Thursday 31 August 2017

Fines For car hire damage trigger numerous complaints to EU watchdog

The 30th August 17 edition of The Irish Independent had an article saying that rental car companies have been accused of imposing supplementary charges on consumers for alleged damage to vehicles. The report said that disputes around car hire charges are the second biggest issue for The European Consumer Centre (ECC) in Dublin, Ireland has to deal with every year in it's annual report.

A press release was published on the 29th August by the organisation saying that it had published its annual report 2016 which shows that air travel is once again the most common area of cross-border consumer complaint. Also in the top five consumer complaints for 2016 are car rental, electronic products, furniture, hotels and accommodation.

In 2016, ECC Ireland dealt with 4,337 total contacts from consumers (cross-border complaints and requests for information) which represents a significant increase of almost 24% on the number of contacts handled in 2015. Complaints actively pursued by ECC Ireland and requiring further assistance from the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) came to 719.

Air passenger rights, which accounted for 338 cases (47% of cases), was the most popular area of complaint. This category has held on to the top spot year-after-year. With 78 cases (11% of cases) car rental came in second and was followed by electronic products with 57 cases (7.9% of cases), furniture with 49 cases (6.8% of cases) and in fifth position was the hotels and accommodation category with 39 cases (5.4% of cases).

Of the 719 complaints requiring direct intervention on behalf of consumers, 167 involved Irish consumers against traders based in other European countries while 552 cases related to complaints by consumers from other European countries against traders based in Ireland.  Full report here

Car rental
  • There were 78 cases dealt with by ECC Ireland, 59 originating from consumers based in other EU/EEA countries complaining about car rental traders in Ireland, whilst a further 19 cases were pursued on behalf of Irish consumers.
  • Supplementary charges imposed when returning the vehicle was the most problematic area of complaint, followed by problems with the booking process, and hard-selling techniques for additional products such as insurance.

Recently the usual summer holiday bad experiences of car hire have been in various  consumer complaint columns in newspapers in Britain and Ireland.

Yesterday (30th August) BBC Radio 4  "You and Yours" programme featured complaints on same subject including complaints about a car hire company that is very cheap to hire from, however when they include the extras you don't realise you are signing for, can be very expensive.

At the insurance4carrental.com we put together a very useful guide about hiring a car - Visit the page here   

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