Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Caution picking car from Europcar at Stazione Termini

Caution picking car from Europcar at Stazione Termini

Reply

Oct 15th, 2017, 04:35 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 211
Caution picking car from Europcar at Stazione Termini

This past March we selected and prepaid for a compact car with a standard transmission with Europcar through Autoeurope. We have done this for years and never had a problem until last month. When we went to retrieve our car the young lady behind the desk disregarded my prepaid voucher, upgraded us to an automatic Audi A3, and charged us for the upgrade. I have read several warning post posted on online bulletin boards, but paid no attention because we have always received excellent service from this location. They were extremely slow and we were in a hurry. I signed the contract and they gave me a copy. I didn't realize they gave me a blank copy until a few days later. I received an email from my credit card company indicating a new charge from Europcar. It was then we discovered the upgrade charges. I called Autoeurope, explained the situation, and they advised me to wait until we return home to file a complaint if the charge did not disappear. Well, it didn't disappear so we filed a complaint with Autoeurope. We also disputed the charge on our credit card. The issue hasn't been resolved, but next year we won't be picking up our car from Stazione Termini. I take responsibility for my dumbness for not catching this scam at the station, so I hope this will alert people to take their car from another location.

Buon viaggio,
rbciao47 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2017, 04:50 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 30,899
What? Because YOU admittedly were lax I am supposed to go elsewhere? Forget that one, sorry.
Dukey1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2017, 04:56 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,118
This is surprising...did they offer you the upgrade for free? Or did they indicate that you would be charged extra?
sundriedtopepo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2017, 05:19 AM
  #4
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,680
I was offered an upgrade recently at both Hertz SFO and National ORD.

Travelers beware. Offers to upgrade seem to be prevalent
J62 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2017, 05:49 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,118
I had prepaid our rental car in Bordeaux, and paid extra for an automatic transmission.
When we picked up the car, the sales rep gave my husband a choice of two cars, and asked him if he cared if it was manual or automatic.

My husband did not recall the conversation we had had at the time of booking, when we decided an automatic was the way to go. So he told the sales rep he didn't care one way or the other. If I hadn't been paying attention, we would have ended up paying several hundred dollars difference for an automatic while driving a standard.

I am pretty sure the sales rep would be aware that an automatic cost me more than a standard.

This was also Europcar through AutoEurope.

We were then offered a free upgrade to a Jeep, which sounded good, but when we saw the actual vehicle on the lot, was not a very practical vehicle. The alternative was a Golf hatchback, which we liked very much, but had a whole list of dents and dings, which we carefully documented before leaving.
sundriedtopepo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2017, 05:50 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,118
nochblad, as usual you have no call to post something as rude as that.
sundriedtopepo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 2017, 06:42 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,406
sundriedtopepo - what has Bordeaux got to to do with Roma Termini?

As rude as what? Think before you post!
nochblad is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 16th, 2017, 03:09 AM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 211
Well, I hope no one else is cheated like I was. After traveling in Italy for 37 years and every year since 2005, maybe it was time for a hiccup. So, I'll continue to do business with Autoeurope and select another pick-up location when we are in Roma.

In the meantime, this post may serve to assist another traveler from being scammed.

Buon viaggio,
rbciao47 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 16th, 2017, 03:18 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,847
How is signing a blank contract and accepting an upgrade without asking the cost a scam?
AJPeabody is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 16th, 2017, 07:29 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,269
I think the warning is a fair one and might be accepted with thanks in the spirit in which it was given. I'm beginning to think the Usual Suspects mouth off here, rather than in real life, where they'd rightly receive whatever treatment would be deemed appropriate to even the score.

Thanks, rbciao, I've appreciated your posts for a long time, on Frommer's before here.
MmePerdu is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 16th, 2017, 07:44 AM
  #11
bvh
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 90
"the Usual Suspects mouth off here"
We can always count on you.

"I didn't realize they gave me a blank copy until a few days later."
That's taking a lot for granted. Sometimes the more experienced you are the more lax you become. Lesson learned?

