AutoEurope-taking advantage of consumers with mislead, uninformed customer service - Complaint about Auto Europe - A Spokesman Said

AutoEurope-taking advantage of consumers with mislead, uninformed customer service

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Phoebe Ng

08/02/2017

AutoEurope-taking advantage of consumers with mislead, uninformed customer service

Complaint about Auto Europe

I'm very unhappy with my experience with AutoEurope (AE) during my last trip to Italy over XMas, but most of all, extremely unsatisfied with the way AE customer service handled my complaint when i got in touch with them after the trip, especially when their own phone agents agreed with me on the phone when i called them to complain and told me just to email them and things will get handled smoothly. THeir main reason for not refunding the amount i requested was that they dont believe in "my words", and that they dont have the phone records of their customer agents on the phone to prove,so it's basically "he says she says" situation. Details of my story is below so other customers can be aware of AutoEurope service. I've made a reservation with AutoEurope (AE), voucher # EU11680761 on Nov 28 for my trip on Dec 26 - Jan 3, picking up at Pisa Airport, returning at Turin Airport for a total of 344.47EUR. However, on Dec 26, our plane couldnt land in Pisa because of the weather condition, and landed in Bologna instead. I then called AE to see if i can pick up the car at Bologna airport instead, and was advised that the charge will be 100E extra in total. I hanged up the phone to discuss with my group (4 of us). 10 mins later, i called back, and the agent now raised the charge to 200E extra, we said we then would just take the bus that the airlines offered, to go and pick up our car at Pisa airport, but then the agent said he already cancelled our booking. They cancelled our original booking, so that means now we were only left with one option, to take their 200EUR-extra-new booking. That night was a time of stress, with a lot of things moving, so even though i accepted the 200Euro extra that was communicated on the phone, we were unhappy with the service. The agent then said he'll send booking to us immediately (it was urgent because many windows started to close). At that time, he switched our order from LocAuto to Gold car. We were at the Gold car counter, kept waiting for the voucher email to come but it didnt arrive. good thing is at one point the Gold car agent at the counter saw our booking in her system. However, she charged us 192Euro at the counter, saying that it was needed. We didnt have the voucher on hand, and assumed that 192euro was the extra 200euro that the agent communicated via phone. so we paid. Few days later, i checked my bank statement and there was another charge of ~189Euro on my credit card statement from AE. I called AE fone number on Dec 29, to explain the situation, and was advised to call again (dial #2 and not #1, during limited time window) and the agent agreed with me on phone that all conditions of the new booking should be the same as old booking. I decided to call after i got back from holidays (Jan 11). on Dec 29, the agent sent me my voucher (first time i see the voucher), and not all conditions are the same (esp, the insurance doenst cover fully - the way i booked it at my original booking). Also, when we returned the car in Turin, it was supposed to be at Turin Airport (original booking) but gold car station was not at the airport, 2km away. We couldnt find the return location at the airport, took a while to find their location (hard to communicate and find a location that is not at the airport if you are not an Italian!), had to wait for them to bring us back to airport by their shuttle, and almost missed our flight. I wrote this long story with a lot of details because this whole experience was very upsetting. I requested AE to compensate for the unclear instructions and misleading services from the phone agents. The amount i first requested back was to bring back the total charge of this whole car rental to my original booking, so it would be a refund total of 296EUR (=~189EUR + ~192EUR- 85EUR for the one-way charge in our original booking) due to the following 1. The condition of the two vouchers are not the same, leading to a lot of anxiety (insurance not fully covered, almost missed our flight due to that return airport location - the agent should've kept the same return location at the airport or informed us one phone, extra charge for delivery in other airport more expensive 120EUR instead of 85EUR) 2. We shouldnt be over charged twice, both the additional charge from Auto Europe and at counter of Gold car 3. It felt as if your system/ The agents helping us on the night of Dec 26 were taking advantage of our situation. there was not really a good reason why within 10 mins, the offer goes up from 100e to 200e extra, and there was no reason why, without our confirmation, our original booking from Pisa was cancelled, leaving us no option but to accept the 200e extra. we accepted then, but now with the full experience completely horrific, we want to be compensated an only have to pay the original charges. After i emailed that story to AE, after a few days i received a response, basically denying any responsibility, but said that they will gave us 30EUR discount for the next booking as a symbol of good will. It's as if they didnt read all the details that i explained in the email. A few days later, i called back, and got (again) a sympathyzing phone agent, who then promised to look into it. he did (finally someone who did something), and a few days later, i received another email from AE. I appreciate the gesture this time, but their answer now feels like a negotiation. they basically 1. said that prices change per minute, so you have to deal with the change in fees; 2. they believed their agents have informed me everything over the phone, or i should have asked everything about the changes in the terms (Absurd! I had to make a decision over the phone to change the booking, if the phone agent didnt inform me of the changes in the booking condition, how am i supposed to have asked him about all the details? Everyone who rented cars would know the pain of long pages of fine prints, with many small prints. The agent should've informed us!) and their final conclusion in the email response is "Since neigther you or we can proof this what was discussed on the phone, we would like to make a refund of 50% of the costs you had to pay extra for (or 55EUR)". Above all, i'm very disappointed to see that a service company can question a client's integrity. AE should be able to check their system, should be able to play back their phone conversation and their email records (they at one point even questioned, whether they could believe that i only receivedmy voucher a few days later,not at counter! Anyone who rented cars would know, they just wanted to get the damn car, and wouldnt lie about this!!!). To say that AE doesnt know whether to trust me, or to trust their agent (which, they keep repeating "you need to believe", or in other words, assume they are right. Not sure if the agent who handled customer complaint have ever tried to talk to their own agents who handled my calls!) is not the appropriate answer. My family and I have been the loyal customer with Auto Europe. and this experience had really make our holidays become stressful and unjustly dissatisfied. The outcome is sad, but i want to let other consumers know and avoid AutoEurope. Consumers shouldn't be treated this way!

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