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maxjam98 May 28th, 2017 01:25 PM

Avoid Europcar!
I should have heeded the reviews that I saw earlier, but I did not and on a recent trip to London, my husband and I rented a car from Europcar. We returned the car March 27th. On May 27th, we received a letter at our home in Florida from Europcar dated May 19th, stating that the car had been returned with a flat tire (it had not) and that they would be charging our credit card based on the invoice they received from the repair shop. As if! The date/time of damage is listed as March 27th at 6pm which is interesting because we returned the car in the early morning, it was inspected in our presence and was driven away... amazingly, WITHOUT the so-called flat tire they are trying to claim for now. Needless to say that I will dispute the charge with my credit card and I expect to prevail because I'm a persistent pain in the rear, but I abhor the inconvenience this has caused and it makes me mad. PAY THE EXTRA $5 a day and rent from a major and reputable rental car company. All you have to do is google Europcar and you get page after page of complaints... clearly the outlets are encouraged to charge people for random damage. Oh, and by the way... they tell you in their letter that you have 10 days from the letter date to dispute their finding at the phone number they give you. The phone number is out of order and the letter came at 5pm on a Saturday on a holiday weekend, thus making it impossible to contact anyone to dispute their finding. It's disgusting!

BritishCaicos May 28th, 2017 01:46 PM

Does anyone over the age of 12 use the phrase "as if"?

Anyone sane person returning a hire car has it inspected and then signed off as "no further charges".

Michael May 28th, 2017 01:52 PM

Europcar is a major company. If you rented through a broker such as Autoeurope, call them to complain; they might go to bat for you if they accept your version of events.

janisj May 28th, 2017 02:02 PM

welcome to Fodors -- you may not return to see the responses . . . however >> PAY THE EXTRA $5 a day and rent from a major and reputable rental car company.<< Europcar IS a major company (and as reputable as any rental agency)

Didn't you inspect the car w/ the agent at drop off?

BigRuss May 28th, 2017 02:28 PM

Goats goats goats, that's all that walks over my bridge!

tuscanlifeedit May 28th, 2017 03:34 PM

How do they get here? Why do they all sound alike? What is their point?

rs899 May 28th, 2017 03:41 PM

It is entirety possible that a punctured tire on a car presented in the morning was not discovered until the evening and then the tire was flat at the bottom. Stuff happens. Or maybe not.

They are all big bad corporations. Would you like the government to run it?

WoinParis May 28th, 2017 05:09 PM

Feeling better Max ?

StCirq May 28th, 2017 06:29 PM

Oh please, Europcar is a thoroughly reputable company, I;ve had probably 100 rentals from them through AutoEurope over many years.

Didn't you check the car when you picked it up?

joannyc May 28th, 2017 07:06 PM

I think the OP would have noticed a flat tire when picking up the car! LOL!

It was hours after dropping it that this issue occurred.

janisj May 28th, 2017 07:45 PM

joannyc: >>I think the OP would have noticed a flat tire when picking up the car! LOL!<<

Not necessarily. If they were run flat tires like I have on my own car the only way I know there is a puncture or a flat is via the computer display.

Conor13 May 29th, 2017 12:20 AM

Interesting, even though i think they're not a major company for nothing!

ribeirasacra May 29th, 2017 01:06 AM

At least it was only flat at the bottom. If it had been in two locations the coast would have been double.

AJPeabody May 29th, 2017 03:38 AM

Oh, joy! Another "I had a problem, possibly due to my own error, with a big company so I am so great and influential that when I post my story all over the internet people will stop using that company and they will go bankrupt and I will be vindicated."

Just google "PAY THE EXTRA $5 a day and rent from a major and reputable rental car company."

Odin May 29th, 2017 03:44 AM

The OP says the car was inspected in their presence. Normally you get a receipt or some paperwork with that inspection, if you are lucky enough to get someone that checks your car on the return.

Most of my car rentals do not involve an inspection when returning the car, you park the car and then put the keys in a drop box or hand to someone in the office, there isn't usually anyone there to do an inspection so I take photos in case of future queries. Sometimes car rentals desks are only manned when there are cars to be picked.

I've also picked up a car that had a flat but I didn't notice as it was nighttime and parked in an outside car park. But the rental company did send someone out next day to fix it without any charge. I usually pay extra to get cover for tyres and windscreens as CDW does not cover them. The OP should have paid the EXTRA $5 a day for the additional cover.

vincenzo32951 May 29th, 2017 04:06 AM

max: Welcome to Fodor's, where complaints are groundless and the language of the complaint is to be examined for flaws and failure to meet my standards.

As someone else noted, not every drop-off facility has a procedure for signing off. In Europe and the US, I've dropped off rental cars, received my receipt, and been sent on my way w/o anyone inspecting the vehicle or asking me about its condition. If I had to wait for someone, I probably would have missed my flight.

Without getting into the physics of whether a flat tire would be noticeable, let me note that problems of this type with rental outlets are usually connected to the individual outlet, although some companies do seem to have questionable overall business practices/models. I point that out because your complaint/warning would be better if it identified the outlet where you dropped the car off. For instance, "Hertz at Heathrow."

As you have chosen to do, contest the claim with your CC company, and maybe write a complaint to the rental-car HQ. But don't expect much satisfaction or sympathy here, particularly from the smug "that could never happen to savvy me" crowd.

ribeirasacra May 29th, 2017 04:41 AM

It has nothing to do with smug, it is all about a person feels the need to join this/any forum they can say that this is a problem with such and such.
If however one was a member of a few months and perhaps did not post in such a ranting manner, maybe even ask how best to resolve the problem, then that member perhaps would get better treatment.
Another example of this complaint.
But how can one trust it. The poster says that they are located in the UK and writes about the amounts in Dollars, plus their home is in Florida.

I was once a moderator for a forum which had an excellent rule. Do not join just to rant.

vincenzo32951 May 29th, 2017 05:11 AM

rib: And when was that don't-join-to-complain rule instituted here?

The poster did not say he/she was "located" in the UK. They said the rental was in the UK. The amount would be in dollars, because when you get a CC bill with a charge from outside the US, the amount is converted to dollars.

I, for one, appreciate a heads-up about questionable practices at a particular business. If the complaint turns out to be groundless, what have I lost? If someone complains about unfair charges at Hertz at Heathrow, and I'm subsequently extra careful to watch for such charges when I'm there, what have I lost? The one minute it took me to read the post?

Yes, the OP lacked some skill at getting the point across. But if we flagged every post for that, there'd be time for little else.

Dukey1 May 29th, 2017 07:35 AM

The OP makes it very clear as to where they reside.

BritishCaicos May 29th, 2017 09:10 AM

It hasn't happened to me.

I've rented over 200 times in 40 odd countries. Never once been charged.

Had lots of issues, had attempted stings on various occasions but after every rental, I've left with a copy of the hire document signed, timed and dated to state that " no further charges due".

Smug, "as if".

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