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Car hire rant

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I am really angry with Alamo Car Hire. When I was last in the UK I hired a car from them and refused the extra cost for the collision damage waver. I was told to check the car carefully for damage when I picked it up from the lot, which I did, and found several scratches and marks, even though the rental form said 'none' in the damage box. So I marked them in and told the guy at the exit what I had done, and he said OK. When I returned the car I did another check and there was no more damage than I had previously marked. Now I have a letter from them, they have debited me £300 on my card for 'damage sustained'. I am so mad and I don't quite know what to do - I will ring Customer Services on Monday and see what they say, but being out here and the car being in the UK, I am not sure I can fight this. Does anyone have any similar experience?
post #2 of 23
Jenny did you get a copy of the form that you had marked?.

What damage had they found?, and where in the UK was it?

Was it done on your insurance or theirs?
post #3 of 23
Oh Jenny! I don't have any advice for you but how awful! I hope you get that money back.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
It was done on their insurance. I could have paid another £50 to have the waver but decided against it as I was not travelling very far. And no, stupidly, I did not get a copy of the form that I marked. I thought it was very inefficient of them not to have marked it, but the guy on the desk told me to mark it, which I did, and then I handed it in at the gate with the other documents. I guess if it came to a court case they would have to produce it, and it would be in my handwriting, but it is so hard me being here. And it was at Heathrow airport, by the way. When I handed the car back it was 5.30 in the morning and there was no one there to do a check, but I did one, and then left the car to get the bus to the terminal..
post #5 of 23
Whenever I rent a car, I check the car over with a magnifying glass and then have the rental rep make the marks on their form. I don't leave till they acknowledge it! I've saved myself quite a lot of hassle that way. The rep has said Oh, thats just a minor mark, but I've had them put it on the form!

The company has to give you a written report on the damage sustained. If you still have your copy with your markings on it, you can fight the charge.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks, yes I am waiting for hte written report they say they are sending. But I shall call anyway on Monday - I know I did no damage, but it may be difficult to prove it.
post #7 of 23
Will your credit card company back you?
post #8 of 23
Jenny if it's done on their insurance then thats what the insurance is for, any damage!.

I deal a lot with vehicle rental companies and we always do our own insurance on the hire vehicles because it's cheaper.

For me if there was no one there when you took the car back then it's their word against yours!.

If you want me to ring them and speak on your behalf just say the word!.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
I am not quite sure how this works - I signed a collision damage waiver that made me responsible for the first £500 of damage. I did no damage and recorded the scratches and scuffs (all minor but there) that were on the car when I picked it up. Now they are claiming £300 from me for damage I know I did not cause. My insurance in Bosnia will not want to know (anyway I have third party only here) so unless I can prove I did no damage I have lost £300. So what can I do? I am not sure about my credit card - I will have to check if there is anything they can do. But it is the injustice that gets me - if I had caused damage I would be willing to own up and pay!
post #10 of 23
Have they actually said what damage was done?, and where you left the car was it beside a main road or near where cars drive past?
post #11 of 23
Don't lie down on this one Jenny fight your corner. When you speak to them - I would ask for an itemised account of the damage they allege was sustained. If it corresponds to the damage you identified - then insist they produce the document you marked.

If you paid by credit card I would also threaten them with contacting the credit card company as technically your contract is with the credit card not the hire car company. They may take this up on your behalf and if they are trying to take the amount from your credit card may refuse to pay.

They may just be trying to see what they can get away with.
post #12 of 23
I agree with Beth Jenny, don't give up, and if you want me to speak to them just say.
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Susan, I may take you up on that. I left the car in the Alamo depot car park at Heathrow - in a line of cars that had been left as per instructions. The problem with the credit card is that Alamo have already deducted the £300 before telling me that they had found damage - so Egg will not really care as they will get hte money from me anyhow. But I can do nothing now till Monday, when I will speak to Customer Services. The letter I have says they will send a report of damage, so right now I am in hte dark about what they claim happened. It is all so frustrating. But thanks everyone - I needed somewhere to let off steam over this. And I will fight it.
post #14 of 23
Well, you know where to find me Jenny!. Let us know as soon as you get the letter.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyranson
Thanks, Susan, I may take you up on that. I left the car in the Alamo depot car park at Heathrow - in a line of cars that had been left as per instructions. The problem with the credit card is that Alamo have already deducted the £300 before telling me that they had found damage - so Egg will not really care as they will get hte money from me anyhow. But I can do nothing now till Monday, when I will speak to Customer Services. The letter I have says they will send a report of damage, so right now I am in hte dark about what they claim happened. It is all so frustrating. But thanks everyone - I needed somewhere to let off steam over this. And I will fight it.
As long as it's a credit and not a debit card Jenny Egg will have to care as they are the person you have your contract with. Then Egg will make a contract with Alamo. Seems artificial but that' s how the relationship goes. If you have a problem with the goods or services provided - the credit card company are the one's responsible under UK law.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yay! I sent an email to Alamo Customer Services on Friday, setting out exactly what happened, and I had a reply from them today saying they were 'very sorry for the trouble and inconvenience' and htat the damage 'had been pre-noted by the branch' who had then ' debited the account in error' and promising a full refund!

But I winder what would have happened if I had not been so quick off the mark. I have heard before of car hire firms who routinely clap damage claims on their customers whenever they think they can get away with it. The clerk who checked the car out to me was very keen to sell me the waiver, and I almost wondered then if there was a reason for it. It was beyond the normal information pitch.

Anyway, all is well that ends well, and I shall be extra careful in future to make 100% sure that someone is there to examine the car at both ends. Thanks to all who offered help, especially Susan.
post #17 of 23
Jenny i'm pleased to hear thats been sorted out!

Just keep an eye to make sure it's been refunded within the next 7-10 days.
post #18 of 23
Great news Jenny - I'm so glad you managed to sort this out. It's good that you were observant when you booked the car out. As Susan says - keep an eye on your statements to make sure that refund does arrive.
post #19 of 23
I'm happy your situation is all cleared up, Jenny. I used to work for a car rental company and I KNOW how dishonest they can be. I worked for Enterprise Rent-a-Car which is the least dishonest. Trust me, you are very lucky that things ended in your favor.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I will check the credit card, believe me. It does make me wonder how often this happens. I mean, they never even queried my version of events as soon as they heard from me.
post #21 of 23
I wonder if they thought with you living abroad they thought they would try it on?!, not thinking that you would get in touch like you have.

Just makes you think all the more doesnt it.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Maybe. I am glad to say that I have hired cars all over the world and this is the first time that something like this has happened. And in my own country too!
post #23 of 23
ack! i hate companies who always want to rip people off!
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