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USA Car hire

  • 22-09-2016 3:05pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Nelly 21


    Lads just a warning for anyone who is hiring a car in the US. We were in Chicago last month and hired a car through argus car hire and decided to go with budget. We were going to need a car for 24 days and the price without insurance came to around E670 which I thought was great. It was for a full size car.

    We got to Chicago and went to the car hire desk and handed in our papers, signed stuff on the machine as usual, accepting full fuel, declining insurance (as we had our own). Anyway, we pre paid extra for the GPS which was built into the car and just cost around 35e. The guy behind the counter told us about the charge (one off) and we said we had paid it. At no stage was money mentioned or the word upgrade. He walked us out to the car and we drove off. Leaving the car lot we were scanned and they asked us for the drivers licence and we were on our way.

    In the middle of the holiday we got a cracked windscreen and exchanged the car with no bother but at the stage we noticed that we didnt have proper documents in the envelope they gave us when we got the car. We just had the car details and nothing that we had signed.

    So the time came for us to go home we left back the car and it was only on our way home that I looked at the receipt which charged us and extra 1200e. Obviously I almost had a stroke! We phoned when it was on the credit card bill and we were told that we had requested an upgrade when we got to the car lot on Chicago, and apparently signed for it. At no stage was upgrade mentioned. All I knew was we had hired a full size car. We asked to speak to a supervisor to argue our point...... to no avail. It was all that you signed for it and thats that. You should have read the receipt and its all your fault. We argued to and fro and just about got her to knock 25% off meaning we had to pay E800.

    Im mortified that we were so stupid as to let this happen. We hire a car once a year for our trips to the US (normally with dollar). And always watch what we sign. We never agree to an upgrade and never agree to any extras as we prepay and pay our own insurance and bring our own sat nav.

    They told us that we signed for an upgrade even though money or up grade was never mentioned so I dont know how that happened. I cant say it didn't, we obviously didn't keep a close enough eye on everything. Im now sick to my stomach.

    So this is a warning to all. Read and re read and re read before you sign anything for your car hire. I was sure that we did but this got past us. Ask questions and dont be afraid to!!! It was an expensive mistake for us to make!


Comments

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 21,505 Mod ✭✭✭✭ helimachoptor


    can you do a chargeback from your bank?


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Nelly 21


    can you do a chargeback from your bank?

    Would that mean that they wouldnt get paid? Would we get followed for that?? It was charged a few days ago


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,276 ✭✭✭✭ vicwatson


    Nelly 21 wrote: »
    Would that mean that they wouldnt get paid? Would we get followed for that?? It was charged a few days ago

    Yes you have 120 days to ask for a chargeback. Effectively it means the cc co go back to the car hire co to investigate it, but the car hire co don't get paid until both parties are satisfied.


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Nelly 21


    I just remembered this morning that the day we collected the car, the guy at the desk couldn't print the receipt and gave us a slip of paper. I can't believe I forgot that. Blame jet lag. The more I think about this situation the stranger it gets. I spoke to my husband again last night and he said at no stage was 40 dollars or upgrade mentioned. It's really not sitting well with me! WhO in there right mind would agree to a 1200e upgrade? I'm cutting my throat for not pushing for a receipt. Feel so stupid for letting this happen


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Nelly 21


    vicwatson wrote: »
    Yes you have 120 days to ask for a chargeback. Effectively it means the cc co go back to the car hire co to investigate it, but the car hire co don't get paid until both parties are satisfied.

    Thanks for this. Im going to call the bank about this


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 16,509 CMod ✭✭✭✭ faceman


    Charge back on your card and formally write or email the car hire company.

    Was in a similar situation with a car hire company in Spain although the amount was only €30. I wasn't letting the bastards away with it. Similar set up, signed for a car but they gave me a diesel and never told me a diesel has an additional charge.

    Long story short. After making noise they cancelled the charge.


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Nelly 21


    I wrote a letter of complaint on their website and outlined everything that happened and said just wanted a copy of whatever we signed. Am ringing the bank today


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,888 ✭✭✭ Third_Echelon


    Sorry to hear that Nelly... It sounds like quite a rare experience. They are generally very good in the US when it comes to car rental. Never usually any fast ones pulled like that.

    Do the charge back and fight it....


