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Europcar Overcharge

If you rent a car in Ireland, confirm by email the total charge you will incur BEFORE you fly there.

We rented a car for our trip to Ireland from Europcar. The amount shown online was 103.32 Euros. The billed amount was $486, or about 374 Euros.

When I emailed Europcar, their response was, "You signed the contract at the desk when you rented the car, so you're liable for the amount on the contract you signed".

When I mentioned the term "consumer fraud" in my next email and told them I had saved a copy of the online contract, and that as far as I was concerned, I signed the contract in the US, so US law applied, Europcar cut $100 from my bill but did not email me again. I found out about the partial refund when I called my my credit card company to dispute the charge.

Posted by
9110 posts

Wrong, wrong, wrong, .......... and dead wrong.

You made an additional selection at the counter (maybe insurance) and didn't know it.

Europcar could have stood their ground since last-signed prevails. Your faux-legal argument and implied threat were meaningless. Fortunately, Europcar forgave you your ignorance -- they're a pretty good crowd and make enough money that they don't have to pad the sheet with scams.

Posted by
507 posts

If you still have your copy of the signed contract in Ireland how does it differ from the one you signed online? Or is Eurocar wrong in that you did not sign a second contract in Ireland? I I would tend to believe that the more recent signed contract would take precedence.

Were you given a copy of the contract when you returned the car with all the charges listed on it? Is there a fee per mile? Is there an insurance fee per day that gave you 0% liability in case of an accident?

If you did pay for extra insurance & did not incur an accident, be glad you had the coverage. I took the coverage in England & had a minor accident. I did not need to worry about my insurance rates going up or any hassles.

BTW, how was the trip?

I wish you a better tomorrow. :-)

Posted by
9361 posts

I think even though you had an "online contract", you physically signed the form at the rental desk. Included in that contract was the CDW information, which is not included in the original quote. It's been my experience that they do explain this to you, along with things like the fuel surcharge, when you sign the actual forms at the desk. They also give you a copy of that signed form. Did the charge differ from this signed form? If not, you were lucky to get a partial refund, since they didn't have to do that for you.

Posted by
8889 posts

The most likely explanation is that you verbally agreed to extra insurance at the desk (probably without realising you did), and that was the extra cost. The headline price usually does not include full insurance cover (just the legal minimum), and the extra is usually offered at the desk. It is usually advisable to take it.

But, your claim "I signed the contract in the US, so US law applied" is totally incorrect. Since the two parties are in different countries, it is normal practice to put in the contract which law applies, in this case probably Irish. Which is actually good news for you, as Irish/EU consumer protection legislation is better than US. Why do you think US courts could have any control over a company that does not operate in the USA?

Posted by
3 posts

just wanted to add my 2 cents to the comments that Mr. Ed from Pensacola had for Stephen in respect of Europcar, particularly calling them " a pretty good crowd " ...I really do not know how you can even come close to saying something like that unless you work for them, certainly as a consumer who have used them frequently in the past, but never again....like most of those International chains, they are franchises, and the individual " chain " is only as good as it´s weakest link.

2 weeks ago I got a car from Europcar in Rome for 2 weeks, the tank was 3/4 full, when I gave it back it was full, told them and they said that was bad luck, beccause no way they could refund me for that...but they obviously have no probelms overcharging you if you redeliver with less tan what you got it with...oh and the car was banged up, both front and rear, and whilst do 100 on the autostrada all warning lights began to flash... my wife took a photo of it... it was not a persistent error, so they had no comments to that, the electronic handbrake engaged during driving slowly causing the car to make the most horrible sounds that you could imagine coming from any car, but it just went on and off by itself...

so never agian Europcar, anywhere in the world !

Leslie

Posted by
9110 posts

unless you work for them

Whoa! I'm an unemployed bum and work for nobody.

In the last couple of years I've used them on every inhabited continent. That's maybe a dozen and a half or two dozen shots without a hitch. In Melbourne a drunk smashed me to just about smitherines and a replacement showed up before the wrecker.
If they ever screw me twice, I'll move right along and badmouth the heck out of them.

Posted by
6798 posts

That must have been a hell of a vacation for chick001/Leslie because the home rental in Tuscany he posted about was a nightmare, too. Was it a Fiat from EuropCar?

In fifteen years of renting from EuropCar, I once got a lemon, a Fiat Punto because I got the last car left at Orly, flying in at the end of July, after all the Parisians had picked up their cars for summer vacations. It was a real lemon. But once in about thirty some rentals, is pretty good, so no reason for me to dump EuropCar.

Mr. Ed--now that is funny.

Posted by
8 posts

The purpose of the post was to advise people of my experience so they are not similarly tricked.

To argue that Europcar may have some technically legal justification for a blatant attempt to mislead is to miss the point of my post.

I did not sign up for additional insurance. In fact, I had proof of insurance with me. Nor did I sign up for anything additional at the counter.

For Europcar to claim that once you get to the counter whatever you signed up for on-line doesn't apply, and to triple the charge, is at best bait-and-switch. As for whether or not it's illegal, we shall see: I have filed a complaint with the Garda and with my credit card company.

Posted by
507 posts

Please post how the situation turns out. Thank you for the "heads up".

Cheers!

Posted by
2040 posts

Can you post up a scan of your signed contract and the final subsequent billing? Then we can all see where the problem is.