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Nova Car Hire Complaints

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Mar 10th, 2010, 12:12 AM
  #1
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Nova Car Hire Complaints

Dear Friendly Frequent Travellers,

I read complaints about Nova Car Hire were expressed by two Fodors members on a forum regarding car rentals in Italy, and I was startled by the callous reactions of several fellow members. The unfriendly and unsupportive attitudes of a few were quite surprising. Most shockingly, one member even described those who complained as being "lazy." In other words, he blamed the victims. Three or four on the forum seemed to gang up on the two who complained and were more concerned about splitting hairs and lawyering words, such as the spelling of company names. It would have been more helpful had they addressed three relevant issues abou Nova that I garned below.

1) Nova appears to quote lower prices, make reservations based on such and charge money, but their partners ocassonially do not honor these commitments. Though Nova is only acting as a broker for car rental companies, it is at least partially responsible for ensuring that the customer has his or her reservation honored by its partners because they charged for their services.

In some instances I have read here and on other websites, their fees increased by several hundred dollars because supposedly only a more expensive car was available. This practice is commonly known as the "bait and switch" as a Fodors member described. Using simple logic, whether or not they are the ones responsible for physically providing rental cars is immaterial. They would profit as a result of this deceptive practice, which would be particularly stressful for anyone who just arrived at an airport after flying thousands of miles.

2) Nova Care Hire seems to be unhelpful and unresponsive after their customers expressed complaints about their practices or their partners.

3), While Nova appears to have stellar service in many places, they seem to have trouble with customer service in countries such as Italy.

It is not empirical, but I found several links merely by Goggling that support the notion that Nova could do better with customer service in regards to the three points above. I leave it up to you to make up your minds. Best of luck in all your travels!!!

Sincerely,

FrequentTraveller

Most comprehensive review of Nova: http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews78127.html

Other links:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...ome_Lazio.html

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...e-Tuscany.html

http://www.complaintsboard.com/compl...e-c238512.html

http://www.complaintsboard.com/compl...e-c238512.html

http://www.tripadvisor.in/ShowTopic-...ce_Veneto.html

http://www.xomreviews.com/novacarhire.com
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Mar 10th, 2010, 12:41 AM
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Surftennis, who complained, topped a dozen old threads going back to 2002 just to express the same complaint on each thread. It was that poster's only contribution to this forum. Do you wonder why that person has little credibility?

And now you've arrived, accusing this forum of being "unfriendly and unsupportive." And this is your only contribution to the forum.
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Mar 10th, 2010, 01:05 AM
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I suspect both Surftennis and FrequentTraveller work for rival rental firms/brokers, dismayed by the business they are losing to Nova and instigating a campaign of smear and distortion. If you google any car rental outlet, it's easy to find customer complaints with any of them out of millions of rentals made each year.
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Mar 10th, 2010, 01:25 AM
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This topping of old threads is a small problem. Some forums do not allow this and close threads after a period. Maybe that is a solution here too?
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Mar 10th, 2010, 04:40 AM
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I am the member who described victim as being "lazy" because the complaining poster provided details that implied to me that the "victim" did not try to immediately enforce her contract rights with Nova, if it was Nova. Why is that shocking? What did she do with the voucher she had with Nova? Just roll over and play dead and rent another car? I still don't have a clear picture of what happened to her , and what she did to mitigate the damage to her trip...
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Mar 10th, 2010, 06:53 AM
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The deceptive difference between Auto Europe (the rental broker based in Maine) and AutoEuropa (a car rental company in Italy) is disturbing. At first glance, they seem to share the same graphic in their logo, which suggests they are one and the same company. Very confusing and, IMO, intentionally deceptive for inexperienced travelers. It would be great if Auto Europe could address this here but they can't because of the rules.

I have been using Auto Europe for almost 20 years with great satisfaction. In this ever changing travel business, which reaches new lows as my travel years grow, Auto Europe has remained a reliable constant. I tip my hat to them.

