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CarJet cancelled booking with no refund (CJT-34753383)


Read the following and decide whether you want to risk using CarJet.

I booked a car via CarJet to pick-up at Schiphol airport from GoldCar outside of the airport (Aug-2020). The CarJet voucher included what appeared as sufficient information on how to contact GoldCar representative and how to pick-up the car.

I followed the instructions but found no GoldCar representative and could not reach them in phone number included in voucher. Being late, after one hour of not having been able to contact GoldCar, I rented another car. While picking-up the new car, with no time to spare, I have been contacted by a GoldCar representative. I explained that under the circumstances I had to cancel the booking. They understood and apologized but said that I should contact CarJet for the cancelation and the refund.

Later in the evening I logged in CarJet site and asked for a cancellation explaining the circumstances. CarJet replied with a no-reply “dry” email saying that they accept the cancellation but that there will be no refund after the hire period has already started.

Following that I have sent several messages to CarJet and even contacted GoldCar. GoldCar have been understanding (I could talk to a person) but would direct me to CarJet for any refund.

Bottom-line: CarJet pocketed the money for a service that has never actually been provided, GoldCar claim they got nothing and where happy to cancel. Worst of all it is impossible to contact in a meaningful way CarJet. There is just no after-sales customer service.

Posted by
10169 posts

IMO this is someone's tale of woe. The rental company pickup service was late. The person used a third-party and got a rental voucher but didn't read the rental rules about refunds on prepaid rentals and is now ticked off at the third-party company that he paid. The person wants to influence our future choice not to use this third party to rent. It's a lesson on why we should read reviews before, wait patiently, not rent a second car assuming we can get a refund, avoid third-party vendors and allow time after landing for screw ups such as a late pick-up if the service is off site. Finally, the title is not true. The op cancelled the rental, not the third party that issued the voucher.

Posted by
4 posts

For starters this is a true story with an actual booking reference. Anyone who wants to actually check can either contact CarJet or GoldCar. It’s not spam. I would be very happy to share many more details about the experience with anyone who wants to know more.
As for not reading the contract this is not the point. If you have to be somewhere at some time you make arrangements. It’s true CarJet is an unknown company to me, GoldCar as well, but I took the risk of trusting I would be getting reasonable services from them based on the reviews. I didn’t get any actual services and certainly not a reasonable treatment.
Waiting patiently as you put it is vague. Tell this to a family on an international trip, on the road for several hours, after two flights and with a schedule to follow. One hour of waiting after several non-returned calls to supplied numbers is a sufficient amount of time to take actions when no alternatives are available. First response came after more than one hour later. To tell you the truth I have never had the experience of not having a company representative waiting for me for any car that I have rented and I have rented plenty. Still I prefer the treatment from GoldCar who actually in the end replied and tried to help, only it was too late.
It is absurd for CarJet to claim that the service has started when there has not been any pick-up, and when the car company agrees to that. The service has never actually started, plus I don’t see the point of not refunding under certain circumstances with nothing to lose for any parties involved (unless just keeping the money for no services is a company’s policy).
Everyone is entitled to their opinion and free to judge what is true and what isn’t true in a story. The title is 100% true. GoldCar did not cancel the booking, I - the customer - cancelled the booking with the service not being viable under the circumstances. GoldCar actually accepted the cancellation, they got nothing out of it as they claim, so CarJet chose to accept cancelling the services and just pocket the money. I am not even sure whether the term cancellation stands here; what CarJet actually means is something of the sort… we don’t accept the cancellation after as we CarJet claim the service has started and you cannot get a refund. Now that would be an honest reply.
The worst thing - besides losing money - I say again is the customer service from CarJet which is just non-existing. Cancellation of the booking was the closest option in CarJet's site menu for handling the booking after the mishap. If I could actually talk to someone at CarJet at that time, which has not been possible, the whole thing would have evolved differently. Try talking to CarJet.

Posted by
4 posts

No I have not taken this up with my bank. I realize when my chances are slim. If CarJet does not really address the issue and take into consideration the circumstances they probably have some clause in the contract that will set them right in keeping the money.
I will persist some more trying to communicate with CarJet to see whether there is actually any other person besides the employee that handled the case that actually cares about their customers.
I will examine other actions but won’t be as quick as of cancelling credit cards and getting into a payment dispute when in all legal terms CarJet will probably come out on top. Having said that thanks for suggesting. I am not ruling it out.
My first concern is to tell my story and let people know about it and make-up their minds. I am also doing this after I have let 10 days pass-by and after having let-out initial steam.
I’ll stop here for now.

