My experience with Europcar, in Frankfurt, Germany, was similar to that of several other reviewers of this company. Europcar strikes me as a company that is interested only in their bottom line, and they will do anything and everything to screw their customers.
To summarize the main points of my experience with them:
1.I reserved and paid for a rental vehicle in advance of my trip, on-line. The description of the vehicle indicated it should be large enough for five passengers and their luggage. I and my family arrived at the Frankfurt airport after a long and tiring journey from the western USA, and went to pick up our vehicle. After a long wait in line, the Europcar agent informed me that the vehicle I reserved was not adequate to handle five people plus luggage, and furthermore, they didn’t have any vehicles of that description available.
He said the only vehicle they had which would suit my needs was a larger van, which would cost me an additional 100 Euros per day (“bait and switch”)! He knew I was exhausted and in a situation that left me little choice, so he gouged me for as much as he could. We were all exhausted and desperate to get to our vacation rental, so I caved and paid the extra money.
2.Next, we were given a row and space number in the nearby parking garage, where we had to go to find our rental vehicle. There was no offer to bring the vehicle to us at a convenient location, and no opportunity to inspect the vehicle for existing damage prior to signing the paperwork.
The five of us, dragging and carrying all of our luggage, had to walk clear to the far end of the parking garage before we finally located the vehicle. Customer service is non-existent at Europcar.
3.At the time I signed the paperwork, and paid the additional cost for the upgrade, the Europcar agent told me he was NOT going to charge me the extra fee for the GPS in the vehicle. That was all a bunch of BS, as the vehicle had no GPS.
4. The day I had scheduled for return of the vehicle turned out to be some sort of local holiday, and the Europcar location where I had scheduled to return the vehicle was closed.
They did have a key-drop box, and I managed to find one somewhat tight parking space where I was able to leave the vehicle. However – no one there to inspect it and confirm there was no damage.
5.Two and one-half months after I returned the vehicle I received a letter from Europcar, telling me that I had been charged with a traffic violation, and that they were charging my credit card account 20 Euros to cover their fee for transmitting my name and address to the authority that had issued the citation.
Twenty Euros seems like a rather large fee for performing a task that probably took no more than 5 to 10 minutes to complete and should be part of the service provided to the customer, considering the high cost of the rental. I have received no notification from any German authority of having been issued a traffic citation.
Product or Service Mentioned: Europcar Car Rental.
Reason of review: Pricing issue.
Monetary Loss: $400.
Preferred solution: Partial refund.