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Europcar - Lisbon Airport / unfair damage charge

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Europcar (Guerin Lda) - Lisbon Airport charged me $1900.00 for damage to hire vehicle, see following detailed letter to them:

I write with regard to the above contract and the monies that your company have seen fit to charge me for damage to the air conditioning of the vehicle.

At 17:25 on Saturday 20th May I collected a Nissan Pathfinder (Group R) from your Lisbon Airport office and drove to my villa at Quinta da Beloura near Sintra along with three other members of my family.

On Monday 22nd May the weather became warmer and we realized that the air conditioning was not working. The following day (Tuesday) the car was returned to your offices in Cascais where your representative confirmed that it was defective.

Unfortunately your office in Lisbon were unable to deliver a replacement Nissan and I had to loose a half day of my holiday driving to Lisbon to exchange the vehicle.

On returning to Lisbon Airport on 30th May I was told that I am to be charged a total of 2600 Euros for the repair to the air conditioning of the first vehicle. This charge is totally unacceptable as I did not cause the damage.

I would ask for your consideration of the following points:

1.. The fault was reported to your nearest office as soon as we realized that the air conditioning was defective.

2.. During the time that we had the car we drove a total of 239 km, 70 km of which was driving to and from your offices in Cascais and Lisbon. The car was only used on good roads and was never taken off-road.

3.. Your representative at Lisbon Airport informed me that there was considerable damage to the underside of the vehicle causing the air conditioning to fail. He also stated that this was due to the car being used off road. The contract that I have shows the car to have considerable damage to the body prior to my hire. It states damage to right front mud guard, right front door, left front mud guard, left rear door, left rear mud guard and aerial. There were also a number of large scratches to the paintwork along the length of the car on both sides. All of this shows the car to have been damaged / driven off road prior to my hire.

4.. No additional damage other than that already described was reported by your office when the car was returned to show that I had treated the vehicle poorly.

5.. Your records will show that I have previously hired large four-wheel drive vehicles from Guerin Lda without incident. The reason for doing so is due to the increased comfort and luggage space as opposed to the vehicles four-wheel drive abilities. On this occasion the combined age of my party of four was in excess of 200 years, therefore off-road driving was of no interest.

At all times I have acted in good faith and honesty regarding the initial reporting of the defect and my time taken to return the car to your Lisbon offices. It is ironic that had I not acted with such honesty the defect would not have been detected until the vehicle re-hired and I would now not be in such a position.

Considering the above facts I would ask that these charges be withdrawn and that my credit card be credited with the total amount charged.

The money was refunded but only I had identified and written to a number of Directors of the company and posted internet complaints with several newspapers.

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Europcar International Logo Europcar International
Customer Care Service
2 rue René Caudron - Bâtiment OP Parc d'Affaires "Val saint-Quentin"​
Voisins le Bretonneux
France - 78960
+43 1866 1633
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