€451.94 damage charge for a pre-existing small scratch - Complaint about Goldcar - A Spokesman Said

€451.94 damage charge for a pre-existing small scratch

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Charles Fellows

19/06/2017

€451.94 damage charge for a pre-existing small scratch

Complaint about Goldcar

June 2017 5 days car hire from Goldcar in Malta; whilst queuing customers were coming back to the desk complaining of dirty and damaged hire vehicles. When we got to the Goldcar section of the carpark we were greeted by a Goldcar employee having a heated argument with a couple returning their car over alleged damage charge; this should of rang alarm bells but naively I proceeded. The hire vehicle they provided me with (a red Skoda Citigo) had considerable bodywork including damage to the passenger sill which is a structural area of the vehicles body. The Goldcar employee who looked over the car with me and filled in the damage report was very blase regarding the condition of the car and said "don't worry about small scratches only large damage, don't worry about scratches to the wheels, don't worry about the interior". He made a few scribbles on the paperwork sketch of the car and we were on our way. No issues during the rental, the car had some noticeable drive-train knocks and bangs which leads me to suspect a lack of maintenance of these hire vehicles. Arrived back at the Goldcar depot Malta airport; the Goldcar agent looked over the car, he questioned me on a small scratch (50mm or so) on the bottom of the passenger side front bumper (the same side where the majority of the existing damage was). I explained that I did not cause this damage and also explained that it was missed during our initial inspection. At this point I realize that their attitude to damage on the car is far different when returning a vehicle rather than picking it up. He then starts to fill out paper and quotes a figures of €451.94 total for the repair of the damage. At this point I'm speechless and can't believe what I hearing. I refuse to pay and say that it can be dealt with on the deposit hold of my credit car. He then asks to see my rental agreement and say's "look your insured don't worry just pay now and you can claim the amount back in full from your booking agent (Car Del Mar)" "it won't cost you a penny". I again question this so he phones the Goldcar Malta desk and they confirmed to him that my rental voucher would cover this. With a flight to catch I had no option but to make the payment and be on our way, what a mistake that was. To me this was fraudulent coercion into making a payment for damages I did not cause. I immediately contacted Car Del Mar who informed me that I had been told false information and that I was not covered for the damage charge. Since then I have: -Filled out and incident report with Goldcar (08/06/17), as of yet I have had no response. -Emailed the Goldcar Malta team directly (08/06/17), as of yet I have had no response. -Contacted Goldcar via their Facebook page, they have been slowly responding to me but so far have provided no explanation for the above. I have requested photo records of the car prior to my hire (the agent at the time said they had these) and in response have sent me a picture of the scratch itself. Not sure if this can be classed as Goldcar admitting the the scratch was pre-existing as I think it's a mistake but their customer services team but non-the-less that's the photo I've had back. I have also disputed the transaction with my credit card provider who I'm sending all evidence too. I'm still in shock that such a large organisation has effectively stolen a considerable sum of money from me and so far been entirely un-helpful in resolving the matter. A quick Google and lead me to read many such articles and put me onto A Spokesperson Said hence this post. It seems that their fraudulent actions aren't going un-noticed. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Charlie

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Charles Fellows | 22/06/2017 11:05

Dear Victoria; this is a case of fraudulent practice by Goldcar to profit from pre-existing damage. The customer service department has provided no clarity on why I was lied and coerced into making this payment against my free will. My next steps are to take this matter to trading standards in Malta and the ECC, I will be making formal complaints to both. As before this is not resolved. Charles

Charles Fellows | 08/08/2017 12:05

Dear Virctoria; I still haven't had any answers to my questions I have asked on your Facebook page, with your banking merchant via my credit card company, or by email. Will you get me answers that led to me being fraudulently coerced into making a payment for damage which I didn't cause? Regards Charles


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