Vehicle Rentcar rental - they cancelled booking & charged me

R Nov 07, 2018

I booked via Vehicle Rent for a rental car in Faro, Portugal. I went to collect my rental car from Faro Airport and after waiting for 30 minutes in the queue, I was eventually served. Per my booking, I repeated to the assistant that I would be spending one night / two days in Spain with the hire car and understood that a charge of €9/day would be applicable. She explained that in fact I would be charged €63, since the length of my rental is seven days, regardless of how much time I spend across the border. I responded that this was not my understanding upon booking the vehicle online and asked to speak with her manager. The manager, Isabel Ferreira, asked to see my terms and conditions, which I showed her. However, they were written in French and she didn't understand them. I tried to explain that my interpretation of the daily border-crossing charge was per day in Spain, rather than per day of the entire rental booking. Otherwise, I would have booked a car for the two days that I'm in Spain and then booked under a separate rental for the remainder of my time in Portugal. Isabel refused to see my point of view and, after interrupting me several times, bluntly stated that I had to accept the condition. I said I didn't accept her response, to which she replied: "I'm finished with you" and then told her colleague in Portuguese (knowing that I wouldn't understand) to cancel the booking altogether. When I realised what she'd done, I pleaded with the assistant not to cancel the booking. I said that I would take up the issue with Vehicle Rent at a later stage, but that I desperately needed the car as I'm a lone passenger with no other means of transportation. The assistant said that she couldn't override her manager, who by this point had walked away. I rang the Vehicle Rent Customer Service number, which they state is open 24/7, but which was closed. I had no choice but to leave the car hire office without my hire car. I was without a car throughout my holiday, incurring extra expense at taxi fares, as well as the inconvenience and APPALLING lack of communication from Vehicle Rent to my numerous calls, emails and Tweets. Moreover, they took money out of my account for the hire car that I never received and have refused to refund me the full amount because I've breached the cancellation policy. WHEN I DIDN'T CANCEL THE BOOKING!

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