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europcar shenanigans: (non-binding) legal advice needed


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#1 mongo_jones

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 03:13 PM

so, when we were in scotland last summer we rented a car from europcar in edinburgh. at the end of the uneventful trip we returned it, after hours on a saturday. a couple of days later i called from london and confirmed all charges etc. this is mid-june. more than a month later i then noticed a new charge for $300+ on my credit card for europcar. i sent them an email asking about this and while waiting for a response googled around and discovered that europcar has a long history of shady charges and has even been investigated for it in the u.k. i alerted my credit card company and they said to wait to see if i heard back from europcar.

 

a few days later i did. they claimed the car had been returned with scratches on the bumper. however, in the paperwork (which was also in the attachments they sent me in their response) scratches on the bumper are clearly marked as existing damage. i pointed this out to them. they then said, "oh, the existing damage was on one side, you brought it back with scratches on the other as well". now, this is clearly bullshit--we did not return it with any scratches that weren't already there--but in any case i would have thought the lack of specificity in their original documentation would have been the end of it. i called my credit card company again, they agreed it was bogus and reversed the charges and told me i didn't need to worry about it. this was october and i thought the matter was done.

 

then a few days ago we received a letter in the mail from some collection agency/debt recovery company in the uk threatening legal action if i do not pay the original amount as an outstanding debt and referencing some earlier letter which we did not receive (this is an echo of their original email in response to me in which they claimed to have sent me a mailed notice of the charge before applying it to my credit card). i'm inclined to ignore this as it seems likely to me to be an attempt to intimidate/strong-arm me into payment of a clearly bogus charge which i have already contested (via email).

 

but i'm also not sure what their reach as a company in the u.k is over me as a resident of the u.s. is this something i need to worry about or respond to? has anyone else run into anything like this before? and either way, what would you do?


my annoying opinions: whisky, food and occasional cultural commentary

 

current restaurant review: house of curry (sri lankan in rosemount, mn)

 

current whisky review: glen ord 28

 

current recipe: white bean curry with green peppers

 

 

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#2 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 03:21 PM

I have. I told them to light themselves on fire. Your credit card is the party that matters here as best I can tell.  If they approved the chargeback don't worry about.


"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#3 hollywood

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 03:35 PM

They've run out of leverage so they are trying to scare you into a payment.


Then that happened.

 

I traveled to Tijuana to smack the federali

Who packing avocado toast like Mario Batali--Black Thought


#4 Orik

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 08:32 PM

I have. I told them to light themselves on fire. Your credit card is the party that matters here as best I can tell.  If they approved the chargeback don't worry about.

 

The only concern will be that in the future Europcar UK will probably refuse to deal with mongo unless he pays them what they believe is owed. 


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#5 hollywood

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 10:51 PM

Or Europcar may have sold the "debt" to some collection agency and Europcar is no longer involved.


Then that happened.

 

I traveled to Tijuana to smack the federali

Who packing avocado toast like Mario Batali--Black Thought


#6 mongo_jones

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 11:02 PM

 

I have. I told them to light themselves on fire. Your credit card is the party that matters here as best I can tell.  If they approved the chargeback don't worry about.

 

The only concern will be that in the future Europcar UK will probably refuse to deal with mongo unless he pays them what they believe is owed. 

 

 

believe me, i will never deal with europcar again. and if i'd googled them before making my rentalcars.com reservation i would not have dealt with them this time either.

 

my biggest concern is whether a company claiming default of payment can make complications for visas or entry to the country.


my annoying opinions: whisky, food and occasional cultural commentary

 

current restaurant review: house of curry (sri lankan in rosemount, mn)

 

current whisky review: glen ord 28

 

current recipe: white bean curry with green peppers

 

 

facts are meaningless. you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
~homer simpson


 


#7 mongo_jones

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 11:04 PM

a company that is completely on the up and up.


my annoying opinions: whisky, food and occasional cultural commentary

 

current restaurant review: house of curry (sri lankan in rosemount, mn)

 

current whisky review: glen ord 28

 

current recipe: white bean curry with green peppers

 

 

facts are meaningless. you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
~homer simpson


 


#8 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 11:57 PM

Yes
This is super similar to my experience. BTW even if this were a real obligation you had agreed to and defaulted on it wouldn't preclude you from getting a UK Visa. If you have no UK assets and don't care about your UK credit bureau data there is essentially nothing they can do.

"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#9 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 11:59 PM

I think the scam relies on much lower willingness to allow chargebacks by European credit card issuers.

"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#10 mongo_jones

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 01:07 AM

lesson 1: do not rent from europcar (or their affiliates).

lesson 2: do not return cars after hours.

lesson 3: take time-stamped photographs of the exterior of the car before and after return and make sure the staff people handing over the car and checking it back in know you've done so.

lesson 4: but mostly, don't rent from europcar.

 

our friends who were living in edinburgh for the year and went on this jaunt up to the speyside with us also rented from the same europcar counter. but they used their local bank card and address. and a week after our return they'd cancelled that account, closed up shop and returned to the u.s. i'm pretty sure europcar tried that scam on them too but got thwarted. it must just be a policy to make as many of these charges/claims as possible and expect some fraction to pay up rather than fight/deal with the hassle.


my annoying opinions: whisky, food and occasional cultural commentary

 

current restaurant review: house of curry (sri lankan in rosemount, mn)

 

current whisky review: glen ord 28

 

current recipe: white bean curry with green peppers

 

 

facts are meaningless. you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
~homer simpson


 


#11 Tubbs

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 12:32 PM

My favorite was the maybe 100 administrative fee hertz charged me to pay the London congestion fee. You would also think that a car rental place a block outside the toll zone would have some sort of "here's how to leave London without getting hit with the fee" instruction...but you'd be wrong.

#12 Tubbs

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 12:37 PM

My favorite was the maybe 100 administrative fee hertz charged me to pay the London congestion fee. You would also think that a car rental place a block outside the toll zone would have some sort of "here's how to leave London without getting hit with the fee" instruction...but you'd be wrong.

#13 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 01:03 PM

I got a speeding ticket in London that was literally impossible for me to pay.  Because I was resident, but hadn't been there long enough to require a UK license the couldn't figure out how to take my money. It was pretty comic.  They had a way to take money from foreigners, they had a way to take money from locals. No way to take the money for someone who fell between that crack.


"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#14 splinky

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 09:03 PM

I got a speeding ticket in London that was literally impossible for me to pay.  Because I was resident, but hadn't been there long enough to require a UK license the couldn't figure out how to take my money. It was pretty comic.  They had a way to take money from foreigners, they had a way to take money from locals. No way to take the money for someone who fell between that crack.

this is exactly the sort of stuff that allowed the Empire to crumble


“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no!', I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
~Jack Handey

*proud descendant of cheese eating surrender monkeys*

 


#15 hollywood

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 09:20 PM

 

I got a speeding ticket in London that was literally impossible for me to pay.  Because I was resident, but hadn't been there long enough to require a UK license the couldn't figure out how to take my money. It was pretty comic.  They had a way to take money from foreigners, they had a way to take money from locals. No way to take the money for someone who fell between that crack.

this is exactly the sort of stuff that allowed the Empire to crumble

 

What, like Brexit?


Then that happened.

 

I traveled to Tijuana to smack the federali

Who packing avocado toast like Mario Batali--Black Thought