I write to get your advice on a car rental and subsequent deduction of charges which are on dispute
On the 20th Of January we hired a vehicle from Greenmotion at 17.30
There are a number of abnormalities that we would like to bring to your attention for your guidance
1. After a number of reminders we finally received a quote for 10 days equating to GBP 295.00 (GBP 29.50 / day- no mention of Vat exc was made), however on collection we advised that the number of days the vehicle would be required was 7 days not 10 days. Despite this we were charged GBP 245 exc Vat , we took this up with the member serving us (Member 1) at the time and showed him a copy of the email attached , he said he would Check with the Sales Director (VP) and revert and any credit could be made on return.
2. No mention was made regards debit/credit card details specifics , upon collection I was visiting from Malawi provided my ID and MasterCard Multi Currency Card which I was informed cannot be accepted –Member 1 then advised that he could make an alternative option whereby they can use the card of my brother a local UK resident and I would be put on the car hire policy as a named driver for an additional GBP6/day. Despite our hesitation we were advised that this was possible and there are no issues provided we pay the additional daily rate of GBP6/day.
3. We were then escorted to the vehicle by 3rd member of Green Motion , whilst going through the vehicle we noted it was dark and the vehicle had not been washed or cleaned after receiving from previous user , the fuel tank was empty (a first time I’ve experienced this) . We alerted the member that despite signing off what was evident under the light and circumstances it would be very difficult for us to note all damages since there was insufficient light and the car was not washed. The 3rd member who assisted us assured us that he knew the vehicle very well and it was in use for some time by the company with various ‘kinks’ hence advised us not to panic and that he would be receiving the car on return thus there was no need to worry.
4. I continued to contact VP to discuss the rental rate agreement , calling the office and leaving messages and his mobile as well as using watsapp as a last resort , we never received a call back nor an email.
5. I then contacted the office and spoke to member 1, he then surprisingly advised that the rate for 7 days or 10 days was the same and that there was no discount on the daily rate despite what was emailed to us by VP. We naturally decided it was in our best interest to keep the vehicle for the full 10 days in this case.
6. Upon delivery of the car a 4th member went through the vehicle with us , this time rushing through the return and pointed a very light mark on fender and on the undercarriage of front bumper, both of which would have been impossible to detect in the condition the vehicle was handed over to us.
7. To our surprise when we entered the offices we were finally greeted by VP , who advised us that there were damages on the car and that the car would need to be sent to Mercedes for a full fender replacement as it was not repairable and that this would result in loss of revenue. This obviously shocked me and we proceeded to go outside to view vehicle again , he reminded VP regards the discussions with member number 3 who handed over the vehicle to us, VP advised that if we weren’t happy why we didn’t report to his office , I reminded him that a member of HIS office handed the vehicle to us and the communication we felt at the time was fair, surely if the member doing the handover to us is assigned to that duty and employed by the company then we would raise our concerns to him why should we have to report to the offices , are Greenmotion not accountable for their staff ? , the member being employed by Greenmotion would naturally represent the views and conditions of Greenmotion. We did feel there was gross injustice here and we were being treated unfairly , however due to the nature of the concern both parties agreed that we would not take further action until VP had discussed with his member of staff on duty that day and why the car was provided uncleaned as this was company policy as well as provide us with previous car rental Condition reports , thereafter he would revert to us.
8. Much to our surprise on the 3rd of February (my brother) received an email stating the claim for damage was as per attached email , infact the claim was over GBP1600. No contact was made to us despite the communication that we had during the handover meeting. When my brother called the branch to Speak to VP he was simply told by a customer service rep that the matter was not in the hands of VP and the money has already been deducted off his account.
9. Finally the final Invoice has very strangely got a copy of my brothers signature despite him not signing any such invoice , upon closer investigation it seems this is a copy (perhaps electronic or triplicate) of the original signature that was provided on the initial hire agreement on 20th of January. We find this unacceptable to as my brothers signature was not authorised to be used on any other documents without our approval.
10. My brother felt unfairly penalized as he was advised to take the car on his name for hire despite not being the person required to hire the car and the car was merely put in his name at the advice of the hire car company to facilitate a sale
11. The damages were in dispute and we asked for this to be looked into further however we simply received an invoice and debit card for my brother was deducted
12. The damages were by no means equitable to the price charged , all that was used was a ‘Green motion matrix formula’ to work out vehicle damage. From this they worked out how many panels and coats of paint will be required. (we are talking of two superficial marks no longer then a centimeter here, which would be impossible to spot unless you looked extremely closely)
13. The previous damage on the same Fender and bumper which was detected on collection was never repaired hence we find it strange that we are being charged such a high price for full replacement / respray of the very same already previously identified damaged parts, I wonder if everytime there is a damage the entire part is actually replaced or instead everytime there is any damage deemed the person hiring is charged for a full replacement whether or not it is
14. Attached are pictures of the alleged damage
15. We are finally told we must just inform car hire that we saw and advised the car hire company of the damage on day 4 of hire, icar hire insurance would then call Greenmotion and the member of staff from Greenmotion would confirm this so that our claim goes through.
Above is a summary of our transaction history with green motion Car Hire , we feel that we have been treated most unprofessionally and unfairly , the charge for the damages were exorbitant not to mention the damages that were currently on the vehicle were already in the same area (front LHS) and were noted on collection , unless we were to take pictures on collection and attend to the vehicle with precision and professional expertise there was no way to accurately confirm the exact location of any damage within centimetres of each other.
The funds have been deducted from My brother who as per point number 2 was not even the user of the vehicle and was merely put on by Member 1 in a means to retain the business, the level of communication was poor from the company and we were treated in a very abrupt manner on delivery.
We maintained that we would like to resolve this amicably and even wrote to this effect , no response was received and simply an invoice for repairs.
VP simply reminded us that we should not be worried , we have icar insurance cover and can claim from them and no one loses out, it seems under the circumstances and in my personal opinion that this is grossly unfair to us and the insurers as it would be unjust to simply place a claim on these grounds so one party may benefit.
Furthermore with the official claim only mail only coming in 5days after the vehicle was returned this leaves us out in the open
We would like to secure your valued advice under the circumstances and guidance on what options or steps we can take in this case
We would also state for the record that the above is a transcript of my personal views and representation of the transaction to the best of my knowledge.
We took this up with the BVRLA as a conciliatory service however the result were found in favor of the car hire company , they cannot comment on the amount of the price charged for repairs.
I have asked for an invoice of the repairs charges that they paid however they said they cannot provide this to me.
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