incredulous at the directions we had been given (I had written them down step by step as we talked on the phone). Anyway, there was definitely no misunderstanding. The directions were just flat out wrong.
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