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F.U. Tube: Europcar

F.U. Tube: Europcar

Hello! And welcome to FU Tube, where the f stands
for f- what? It does! Anyway, strap yourselves in…
..tonight we’re going on a special FU road trip about rental car company Europcar! Roooooaaaaadd triiiip! I got snacks! I got drinks! I’ve got a sightseeing map of every Fair Trading office in the country! I got– Hey there’s not enough room for me! Which brings us to our first F.U. for Europcar… Which is from Lydia. She booked a Hyundai Accent from Europcar
through RentalCars dot com. But when I went to pick up my car, they gave
me a smaller one! We had three people and two large suitcases!
we could only fit one suitcase in the boot? Now maybe if Lydia was a celebrity.. Or they were travelling through New Delhi
instead of Adelaide… they could have gotten away with it. Europcar refused to give us a bigger car without
making us pay extra, My friend had to get a taxi to our accommodation. How can Europcar get away with giving me a
smaller car with less luggage capacity than the one I paid for? Oh. I was wondering how Taylor would’ve been
able to breathe in that suitcase? Anyway, car rental websites often say “or
similar” next to car listings. Lydia chose the Hyundai Accent on
cos they say it fits “two large bags”, unlike the Kia Rio which only fits “one
large bag”. But the Europcar site says both cars have
the same luggage capacity. It doesn’t specify the size of suitcase. There’s just this picture. And sure, it’s small, but we didn’t think
that was to scale. When she complained, Europcar told Lydia: Rentalcars booked a Compact Vehicle on your behalf. Europcar provided a Kia Rio model which
is within the Similar range. And they told us. We use an industry standard car classification
codes. which allows a like to like comparison between vehicles. Okay, ciao The “industry standard codes” put out
by ACRISS might be useful to refer to if a car rental company tries to give you an “or
similar” vehicle. But a better reference point is the Rental
Cars industry guide to the Australian Consumer Law. And the consumer guarantees, which say goods
must be fit for any specified purpose and must correspond with the description given,
which in Lydia’s case was “2 large bags”. Indeed, as a hypothetical breach of the Consumer
Law, the Guide gives the example of booking a rental car via a website that shows a particular
luggage capacity then getting a car with lower luggage capacity. That doesn’t sound hypothetical to me. Europcar should have given Lydia a car that
fit 2 large bags at no extra charge, even if it was a better car. Having to leave your friend behind while you
take a road trip with your suitcases sounds like a major failure to us. Speak for yourself! This is the best holiday I’ve had in years! But Lydia had to send her complaint on a round
the world trip before she got a resolution. I sent a letter to Europcar’s
Board in Paris, their head office in Melbourne, and the ACCC! Finally someone in the UK called me to tell
me they’d reimburse my taxi fares. Yeah alright, me
old China Plate, We’ll cough up for your Joe Baxi, and we know this is a problem and
we’ll take up the Tissue with Bert Harties. But even though Europcar said whatever-that-was
… to date nothing’s changed on either website. Alright, where to next? Yaaaay! A lookout! Ohhhh. Brett got hit by hidden fees when he booked
a car from Europcar via Wow what a pair! Those two are like the Thelma and Louise of
bad rental car experiences. We’ve got some complaints about your services Let’s not get caught What are you talking about? Let’s keep going We just want to know about your charging practises? Anyway, Brett rented a car for a big trip
from Perth to Broome. He knew there’d be extra charges
… like the ones shown in our piece about rental cars at … administration and vehicle registration
recovery fees, and the premium location surcharge charged at airports and city depots But Brett got the impression from booking
on, that the Premium Location Surcharge was included in the price. It’s right there on the booking confirmation! It says, “What is included – Premium Location
Surcharge”. But then on the final invoice from Europcar,
the 24% Premium Location Surcharge was applied as a new surcharge to the Extra Kilometer
Charge, and the One Way Charge and the Credit Card Charge. So on top of all the other extra fees, I had
to pay another $231! And for madam, the Premium Lobster. What’s the PLS? Ah yes, the PLS, the Premium Lobster Surcharge. Yeah, but why’s it added to my salad? And my garlic bread? And to my wine! There’s no lobster in my wine is there? Nothing on RentalCars dot com or in their
communications with Brett told him that the “included” surcharge might not be the
full surcharge. Worse still. When I made the booking I even called Rental
Cars to confirm fees. They never said anything about putting a Premium Location Surcharge back on the list You’ll pay a
fee for returning the car at a different location, and a fee for extra kilometres driven, and
a fee for an extra driver. That’s it. Nothin’ else. RentalCars dot com did nothing to tell Brett
that the Premium Location Surcharge would be applied to things like additional kilometres. This was clearly misleading. The PLS has been taken care of..
by that gentleman at the bar. Lovely! Actually ma’am you still need to pay the PLS. Aggh! WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON! Good question! The ACCC guide to Fair Trading in the Rental
Car Sector says businesses must set out the “single total price” including all fees
and charges that customers must pay. If extra charges can’t be quantified up
front, rental car companies must still disclose “in a clear fashion” what those charges
are, and how they will be calculated. RentalCars dot com didn’t do that. And it seems to us, Europcar’s no better. When we tried to make a booking similar to
Brett’s directly through the Europcar site, we found
… a very similar statement that the “Premium Location Surcharge” was included, with no
indication that the surcharge would also be applied to extra kilometres or the like. Europcar shouldn’t have charged Brett the
additional surcharge. And Brett, we reckon you can take action against
both Europcar and RentalCars dot com under the Consumer Law. Talk about misleading conduct, I can’t believe
you packed an FU Tube on our road trip. When are we gonna have time to listen to my
new podcast about unfair contracts? Hit it. Good niiiiiiiiiight!

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