"the young lady behind the desk disregarded my prepaid voucher, upgraded us to an automatic Audi A3, and charged us for the upgrade."
All with a gun pointed to your head? It seems to me a car rental transaction requires an agent, a customer, credit cards, a driver's license, and a number of signatures. There's definitely something fishy about this tale.
bvh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 16th, 2017, 09:25 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,269
"We can always count on you."

Many thanks, usual suspect bvh. It's good to be appreciated.
MmePerdu is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 16th, 2017, 10:10 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,802


So well said! I agree with the rest of your paragraph, too.

It's unfortunate that renting a car anywhere in the world is so fraught with peril. Agents routinely mislead, or try to.

I have received many free upgrades at SFO, some of which were really free, and some not! Each time I asked "no charge, right? No extra charge? Same price?"One of those times, the agent said "yeah, free upgrade", but when I asked again, he said "well, it will cost more a day". Argh!

Of course, when the upgrades really were free, the agents acted like I was a dummy for asking more than once to make sure.

All of this is annoying as all heck, and hard to navigate in a foreign country.
NewbE is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 16th, 2017, 11:06 AM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 211
Mme Perdu and Newbe,

Thank you for your support..

bvh,

nothing fishy...just reported the facts.

Buon viaggio,
rbciao47 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 16th, 2017, 12:08 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,636
I haven't rented at that location, but I have had "strange" car rental experiences like NewbE.

For example, a reserved car of certain class and price and when I arrived at the counter, I was asked "which of these do you want" from a few models (often there are several different make/models that are compacts, for example), but when I chose one and he handed me the contract, luckily I looked at it closely and saw it was not the agreed upon size nor price. No upgrade was mentioned. The agent was unhappy when I complained about the presentation of the options while I saw others being handled the same way. In a foreign country, perhaps second language, unfamiliar with the process--we don't always careful review all the paperwork the way we should.

When I have coupons with one of the rental companies, the contract shows the price without the coupon with the assurance "coupon will be applied upon return." It always works out, but I never quite trust that I will pay something different from what the contract states.
Kay2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 16th, 2017, 12:17 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,269
"...only come to the defense of people they know..."

Incorrect again. It's people I like, which is mostly people with a good (not just any) sense of humor - which can be in short supply around here. Or the plain spoken who also agree with me.
MmePerdu is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 16th, 2017, 12:42 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,802
massimop, is this a travel forum or a junior high school classroom? None of us know each other. Everyone should be here out of an honest desire to read about travel and to get and give advice. Full stop.
NewbE is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 16th, 2017, 12:50 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 69,205
AutoEurope IMO should rectify the problem with such an old customer who IMO was scammed - his/her negligence in signing blank contract notwithstanding and blank contract also smacks of a scam

Only plus OP did drive a nicer car I guess though some prefer stick shifts for the better experience.

OP has my sympathy and thanks for posting.
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 16th, 2017, 01:42 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 19,929
Well, it didn't disappear so we filed a complaint with Autoeurope. We also disputed the charge on our credit card.

I had a dispute regarding a rental obtained through Autoeurope. They explained to me that if I also dispute the charge through my credit card, the rental agency would no longer deal with Autoeurope; I had to choose one path or the other. Since I had more time to dispute the charge with the credit card company, I decided to direct the claim through Autoeurope and the matter was resolved satisfactorily within three weeks. Given that you were given an upgrade, you might discover that the credit card company has no choice but to honor the charge.
Michael is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 16th, 2017, 02:24 PM
  #20
bvh
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 90
"They explained to me that if I also dispute the charge through my credit card, the rental agency would no longer deal with Autoeurope"

It seems to me, once you involve the credit card company, Autoeurope loses its negotiating position. It also seems to me the OP is hell bent on shooting herself in the foot. She's busy ranting "scam" on the internet before the complaint is settled. How smart is that? For an experienced traveler, this one makes blatant mistakes one after the other.
bvh is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:34 AM.