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Old 19.09.2016, 19:59
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Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

We recently rented a van from Sixt for a day. Rental went fine and upon returning the vehicle, despite Sixt's insistance that we left immediately, we waited for the van to be inspected and given the all clear before we left.

So, imagine our surprise when three days later we were sent an accident form and asked to complete it to explain the damage caused during our rental! There was absolutely no damage caused to the van whilst we had it and the damage they are claiming is now there was not there when we left it. However, after much arguing from our side Sixt's excellent customer service response is to invoice us anyway.

We have been looking into this on google and it appears we are no way in the minority. It seems like a scam Sixt are pulling on a lot of customers. So one question I have is, has anyone else out there had a similar experience with them? If so, what was the outcome?

Also, does anyone have any advice how we can continue to fight this? Is there an ombudsman we can contact? or some kind of consumer rights group?

Thanks in advance for any replies!
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Old 19.09.2016, 20:03
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

No issues so far. But then I have them sign off the contract that the car was returned in good shape and without damages
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Old 19.09.2016, 20:26
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

As did we. We have the paperwork but they are claiming this damage was found after we left and was not discovered during their initial check. Apparently they are within their rights to do this?!

We've had so many rentals over the years and always make sure we get the vehicle inspected before leaving. The only thing we should have done in hindsight is take photos of the van, but it's too late for this case. The next rental I have I will photo every square inch of the car!! I've just never experienced anything like this.
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Old 19.09.2016, 20:27
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

When you handed over the car did you sign anything about the condition?

Did you take photos of the van when handing it back?
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Old 19.09.2016, 20:28
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

Years ago rented a van and the brakes didn't work properly. So after 5 mins of leaving the lot drove it very slowly back and haven't been there since!
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Old 19.09.2016, 20:34
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

Unfortunately this is a fairly common scam with all car hire companies. I am just shocked that they had the gall to pull a stunt like that after they had given the van the all-clear in your presence. I would certainly get my legal insurance involved if that had happened to me.

I had a problem with Avis some years ago when I returned the car the agent got on his hands and knees to check the car and found tons of small scratches and stuff. They wanted to charge me a couple of hundred pounds, but when I asked to see the report of the previous rental they became very defensive (but didn't back down). I took it up with our company's travel manager and got a letter of apology and and assurance that their processes would be improved. However I doubt that is the case. These companies have found a way to charge for the same damage time and again and do it.

The only thing you can do is go over the car with a fine toothcomb before you start and make sure all damage is noted on the report, but it seems even that wouldn't have helped the OP.

Thought about posting a stinky note on their Facebook page? That helps sometime...
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Old 19.09.2016, 20:35
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

From my experience with AirCanada, Twitter is even more effective!
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Old 19.09.2016, 20:41
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

It varies from depot to depot. I had a great experience with SIXT at Luton. I ordered an Audi A4 and got a Jeep Grand Cherokee instead.

I have separate hire car insurance to cover the excess. Then the insurance companies can slug it out.
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Old 19.09.2016, 20:42
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

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As did we. We have the paperwork but they are claiming this damage was found after we left and was not discovered during their initial check. Apparently they are within their rights to do this?!

We've had so many rentals over the years and always make sure we get the vehicle inspected before leaving. The only thing we should have done in hindsight is take photos of the van, but it's too late for this case. The next rental I have I will photo every square inch of the car!! I've just never experienced anything like this.
What does it say on the vehicle return form? Was that form signed by yourself and by Sixt staff indicating that there was no damage?

If they are asking you to fill out an accident form, don't. Ask them to describe what damage it is that they claim you caused which would not have been visible on the inspection.

Unless it says "Provisional and therefore completely meaningless inspection form" on the top of the document signed by both parties then remind them that they inspected and accepted the vehicle as undamaged when you returned it. If they come up with some magical temporally invisible damage rubbish then point out to them that the magic was also invisible during the inspection when you picked the vehicle up initially.

Also look at:
https://www.ch.ch/en/ombudsman-service/

and find out which ombudsman is appropriate (probably travel)
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Old 19.09.2016, 21:00
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

Thanks for the replies... we certainly intend to go public on fb and twitter. I agree sometimes a bit of public shaming gets results!

We didn't take photos unfortunately but have the signed paperwork. We will fight our case but wanted to know if others have suffered a similar scenario. So far we know of one other person who has had exactly the same happen.
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Old 19.09.2016, 21:08
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

Was there not a SiXt rep on here for some time? Used to reply to threads?
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Old 19.09.2016, 21:11
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

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I had a great experience with SIXT at Luton. I ordered an Audi A4 and got a Jeep Grand Cherokee instead.
Is that your idea of a great experience?!?

To me, that just verifies that Sixt suxts.
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Old 19.09.2016, 21:11
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

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Was there not a SiXt rep on here for some time? Used to reply to threads?
Here you go

Car hire / Sixt - Any Questions
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Old 19.09.2016, 21:16
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

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We didn't take photos unfortunately but have the signed paperwork.
You need the handover sheet - with the signature from the Sixt representative.

I had the same in South Africa (I know TIA) but Avis cancelled the charges after I emailed scans of the signed copies of the handover form.
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Old 19.09.2016, 21:47
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

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You need the handover sheet - with the signature from the Sixt representative.

I had the same in South Africa (I know TIA) but Avis cancelled the charges after I emailed scans of the signed copies of the handover form.
Absolutely. There's no way they can get away with "not noticing damage until after the handover", otherwise what's the point of a handover?!

OP, should the worst case prevail and Sixt act like total dixts, did you have CDW (collision damage waiver) insurance and/or insurance from a credit card such as Amex Platinum?
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Old 19.09.2016, 22:29
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

How unpleasant - do you have any legal services protection with your house, etc, insurance (we have with la Mobilière)? Or do you subscribe to a Consumer assoc with legal cover?

Unless the damage was to the underside of the van/chassis??? What are they claiming was damaged?
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Old 19.09.2016, 22:45
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

This is a common occurrence.

What can happen also, is if you do not pay, they could take you to court, etc., get a debt notice registered.

So, if you have the documents showing that they give the all clear, pay the amount due thus clearing any financial liability (and any extra charges or legal fees).

Then, spend the rest of your life committed to never letting it go and be as patient and thorough as you need. As you have all he documentation showing you were right, they will eventually back down and give you the money back. Get a proceeding against them for extortion, fraud, etc., .
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Old 19.09.2016, 23:12
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

Think all rental companies are much the same. I have used most of them many times, and had some good experiences some bad. Just down to luck I guess.
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Old 20.09.2016, 11:23
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

What's genuinely concerning here as well, is putting the keys in the drop box, say on a Sunday when no-one's about.

I've done this often in the past. Seems I've been lucky.

However, do we really expect large companies like Sixt to systematically cheat like this? I mean, poor staff is one thing, but genuinely directing your teams to behave in this manner?

I find that difficult to accept.

Problem remains though, what to do when it comes up. You surely should be ok given that you got an all-clear. What else could be reasonably expected?
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Old 20.09.2016, 11:34
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Re: Awful Sixt rental experience - anyone else??

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However, do we really expect large companies like Sixt to systematically cheat like this? I mean, poor staff is one thing, but genuinely directing your teams to behave in this manner?
This is exactly the point, not to mention the fact that rental companies are usually desperate for repeat business as its a very crowded field out there. I am guessing that it is either a mix-up or a bad employee who failed to check the subsequent renter's return properly.

@ the OP, it might help to understand what the damage they are claiming was exactly.
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