Europcar Shafting - Rental Car Story

slas7713

New member
Aug 9, 2004
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Well, just another one of them "got screwed" DR stories I just had to share. I flew into Santiago late one evening with my 70+ year old mother a few months ago. We had a car reserved at Budget months in advance but when I get there the guy at the Europcar counter told me the Budget car guy told him he didn't have a car for us so he left. Only in the DR, right? But that's a whole nother story. Anyway the Europcar guy was happy to offer a car for us, at a higher price, of course, but we were just happy to get a car at 10:00 p.m. with a two hour drive ahead. Well, all is well and then Hurricane Irene decides to swing by. Our flights are all cancelled and they tell me we can't get out for two weeks, but low and behold, we luck into a "special" flight leaving out of Santo Domingo. My mother was running out of heart medication. I called Europcar, and called and called, no answer, ever. Finally the day before we leave I get someone on who tells me no problems taking it to Santo Domingo, a small charge for delivering to the other airport. Well, we leave out extra early for Santo Domingo and all goes fairly smooth except for a flat tire at 4:30 a.m. in the pitch black. We arrive at the airport and of course they have no paperwork or any clue about the rental agreement in Santiago because we all know computers in the DR don't talk to each other. The guy looks over the car and points out a black scuff mark where the flat tire hit the car, which I wipe off, and then says everything looks ok. So, where do I sign? Uh, there's no paperwork so we can't give you the bill, we'll have to send it to you. Yeah, yeah, I know, and those little alarms were going off but at that point my mom was just so relieved that we were getting out. I said OK and went on my way. After getting back to the states I emailed and emailed for a month trying to get a receipt that they didn't want to send me, for some reason. Well, I finally got one and my $240 quote turned into a $478 charge. I know none of you who have lived in the DR are surprised by this but, they tacked on every extra tax, airport charge, drop off fee tax along with a surprise damage fee of $125 and then even a tax on the damage fee of $20. Well, I can take the general shafting, after all, living in the DR for years you have to be able to, but a fraudulent damage fee when the guy looks right at me and says everything looks good. So I dispute the damage claim with my Credit Card company. Well, I just got off the phone with them and they informed me that Europcar had paperwork showing proof of damage. Now that made me laugh, I told her in the DR you can any piece of paperwork you need. Anyway, I found it funny that they believe paperwork received from the DR. OK, there's my rant, it's over, and I'll take my shafting and move on to fight another day. I just hope Budget doesn't shaft me again next time and force me to rent from Europcar!
 

kimbjorkland

New member
Apr 6, 2011
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Well, just another one of them "got screwed" DR stories I just had to share. I flew into Santiago late one evening with my 70+ year old mother a few months ago. We had a car reserved at Budget months in advance but when I get there the guy at the Europcar counter told me the Budget car guy told him he didn't have a car for us so he left. Only in the DR, right? But that's a whole nother story. Anyway the Europcar guy was happy to offer a car for us, at a higher price, of course, but we were just happy to get a car at 10:00 p.m. with a two hour drive ahead. Well, all is well and then Hurricane Irene decides to swing by. Our flights are all cancelled and they tell me we can't get out for two weeks, but low and behold, we luck into a "special" flight leaving out of Santo Domingo. My mother was running out of heart medication. I called Europcar, and called and called, no answer, ever. Finally the day before we leave I get someone on who tells me no problems taking it to Santo Domingo, a small charge for delivering to the other airport. Well, we leave out extra early for Santo Domingo and all goes fairly smooth except for a flat tire at 4:30 a.m. in the pitch black. We arrive at the airport and of course they have no paperwork or any clue about the rental agreement in Santiago because we all know computers in the DR don't talk to each other. The guy looks over the car and points out a black scuff mark where the flat tire hit the car, which I wipe off, and then says everything looks ok. So, where do I sign? Uh, there's no paperwork so we can't give you the bill, we'll have to send it to you. Yeah, yeah, I know, and those little alarms were going off but at that point my mom was just so relieved that we were getting out. I said OK and went on my way. After getting back to the states I emailed and emailed for a month trying to get a receipt that they didn't want to send me, for some reason. Well, I finally got one and my $240 quote turned into a $478 charge. I know none of you who have lived in the DR are surprised by this but, they tacked on every extra tax, airport charge, drop off fee tax along with a surprise damage fee of $125 and then even a tax on the damage fee of $20. Well, I can take the general shafting, after all, living in the DR for years you have to be able to, but a fraudulent damage fee when the guy looks right at me and says everything looks good. So I dispute the damage claim with my Credit Card company. Well, I just got off the phone with them and they informed me that Europcar had paperwork showing proof of damage. Now that made me laugh, I told her in the DR you can any piece of paperwork you need. Anyway, I found it funny that they believe paperwork received from the DR. OK, there's my rant, it's over, and I'll take my shafting and move on to fight another day. I just hope Budget doesn't shaft me again next time and force me to rent from Europcar!

