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-   -   Auto Europe II: Run Away!! (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/auto-europe-ii-run-away-57312/)

turbot Nov 27th, 1999 12:59 PM

Auto Europe II: Run Away!!
 
Hi - <BR> <BR> Get this AE experience in Greece... <BR> <BR> We hired a "mini van" on Crete for 6 days...we flew in from Santorini at 10:00pm and were expecting to go to the Auto Europe counter. Turned out to be an Auto Europe "phone" in which you call them, so we did...took one hour of waiting til the guy got there. When he arrived, he demanded we pay an extra US$20 for something I still don't get, off to a rocky start but NO BIG DEAL (after all we're on Crete!). <BR> <BR> So we get in the van, and it's pretty cool until I get out of the airport and the fuel light is lit. Great...let's try to find an "all night" gas station in Heraklion in the pitch dark, never having driven in Greece. WE FOUND ONE! Cool, we'll just leave it empty when we return. Just so happens that we have a two hour drive ahead of us...to Chania. About twenty minutes into the "pitch black", the cab filled up with this lovely smelling toxic substance...that made us have to open the sun roof, all windows and have to hang our heads outside, just to stay alive. BUT, we HAVE to get to Chania...we'll call AE in the morning. We do. <BR> They're very sorry for the inconvenience, and they're also very sorry that the only cars they have are two hours back in Heraklion...ah! but wait, the "owner" has a mini van that he doesn't need today so we can use it, while they ship over the "new" car. Cool. Well, we had a terrific day after all...then there was the flat tire in the bosses car. We just left it (as it was way after hours) and delivered a note under the AE door as to it's whereabouts. Our third car got us around for the next four days. <BR> <BR>Never Again, <BR> <BR>.tur.

mariana Nov 27th, 1999 03:58 PM

Just back two weekd ago from northern Italy and <BR>Switzerland. Had a very positive experience with Auto Europe, renting in <BR>Lugano, Switz,and JUST driving in Switzerland. Auto Europe are brokers for Europcar. I guess strange things can happen at any time....anyplace.... <BR>and am sorry you had to drive late at <BR>night. Have had several friends who wouldn't use anyone in Europe but Auto Europe...and they have a 24 hr.toll free customer service....something I did not have with a major rental company one year.

alan Nov 27th, 1999 08:22 PM

Hi! We've been using Auto Europe about 12-13 yrs now with only minor glitches.. Giving us a standard trans. in Vienna when we requested an automatic was the bigggest. When we have had problems we have called them when we got home and had it resolved, just as when we were charged too much in Vienna AGAIN. Auto Europe is not an auto rental company. They are wholesalers for rental cos. This year we used Avis when we drove to Czech Rep., other years we've use Europcar or any company that AutoEurope does busines with in Europe and which country you are going to matters also. <BR> alan

Paulo Nov 29th, 1999 05:21 AM

As explained by Alan, just about everywhere AutoEurope operates, it's a car rental brokers for major companies (ehich company depends on the country; for instance, in Germany they rent for Avis). <BR>In Greece, though, they either function as a car rental company directly or they rent for small "noname" local companies. In Athens, for instance, they have an office run by 4 young people (they literally run :-) If I remember well, the contract I signed had the AutoEurope logo. On our first day there, just to make sure, we contacted them to hear about the availability of our midsize car for early in the morning the next day. Because of some sort of mixup, they informed us that unfortunatelly a car would be available only in the early afternoon. This was a nuisance because we had to change plans somewhat. Appologising, they asked us if there was anything on their power to fix things to our satisfaction (refund a day's worth of rental, give us an upgrade, etc). We ended up agreeing to an upgrade and a free day's rental of any car (could be a small one) on our last day in Athens (we were to return to Athens after visiting some of Turkey). The car was delivered at our hotel at 2pm as promised and we ended up not using the free day's rental because we decided otherwise and didn't bother to ask for a partial refund - I'm sure that we would though, even if it was not what we had agreed to! <BR> <BR>One other time, renting through AutoEurope in Germany, we had prepaid a one way Frankfurt-Brussels fee. Avis charged it once again. I just faxed Avis directly complaining and they promply refunded me. I'm sure that if I had complained to AutoEurope instead the problem would also have been solved promptly. <BR> <BR>So, even if eventually I've had some mixups with AutoEurope from time to time, it has always been administered to my satisfaction. <BR> <BR>Paulo <BR>

Bob Brown Nov 29th, 1999 10:01 AM

I think that Auto Europe sometimes gets victimized by local agencies. As several of you have pointed out, they are a broker type business that operates through other agencies. In trying to provide comprehensive coverage in virtually all of Western Europe, they sometimes have to do business with embedded, vested interest, and politically acquired retail agencies. I have gone through Auto Europe twice for rental cars in Switzerland. Both times, I ended up with an Avis car. So as Avis went, so did Auto Europe. Fortunately, we had very good rentals both times, so Auto Europe looked good. But it was really Avis providing the car and service; Auto Europe had little do with it after getting the contract lined-up. Had there been a screw-up, it would have been Avis that caused it -- not AE. As it was, the rentals were ideal. So I can't see blaming AE for everything when something goes sour, or heaping unrealistic praise on it either when the rental is flawless. I guess AE is like football quarterbacks: who get too much credit when they win, and too much blame when they lose. But one thing is certain, AE is not going to intentionally run its business to lose yours!!

