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Unreal Pricing - now it's the Car Hire Companies

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Unreal Pricing - now it's the Car Hire Companies

Old 10th Oct 2006, 23:15
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Unreal Pricing - now it's the Car Hire Companies

Just need to get this off my chest...

I've posted in the past, about Ryanair in particular, seemingly defying all Advertising Standards and yet getting away with what most normal citizens would consider outright lies in the advertised prices...

Now step forward Hertz...

Last week the daughter went to the UK and, seduced by Hertz's verbal quote of £19.40 per day plus ''possibly a Drop Off charge for a one way rental if there is no corresponding one way rental customer to return the car'' booked for a collection at Heathrow on Sunday and return to Stansted on Thursday...

Estimated cost would be about £ 78 or a bit more for the drop-off...

So, actual bill turned out at -

4 Days rental @ £ 19.40 = £ 77.60
Local Sevice Charge ( what the bollo*ks is this ? ) = £ 22.50
Drop Off Fee ( and how can we ever know it wasn't dropped off back at Heathrow by another customer the next day ) = £ 30.00
Vehicle Licensing Fee = £ 4.36 ( huh - do cars in the UK cost over £ 375 per year for their vignette - I understood that it's more like £200 ? )
VAT = £ 23.63

So the total bill was £ 157.99 which I would suggest is ever so slightly more than the advertised and quoted £ 77.60 - and thank God she didn't fall for the usual Insurance scam or it would have been almost £ 200...

I'm only moaning 'cos it's me who indirectly pays all the bills which arrive at the house, but if the UK government won't do anything with these companies, then how long before the pathetic, spineless, good-for-nothing, snout-in-the-trough, muppets at Brussels finally crack down on the companies who continue this blatant fraud...

So which companies are pissing you off the same way with these same tactics - usual culprits are the ' only € 24.99 plus € 5.95 postage and packing ' when we all know the thing will be sent by ordinary post services at a cost of less than one Euro...

I can't believe I'm the only one who gets thoughly pissed off with these companies...

Oh...and to add yet further insult, Hertz have also debited her credit card with another £ 74.00 which they can't, as yet, explain but with Hertz, who knows ?

Last edited by Hussar 54; 10th Oct 2006 at 23:19. Reason: Spelling - I do my best but English is sooo difficult sometimes....
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Old 10th Oct 2006, 23:30
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Probably DAMAGE.

Another acknowledged try-on.
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 00:10
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That or insurance charges. Here in the US if you take all the insurance that is offered (more like forced on to you) it will end up costing more than the rental itself.

Sad thing is that most people don't know that most personal car insurance policies include rental car coverage. At least here in the US. And for God's sake don't let the rental company charge you for fuel to fill the car. Which also could be the extra 74.00 pound charge.
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 01:04
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My brother smacked one up once but we had the full CDW so we were ok


We still needed a car though and oddly enough, they were prepared to rent us another, but they said they couldn't do the CDW


so we went to Hertz instead.
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 01:18
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In the USA, expect to pay double the advertised rate, with all the add-ons. More if you sign up for CDW. I also got hit with the damage scam (to the tune of $650), but managed to cancel my credit card before it got charged. Never heard another word.
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 02:49
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Thread drift---

"Add-ons" vary greatly in the USA.

I find them substantial in Florida, "soak the tourist". Roughly 50% of the base price, more at some airports, less at others. And that's avoiding the fuel and insurance charges. I suppose that foreign tourists may not be able to avoid the CDW.

This past summer I rented at Orange County airport KSNA in California and the basic rate and add-ons were rather small.

Then there the middle-eastern bazaar nature of the basic rental rate. I've been pricing a rental and if I mention an association I belong to, the basic rate goes down by about 25%. The discount varies widely from one location to another.

I've been hit with damage scams twice on Caribbean islands. In one case the stolen outside rear-view mirror replacement cost just about the CDW co-pay - and required NO tools for the replacement. I'm still sure that the rental company bought the mirrors back from thieves. In the other case my credit card won't pay because the Caribbean rental company won't send them a receipt that says the damage has been repaired, they'll only send an "estimate". I'm sure the rental company keeps that car with the dent in its roof for use in insurance scams - and never repairs the dent. It's hard to win an argument when your plane leaves in an hour. The US franchising company is of zero help. Two rental brands that have lost my business.
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 05:26
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Hertz in Madeira now charge €6 + tax for cleaning the car if it is not clean when returned!

I have just written to Hertz asking how they justify that one.
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 05:51
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Got back from London last week having been there for 8 days. Rented from Hertz Heathrow (smallest possible car) which came to around 118 pounds for the 8 days. Don't recall all these additional charges. Even this I found a bit expensive compared to what I have paid here in the past (especially given the exchange rate). And as for add on charges....try looking at a typical phone bill here. They must employ people to think of creative names for those charges and the customers get so confused by it all they just pay up!
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 06:16
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I hire a lot from Hertz Heathrow - company policy. And check every new rental *very* closely and mark down even the slightest scratch or scuff, internal or external. This is because once I returned a car and the chap doing the inspection immediately slapped on about 35 for 'chipped windscreen'. "Where?" I enquired, "There" he pointed out the smallest chip, passenger side, down by the bonnet - almost as though he knew it was there...