Now you know why the foreign embassies are so suspect of Dominican citizens applying for visitor passes. My friend is on a 2 year stint at the embassy, and he says the DR is a mecca for fraud.
 

AlterEgo

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 9, 2009
19,566
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Playa Najayo & South Jersey
You can try writing to Europcar's headquarters. They may be interested in what's going on in their name in DR.

I had a problem with Avis in Santo Domingo a couple of years ago, and I wrote to the head of their Latin America division, and not only did they refund the overcharges, they gave me an extra $100 for my troubles. And called me several times. They were so determined to make things right that we actually rented from them the following trip.

AE
 

slas7713

New member
Aug 9, 2004
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The time before that time that I was there I had to use a credit card to fill up the rental car in Rio San Juan, which I never do but I was peso'less. When I got home there was a $600 jet blue ticket on my credit card. Good ol DR
 

belgiank

New member
Jun 13, 2009
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In my honest opinion this is not DR related, but universal and business related. Europeans renting a car in the States experience the same thing. They tried to pull one over on me several times, but once they saw it would not work they quickly admitted their "mistakes". Not related to one particular rental company.

I heard they pull the same stunts in Europe with the Americans.

As Alterego suggested, file a complaint.

PS.: American hotels do the same thing to European tourists. Check your bills.
 

slas7713

New member
Aug 9, 2004
262
6
0
In my honest opinion this is not DR related, but universal and business related. Europeans renting a car in the States experience the same thing. They tried to pull one over on me several times, but once they saw it would not work they quickly admitted their "mistakes". Not related to one particular rental company.

I heard they pull the same stunts in Europe with the Americans.

As Alterego suggested, file a complaint.

PS.: American hotels do the same thing to European tourists. Check your bills.
I've traveled quite a bit in my lifetime and yes there are times when a hotel or car rental will try to stick you for something and usually with the proper amount of arguing, with the right temperament, you can usually get it resolved amicably. But I've also lived on and off in the DR for six years and in the DR this type of behavior is more ingrained in the the society and more of a way of life so, I disagree and say this is a DR related thing. Generally speaking, I believe that anyone who has lived in the DR for any amount of time can provide story after story of similar behavior.
 

Papa Benito

New member
Dec 5, 2006
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Well, just another one of them "got screwed" DR stories I just had to share. I flew into Santiago late one evening with my 70+ year old mother a few months ago. We had a car reserved at Budget months in advance but when I get there the guy at the Europcar counter told me the Budget car guy told him he didn't have a car for us so he left. Only in the DR, right? But that's a whole nother story. Anyway the Europcar guy was happy to offer a car for us, at a higher price, of course, but we were just happy to get a car at 10:00 p.m. with a two hour drive ahead. Well, all is well and then Hurricane Irene decides to swing by. Our flights are all cancelled and they tell me we can't get out for two weeks, but low and behold, we luck into a "special" flight leaving out of Santo Domingo. My mother was running out of heart medication. I called Europcar, and called and called, no answer, ever. Finally the day before we leave I get someone on who tells me no problems taking it to Santo Domingo, a small charge for delivering to the other airport. Well, we leave out extra early for Santo Domingo and all goes fairly smooth except for a flat tire at 4:30 a.m. in the pitch black. We arrive at the airport and of course they have no paperwork or any clue about the rental agreement in Santiago because we all know computers in the DR don't talk to each other. The guy looks over the car and points out a black scuff mark where the flat tire hit the car, which I wipe off, and then says everything looks ok. So, where do I sign? Uh, there's no paperwork so we can't give you the bill, we'll have to send it to you. Yeah, yeah, I know, and those little alarms were going off but at that point my mom was just so relieved that we were getting out. I said OK and went on my way. After getting back to the states I emailed and emailed for a month trying to get a receipt that they didn't want to send me, for some reason. Well, I finally got one and my $240 quote turned into a $478 charge. I know none of you who have lived in the DR are surprised by this but, they tacked on every extra tax, airport charge, drop off fee tax along with a surprise damage fee of $125 and then even a tax on the damage fee of $20. Well, I can take the general shafting, after all, living in the DR for years you have to be able to, but a fraudulent damage fee when the guy looks right at me and says everything looks good. So I dispute the damage claim with my Credit Card company. Well, I just got off the phone with them and they informed me that Europcar had paperwork showing proof of damage. Now that made me laugh, I told her in the DR you can any piece of paperwork you need. Anyway, I found it funny that they believe paperwork received from the DR. OK, there's my rant, it's over, and I'll take my shafting and move on to fight another day. I just hope Budget doesn't shaft me again next time and force me to rent from Europcar!
Europcar are well known criminals!
 

