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Old 17.07.2017, 16:53
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Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

Car hire industry is thrown into crisis as major firm faces police probe into 'fraudulent' repair costs

The UK Serious Fraud Office is understood to be planning a criminal inquiry following reports that more than 500,000 customers may have paid for repairs inflated by up to 300 per cent.

Source

This story has been around for a while but seems to be hotting up now
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Old 17.07.2017, 17:04
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

Is it news to you?
Overcharge for repairs seems a daily occurrence here...
Even TCS, made some local tests and 9 over 12 garages were cheating.


Same for that "excess" thing, abroad, it is always over inflated!
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Old 17.07.2017, 17:27
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

Thanks for this marton.

I used to book Europcar several times a day as they were the prefered provider for one of my business clients, but we've just used them for the first time personally and had the worst car hire experience with them. OH won't touch them with a barge pole in future, no matter how much cheaper they are than other companies.

It took 2hrs to pick the car up from the service desk because there were so many arguements going on with other customers, one of which was very heated. We were downgraded in car size but upgraded in spec (automatic) so financially, it worked out about even, and by that point we just wanted to get out of the place. The car damage sheet was blank, so OH did a walkaround of all the damages with the agent, whilst I took time and dated photos of every little scratch.

During the drive to the house, OH noticed the breaks weren't right and the headlights were dim. Next day, he did a full inspection and found signs of work in the engine compartment and boot that indicated both front end and rear end smashes...all in a car with less than 5k on the clock, but at least he managed to get the headlights aligned correctly again.

I wanted to take the damned thing back because it kept nose diving when you break, but OH was too busy to be bothered, then the day before we returned it, the rear breaks almost went completely. OH told the depot not to let the car out again until the breaks were fixed, and gave them a list of everything that was wrong with the car. I'll be backing that up with an email to head office, because they need to know that one of their depots is failing their clients and damaging the company's reputation.

Europcar? Never again if I can help it!
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Old 17.07.2017, 17:36
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

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Europcar? Never again if I can help it!
That's so weird. I've always rented Europcar because the cars and the service was always great. The rental company I've had the most problems with was Avis (tried to palm off a dink in the body work as my responsibility when it was bloody there on the sheet before I picked up the car), and Budget - a toe-curling nightmare where they wouldn't accept my credit card for no particular reason despite my having UBS card company on the phone there and then to tell them my account was fine and the card was legit. I lost the deposit and costs on the car because I had no other credit card on me and they just sat there staring at me offering no assistance at all.
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Old 17.07.2017, 17:38
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

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Thanks for this marton.

I used to book Europcar several times a day as they were the prefered provider for one of my business clients, but we've just used them for the first time personally and had the worst car hire experience with them. OH won't touch them with a barge pole in future, no matter how much cheaper they are than other companies.

It took 2hrs to pick the car up from the service desk because there were so many arguements going on with other customers, one of which was very heated. We were downgraded in car size but upgraded in spec (automatic) so financially, it worked out about even, and by that point we just wanted to get out of the place. The car damage sheet was blank, so OH did a walkaround of all the damages with the agent, whilst I took time and dated photos of every little scratch.

During the drive to the house, OH noticed the breaks weren't right and the headlights were dim. Next day, he did a full inspection and found signs of work in the engine compartment and boot that indicated both front end and rear end smashes...all in a car with less than 5k on the clock, but at least he managed to get the headlights aligned correctly again.

I wanted to take the damned thing back because it kept nose diving when you break, but OH was too busy to be bothered, then the day before we returned it, the rear breaks almost went completely. OH told the depot not to let the car out again until the breaks were fixed, and gave them a list of everything that was wrong with the car. I'll be backing that up with an email to head office, because they need to know that one of their depots is failing their clients and damaging the company's reputation.

Europcar? Never again if I can help it!
I have used Europecar 50 times in the last 3 years without any issue other than once a 50 min delay at Manchester Airport to a shortage of cars due to a transporter break down. Usually got upgraded 1 or 2 levels & on average paid under £10 a day for rental. To put this in perspective, to include me on my wife's UK car insurance as an occasional driver adds £650 to her premium.
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Old 17.07.2017, 17:41
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

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That's so weird. I've always rented Europcar because the cars and the service was always great.
Precisely. They had a grood reputation when I used them daily for my clients, but that was several years ago now. Just sent the article marton linked to my OH, and his reply...

Quote:
Yep, That's exactly what we saw first hand.,


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Old 17.07.2017, 17:44
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

I'll never use Europcar again. It used to be the preferred partner for a place I worked, so I used them on a personal trip to the UK.

"We've cancelled your booking, you should have picked it up yesterday"

It turns out EasyJet's integrated booking widget got the dates wrong.

"I'll have to charge you full rate, and we haven't got the price class you're looking for, so you'll have to take a larger Vehicle."

Ok, tired kids, just want to get moving, it's only money...

"We won't have that car available until tomorrow, you can come back and pick it up."

Ummmm, something makes me think that you don't really want my money.

I went to another rental place and was on my way in about 45 min.

I thought "Ok, perhaps Europcar was having a bad day, and the booking was EasyJet's fault." Then years later I used Europcar again (in the UK).
When I went to return the car the guy pointed to a dent on the bootlid and said it was damaged. I said "Yes, as was marked on the checkout form."

"Ah...", he said, "But the dent was smaller."

never again.
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Old 17.07.2017, 17:48
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

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Precisely. They had a grood reputation when I used them daily for my clients, but that was several years ago now. Just sent the article marton linked to my OH, and his reply...



