I was in Italy earlier this year from Jan 22 to Jan 31. First time there, beautiful gorgeous country, incredible architecture and monuments, friendly people, fantastic food, just a wonderful and memorable trip. Rented a car from Hertz, requested and paid extra for a car with GPS. It would have been impossible to drive and navigate to all the places I went to with a map. I stayed in Tuscany, and each day I drove to a different place.. Florence, Bologna, Modena, Siena, Pisa, Rome, San Gimignano, Cinque Terre (parked at La Spezia, then took train), Venice (took train there, parked in Florence).
However, at the end of March, nearly 2 months after I got back from the trip, I received an email from Hertz that I have committed a road offence. The attached poorly scanned pdfs are all in Italian, I cannot understand it but I manage to make out a few words here and there and believe the offence is speeding. And I noticed Hertz charged my credit card 40 EU. At first I thought fine, no big deal, paid, done. Then I noticed this charge is not paying for the actual speeding fine, it's for paying the charge levied by Hertz to give the police my information only!
A couple days later, another 2 e-mails from Hertz. I notice 2 new 40 EU charges on my credit card!
Fast forward to now, just yesterday another 2 Hertz e-mails trickle in. So far, 9 charges from Hertz on my credit card totalling 400 EU.... all for Hertz giving my name to the authorities. This is ridiculous and a cash grab plain and simple by Hertz. Is there any recourse for me in terms of fighting this ridiculous 40 EU "administration" charge that is pure bull***t?
My cost to rent the car during my trip was about 550 EU. Now the cost of that looks to be doubling with these fees. And I don't know if it's going to stop. And these are NOT even the actual traffic offence fines.
If I have 9 Hertz charges, that implies 9 separate speeding fines? Let's say each speeding fine is 150 EU ? (I have no idea) I'm looking at potentially 1350 EU (or more) still to pay?
Tell me there isn't something wrong with this fkg system.
You go to vacation. You come back. 2 months later, you get charged 400 EU on alleged speeding that happened 9 times. I have yet to see a single shred of proof that I committed any of the alleged traffic violations.
So I am here because I googled this and it seems Italy has traffic cameras everywhere that I apparently did not notice at all. My question is, will I be able to see proof of each infraction? That is, each photo that substantiates their claim?
I'm not saying I'm unwilling to pay. If I'm guilty then I will pay. I'm not willing to pay blindly without first seeing incontrovertible proof of the offence. And, secondly, the Hertz charges are unacceptable. I'm sure the information exchange is all computerized and automated without anyone lifting a finger, and even if it wasn't, 40 EU charge to have someone find my information and send it, really?? This is beyond ridiculous. 10 EU for this would be a lot, but much more reasonable than 40 EU. I refuse to pay this. What can I do about this?
Also, I find this traffic fines system ludicrous and unfair. Here in the western world, if we speed we get pulled over, so afterwards we do not continue to speed. But in Italy, I was not stopped at all or even given any sign that I had done anything wrong. So I continued without knowing and therefore was not given the chance to take corrective action and abide by the traffic laws after the first infraction. Most of the time I was just following the rest of the traffic flow.
It's unfortunate that my memorable trip is now tainted by such a blatantly abusive traffic fines system. Not saying I am not guilty. I'm saying it's seriously unreasonable, and there has got to be a line drawn somewhere about this abuse.