This is a bit of a read…..but I encourage you to go the distance as I have been financially ripped off and I am trying to spread the message of caution when it comes to Europcar.
I hire a fair number of cars….probably 30 days of car hire each year.
I have a problematic relationship with car hire companies.
Click here to read my issue with the booking practices of Hertz.
Thankfully I left them and went to Europcar….They have been good in terms of the prices they charge….but I have been concerned about the constant inaccuracies of their ‘damage reports’.
Here is the letter I wrote to Europcar, which despite their promise of a 7 day response, has not been responded to 15 days later….
I am writing in reference to case #00467215.
Let me summarize the issue. On the weekend of the 27th May 2017, I hired a car. When I returned the car, the Europcar inspector said that there was a chip in the windscreen which was not on the damage report. I proclaimed that it didn’t happen while I was driving. I would have heard a rock hit the windscreen. I am not an idiot. He replied it probably happened while you were parked. I explained that I had parked in two places…Under the Stamford Motel near the airport and under the Sage Motel in Wollongong. BOTH UNDER COVER.
I insisted that it did not happen while I was in possession of the car.
I was asked to fill out an incident report and in that report I insisted that it did not happen while I was in possession of the car.
On the following Tuesday, I received an email saying that Europcar was getting quotes and that I would be charged for the damage. I sent an email back protesting about how can the management of Europcar put so much faith in the absolute accuracy of the damage reports…when in my experience 50% or more of the times that I have hired cars (and look at my record I have hired a fair number) the damage reports are INACCURATE?
I received no response to the email so this weekend, 3rd of June, I hired another car through Europcar. I asked the desk attendant to come and inspect the car with me…Which he did. AND HE COULDN’T FIND THE CAR…
Let me repeat HE COULDN’T FIND THE CAR…
(Oh but apparently your ability to record damage to a car is infallible but your ability to keep a track of whole cars is a little light on.)
Anyway your company lost the car that I had hired, signed for and paid for …..To the point that the Europcar representative had to find me another car (after we had spent 10 minutes walking randomly around the car park searching for the car)….Now let’s think about this for a moment….Your record keeping is so poor that not only can your people not record damage to a car accurately, they can’t even find whole cars)….But I digress.
Once he redid the paper work so it matched a car that was actually there…I asked him to inspect it with me…This he did and this I videoed. THERE WERE 7 PIECES OF DAMAGE TO THE CAR THAT WAS NOT ON THE DAMAGE REPORT:
I say again THERE WERE 7 PIECES OF DAMAGE TO THE CAR THAT WAS NOT ON THE DAMAGE REPORT:
Here is the link to the Youtube Video.
So here a few questions or points I would like answered or responded to:
1) Did the person who hired the car before me get charged for all this damage?
2) If he did, why then doesn’t your systems and processes demand that the damage reports are then updated?
3) Why do you as a company have a culture of incompetence where the onus is on the customer to find the damage discrepancies rather than you providing outstanding service and ensuring the damage reports are accurate? This is actually not a big ask.
4) Please reassure me that you don’t do this to financially rape your vulnerable customers….For example, Had I just got in the current car that I hired and driven away, I would have been charged when I returned the car, for the 7 points of damage: yet clearly as the video shows, none of those issues were caused by me. So your company’s incompetent staff or process could have potentially cost me thousands this weekend. AND THIS IS NOT OK.
5) I will from now on, request a rep from your company inspect every car I hire and I will be videoing the result.
6) Due to the fact that my car hirings are either reimbursed or a tax deduction, I have every record of my hire documents with Europcar for the last 2 years. These include where there has been changes to the damage report….So I can actually verify my claim of the 50% inaccuracy. (I actually suggest it’s higher than 50%).
I look forward to your response and explanation.
As I said Europcar have not responded to my email….but today they charged my credit card for the damage to the windscreen, I still insist that it did not happen whilst I was in possession of the car. My adult daughter, Lakeisha Pilt was in the car the entire time I had it in my possession and she would attest to the fact that the windscreen damage did not happen while we had the car.
I inspect every car every time I hire. I missed one thing and that has now cost me hundreds of dollars.
I simply don’t understand why Europcar puts iron clad credibility on damage reports post a hiring….but treats them as mere suggest prior to a hiring….I can only suspect its related to financial gain: And this is wrong on every level.
If you hire a car from any company, make sure you inspect carefully every part of the car prior to moving it.
I have asked Europcar for training on damage inspection due to the fact that they place the entire onus of proof on the driver hiring the car….Which I think is entirely unfair. I am not competent in knowing about car body damage so why I am expected to be an expert?????
Shouldn’t a car hire company be expected to provide a car with an accurate damage report?
Anyway, That’s what I think.
Categories: Australian, Social Justice Issues
A shocking indictment! How many people are just bluffed and pay up. Good on you for standing up against corrupt practices.
Peter, I’m not sure what it is like in Aus but here in Africa, if you have a single vehicle accident (you don’t hot another car) your insurance waiver reduction is null and void and you have to pay up big time. It’s all written in the fine print. There are a lot of things to check and double check when hiring a car!
Same over here.
I always hire from Europcar, but through Airport Rentals, and they have a much better insurance cover than Europcar, covering everything including windscreens, plus the actual hire is cheaper as well!
Peter, have filed a dispute with your credit card company? you also should have some sort of travel insurance connected to your credit card that you may be able to claim against.
I hired with EUROPECAR in Hobart and was similarly ripped off and cost me hundreds of dollars for damage I did not do. Twice this happened there. I don’t use EUROPECAR anymore.
Yep check the fuel as well. I was charged for 4.5 ltres when i had filled the car immediately before returning it. That’s about 80km at the consumption the of the car hired.
After 3 months and many claims of Europcar not receiving my emails I finally received a refund.
I do not know if it’s just me or if everybody else encountering
issues with your blog. It seems like some of the text in your content are running
off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me
know if this is happening to them too? This could be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen before.
Peter you are not alone I have just had the same thing done to me at the Townsville airport.When we returned the car it was checked with no damage reported only to get a phone call later saying that there was a chip in the windscreen. We also had to report other damage to the car before we took the car. If they missed this damage they could have missed the damage to the windscreen.I will never use Europcar again
Sorry to hear that