Citer car rental (France) - total scam

My husband and I just got back from our honeymoon in France. We rented a car from Citer/Enterprise at the Montpellier airport, through rentalcars.com. It was the worst car rental experience of my life. I'd advise you all to avoid this company. On carrentals.com, the total charge was $300 US, which was charged to my card. We just got home and see charges of over $1400 that Citer/Enterprise charged us. When we got to the airport to rent the car, Citer told us that they didn't have a car for us, but Avis, next door, did. They said the car would be almost 4x the price but they'd reimburse me the difference in a few weeks. I said that was ridiculous and I refused to put that charge (950 euros) on my card. Finally, Citer said they did have a car for us (strange that they didn't only 30 minutes earlier). They gave us a big SUV instead of the small car we reserved - nearly impossible to drive through the tiny streets of France. They charged me 289 euros extra (lots of ridiculous charges - extra driver, since I was paying with my card and my husband was driving, an 'airport fee' of 88 euros, made me buy insurance for 19 euros a day even through I was already covered through rentalcars.com and also Amex...then, when we got home, I see charges for the $300 from rentalcars.com, 289 euros from Citer, and another charge of over $1000 for no reason...taking it up with Amex now who I think can resolve it for me. Overall, don't use this company. Now that I'm back I'm seeing lots of reviews online, all saying it's a total scam.

Posted by Bets
Bloomington
1964 posts

Good warning. I think your problem began when you used rentalcars.com and just spiraled down from there. I would warn against using that website and stay with kemwel or autoeurope. Autoeurope advocates for you in case of disputes, not against you. Second, in the two decades we've been renting and leasing, my worst experience was with Citer/National. When using autoeurope.com, I google to be sure they aren't sending me to a Citer agency, but to an Europecar. Third, if you've compared prices and found one that's a steal, be wary. Good luck and thanks for the warning. Edit:
From what I understand National, Enterprise and Avis are all the same now.

Posted by Anna
Brooklyn, New York, USA
6 posts

True, thanks - I guess the price was too good to be true, but sometimes you can find bargains online. Needless to say I'll never use Citer or rentalcars.com again!

Posted by Robert
Portland
629 posts

Your experience sounds like one of the worst I've heard. I've never had anything close, maybe because up until recently I've always used AutoEurope or Kemwel. On a recent trip to France, I considered using Citer directly through their web site, but backed off after reading enough complaints about them. Instead I used Europcar directly through their web site (for 2 separate rentals), because getting one-way automatic rentals through a broker is not so easy now, and everything went smoothly, with no problems or surprising charges. Well, I should qualify that. For some reason, after the first rental there was a final charge of 77 cents extra, and for the 2d one, .79. Strange. I have no idea why.

Posted by Bets
Bloomington
1964 posts

Anna, I'm glad Enterprise is monitoring the websites and that the Rep can help you. Please report back to us how this was ultimately handled and if you were reimbursed and compensated for your trouble. Hope it was a lovely honeymoon nonrtheless.

Posted by Anna
Brooklyn, New York, USA
6 posts

Two days ago I actually got a call from the head of car rentals in France for Enterprise - he was very nice and said none of what happened should have happened - he was going to call me back the next day (yesterday) after he looked into what happened but I haven't heard back yet - I'll wait a few more days, as this guy sounded pretty on top of it. Fingers crossed.

Posted by Bets
Bloomington
1964 posts

I know that companies monitor Flyertalk to minimize and resolve problems. Having the company name in your title worked to get some action going on this. Yes, please do keep us updated.

Posted by Anna
Brooklyn, New York, USA
6 posts

The head of car rentals for Enterprise in France was supposed to call me over a week ago with more information but still waiting to hear back. In the meantime, I got an itemized bill from Enterprise with the most ridiculous charges.

Posted by Anna
Brooklyn, New York, USA
6 posts

Resolution! After much back and forth and arguing, Enterprise finally cancelled the whole invoice, so all I paid was the original $300 through rentalcars.com. Yesterday they told me they're canceling all the charges except the car repairs, but I had bought their insurance - they said, "You bought the regular car insurance, not the super one - you needed the super." I got American Express's car insurance involved, filed a claim yesterday and then today got a voicemail from Enterprise that I don't have to pay any of the bill, not even the car repairs. Finally! Glad that nightmare is over. I'll steer clear of Enterprise from now on.