If I were Auto Europe, I would sue AutoEuropa. But then those already high rental rates would go even higher. And I guess it's more lucrative for Auto Europe to use AutoEuropa's cars when everyone else's lot is empty. AutoEuropa has too many complaints, describing it as a shady business. In a perfect world, Auto Europe should not do business with them. Smart customers should insist, when booking a car through Auto Europe, they do not want their car to come from AutoEuropa. If it's the last car left in Italy, then the customer must rent with extreme caution and be prepared for the worst.
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Mar 10th, 2010, 06:57 AM
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I'm certain there is a reason why AutoEurope has NOT sued them...
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Mar 10th, 2010, 07:19 AM
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adrienne and ribeirasca, what about the three issues I mentioned? Surftennis's post also contained a recent complaint about Nova from PaulCunningham. I don't believe he works for another rental company. Please check the links regarding the complaints I researched for your reference before going further about "old threads." They date as recently as this year and 4th quarter 2009. Read and confirm before you write. The 3 issues are more important than me. My opinion that several were unsupportive and unfriendly are my own. You are welcome to yours.

Alec, your detective instincts are wrong. I am a graduate with an M.A. from what is considered by many as one of the best film schools in the world, and I am head of international sales at a film production & distribution company with offices in the UK and USA. I go to Berlin, Cannes, Paris, and London several times a year because of my job. Again, the 3 issues are more important than personal opinions and false assumptions.

rs899, I read the post. You jumped the gun several times before asking questions in a helpful manner. You also used language that was a bit agressive and made a blanket statement about what others did not do as recourse. You further accused others of being unwilling to do research or enforce their contracts. Other people may be as smart as you. You, nor I, do not know exactly what happened. How do you know that surftennis's sisters or the other complainants did not do all that you wrote above? Moreover, when paulcunningham cited his negative experience with Nova in 20009, he clearly contradicted your assumptions about defending one's rights, and you failed to acknowledge his concerns.
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Mar 10th, 2010, 07:44 AM
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Suing a business in a foreign country is extremely expensive. I won't even mention that AutoEuropa is based in Sicily. When it comes to spending money on a lawsuit, every business owner must decide whether its bottom line can handle the cost and whether the cost is worth it.

I would venture a gamble that Auto Europe's customers are smarter than the average customer: a customer who can't easily be duped. It takes A LOT OF TRUST to get a consumer to pre-pay anything. Auto Europe has earned the trust of the marketplace and proves time and time again that they are the industry leader.

Username trust is equally important on a travel board, where anyone can come here anonymously and attempt to bash. No matter how many attempts the OP makes to justify the creation of a new account to get his/her point across, the fact remains that an untested username is nothing more than an untested username. Talk is cheap. Research and credibility are golden.
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Mar 10th, 2010, 07:51 AM
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"You, nor I, do not know exactly what happened."

Exactly my point. How can I begin to sympathize before I understand the problem? I might have been more sympathetic with the "victim" had she explained the situation in her own words, but what we got was a very puzzling "complaint" from a third party who did not explain the circumstances, and confused brokers with rental car companies. It almost sounds like the "victim" never even had a contract with Nova, if you read the original post. If that was the case, who's fault was that?
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Mar 10th, 2010, 09:04 AM
  #11
 
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So, OK I looked at the Review Center website that the OP cited that seems to have a lot of good data on Car Rental Agencies and Brokers

http://www.reviewcentre.com/products695.html

These were the rankings for the major Brokers that we typically see people use here:

BROKERS

Economycarrentals.com- 2.7 out of 5.0 (5.0 being best)
Nova- 2.6 out of 5.0
Auto Europe - 1.8 out of 5.0 (everybody's favorite)
Argus -1.8
Holiday- 1.4

...and the agencies themselves...
RENTAL AGENCIES

Sixt- 1.7
Hertz- 1.4
Alamo- 1.3
Avis- 1.2
Auto Europa- 1.0
Europcar- 0.9
Budget- 0.7

They are all pretty pathetic, if you believe the ratings.

Also, the incident described by Paulcunningham on another post was noted in the Nova writeups, and there (in one of two complaints) he noted that the car rental company was Auto Europa (not Auto Europe, the broker).
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Mar 10th, 2010, 12:24 PM
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<< Read and confirm before you write. >>

I did read and confirm before I wrote. If you had done the same, you would have seen that surftennis had posted the exact same response to about a dozen threads. The editors have removed his/her comments but surftennis's profile shows that there were responses. You can check to see how old the original posts were. Go take a look.
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Mar 10th, 2010, 01:32 PM
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rs899, I reread the post, and my opinion still stands that you could have been more understanding. Your first post appeared very sarcastic, as if the women were completely helpless at the airport. This likely elicited a negative reaction. After Surftennis cited evidence from the reviewcenter.com, you called other complainants "lazy" etc. without evidence. This personal attack probably provoked the negative reaction from Surftennis. Moreover, Paul Cunningham also complained against Nova on this post. Check it. In retrospect, I think you would agree you could have handled the situation better. However, I appreciae that you checked out reviewcenter. What seems odd now to me is what seems to be employee-written positive reviews for Nova.

adrienne, I think you missed my larger point. Instead of you and ribeirasca attacking what Surftennis had done as far as old threads, which may or may not have been deplorable as I can't find any now, I was pointing out that you should take a look at the numerous examples of fresh evidence that Nova Car Hire could go a long way as far as customer service in Italy.

