Is your car hire company forging your signature?

7 February 2013

There's something off about this car too. Lots of people book holidays in January. There’s probably a psychological post-Christmas reason for that but what it also means is that people might be thinking about hiring a car in whatever far flung place they have decided to visit for their jollies. Unless they are going to Sark.

Now, we have previously commented on the shenanigans around buying additional insurance (or not) and who coughs up if the worst should happen. Now, it seems, you have to beware of scurrilous companies who will sign liability for you.

Avid Bitterwallet reader Kevin found himself in that very situation. On returning from his holiday in Porto, Kevin found that the card he used to rent his car with had been charged an extra £300 in additional charges. Upon investigation, it seemed Kevin had signed a form in the local car rental office, a firm named Guerin, admitting to tearing the interior of the car.

The thing is, Kevin didn’t. He didn’t rip the interior of the car and he didn’t sign the form. When he pointed this out to they arranged for Guerin to send over scanned copy of the form, showing something approximating Kevin’s signature, clear as day. You might think this is highly suspicious. I couldn’t possibly comment.

However, once Kevin pointed out that he could not possibly have signed the form, being as his flight had left Porto before the office had opened that day, suddenly managed to apologise for the “oversight” and refund part of his money. They are currently refusing to refund the rest.

Now as far as we can tell, if the local company lied, surely Kevin should be refunded all of his money. If Kevin damaged the car, why refund him anything? It all smells a bit mackerel.

But a dodgy company is rarely dodgy just once. Have you had any dodgy dealings with either (part of the misanthropic Priceline Group who have a number of sales channels, but no numbers to actually call the company and ask for a comment on this kind of thing) or the Porto-based Guerin? If you have we (and Kevin) would love to hear from you.

And if you’re going to Porto? Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

TOPICS:   Motoring


    Scabs. Death to them
  • Rob
    I've had a recent run in with another hire company, but this time in the UK and as far as I can tell massively unethical behaviour on their part... (HertzOnDemand). Before Christmas I rented a van from them, one of the ones parked outside Costco in Lakeside. Unfortunately, I scraped the sides in a tight driveway, causing some damage to the side panel. I fessed up, rightly I felt, filled in the accident report form and they took £850 which was what they said the excess was. No problem at all. A month later I asked for the damage report just in case the cost of repair was lower than £850, and of course I received an invoice saying the damage was in excess of that so they couldn't refund me anything. Last weekend I visited Costco agin and the vans were back parked outside. The one that I rented was still there, and I thought I'd go check out the repair. Low and behold, its sitting there, still damaged, even though I've paid for it to be fixed.... I've written to them about this as I think it's massively unethical.. if you crashed someones car and gave them the dosh to fix it you'd expect them to actually perform the repair, but apparantly they don't feel that they have to do this, and said to me that if they repaired it I'd actually also have to pay the charges for the van while it was out of service! I'm pretty outraged about all this.. consider my gob smacked. I'd like to think there's a story in this somewhere, as this can't be common knowledge.....
  • Euan
    Sounds like Kevin should be speaking to the police about attempted fraud/impersonation?
  • Sicknote
    Europcar Malta or the real company are similarly a bunch of fucking crooks that invent damage several says after the rental ends and they've moved the car. Get photos / videos of the car and don't enter into a blizzard of dispute emails; give them a couple of days to pay you back or take small claims action and get a charge back.
  • KTF
    @Rob Hertz never fix the damage as they know that someone will do it again so just put it in a 'pot' to either get it all fixed up at the end of the lease or to offset the loss when they sell it with the damage.
  • noshit
    Please come home Dad.
  • shiftynifty
    That Hertz....See what I did there....
  • Olinmt
    Hi sicknote, Did you file a small claims dispute against EuropCar Malta? Green Motion Malta is forging my signature to keep 1500 Euro for falsified damages. They say I signed an agreement to the charges. Never signed anything when I turned in the car! Some help would be appreciated, Thanks

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