I rented a car from Greenmotion, via carhire3000.com. Carhire3000 is a discount web site, owned by priceline.com which does not tell you where you are getting the car from until after you have paid for it. I have been using carhire3000 for years and all was fine when they used Avis, Hertz, Budget, National etc but recently they have been going downhill and the last two times I have had issues. Greenmotion has to be rock bottom though.
I was in the UK for 18 hours, en route from India to the USA. I decided to rent a car to reach my mother's house in North London since it was be "cheaper" and "more convenient" than public transport for the two of us.
Aside from the bus issue which many here have mentioned (scratch the "more convenient" descriptor) – the buses are only every 30 mins, and yes, we just missed one, you then arrive at an unfriendly, dingy office where you are told there is a 1500 pound (what?!) excess on the vehicle.
As a US resident, my credit card company covers all the excess on rental cars provided you decline the additional (massively overpriced) CDW/Zero excess coverage. I did so as usual.
We did a walk around the vehicle and could not see any damage. However, I did not look with a magnifying glass. The car had only covered 3000 miles.
I drove the car 40 miles to N London and back. The car was parked off the street overnight (I have witnesses to that by the way). I know there was no damage to the car.
Upon returning the car, I walk into the office and they simply continue their conversation without acknowledging that there’s a customer there with a plane to catch (and the traffic was absolutely terrible in the morning so we were running late. 15 miles took 2 hours.) In due course, someone comes out to look at the car.
After a cursory inspection, he (Malcolm) goes straight to the really barely visible damaged area (I missed it in the pick-up inspection and I would challenge anybody to have seen it. You have to squat down on the ground and it is only visible if the light is right). In short, he knew it was there.
The damage in question is a hairline crack in the indicator lens on the front of the left-hand mirror. There is no impact damage visible, no paint missing, no dent or mark. It was likely caused by someone over-tightening a screw, or perhaps just by cold weather. I took multiple photographs.
The result is that they have charged GBP 1,500 to my credit card ($2,500). I have called the credit card company and they tell me I have zero liability, meaning that I am not worried about having to pay this charge myself. However, that means that it is not me they are scamming, but the credit card company. That in turn means they are scamming all of us.
This was such a blatant fraud. I have already alerted the credit card company so they can take action as well as made a formal criminal complaint to the British police.
How many other renters of exactly the same car are also getting charged $2,500 per rental? We wondered how they made any money since the rental was so cheap and they had to refund the bus fare. Now we know, they do it fraudulently.
Monetary Loss: $2575.