Posted by
3516 posts

This is definitely something your credit card issuer/bank should refund to you: no service was provided that you paid for.

You arrived and were at the appointed spot at the appointed time? Right? This would be a chargeback for services not performed, not requiring the cancellation of the credit card. This was not fraud where someone got your card info and started charging things without your knowledge which is the only reason to cancel a card other than loss or theft of the physical card.

I have never heard of either company before, and am therefore not sure why the two are tied together here. It is always best to deal directly with the company you will be receiving the service from (GoldCar in this case) so there is no finger pointing and trying to move the blame elsewhere.

Posted by
27039 posts

Many people here (and many guidebooks) recommend AutoEurope if you want to work through a consolidator who can often beat the direct prices of rental firms. Multiple posters have said that AutoEurope helped them when they had a conflict with the rental company. I, myself, have never rented a car in Europe.

Posted by
10169 posts

We've used AutoEurope, the 3rd party vendor, many times. It's the same system with the voucher. AutoEurope has a 48-hour cancellation cut off. They did make an exception once for a death in our family, but canceling because the actual agency is an hour late wouldn't generate a refund from AutoEurope. AutoEurope used to advocate well for the renter but not anymore.

Posted by
124 posts

It certainly seems that we have all learned lessons from buying indirectly. So far, my easiest cancellation and refund experiences have been with the actual vendors and the worst with third party vendors, (i.e. Priceline). To give credit, our current travel situation is unprecedented. To complain, the third party vendors send the customer directly to the actual vendor who refers the call back to the third party vendor. There is nothing to compare the frustration to. Depending on how much time you care to devote to this particular problem, a chargeback on your credit card is probably the most efficient solution, even though the satisfaction it provides is minimal .

Posted by
11136 posts

but found no GoldCar representative

There was no one at their office?

Posted by
10169 posts

This experience sounds awful: no one at the car rental office, and no human response from the 3rd-party vendor.

I don't think you're going to get anywhere with these people on your own. You need someone with some power to step in for you. If you live in the States, you can contact the Chris Elliott consumer help team.

Both companies made errors that hindered you. You made the error of renting another car and assuming you'd be refunded when you were pressed for time. However, a good consumer advocate would overlook that and fight for you. Good luck.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks everyone for the tips and the support.

Bets, you are right I was pressed for time, but aren't we all when we make travel arrangements with intermediate stops?
Error, I would not call it renting another car. I had to continue my journey and it was already late in the evening. I had no option.
I started this booking with CarJet in a trusting manner towards them and being positive.
It is not an independent assumption I made about how this particular contract would be handled. I do expect in general companies that respect their clients to recognize extraordinary circumstances and act accordingly and in general I have not had many bad experiences.

To be fair with all parties involved I will be updating the story as it evolves. So, today after so many days there is a first ray of light (hopefully). So here's a first reaction from a CarJet employee in a review I also posted in Trustpilot:

It seems you wanted to collect the car the day after without modifying the pick-up date and therefore the car hire company wasn't aware of it.
I have already replied to your email to be able to look into your case and help you.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.

So, although it is strange why Inma thinks I tried to pick up the car on the next day, this is at least a polite response from CarJet with intention of helping and I wholeheartedly hope it gets us somewhere.
Of course I sent Inma my phone registry proving that I have placed many calls to both companies on the day of my arrival - the pick-up day - as I already mentioned in my story.

Posted by
10169 posts

Good start. Glad you have the phone registry. Now that someone has shown a sign of life, you should keep the contacts in text or email for a written record. The Chris Elliot website emphasizes patience, politeness, persistance or something like that.

Posted by
2916 posts

Sounds like another reason why I don’t use 3rd party vendors.

I personally wouldn't make such a blanket statement. It depends on the subject. I never use 3rd party vendors for flights, while it's about 50/50 for accommodations. As for European car rentals, I've almost always used a 3rd party -- either Auto Europe, Kemwel, or the late Europe by Car.

As for the OP's situation, I might have done exactly the same thing. Fortunately I haven't been confronted with something like that. It would partly depend on where I had to be and when. But I certainly could understand the OP's actions. No one there and being unable to reach anyone, who knows how long he'd have to wait. And even if he didn't have time constraints, how long should someone wait in that situation? 2 hours? 3 hours? 5 hours?

Posted by
1544 posts

You don't state clearly whether or not you were personally on time to pick up your rental. This makes a huge difference. If you were on time with your first phone call from the airport then you have a genuine beef. If you were late then maybe not, as most companies have strict cancellation policies and some have restricted hours of operation at airports.