He's not a happy puppy.
Gawd, I'm going to run out of rental desks at Manchester airport before long. What's left? Sixt?
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Old 17.07.2017, 17:48
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

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I have used Europecar 50 times in the last 3 years without any issue other than once a 50 min delay at Manchester Airport to a shortage of cars due to a transporter break down.
Depends on the depot as many are franchises. I've probably used every car hire company at Manchester Car Rental Village, and others. Even used the Keddy subsidiary of Europcar, but haven't hired directly from Europcar themselves.
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Old 17.07.2017, 17:53
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

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Gawd, I'm going to run out of rental desks at Manchester airport before long. What's left? Sixt?
We've used Green Flag at Manchester and Athens within the last 7mths, and had excellent service both times. They get absolutely slammed on review websites, but you always get that with newish companies because the employees of their rivals post half the reviews.

Edit: Green Motion not Green flag.

Last edited by Blueangel; 17.07.2017 at 19:00.
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Old 17.07.2017, 18:20
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

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Just sent the article marton linked to my OH, and his reply...

Scoundrels, Rouges and Highwaymen
Just out of curiosity, which century was your OH born in?
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Old 17.07.2017, 18:27
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

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Gawd, I'm going to run out of rental desks at Manchester airport before long. What's left? Sixt?
No way!
In Sardinia they were like 5 times more expensive than others.
I booked with them out of stupi...trust and because I used them for work.
Say I paid around 800 euros, while others were starting from 150euros.

They still charged me for "cleaning fee" as they claimed it was dirty, of course did not say at return. It was about a bit of sand on the floor (really tiny amount), and they took pictures.
I complained, investigation was made by Sixt, saw the pictures, said sorry and claimed they will refund. The entire thing took a while and I had to remind them after weeks.

So thanks, but no thanks.
The only way is to take evidence, mark everything, and inspect everything carefully.
And if you want to damage, take excess insurance, otherwise accept the risk and pay if something really goes wrong.
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Old 17.07.2017, 18:41
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

I've happily used Europcar 3 or 4 times a year without problem.

I'm renting at Manchester airport in a couple of weeks with them

The ones I will never touch is Avis. Got charged £250 for a minute chip in the screen, which I am 100% certain was there before. When I dropped it back four staff dropped on the car and magically found the chip instantly. I think they found a good earner with the chip...
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Old 17.07.2017, 18:51
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

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We've used Green Flag at Manchester and Athens within the last 7mths, and had excellent service both times. They get absolutely slammed on review websites, but you always get that with newish companies because the employees of their rivals post half the reviews.
Green Flag often take the piss with charging for tint marks that Europecar & Hertz just ignore. They are not a 'newish' outfit. Even worse would be Goldcar.
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Old 17.07.2017, 18:56
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

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The only way is to take evidence, mark everything, and inspect everything carefully.
And if you want to damage, take excess insurance, otherwise accept the risk and pay if something really goes wrong.
Photography all angles of the car, check tyre tread, photograph the windscreen from inside and out, and take a photo of the dash showing the fuel guage and mileage.

We have an annual, joint, Europe wide excess insurance policy that covers up to €50k and only costs £47 p.a. Plus, after renting from local vendors on numerous Greek islands over a few decades, it really takes something for my OH to say this is his worst car hire experience.
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Old 17.07.2017, 18:58
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

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Green Flag often take the piss with charging for tint marks that Europecar & Hertz just ignore. They are not a 'newish' outfit. Even worse would be Goldcar.
My mistake, Green Motion. Just unsubscribed from Green Flag's renewal emails this morning, so had them in the back of my mind.
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Old 17.07.2017, 19:13
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

I think this is true of all rental car companies .. they justify some of extra charge as loss of revenue for when the car is being repaired, also admin and service charges for organising the repair. If this was truly the case then every car you rented should be in perfect condition, the reality is that unless it affects the driveability of the car they don't do the repairs just charge you for them ... this is where the fraud happens ... at least IMHO.

I was once given a car by Avis that I refused to take it, every time I looked at it I found something new, they tried to tell if me if it was all documented on the damage form it wouldn't be a problem, given that they hadn't got it all I just refused the car and told them to find another one, they weren't happy.
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Old 17.07.2017, 19:22
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

Europcar tried it on with me during Easter at Luton Airport- hired a brand new Merc with hardly any mileage on the clock. Returned it a week later and whilst handing it back they pointed out a hairline scratch on the bumper and wanted to screw me for it. Luckily I took out extra insurance on top to cover all eventualities and shoved it his face and told them I would never use them again.
Shame really as up to now they have been really good.

A slap of T-Cut would have put it right.
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Old 17.07.2017, 19:46
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

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Photography all angles of the car, check tyre tread, photograph the windscreen from inside and out, and take a photo of the dash showing the fuel guage and mileage.
And if you drop the car off when the office is closed do the same.

I brought a car back in the evening at the airport (ZH) and next morning they called to tell that a frontcorner was totally wasted. If they tell me to leave the car at one certain spot it's to me their responsibility after i leave it there, however i fully failed to prove i parked the car in good condition so damage was on me, and i was very happy i took the deal with buying of the risk to a minimum.

Also i wonder how this article came to their conclusion, only looking at the repair costs is silly, since it leaves out that they are also entitled to book you for the days they can't use the car as well as administrative costs and hours needed to get it towards and from the garage.

But i never notice a difference between repaired and non-repaired damage, meaning that at least when they don't repair they overcharge you.

For the rest all my car rental experiences are actually very well including the inhere named companies i rented of, i think it's often not as simple as company policy, but depending on what office you end up.
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Old 17.07.2017, 21:07
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Re: Half a million Europcar customers could have been overcharged for repairs

I've rented from all of them and most of the time they are all OK, and then once in a while you get screwed. Biggest problems I've had were with Hertz and Europcar. Now I just take out the extra insurance and don't worry about it. I would rather not have to do it, but it is worth it for the peace of mind.

If you book the flight early enough, quite often the overall cost works out about the same.
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