When you look at the online reputations of car hire firms, it’s a sorry and shameful sight. Customer stories of deception, lies and even outright fraud blight the industry.
But some car rental firms are far worse than others, which leads me to this InterRent car rental scam warning.
Avoid InterRent car hire fraud
I want to share my recent experience with InterRent – owned by Europcar – and their broker CarDelMar. These three names currently share the bottom positions of TrustPilot’s car rentals rankings, each scoring just one star and owning a vast archive of angry consumer complaints.
I should have read the bad reviews. But I didn’t, and now I really want others to avoid getting ripped off and wasting their time fighting to get their money back.
The credit card scam
In March I used the online broker service CarDelMar to book a week’s car rental from Glasgow Airport. For peace of mind I chose an all-inclusive package which, as well as rental, included “comprehensive cover with excess, vehicle theft cover with excess, third party insurance and unlimited mileage”.
Job done: it cost me £96 for the week. The car would be provided by InterRent, a division of Europcar. I paid the rental fee online by credit card.
The collection of the car at Glasgow was smooth and quick. The staff member was very friendly. He asked what we were planning to do in Glasgow, recommended some places to visit and smiled as he invited me to initial various circled areas of the booking paperwork (see image below) before he handed over the keys. I left my credit card as deposit, a condition of the hire. We were done in five minutes.
Then what happened
On return home after holiday I checked my credit card statement and was shocked to discover InterRent had taken a further £133 off my card the day I’d collected the car.
I then entered protracted correspondence with CarDelMar and InterRent to try and understand why.
It took a while, but the outcome several weeks later was this: InterRent claimed I purchased an additional ‘Super Inclusive Package’ in the rental office when I picked the car up.
That’s right, for a bargain £133, I apparently bought some more peace-of-mind to top up the peace-of-mind I’d already paid for with the ‘All Inclusive Package’.
Why I would want to spend more than the cost of the entire week’s car hire on an unnecessary extra insurance is a mystery. There was no verbal mention of this additional purchase when I was asked to sign the paperwork. My partner was alongside me in the rental office and will testify that no purchase was discussed or knowingly made.
Tellingly, the crafty Interrent staff member did not circle the £133 charge for me to initial (see image). He simply asked me to initial everywhere else while continuing his smooth chat about the attractions of Glasgow. But if I did see the £133 fee listed on this document I would have assumed it related to my original online booking, perhaps showing the un-discounted price of hire. Because, of course, I’d already paid for the car and all-inclusive insurance.
Weeks later it’s now clear that I have been conned. A bogus insurance charge was added to the bill, carrying a very similar name to the one I’d already bought.
After getting nowhere with InterRent and CarDelMar, I have now disputed the charge with my credit card company and am awaiting their review.
But this is a warning: avoid InterRent and their parent Europcar, they are fraudsters. And keep an eye on your credit card statements for suspicious charges.
UPDATE August 2017
Despite all the evidence submitted, my credit card company HSBC did not support my claim due to the fact I had signed paperwork that made reference to the bogus charge amount. It was a frustrating experience trying to explain the context to HSBC’s overseas call centre staff, who could not see beyond the extorted evidence InterRent had provided. I am now looking into other options.
In the meantime I am collecting up recent tweets from other people swindled by this company. They cannot be allowed to do this.
These tweets are just from the last 30 days.
— Richard (@banbannyban) September 6, 2017
— Gum (@gmontagnon2) September 6, 2017
— Jack Concannon (@concan93) September 5, 2017
— David (@DSwygart) September 5, 2017
— Jane Bunting (@Jane0177) September 4, 2017
@InterRent_IT Looking at my bank account I realized that they took 210€!? And of course, nobody is answering when I call… 3/3
— Chaise (@chaise168) August 24, 2017
They told us they need to charge 15 € fee + cost of fuel. bcs the tank was only 7/8 full. Creditcard shows 50 € fee.
— Matthias Müller (@mmblnfrn) August 23, 2017
— Kool as Kompany (@RobHines6_1) August 23, 2017
— David Price (@Octoguin) August 23, 2017
Report them to your credit company, that’s what I did. Chased for weeks with usual delay tactics. Makes me mad just thinking about them 😡😡😡
— Wadeo (@WadeoWade) August 22, 2017
Why do you keeping asking all this thousands of people you have robbed to DM you? Just not to expose all the people you are stealing from???
— Billy pye (@Billypye2012) August 21, 2017
@Interrent_UK STAY AWAY. They still owe us our deposits plus £160 taken for no reason AND they won’t reply to any contact
— Jane Lesley Ibbotson (@Revive_Therapy_) August 21, 2017
Do you intend to ever reply or solve this problem? You owe me money you have taken without authorisation!!!!
— Geraint Harris (@gaz2502851) August 21, 2017
@InterRent_PT 22 days after my rental, 5 after email to your customer service: still waiting reply on deposit to be refunded. Not serious!!
