Wellington, Wellington
Not resolved

My advice is never ever ever under any circumstances use this company!!! Go read the posts on their own Facebook page! They will not answer your complaints but appear to have a policy of deny deny deny until you give up.

I picked up the car up at Holyhead dock on 1/8/14 and dropped it off at Manchester Airport on 12/8/14

The first problem occurred when I picked up the car; despite the policy of “meet and greet”, I was simply asked for my address and given keys and told the car was in the parking lot. The email attached stated nothing whatsoever about the terms of insurance, which I’m quite willing to furnish. My understanding was that I was insured, and there was nothing stating the contrary.

Things went awry straight away when the GPS unit began taking me on back country roads towards Caernarfon. It soon became obvious that the GPS unit provided was out of date, and I had to update it myself that night, despite paying £116 for use of the unit.

That night I parked at the car park for the White House hotel, St Asaph. After I checked out I realised that overnight a person had driven a car into the right hand side of the rental car, denting the rear fender and driver’s door, without leaving a note or notifying the hotel. I discovered this damage some time between 10.00 and 11.00.

I immediately called the 0800 number on the keys from the hotel phone to report that there was damage on the car. I asked the management of the hotel to search through the CCTV footage, but this part of the car park was not covered—I have asked the manager to note that the incident occurred, which they duly did.

The representative on the phone from Europcar took the particulars, including asking how long I had been driving (20+ years), whether it had been raining etc. When I asked if I should contact police he told me that it wasn’t worth it .

Towards the end of the conversation I asked what happens now, and the Europcar representative said: “well, we can’t hold you liable…” and then went on to state that the company would probably write it off, since there were no witnesses and I was not driving the car.

This conversation (which I have been assured was recorded) is the key part of this case, as I continued my holiday presuming that I would not be lied to or mislead by a Europcar representative who was being recorded. I budgeted my travel in Britain around this assumption.

This representative told me that he was going to email me the reference number and particulars of the call, but never has sent promised email.

It was not until I returned the car to Manchester Airport that the rather rude arrogant person receiving the cars informed me that not only was I liable (contrary to what I had already been told) but that he had already taken the £1000.00 off my card, without even filling in any paper-work. He was extremely arrogant, completely ignored me throughout the inspection and starting laughing when I left his office. When I returned to inspect the paperwork he refused at first to give me his name and the paperwork, stating: “I don’t have to tell you anything” and refusing to even give a copy of the damage report to me (I still do not have a copy). This person eventually gave his name as “Artur Barczak”, and is one of the most ignorant, aloof people I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet.

He explained nothing to me, other than the fact that they were getting £1000.00 from me, and there is nothing I can do to stop it. When I left the check in hut, Mr Barczak was laughing and enjoying himself immensely at the customer’s expense. I checked my bank account immediately and the funds had already been debited.

I then called the contact centre and spoke with a female on the 0371-3840235, at around 1715. This person also took down the details of the call, and again promised to email me the reference number and details, but like her earlier colleague has never sent anything, despite asking for my email twice during the call. I understand this call was also recorded.

Not happy with this I went to the main Europcar office and asked for the bill to be explained. It was at this stage that i realised that I had paid for 4 extra days—I booked for 11 days (and have a receipt stating this), but have been charged extra for bringing the car back 4 days late—meaning they have over charged me £110.80. The woman behind the counter gave me the name of the branch manager Matt Stacey, and advised me to email him in any correspondence.

I have since tried to contact Mr Stacey, but have been told no such person exists and the email addresses “mattstacey@europcar.com” and “Mattstacey@europcar.co.uk” do not exist either. It would appear that lying to customers seems to be standard practise!

They have completely ruined my holiday, and left me with no funds for the 42 hour flight home, and have now incurred extra charges on my credit card.

I have taken the time to accustom myself with the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association’s Code of Conduct and believe that they have breached numerous best practises and mandatory requirements; most notably (but not restricted to):

Failing to provide me with truthful advice and information to make an informed choice when I was informed that I wasn’t liable.

Not to misrepresent any facts concerning their products or services.

Behave at all times with integrity and ensure that all other persons or agents appointed by the member also follow the standards set out in the Code of Conduct.

I have been appalled with the service provided by them, and would like an immediate refund of all costs incurred by myself, including the excess that I was told that I was not liable for in my conversation on the 2nd August, the monies wrongly charged to me for the 4 extra days, the “damage admin fee”, and the costs that I have now incurred by bank charges resulting in inaccurate information provided to myself (around $NZ1000).

I would also like a formal apology for the disrespectful service shown to me by the service representatives.

If I do not receive satisfactory compensation I will be making more formal complaints beginning with the BVRLA and if necessary exhausting legal avenues open to me.

The service has been appalling and does not in anyway match the guarantees of good service they advertise.

Reading the reviews a common thread appears--they just don't reply to any complaints, despite assurances. Their customer strategy seems to be to ignore complaints and wait for the customer to give up.


Product or Service Mentioned: Europcar Car Rental.

Monetary Loss: $2800.

  • Manchester airport
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