Instead of these ad hominim attacks against me and my reasoned and balanced post, the three issues that arose from the post cited and the evidence from other complainants regarding Nova Car Hire should have been the topics. discussed. In all I am disappointed by how people reacted as I was trying to provide a service to others by investigating whether or not Nova Car Hire did a good job.
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Mar 10th, 2010, 01:44 PM
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FT - I didn't attack any one. You're the one who is attacking.

I don't care about Nova Car or your links. Why don't you take your discontent up with Nova Car.

Why are you still here if we're so callous, unfriendly, and unsupportive????
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Mar 10th, 2010, 03:18 PM
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I am still looking for answers to my original question posted months ago now...if it reeks of sarcasm, so be it. I don't recall getting that remark from Surftennis. Nor do I recall attacking anyone, just trying to understand the situation.
Was there a contract? What did they do on the spot? What was the response from Nova? So- were the women "completely helpless at the airport"? It seems so to me- how were they not?

Here is the original post from Surftennis"
"Nova used the old bait and switch. They quoted my sisters $400 each online, but when they tried to pick up their cars in Rome, they were told they did not have any at that price anymore. They ended up having to pay $1000 each. Nova is a scam and a ripoff!"

Now, exactly how , if they had a valid voucher from Nova in hand to pick up a car from a rental car company,( who, by the way, we STILL don't know the name of) how would anyone just walk away from that situation and go rent another car?

If you understand it, please explain it to me.
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Mar 10th, 2010, 06:11 PM
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Maybe it's time to let it go. There are thousands of people who come to these boards to vent and complain when things don't go their way. Most of these people never provide enough details because, if they did, veteran travelers will wag and point fingers as they offer perfectly good reasons why the victims left themselves fully exposed, inviting victimization.

Most people hate to admit when they're wrong or have done wrong. They hate to admit they were responsible in any way when things do go wrong. It's always easier and more fun to blame someone else.

We can never know what truly happened to anyone who posts his/her travel experiences on the internet. All we can do is ask for clarity and point out the significant and important differences between a car rental broker and a car rental agency, and speak up when someone is blasting a reputable business unfairly.
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Mar 10th, 2010, 07:05 PM
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Perhaps it was a fair blast after all, but I just can't tell from the post from Surftennis. It seems to me the unnamed rental agency was to blame for the tactic. If there was a valid (contract) voucher from Nova, I am unsure what they did wrong at this point.

What upsets me is the way we let rental car agencies and brokers steamroller us into things we don't need (CDW) or charges that we didn't sign up for because we weren't informed and didn't read our contracts. We are at a disadvantage , being foreigners, but that doesn't mean we have to cave in when we are in the right. An informed consumer is a more powerful consumer, but we learn little from the sort of drive-by character assassination that started this discussion.
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Mar 10th, 2010, 07:10 PM
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oh, and I was referring to Surftennis' complaint , not FrequentTraveller's, as I agree with much of what he began this string with....
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Aug 9th, 2012, 12:21 AM
  #19
 
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I can not recommend Nova Car or their insurance company Insurance4CarHire (or third party car / insurance in general). When we got to the car rental company, we were strongly advised to take out their own insurance, otherwise we would have to leave the deposit of 1200 euros. All in all we ended up paying 20% more for car rental, additional driver, satellite navigation and insurance. My advice is to book the same place as you pick up the car.
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Aug 9th, 2012, 06:06 AM
  #20
ira
 
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Hi FT,

Thank you for taking the time to sign up to let us know about your concerns.

A. >... whether or not they are the ones responsible for physically providing rental cars is immaterial. They would profit as a result of this deceptive practice...<

Is it your claim that Nova is receiving kick backs from the bait and switch?

B: > Nova could do better with customer service ...<

I'm sure that that could be said about any business.

C: Do you have your own experience to contribute?

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