Posted by Jane
Orange, NSW, Australia
1 posts

Did you get your money back? My daughter hired a car through Citer at Dinard airport in April. The car was already paid for when she picked it up, but they insisted on taking 550 euros deposit which she had to use 2 cards to pay. She returned the car 4 days later and was told the deposit would be refunded shortly. We are still waiting. I have spoken to the people at Cartrawler as she hired the car from Citer through them and they say Citer refunded the deposit on the 30th April. We are still waiting. I am about to ring them again and to contact the fraud department of her card here in Australia. Definitely do not use this company. We use Europcar direct to an agency in France and they have been very good. Jane Doherty
Orange, NSW, Australia

Posted by Anna
Brooklyn, New York, USA
6 posts

Hi Jane - definitely get your credit card company's fraud dept involved. Enterprise and Citer seem to be a total scam and it really makes me mad thinking about how many people must just pay the fraudulent charges. I would show them any contracts you had that didn't say anything about a deposit...if they're making up these charges later and not refunding you, I'm sure if you fight it you'll get the money back.

Posted by Rebecca
Wirral, Merseyside, United Kingdom
1 posts

My husband and I also rented a car from Citer at Tours airport, France. The car was fine when we picked it up and also when we returned it. As the office was closed we posted the keys as arranged. We travel to France regularly and use car hire, posting the keys is normal practice and have never had any problems before. After we arrived home we received an invoice from Citer for £400, billed as "car repairs" the money had already been taken from our credit card. We have contacted Citer on several occasions and have received one automated response and one acknowledgement email some weeks ago but have have heard nothing further. We have since contacted them again but again have heard nothing. We find it incredible that we have not been informed of what the alleged damage to the car was and that we have shelled out £400 without even knowing the details of what this cost was for. We intend to pursue this matter through our credit card provider and through a small claims dispute if necessary. This was the first occasion we have rented from Citer and indeed it will be the last.

Posted by MIchael
St. Helens, Merseyside, United Kingdom
1 posts

I wish that I had read these comments before I rented a car from NationalCiter (now owned by Enterprise) at Dinard Airport on 10th September. I had reserved a Peugeot 206 or similar and was provided with a Citroen C1 - not a great problem as there were only two of us. The car had clearly not been cleaned - there was a coffee cup stain on the dashboard and a petrol receipt from the previous renter on the floor. We returned the car four days later exactly as we had received it - coffee stain and receipt still in place - there was nobody to inspect it, we simply left the keys in the box provided. I contacted Citer by e-mail on return to the UK, but as yet have not even recived an acknowledgement.
On checking my Amex statement for last month I found that I had been charged 30 Euros, presumably for cleaning the car, since I had filled up with petrol a few miles from the Airport. They did not even have the courtesy of informing me why they had charged my Amex account. I have taken it up with the Amex disputes department and await results. I used Argus car hire to make the booking, so I will try them next. It is not a lot of money, and compared to the horror stories I have read here it fades into insignificance, but it is the principle - they are stealing our money and should be prosecuted as thieves!

Posted by philbo37
1 posts

We hired a car from Citer on 19 May 2013, we had intermittent problems engaging the gears over the next few days and the clutch failed on Thursday 23 May. Citer arranged a breakdown truck to take the car away and supplied us with a replacement through Europcar. Six weeks later we received a letter accusing us of failing to report an accident and misusing the clutch. We replied that we had not had an accident, we had not misused the clutch but had had a mechanical breakdown. Citer's subsequently letters made no further mention of an accident but invoiced us for 2,500€ to replace the clutch, We phoned their Paris office to query this and they admitted issuing an invoice without establishing the cause of the breakdown. We have had repeated demands for money from Citer ignoring completely our repeated assertion that the clutch failure was not our fault. Citer produced a report on the clutch 6 months after the car broke down, it does not prove our responsibility for the breakdown at all but they continue to harass us for money and threaten legal action. Needless to say we will neverŴ hire a car from Enterprise/ Citer again.

Phill
Kenilworth
Warwickshire
13 January 2014