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Nelly 21


    Sorry to hear that Nelly... It sounds like quite a rare experience. They are generally very good in the US when it comes to car rental. Never usually any fast ones pulled like that.

    Do the charge back and fight it....

    I agree,we hire a car every year in the US and have never had trouble. Always booked with dollar. At the same time it's not our first time to hire a car so we know to say no to all their usual guff!


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,465 ✭✭✭✭ coylemj


    A lot of car hire involves local franchisees so you can still encounter cowboys, even if you're dealing with a 'trusted' brand.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Nelly 21


    coylemj wrote: »
    A lot of car hire involves local franchisees so you can still encounter cowboys, even if you're dealing with a 'trusted' brand.

    The more I think about it the worse I feel. I'm sure we were done and have a battle on our hands!


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,900 InTheTrees


    Nelly 21 wrote: »
    Lads just a warning for anyone who is hiring a car in the US. We were in Chicago last month and hired a car through argus car hire and decided to go with budget.

    I hope you're also complaining to Argus and Budget (and not the chicago budget office you rented from). I've rented through budget many may times and always found them to be totally fine but obviously every location is run differently.

    Which is why you must make a complaint to Budget itself. If this is a scam then people have probably complained before.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,900 InTheTrees


    Nelly 21 wrote: »
    The more I think about it the worse I feel. I'm sure we were done and have a battle on our hands!

    What do you have in writing? This "slip of paper", what as on it? Did you sign anything besides for the CC charge? Did you get any kind of receipt?

    What kind of car was it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 303 ✭✭ Dave1442397


    Rental car companies are notorious for this kind of charge after the fact.

    File a complaint with your credit card company. If that doesn't work, try Chris Elliott - http://elliott.org/about/


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Nelly 21


    InTheTrees wrote: »
    What do you have in writing? This "slip of paper", what as on it? Did you sign anything besides for the CC charge? Did you get any kind of receipt?

    What kind of car was it?

    The slip of paper only had car details. But of course we didn't keep it. Again.... big mistake. The only receipt is the one we got when we left back that car and that had the charge on it. We didn't notice until we were on the way home.

    The car was a Ford Taurus and to be honest we hadn't a clue this was an upgrade. We ordered and paid for a full size car.

    We've been wrecking our heads over what was signed and there was never a mention of upgrade or extra money. We've no idea what happened. Ive requested the information to be sent to us


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Nelly 21


    InTheTrees wrote: »
    I hope you're also complaining to Argus and Budget (and not the chicago budget office you rented from). I've rented through budget many may times and always found them to be totally fine but obviously every location is run differently.

    Which is why you must make a complaint to Budget itself. If this is a scam then people have probably complained before.

    I complained on the budget website and am waiting for a reply. I'll contact Argus as well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Nelly 21


    Rental car companies are notorious for this kind of charge after the fact.

    File a complaint with your credit card company. If that doesn't work, try Chris Elliott - http://elliott.org/about/

    Ive looked him up. Thanks a million for that!!!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Nelly 21


    So I got the documents from budget. Im still not happy and can see nothing can be proved. It was all accept and decline....... eg they ask you to bring the car back full of fuel... you accept or decline. It said about our upgrade....... it was noted that it was an extra 1200, and that we accepted this. at the end of the receipt it was signed by my husband. This was after decline this, accept that etc so one signature.

    Honestly at no time was 1200 or upgrade mentioned. I can only assume the guy behind the counter made a mistake. There is no way we would accept a charge like that. I always refuse an upgrade....... the word upgrade was never mentioned.

    On the email they sent me they said when the customer requests an upgrade there is a small daily charge (40 a day isnt small... there were also other charges and taxes).

    I dont understand it. Have we a leg to stand on. My stomach is sick over this. Can anyone suggest anything to me???

    Any help at all would be appreciated.

    I should add they knocked 322$ off the price ut we have the full amount recalled


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,900 InTheTrees


    I'm not much help i'm afraid.

    If you go on travelocity, you'll get from about $1000 to $2000 quoted, so even though you didnt get the deal Argus quoted you may not be out too much $$.

    The Better Business Bureau keeps track of customer complaints in the US. It would be a semi official place people would complain.

    https://www.bbb.org/

    After that there may be some office at the airport that will listen to complaints about business they lease to.

    Also Trip Advisor.


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Nelly 21


    InTheTrees wrote: »
    I'm not much help i'm afraid.