I understand charges for dents, scrapes etc. but a windscreen chip is totally out of my control - especially on motorway driving around the south east <fume/>

On the up side, I rented from one of the low-cost Spanish companies at Malaga airport some years ago. Pointed out the dent in the door which I noticed after collection - received the 'shrugging shoulders' treatment and as I'd already handed in the paperwork I was a bit concerned that I was going to get charged. A week later, upon return I pointed out the dent again, and explained that it was already there - 'shrugging shoulders' again, as in 'Hey, its only a small car, no big deal, don't worry yourself about it, we've already claimed for that and it will be fixed in a few days...' - good service.
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 07:02
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I think the local service charge might be a 'convenience charge' for you collecting the car at the airport instead of at a regular high street location. No excuse, just another gouge. The 74 might be a congestion charge for London driving which I got caught with this year. Never got warned by Hertz and hadn't been in London for over twenty years. By the time the charge appears on your bill/credit card, it is too late to complain and don't waste your time writing to Congestion City, they won't bother to reply.
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 07:33
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Have recently decided not to use "Big H" ever again after they debitted my credit card for over 1000 for damage - had to threaten court action to get it creditted back.

MyData - I go to Spain a fair bit and I'd like to know the name of the hire firm you mentioned - if you don't want to publicise it on the forum could you PM it to me please?

UFO
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 08:07
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Just a little tippete here people never try to rent a car from Budget in the US without a credit card. They will not let you even though you have already paid (or tried to) cash for the damn thing. No credit card, no car. They said this did apply to prepaid rentals as well.
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 08:47
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I worked out a few years back never to rent from the Airport wherever I go - seems to me it's always 50% more expensive to do so.

The one that really boiled my pi$$ was a 50 'country repatriation' charge when we inadvertently dropped off a car on the swiss side of Geneva airport rather than the French side - that must have been all of two hundred yards driving to put right Grrr!
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 09:03
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It's not just the prices that hack me off.

I remember booking a BMW with Hertz and when I turned up was offered the keys to a Saab I produced the printout of my online booking form, clearly showing "BMW". The guy behind the counter explained that that was just an "example" of the sort of car that I might get, and "proved" it by showing me a sheet with pictures of various cars on it, all of which were apparently in the same group.

I'm sorry, but a Saab is not a BMW. Funny how they always advertise the best car in the group but you actually get the worst one. I did ask how many people actually got the BMW, but not surprisingly he didn't want to say.

My suggestion that the price I had agreed to pay was just an "example" of the amount of money they might get was greeted with derision.

Of course they've got you over a barrel - what are you going to do, walk ?

So I had to take the Saab. It was a piece of shit too. Defeats me why anyone would actuallly buy one of those things.
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 09:13
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You can use the knowledge they wil not have the car you booked to your advantage. If they offer you an upgrade for $10 a day decline it, they will probably give you it anyway as they don't have the car you ordered. If you are only using the car to drive around town then always book the cheapest as chances are they don't have it, and if they do then you save on gas.

Diners Club do a great CDW cover and they once included in their small print the cost of providing it. It was around $3 PER YEAR!!!!! Compare that to the inferior product the car rental firm provides at closer to $20 per day.

You just need to use the Internet to shop around, not unlike airline tickets. If you click the right buttons you will get an 'out of the door; price. It's all a game, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

Somebody said it was cheap in California but that's only because liability isn't included in the base price (unlike many other states where the liability is compulsory). That's only OK if your own car insurance covers you, for tourists you really need to pay the liability. The liability often costs more than the car, but that makes sense when you look at the million bucks cover you are getting and the chance somebody will chase you as it's a potential big payout for them.
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 09:16
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Originally Posted by Hussar 54 View Post
Vehicle Licensing Fee = £ 4.36 ( huh - do cars in the UK cost over £ 375 per year for their vignette - I understood that it's more like £200 ? )
I suspect that this is the fee charged for them to phone the DVLA to check that you have no endorsements, if you don't have the paper part of your licence with you. I always get hit for this one (though usually I use Europcar) as I mislaid my paper bit a while back, so only ever have the plastic licence with me. They phone up the DVLA, put you on so that you can authorise them to speak to the carhire rep about your driving record, then charge the car hire firm for the service. Thought it was only about 2-50 though.
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 09:42
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I got nobbled by Hertz at Budapest a couple of years back. Late flight, got off the ac, as I'd already pre-paid and was using a voucher, didn't expect any hastle. Hire car rep thrusts form in font of me and says 'here, here, here' indicating where I should sign the form. I looked at the form, printed in light grey ink on light blue paper at about 8point text and thought OMG here we go. I just couldn't work out the damn thing. I told him I didn't want any extras, he said "no engleeesh, sign". I repeated my request and he just shrugged, "ok, ok, no extras." So I signed.

About 2 months later, credit card statement with additional 250 on it. Went into bat with Hertz who just sent me a photo copy of my original document and asked we why I'd signed if I didn't want the extras. Couldn't win. It's like everything else, it's all part of the big scam, I have no doubt that there will soon be a so called environmental charge included as well. Do these erks get a bonus from all these strokes they pull, or do they just get shot if they don't?
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 09:51
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Originally Posted by modtinbasher View Post
Do these erks get a bonus from all these strokes they pull, or do they just get shot if they don't?
Judging by the last one I had the misfortune to deal with, if they don't con you into all the extras they will be notified to the immigration department.

UFO
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 11:50
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UniFoxOs

Not sure which company My Data would recommend but I have found Carjet and Europa Car Rental as pretty good options for Spain.
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 12:27
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Long time ago, but when I was traversing Europe and frequently changing countries, I used to announce myself offering to repatriate 'foreign' cars (as, at that time, they weren't allowed to lend a vehicle on non-local-national licence plates). Got myself some cushy rides (though I never bothered to look at the charges as the firm paid - it was a direct-billing arrangement).
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