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Fraudulent Charges on my credit car by Europcar / Auto-Europe

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Fraudulent Charges on my credit car by Europcar / Auto-Europe

Old Jun 19th, 2016, 09:05 AM
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Fraudulent Charges on my credit car by Europcar / Auto-Europe

Booked a Europcar auto-rental for over 1 month on Auto-Europe. Booked and paid for 1 month and after just

15 days I received an email from Europcar that they needed to return the car to the manufacturer so please

come and take another from Nice airport. Strange! Anyway, I obliged 2 days later even though I was several

hours away.

Two months later I received a charge of EUR 110 on my credit card saying that Europcar needed to send me

a "telegram" since I could not be contacted on telephone (Morons did send me an email though!!!!). When I

contacted Auto Europe, they simply said that it was a matter between Europcar and me.

It seems to me that both these companies are in some unholy collusion and will do anything to levy unfair and

illegal charges on their customers credit cards. all the more sadder, because I paid for fuel and time out of my

pocket while on a holiday to return the car even though it was paid up for 30 days just to oblige these criminals.

Anyone else had a similar nasty experience with Auto-Europe and Europcar. Any recommendation on where to

report them for consumer action and fraud in France?

Here is the mail I received from them several days BEFORE the prepaid booking period was to expire:

The manufacturer must imperatively recover the vehicle you rent beacause it is sold.


We offer an exchange of vehicle departing from Nice Airport, at your convenience.


Thank you for keeping us informed.
indofrance is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2016, 09:38 AM
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Dispute the charge on your credit card immediately. Let the credit card company deal with it. They'll gather information from you and from the other two companies; if the charge is found to be unfounded, it will be reversed.
Andrew is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2016, 11:39 AM
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I gather YOU defined their "at your convenience" to be those "two days" is that correct? Why not wait until the end of the period when it really WAS "convenient" for you?
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Old Jun 19th, 2016, 01:16 PM
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AutoEurope and Europcar do have a strong relationship, especially in Italy. I've been told that AE purchases some cars for Europcar, especially automatics.

However, like so many of these car rental complaint threads, the information provided is completely unclear. That makes it impossible to offer any guidance or sympathy.

It sounds like you're saying the 110€ charge was for a "telegram," when in reality it could be road tax. Why should have to pay for their need to contact you? That does not make sense.

This complaint is a first for me. Never heard of someone having their rental car called back due to a private sale. There have been plenty of times when I've been without a cell phone number at the time of pick-up. The car rental companies always ask for my home phone, but calling NYC while I'm abroad isn't going to do them much good. On top of that, the email address I give the car rental company is not necessarily the email account I will check daily while abroad. If someone from a car rental company wanted to reach me during the rental period, I have to say they'd have a very tough time succeeding.

So what would have happened if you never got the message? How did they know where to send the "telegram?" I've never had a rental car company ask for my itinerary. They do ask if I have plans to take the car out of the country, but the answer is usually no, and the itinerary question ends there.

Another car complaint mystery.
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Old Jun 19th, 2016, 01:40 PM
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This frankly sounds fishy. I have rented probably 200 cars from AutoEurope over 30+ years, the vast majority of them having been with their affiliate Europcar. I never had a problem.

And, since one of the major reasons for using a broker like AutoEurope, at least for Americans, is to have the advantage of that 24/7 toll-free service line (which, trust me, they honor and are very serious about), why on earth didn't you pick up the phone and call them the moment you received this completely mysterious request? Didn't you smell something "off?" That's what their 24-hour free phone is for. ANd on the very, very off chance that they told me the car was definitely needed for immediate sale, I would have told them in no uncertain terms to get lost - I had a contract and was going on my way until the terms of the contract were fulfilled.

You actually complied with this absurd request and drove to Nice? That's crazy. I would have just continued on my journey, but of course I also would have called AutoEurope before that and demanded a complete explanation. What were they going to do - intercept you on a French highway? Pfffff!

You will get absolutely nowhere reporting AutoEurope or Europcar to some "consumer action agency" in France. Don't even bother.
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Old Jun 19th, 2016, 02:19 PM
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We have only rented 27 cars in Europe and had 2 problems. One with Europcar and one with Hertz.

The one with Europcar was resolved, but not the one with Hertz.

But you have been given probably your only recourse. Contact your CC company and file a complaint.

Interesting enough on one of our trips, to Ireland, Budget refunded us for an estimated amount of gas left in the tank.

We paid upfront and was supposed to bring the tank back empty and that didn't happen.

We were pleasantly surprised.
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Old Jun 19th, 2016, 02:54 PM
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'telegram' ? In what century ? Check again.
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Old Jun 19th, 2016, 04:32 PM
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???

The only thing I can think of is that the car was accidentally rented to you when it was supposed to have been taken out of rental inventory (due to its being sold.) Someone forgot to update the database and then found they had to cover their butt, fast.

Or it is some other scenario but regardless, someone screwed up, and it wasn't you.

