Expedia / Europcar / conspiracy to defraud
Expedia and Europcar have teamed up in a foolproof scheme to defraud car renters at the St Maartin airport. It is a very effective scheme since the coompany making the fraudulent representations (Expedia) does not make the credit card charge and the companyi making the charge (Europcar) which has made no fraudulent misrepresentation.
It works like this> When you get the price quote from Expedia they do not disclose that Europcar has a $8.00 per day (plus taxes) "mandatory insurance" charge. The price quote from Expedia includes the basic car rental charge and taxes and fees (no mention of the fee for the "mandatory insurance" Rxpedia also states that the rental facility desk and cars is at the airport proper. (The cleverness and impact ot this falsehood will be expllained below.)
When you get to the SXM airport and go to the Europcar desk you cannot sign in. You are directed to a van which takes you to the OFF AIRPORT lot where you first learn about the mandatory insurance fee. Upon protesting they tell you that you are free to leave (of course you would have to find transportation back to the airport and try to find another rental) and they insist that if you want the car you sign the contract and take it up with Expedia.
This happened to me in January 2010. I signed under duress ("duress" since I had been lured to the off airport rental facility by Expedia's misrepresentation) convinced that either Expedia or my credit card company would protect me.
When contacted, Expedia stated that it could do nothing since it had no control over Europcar, When contacted, Europcar stated that it could do nothing because it had no control over Expedia. When contacted, my bank (whose card is no longer in MY wallet) stated that it could do nothing since I had signed the credit card slip.
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