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Car hire - holiday autos

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi

Has anyone any experience of additional car hire charges being placed on your credit card which you weren’t aware of or agreed to? If so how did you go about getting them removed?

I recently hired a car for 5 days via the French side of Geneva Airport through holidays autos. Flizzr was the agent and they use the SIXT distrbution desk.

Upon arrival at the desk I was informed that my chosen vehicle wasn’t available and was asked where I was going to. Upon telling them Chamonix they informed me that I could have a different vehicle which came with winter tyres and this was at no additional cost and it was complimentary.

About ten days later I noticed a charge of £150 on my credit card which was for winter tyres and an additional days car hire ( I did pick up my car 30 mins earlier than I informed them but again there was no mention of the additional charge at the time of booking).

I signed an electionic copy of the rental agreement at the pick up desk but I was told this was for the excess credit charge fee in the event of any damage being incurred to the vehicle. On this there was no evidence or stipulation of any additional charges shown to me.

Holiday autos have told me that as I signed the agreement that it is unlikely that I will recover the additional money. The car hire only cost £124!

Anyone else have any experience of this?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@10196986, it depends on what your agreement with Holiday Autos covered - I’ve successfully got a refund of additional charges for winter tyres in Austria, but only when it was specified in the HA contract that they were included.

Having had a recent bad experience with phantom damage to a car, I’m now reluctant to use HA in future as they claim they are just a broker and are not responsible for anything charged by the rental company...
ski holidays     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
If paid for by credit card, contact your credit card company and tell them that there is a dispute. You should be refunded the disputed amount immediately whilst you sort it out.
It just puts a different "feel" on it if they are trying to get money out of you rather than you trying to recover money from them. It puts you in the driving seat. So do that first. Then argue with the hire company. They may react differently if they are trying to persuade you to pay
ski holidays     
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
@10196986,
Re the charge for 1 additional days rental. Did your actual collection and return times mean that you broke into an extra 24 hour period that you had the car?
If so, was it only the extra 30 minutes early that you had the car upon collection that took you over the limit of your original rental period? Or was it more than that?

As for winter tyres charge, did your Holiday Autos rental Ts & Cs include those in original price quote?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@10196986, a particular challenge here is that you rented through 2 layers of agents - Flizzr and Holiday Autos. Do you have a copy of what you actually signed with each party? Particularly the initial and final bill from Sixt? This is what is likely to be submitted to the credit card company if you do a chargeback.

Once you start a chargeback process, it is _not_ the car rental company trying to persuade you to pay. There is a clearly defined dispute resolution process according to the card scheme rules; once you've started a chargeback the process follows those rules unless you agree to drop it. If your signature is on a document that mentions fees for extras, and the agent submits this to the card company, then the chargeback will be denied. If there is no such supporting documentation then you should be approved. This can take weeks, even if the funds are frozen in the meantime.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Is it just me or does anyone else feel car hire is a bloody minefiled these days? Especially through GVA it seems. It just puts me off and pushes me towards the transfers route, even though I love driving myself to the resort and the flexibility of the car. It's just another thing that makes me favour driving the whole thing (albeit we're Easy jetting to GVA in April)
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@dunc999, well this may be tempting fate but I have hired cars Swiss side GVA for 25 years. We have used Holiday Autos for many years for 5-6 trips each season, and the process always has been fine, if not good/excellent. Only problem GVA was when we used a dirt cheap supplier (2008) and then the only thing was a suspicion that they were a weak outfit and a pain to pick up from (with Russian staff!). BY contrast, hire from Milan was a constant pain - winter tyre promises, chain promises, phantom damage, rough cars, fuelling disputes. So....upshot re GVA: Holiday Autos really simple to add additional insurance and ensure winter package, and we have confidence in them.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks for all the feedback. I’ve hired cars from Geneva for years and never had any issue but this experience does put me off a bit using the car hire option in the future. I will pursue it with my credit card company but I have a feeling I may be unsuccessful as they have said I signed an agreement permitting to the charges.

My issue is the tactics of the sales rep on the desk - what she did was purely deceptive by offering me a complimentary upgrade with no charge. I signed on a handheld device and she told me this was incase there was any excess damage. Nowhere was it visible of any charges nor did she mention anything .

Lesson learnt and it won’t happen again!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@snowdave,

It was an additional 30 mins which took me into a new 24 hour period . If I had of waited 30 mins then it would have be fine. My flight arrived slightly early and just went to the desk. Again no mention that I would be charged for this. It’s poor customer service but in this instance I can see I did have the car longer than I booked for.
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10196986,

Why are your credit card company saying that you have "signed an agreement permitting (to) the charges" when you are telling us that you signed a car rental agreement that made no mention of any extra charges?

If the latter applies why not send a copy of the agreement to your credit card company?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I only hire direct from the renter at GVA and have never had problems in 20 years. I always use the GVA website links which are to the '.ch. landing pages rather than the '.com' ones (http://www.gva.ch/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-72/) . It's not like you can hire from anyone else, unless you're prepared to take the free bus to/from Geneva. Almost all the problem posts I see are where intermediaries are complicating the process by not passing on requirements like chains; adding extra charges; or not passing through the Ts&Cs, or being vague about the class of vehicle etc.

