Car hire – how much?

I wanted to hire a car during my holiday, and got quotes from various suppliers. I was a bit worried about the excess I might have to pay if I accidentally crashed the car, but the rental company offered a “Super Cover” which would bring the excess payable in case of accident to zero, but they weren’t quoting how much it was, they would only say it would be added at the rental location.

So before going ahead with the rental booking, I rang customer services, and asked them how much that would be. I was quoted “around €100, depending on rates at the time” (about a couple of months away).

I eventually decided to go ahead with the booking, as it was still cheaper than the quotes I had from competitors, with similar insurance coverage, and same level of car.

So far so good. I got to the rental location, got the car (which I was very happy with), and all was fine. However, at a certain point during my holiday I had a look at the rental agreement I was given at the location (I was just handed an envelope, and the car keys, nothing to sign as I am on the company’s loyalty program).
To my astonishment I found a raft of extra charges for things I hadn’t requested (it took a bit of googling to find out what they all were), which brought the total of my rental costs to more than double of what I had already pre-paid. One of this was down to the satellite navigation system (which I had specifically NOT requested, as I had my own with me), and the rest were insurance covers.

So when I got back to the rental location to return the car, I pointed all of this out to the rental company representative. He agreed to remove the satellite navigation charges there and then, but said he couldn’t remove the other charges, and that he would make a note on the agreement for his colleagues in customer service to sort out.

Needless to say, the next day I got the invoice by email, and all the extra charges (minus the sat-nav) were still there. I promptly rang customer services to give them all the details, and complain about being invoiced for all sort of things I had not requested and not I agreed upon.

I was told they would need to get the rental agreement (the paper version!) from the rental location, and then they would make a decision about refunding me (oh, did I I mention that my card had been charged already?), and they would get back to me within 5 to 7 working days.

Well today is the 8th working day since, and I finally received an email apologising for the incorrect charges, and confirming a refund.

I have to admit I was quite sceptical about getting a refund, and was wondering whether it was worth me spending time trying to get it. I have to say although I shouldn’t have been in a position to have to go through all of this in the first place, that it was definitely worth pursuing a refund.

A happy ending for once!

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