Saturday, 25 February 2012

Simon Calder gets caught with car rental rip off

Simon Calder the Independent's Travel expert has recently been involved in a car rental rip off in the USA.

According to his article in the 25th February 2012 edition of "Independent Traveller" he recently visited California. His moto is never to upgrade a US hire car and always order and go for the basic model.

This time he arranged the rental via Holiday Autos and when he went to collect it, was offered a "Thanksgiving weekend upgrade special". He declined it and was then asked to initial the rental contract in the places he was asked to do. He had just had a 12 hour flight and like any traveller tired.

He discovered when his credit card bill came in and additional £26 had been added for the upgrade!  He took up the issue with Holiday Autos customer services who did a an efficient job looking into it and they got hold of a copy of the rental contract. This showed he had initialled for a better car.

This type of action by car hire receptionists, of getting customers to sign here, there and there is so similar to when my wife rented a car in Dublin via Irish Car Rentals the Europcar Ireland franchise operator. She declined their excess insurance as she had her own, however was told sign here, there and everywhere and when questioned later, although she has said she did not want it, but they said you signed for it so we are not refunding the money.

Do take great care and if you are tired, why not write on the contract "don't want upgrade" or "your excess insurance" even if it is one of those screen signature boxes that a lot of car hire companies are now using.

To see Simon Calder's article on line at The Independent, follow this link.


Anonymous said...

This is simply hilarious! I gotta keep coming back.
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