I haven't found intermediaries to be much cheaper, but I know that some people swear by them, and I don't deny that sometimes they are. But for me, I'm happy to pay a small premium to be sure that what I ordered is what I'm getting and there's nothing hidden. But I do appreciate that as I never travel on Saturday/Sunday there may be more competition on Weekday rentals so the premium may be bigger on Weekend hires.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I've had very similar experience but with Alamo in Italy. Despite pre-paying they added charges on.

Holiday Autos were absolutely no help whatsoever in resolving it - I won't use them again, not that they care I'm sure. Some of these companies are well known for their scams but HA turn a blind eye to it unfortunately.

I agree it has become a bit of a minefield, places like Holiday Autos try to get you in with this discounted prices and then the operator at the airport tries to grab back some profit using either the excess reduction insurance or in some cases plain fraud.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I also had a poor experience with Holiday Autos last week. I booked an automatic car with the offer of a free driver and free snow chains. Our car hire voucher clearly stated "collect from Budget at Malpensa T1". We arrived at Malpensa T2 as scheduled and took the shuttle bus to T1 (complete with ski bags and holdalls etc). According to the Avis/Budget desk we should have collected the car at T2. Then they tell me that they don't have the automatic car that I booked-ok I agree to take a manual. Then they don't give me the free additional driver as per the voucher. The car had over 20000kms on the clock and virtually every panel had some sort of previous damage, including a very big dent on one wing. No snow tyres- that would be another €40 per day! They did supply chains. So far I've had no response from Holiday Autos.
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@LaForet, Yup: Only problems I have ever had are when going through an intermediary. For example, booked a 5 seat car through Ryanair but that class of car at the rental company Sixt turned out to be a 4 seater. Didn't realise at the airport as we weren't picking up the extra people until later in the holiday. After complaining got some money back from the Sixt and Ryanair.

I think that the reality is that car hire is a low margin business, or probably no margin unless some 'extras' are sold. In some cases these extras are legitimate but avoidable by the savvy customer, for example the insurance. In other cases they are scams that cynical me thinks are perpetrated by the local franchisees - for example the scratches that get charged to multiple customers.

In fairness, I think that the various rental companies at GVA Swiss side are pretty reasonable & I have never been charged for any 'extras'. Interestingly one of the rental companies did try & charge my 25 year old daughter and some friends for some marks on the car, but they had photographed the car at pick up. Wonder if they are more likely to try it on with them as opposed to 58 year old me.
snow report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
10196986 wrote:

Upon arrival at the desk I was informed that my chosen vehicle wasn’t available and was asked where I was going to. Upon telling them Chamonix they informed me that I could have a different vehicle which came with winter tyres and this was at no additional cost and it was complimentary.



First off if they didn't have the car you reserved and they gave you a different one and told you it was no extra cost use the credit card dispute procedure (as others have mentioned above)- you might also be better off contacting Sixt directly rather than using Holiday Autos as its Sixt that have put the extra charge on I guess all Holiday Autos did was give you a voucher.

Second picking up 30 mins early should only incur an extra charge if you took the car into a new 24 hour period - so if you were picking up at 10am and returning at 9:59 a week later, but now you pick up at 9:30am - you should expect a charge. If you were picking up at 10am and returning at any time other than between 9:30 and 10 I wouldn't expect a charge.

Finally this winter tyre charge is one of my pet hates - I can half see the reason for an extra charge if you hire in France where the tyres are not mandatory but £150 for a week is just robbery Other than the hassle of changing tyres over at the start and end of winter, winter tyres don't cost anymore than summer ones. Ive even been charged extra for winter tyres in Austria where they were mandatory once when using a budget car hire company recommended by my travel agent - went back to Avis after that who charged a bit more headline rate but included winter tyres - snow scraper much newer car etc
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Most providers I use stipulate there is no extra charge up to 30minutes after the due drop off time.
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The only time, admittedly about 15 years ago, that I ended up renting on the French side, we were given different cars as the people carrier we'd booked (full of people and luggage) wasn't availabel so they ended up having to give us two big saloons after much arguing.

On return there was a several £100s charge for damages. Several rounds of backwards and forwards with the "damage" changing in nature each time I ended up escalating it to the Euopean HQ in Paris who ended up removing the charge, paying me nominal compensation and relating that the GVA FR manager had been fired for several instance of this.

Defo step one, raise a dispute with your credit card.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Wish me luck then. Im hiring with FIZZR on the French side on Saturday Shocked

Lets see what scam they try to pull.

It amazes me how bad the reviews of all the hire companies both household names and unheard of ones are.

Quite literally hundreds and hundreds of similar complaints,and overall ratings in the 60/70 % mark.
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The most frustrating thing is that paying more and using some of the the big names doesn’t seem to guarantee any better service. Avis/Budget always add on something above the pre-paid price with HA or RentalCars. They know that many people won’t notice or complain and it’s become their standard business practice.

Worst experience of all with B-Rent last week at Malpensa. Contact number went to voicemail and shuttle bus was nowhere to be seen. Avoid at all costs!
ski holidays     



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