Derrick Bloch Dec 6th, 1999 08:45 AM

Good day <BR> <BR>I'm a Toronto travel agent and I work with Auto Europe frequently. In the lsat three or four years I can think of perhaps 6 cases where there have been problems with AuroEurope bookings, and all but one of those were resolved to the clients' satisfaction. In the sixth case nothing was going to satisfy the client. I think that the record is excellent. Take into account that basically it's not AutoEurope that dircetly screwing up if something happens -it's the rental company. It _can_ happen that Avis, Budget, Hertz, Budget,Sixt does screw up. It happens occasionally - wrong car, overbooking etc etc. But this is generally not caused by AutoEurope. Even in the cases where the rental company has screwed up AutoEurope has settled the problem and then settled the matter with the rental company. <BR>I will continue to use and recommend AutoEurope - they give good value and convenience. (They're not paying me to say that!!!!) <BR> <BR>rgds <BR> <BR>db

j dahl Dec 6th, 1999 10:42 AM

<BR> Used Autocar Europe in Sep '99. Rented car in London for four days. Had a very good experience with the service and the car. Rates (compared on internet) were the best by far.

lola Dec 6th, 1999 12:12 PM

I travel extensively by car whenever I am in Europe--often--and have had good to excellent experiences with AutoEurope. They get slammed pretty badly on this forum, so I want to speak up and say that I would recommend them to my friends and family.

Carolyn Dec 13th, 1999 06:37 PM

We rented throught Auto Europe this summer with very positive results! We picked up a car in Strasbourg, spending 3 days in Alsace and dropping it off in Mulhouse. Later in the trip, we picked up a car in St. Moritz (which they upgraded to an automatic with no charge) and dropped it off in Munich. All my interactions with the company, including several changes before the trip, were handled with a smile and professional attitude. We were extremely pleased with Auto Europe and their prices were by far the best. We will definitely use them again!! <BR>

Margo Jan 6th, 2000 07:17 PM

We rented from Auto Europe in Italy (1997) and had no problems. Last year, we rented from Auto Europe (3 weeks) in France. Paris Auto Europe charged us double the agreed price, however, when we returned to USA, one call to our travel agent, and the entire bill was settled to our complete satisfaction.

BOB THE NAVIGATOR Jan 7th, 2000 07:01 AM

The trend is obvious here. The problem is not in most of Europe, I have had <BR>a dozen good experiences, the problem <BR>is with the Greek franchisee. I too had <BR>a minor problem there in "98--no air <BR>in my van--but it was resolved by AE <BR>on the return with a $100 refund. Beware <BR>in Greece---nuff said. <BR>

Paul Jan 7th, 2000 07:24 AM

I rented a car from AutoEurope in October when we went to italy. They used Europcar and the experience was generally a good one. We asked for an automatic with air and a real trunk. We expected an Opal or Fiat, but to our delight for the same price we were given a Mercedes 300. We rented in Rome where they were very helpful. Only glitch was when we returned the car at Milan malpenssa airport, they overcharged us for gas. We also expected to be charged for an extra day because we were 1 hour over the next 24 hour period and there are no grace periods. When we got the charge card bill we contacted AutoEurope and they were very helpful. Not only did we get the charge for the gas reversed, but they took off an entire day of rental as well. This made are experience great. I highly recommend them.

Catalana Jan 12th, 2000 06:29 AM

I have also used AutoEurope and recommended them to friends and have had no problems. As with any agent, however, you must find out who the actual provider is. I always ask when I get the quote and find out is it a larger company like Avis or Europcar (yeah - big ones can have problems, but easier to resolve usually). But if it is some itty bitty company I've never heard of, then I check other alternatives - sometimes there aren't any, and sometime the discount with the smaller ones is worth taking the chance. Catalana

Joe Santos Mar 1st, 2000 07:26 AM

I had a very bad experience years agoa. They all charge more than is on the voucher. last time i was in Portugal i rented BuDGET but thru a local office not the main chain and the service and price was the best ever <BR>http://www.specialfares.com


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