You have an email indicating the vendor wanted the contract suspended - they admit to not being able to perform on the contract you paid for. They if anything owe YOU money for lack of good faith performance. Take it up with your CC. And try AutoEurope again, that is not an acceptable answer from an otherwise good company.
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Old Jun 19th, 2016, 04:43 PM
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Actually a 'return to the manufacturer' doesn't suggest a sale, necessarily - it might mean they got word of a safety issue 'recall.' Except of course the car isn't returned to the manufacturer in such instance but taken to the nearest sales and service outlet for the required repairs.

This still doesn't warrant a fee to be assessed to you as you contracted for a properly maintained vehicle - and the overhead costs related to any repairs not resulting from your use of the vehicle will have to be swallowed by the rental agency. Just as ordinary owners are out their own time and inconvenience when they have to take their vehicles in for manufacturer recall repairs, even though the cost of the repair itself is borne by the manufacturer.
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Old Jun 19th, 2016, 04:50 PM
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did you maybe get a ticket? once we got a ticket (freeway camera) and didn't get charged for 3 months. the charge included, per our contract, a fee from the car agency. ???
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 12:54 PM
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No, it was not a ticket. They very clearly sent a billing stating that it was to send a telegram. In this day and age!!! And more unfounded when when my email was clearly there with Autoeurope at the time of registering on their site.

I chargebacked but the cc company said that I had signed a EUR 1200 authorisation for the car. (since my insurance was with another company).

Will take it up with a local French consumer organisation while I am here.

I returned after 2 days as per my schedule to travel into the city (Nice) and trying to oblige a bunch of not-so-nice guys.


I hold Auto Europe more responsible since they will not assist in this matter and state that I had a separate contract with Europcar even though I had booked with them!

Anyway, I have set my self a target to post 200 reviews all over the net to alert people and vent a little spleen. I am sure it will help the corporate image of both these crooked companies a great deal!
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 12:57 PM
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If it makes you feel good.
But a lot of people will think you are a fool instead of thinking AE are crooks.
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 01:06 PM
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for all the people on this forum praising these 2 companies (and maybe working hard on their damage control desks), please visit http://mythreecents.com/reviews/auto-europe.

there are literally hundreds more, all over the net, all alleging the same predatory and wilfully fraudulent nature of Auto Europe and their cronies at Europcar.
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 01:08 PM
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>

Knock yourself out. It won't make a bit of difference, since both companies are entirely reputable. Of course you had a separate contract with EuropCar. Did you even read the voucher?
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 01:12 PM
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I know exactly where the OP is coming from. I got screwed out of several hundred Euros in costs when my American Express "Premium" Rental Car insurance - something I paid extra for and is supposed to be $0 deductible - did not cover damage to a rental car in Europe. Amex Assurance (the name of the insurance company) did not refuse; instead, they put the burden on the rental car company to provide information, and the rental car company simply ignored their unintrusive requests. Then again, if you think about it: what incentive does an insurance company have to pursue a claim that will only cost them money?

I called American Express directly and was just given the run-around. I could have kept calling and asking for supervisors...but at some point, I got tired of being "handled" with insincere apologizes and excuses for why they couldn't help me.

Costco has dumped American Express and, soon so will I!
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 01:18 PM
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I chargebacked but the cc company said that I had signed a EUR 1200 authorisation for the car. (since my insurance was with another company).>>

that doesn't give them the right to pay fraudulent charges on your behalf. I would pursue the issue with the C/card co.
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 01:19 PM
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Somebody said they were "reputable." You got to be kidding me?! Look at the internet for the reviews of Europcar and Auto Europe. None are about service standards, all are about the blatant wilful fraud. The consumer complaint system in France is far more effective than in most places, I am drafting a complaint against them there along with damages, but till then I reckon it would be a socially responsible thing to do to screw up these frauds as much as I can on the internet. Thanks for all the advice.
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 02:44 PM
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"I got tired of being "handled" with insincere apologizes and excuses for why they couldn't help me."

Big business loves when a complaining customer grows tired. Personally, I am relentless, unless, in any way, I am at fault.

"Look at the internet for the reviews of Europcar and Auto Europe."

The positives far outweigh the negatives, especially if you consider the fact that most people don't write positive reviews for car rentals.

Europcar, Sixt, Hertz, and Avis are Tier 1 agencies in Europe, in other words, industry leaders. AutoEurope is larger than all of them and has been an industry leader for almost as long as the others have existed. No company is perfect. Human beings screw up sometimes. If you have a legitimate complaint, I would be relentless in my pursuit. I would never listen to anyone who said "it will not matter."

On the other hand, if your complaint is not easy to comprehend, if it is poorly written, if you can't present your complaint with solid, believable facts, as evidenced here, then smart people who have positive experience with both companies will scoff at your effort, no matter how persistent you are.
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 02:56 PM
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You have contacted AutoEurope, but have you tried contacting Europcar? I have found that the customer service line can help sort out problems we have had with the renting office.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2016, 02:05 AM
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"Human beings screw up sometimes" Yes, but there is nothing in it for the employees to make such fraudulent charges. This obviously comes from the top management, wilful credit card fraud is clearly a corporate policy for both Auto Europe and Europcar, I have no doubt it is endorsed by their top management, and it is clearly evinced by the thousands of complaints on the internet specifically on the topic of fraud, levied against both these companies.
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