— Guido Sabatini (@guido_saba) August 20, 2017
County Court to get my money back from you for the non arrival of my car and refund. See you there Bandits!
— (((Greg Barnes))) (@GregBarnes2) August 18, 2017
@Interrent_UK can’t understand how I can’t talk to a human on the 📞reg charges query?? Such nice people at car hire desk, but on phone 😤😤😤
— Gemma Dardis (@gemmadardis99) August 18, 2017
Their whole timeline on twitter contains excuses for overcharging.
— Ian Barnes (@Ianbarnes2001) August 17, 2017
This is now with my credit company. Thankfully this is the way I paid. You only have to look at the tweets about this company, just company!
— Wadeo (@WadeoWade) August 17, 2017
@Interrent_UK emailed your customer service but no one ever replies. This is the second issue with your company over charging me
— Geraint Harris (@gaz2502851) August 17, 2017
Yes we have Ian. They have 45 days to dispute. I hope @Interrent_UK get brought to justice the thieving bar stewards.
— Liz Wade (@lizziewade45) August 17, 2017
— Nathan keys (@Nkeys1988Keys) August 17, 2017
— W London (@WLondon69) August 17, 2017
— Jermain Julien (@JermainJulien) August 17, 2017
@Europcar do you know that interrent are scamming customers of their despoists. This is a subsidy of you organisation right
— Wadeo (@WadeoWade) August 16, 2017
To not get ripped off by rental companies. Please repay us the money you owe and have the decency to reply
— Gemma Bull (@GemmaLBull) August 16, 2017
— Jermain Julien (@JermainJulien) August 16, 2017
looks like everyone is having the same issue!
— Tracy Stankard (@tracystan) August 16, 2017
I think you might be right still waiting for a reply to my DM! Bandits haha 😂
— nic berry (@nicberry2530) August 16, 2017
— JB (@Monaoeda) August 16, 2017
.@Interrent_Fr j’ai un charge sur ma compte de 15€ de vous, j’ai JAMAIS accepté. WTF? comment faire la réclamation pour vous me remboursez?
— Guille (@ggonmar) August 16, 2017
@Interrent_UK I emailed you 3 days ago about an unauthorised transaction on my account done by you still waiting for a reply!
— nic berry (@nicberry2530) August 16, 2017
@Interrent_UK Please give me the top guy in the uk to complain to. I refuse to pay 8p a minute as I have already lost over £400 to you
— Jane Bunting (@Jane0177) August 16, 2017
@Interrent_UK u ripped me off 4 £160 with yr scams pretended we canceled so we hd 2 pay mor on arrival & then charged 4 gas after we filled
— Darryl Payne (@pawfectiondog) August 16, 2017
— Russell (@russell_devine) August 15, 2017
@Interrent_UK you just took £240 off my credit card after a trip. I’d like an explanation ASAP please.
— Jonathan Channon (@jchannon) August 15, 2017
.@interrent_es @intrerrent_uk feel free to respond to us at some point this holiday on the £700 you owe us back!!
— Gemma Bull (@GemmaLBull) August 15, 2017
@Interrent_UK can someone contact me regarding return of my £300 deposit, no response to e-mails!
— Ben Dahmke (@bendahmke) August 15, 2017
— JB (@Monaoeda) August 14, 2017
Interesting, I see lots of people tweeting money taken from their accounts.
— Leon (@ItsAllAnnoying) August 12, 2017
@Interrent_UK Awful experience with Interrent, unexplained £226.59 debit on my CC, still not refunded 😡
— Wadeo (@WadeoWade) August 12, 2017
That’s what happened to us!! Only they took 300 euro ‘deposit’ without telling us… all my money for my holiday!
— Alex Wakelin (@AlexWakelin) August 11, 2017
— Billy pye (@Billypye2012) August 10, 2017
@Interrent_UK 8 working days later still cannot contact customer service £400 removed from credit card without explanation! SCAM don’t use!
— Tracy Stankard (@tracystan) August 10, 2017
They don’t. If they’ve over changed which I think is their policy better to fail a claim with your credit card if you used one.
— N Mehta (@Truthseeker_No1) August 8, 2017
Can this be sorted today? You took my money immediately yet taking a month to get it back!!!!
— Martyn Sommerville (@caddymart) August 8, 2017
Amazed to see others frustrated with @Interrent_Fr response time for complaints, almost 6 months no response, parents over charged
— Ashley Morris (@mozza_fr) August 7, 2017
#interrent – How long should I expect to wait for a reply to either of my emails? You took my money and have given me nothing!!! 😠
— William Hemingway (@Mermanbunks) August 6, 2017
@Interrent_UK you lot are con merchants. Taking money for a car we couldn’t get because the car rental place didn’t have chip and pin.
— Ashley King (@Kingydj) August 5, 2017