    If you go on travelocity, you'll get from about $1000 to $2000 quoted, so even though you didnt get the deal Argus quoted you may not be out too much $.

    The Better Business Bureau keeps track of customer complaints in the US. It would be a semi official place people would complain.

    https://www.bbb.org/

    After that there may be some office at the airport that will listen to complaints about business they lease to.

    Also Trip Advisor.
    Its seems there's no 2 ways abouto it. I sent 2 more mails through and got a tough [email protected]# sort of answer. As far as they are concerned I signed the formatting and that's that. I just feel they pulled a fast one on me and I just have to get over that!


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,470 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Manic Moran


    You do realise that GPS is not a 'one-off' upgrade, it's a $/day upgrade, right? (I've certainly never heard of it being otherwise, and I do a lot of car rentals) Even if the GPS comes built-in with the car, they simply charge you that for a car with the GPS and not give you the separate device.


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Nelly 21


    You do realise that GPS is not a 'one-off' upgrade, it's a $/day upgrade, right? (I've certainly never heard of it being otherwise, and I do a lot of car rentals) Even if the GPS comes built-in with the car, they simply charge you that for a car with the GPS and not give you the separate device.
    The GPS was booked with the initial payment. That's something I went back to double check. It was an offer that came up when I booked the car as a one off payment


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,258 ✭✭✭ él statutorio


    You do realise that GPS is not a 'one-off' upgrade, it's a $/day upgrade, right? (I've certainly never heard of it being otherwise, and I do a lot of car rentals) Even if the GPS comes built-in with the car, they simply charge you that for a car with the GPS and not give you the separate device.

    The last car I hired had built in GPS and it worked fine. I was offered a stand alone GPS when getting the keys which I declined (I use my phone) but i was surprised that they hadn't locked down the built in system.

    It won't be long before we're at a point where GPS is a standard just like a radio.


  • Registered Users Posts: 974 jme2010


    The last car I hired had built in GPS and it worked fine. I was offered a stand alone GPS when getting the keys which I declined (I use my phone) but i was surprised that they hadn't locked down the built in system.

    It won't be long before we're at a point where GPS is a standard just like a radio.

    Just back from a trip myself with a 16 day rental through dollar.

    At the desk I declined all the extras and said no to the daily charge for gps becuase I was going to stop at the walmart across the street and buy one for half of the price they wanted.

    I was told to take my pick from the lot of midsize SUV's...Lo and behold the car I chose had a shinny gps hardwired into the dashboard!!!

    We struck gold twice because the car was subscribed to SIRUS XM too. Amazing. They wanted an extra $18 per day for both GPS and sat radio.


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Nelly 21


    jme2010 wrote: »
    Just back from a trip myself with a 16 day rental through dollar.

    At the desk I declined all the extras and said no to the daily charge for gps becuase I was going to stop at the walmart across the street and buy one for half of the price they wanted.

    I was told to take my pick from the lot of midsize SUV's...Lo and behold the car I chose had a shinny gps hardwired into the dashboard!!!

    We struck gold twice because the car was subscribed to SIRUS XM too. Amazing. They wanted an extra $18 per day for both GPS and sat radio.

    I would have normally booked through Dollar and never had trouble with them. Like you we say no to everything. We bought our own GPS a few years ago so never pay for a GPS. Most new cars now have the GPS built in


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Nelly 21


    Update on our situation. I contacted Chris Elliot Advocate thanks to an above poster who also contacted budget on our behalf. I have just received an e mail from budget stating that they checked cameras and we definitely agreed to and signed everything. They claim the agreement was handed to us. Im sure they cant hear the conversation between us and the guy at the desk though?? He clearly told us the printer wasnt working. The e mail then said something about a hand held printer that mightn't have been working?? Anyway long story short they have taken $622 off the charge (in good faith to keep us as customers..... no hope!!)

    I guess at this stage its still he said she said and we prob should just pay the balance


    I should also say thanks for everybodies help with this!


  • Registered Users Posts: 617 ✭✭✭ Nelly 21


    Rental car companies are notorious for this kind of charge after the fact.

    File a complaint with your credit card company. If that doesn't work, try Chris Elliott - http://elliott.org/about/

    Thanks a mill for your help. We contacted this group and they spoke on our behalf. Budget took $622 from our charge


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