belgiank

New member
Jun 13, 2009
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I've traveled quite a bit in my lifetime and yes there are times when a hotel or car rental will try to stick you for something and usually with the proper amount of arguing, with the right temperament, you can usually get it resolved amicably. But I've also lived on and off in the DR for six years and in the DR this type of behavior is more ingrained in the the society and more of a way of life so, I disagree and say this is a DR related thing. Generally speaking, I believe that anyone who has lived in the DR for any amount of time can provide story after story of similar behavior.
I am sure the locals here are more adept at it then their European and American counterparts. You not getting and signing a paper that you returned the car in mint condition was your fatal mistake, although under the circumstances perfectly understandable. In my opinion that mistake would have costed you money all over the globe in 7 cases out of 10. The difference is here you would have had to have a long discussion to get the paper, whilst in first world countries they would give in quickly.

BTW, in the 2 and some months I now live in the DR, only 2 people really tried to screw me. Both were expats. Just shows you there are rotten apples everywhere.

A polite but firm complaint to the head-office frequently works. After a disastrous week in a La Quinta Hotel, I complained to their head-office, and got a full refund for the whole week. I was amazed at that.
 
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Taino808

New member
Oct 10, 2010
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During my last trip to Spain, some two years ago, I was overcharged on both the hotel and car rental. The guy at the car rental actually charged me for 27 days of use, when in fact I was only in that country for 25 days. I complained all the way back to the DR, and I was only refunded the cash after proving to them my departure date on my return flight ticket.

Some of you may think this only happens here in the DR, when infact this happens every where.
 

william webster

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2009
23,076
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The Other Side of the Coin

I hit a pothole on the way to the airport while swigging the last of my beer. When I stopped to fill the rental car, the attendant pointed it out that the tire was going flat.
I refilled it with air and took it to the rental return.

I used all four words in my Spanish vocabulary ( this was 3 years ago) to be nice to the agent and then leaned on the car in front of the hissing tire - continuing to talk to mask the noise.

No problema - it rounded the corner into the lot with about 10 PSI in the tire.
:bandit:
Another time, I ripped off the front cowl on an old stump.
No problems, just wired it back on with one of those plastic ties.

The last thing was truly Dominican.
The passenger mirror fell off into the ditch.... I couldn't find it anywhere.

My search efforts attracted the usual Dominicano interest and before long I had several Good Samaritans helping.
Voila - they find it!!
100 pesos to the winner !!!

Mirror is shattered.

I take it to the local fix-it shop who re-attach the mirror and put in a new mirror --- for FREE!!!!
Now, that mirror doesn't read ..'Objects in Mirror are Closer than They Appear".... its just regular mirror.
Who cares? :smoke:

Returned the car without penalty.

I shouldn't give the impression that its all been a smooth ride.

National or one of the rentals got my card --- 2 air tix to Buenos Aires and 2 luxury rooms.:devious:
AMEX refunded me immediately.



It's all in the RD experience - some good, some bad.

Que sera, sera
 

belmont

New member
Oct 9, 2009
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During my last trip to Spain, some two years ago, I was overcharged on both the hotel and car rental. The guy at the car rental actually charged me for 27 days of use, when in fact I was only in that country for 25 days. I complained all the way back to the DR, and I was only refunded the cash after proving to them my departure date on my return flight ticket.

Some of you may think this only happens here in the DR, when infact this happens every where.
If you had it for 25 days, you probably should have paid for 30 days as the monthly rate would have been cheaper. I have never seen where 25 days would have paid at the daily rate. Why did you? What car rental doesn't have a monthly rate? Just curious.
 

Taino808

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Oct 10, 2010
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If you had it for 25 days, you probably should have paid for 30 days as the monthly rate would have been cheaper. I have never seen where 25 days would have paid at the daily rate. Why did you? What car rental doesn't have a monthly rate? Just curious.
Very simple reason why not the thirty day rental. It was high season and as luck would have it, all the car rentals in the city of Barcelona were completely booked. So guess what......no deals for thirty day rentals either, that is unless you made reservations well in advance, which I hadn't.
 
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robbie

New member
Aug 3, 2006
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We use Europcar in Bavaro, too many times to count, nothing but good service.
Budget couldnt produce the car that was booked 3 weeks in advance so over to Europcar
and never used anyone else since.
We had to do a patch job on a car once too, ripped the back bumper half off catching on something sticking
out of the concrete. :bandit: returned the car without a hitch:D