Dear Biking Troubleshooter: I busy a Dollar car at Frankfurt airport through Auto Europe. When I fabricated the reservation, Auto Europe anon answerable me $213, and I accustomed a agenda for the six-day rental. On the aboriginal folio of the voucher, accent in dejected were the words: “INSURANCE OPTIONAL.”
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After a 14-hour flight from California to Germany, I accustomed at the Dollar adverse in Frankfurt, which was closed. A assurance directed me to the Hertz adverse abutting to it. I presented my voucher, but a Hertz abettor told me that I could not hire the car after purchasing a collision-damage abandonment (CDW) and annexation allowance from Hertz.
Initially, I banned because the Chase Sapphire Visa agenda I use to pay for rental covers CDW and annexation worldwide. But Hertz would not hire me the car. I told them I had busy cars all over the world, from South Africa to Costa Rica, after problems, but they did not budge. I was affected to acquire the insurance. I could not airing abroad because I had already prepaid for the rental.
The added allowance amount 246 euros and the annexation aegis amount 106 euros. After taxes, that came to $510 on top of the antecedent rental charge. I’ve asked Hertz and Auto Europe for a refund, but they won’t budge. Can you help?
— Silvia Restelli, San Jose
Answer: Hertz and Auto Europe should be falling all over themselves to advice you with a refund. If your Auto Europe acceptance said “INSURANCE OPTIONAL,” again the allowance should accept been optional. Instead, Hertz hit you with a allegation for CDW and “theft protection.” (What is that and why is it mandatory? Who knows?) Worse, the car rental aggregation had you over a barrel, back you’d prepaid for your car.
I anticipate car rental companies and their agents allegation a absoluteness check. How the heck can you allegation addition $213 for a rental and again $510 in “mandatory” insurance?
The cardboard aisle of accord amid you, Hertz and Auto Europe, your agent, is alike added frustrating. At one point, it appears you’re in an online babble with Auto Europe. In one memorable barter with Hertz, a adumbrative declares, “Silvia, we are assuming that the CDW and TP are binding in Germany unless you accept a letter from your allowance aggregation advertence that rental cars in Germany are covered. Did you accept this letter? All anxiety with Dollar/Thrifty in Germany accept this requirement.”
You ask why the claim wasn’t disclosed. Again Hertz says, “The accuse are valid.” Your acknowledgment is priceless: “Am I talking to a bot?”
It wouldn’t abruptness me if you were.
If Dollar, which is endemic by Hertz, requires allowance and annexation aegis for its cartage — and it’s able-bodied aural its rights to do so — again it charge say so. Upfront. Quoting $213 but charging $723 is wrong.
I broadcast the names, numbers and email addresses for the Hertz and Dollar customer-service admiral on my consumer-advocacy site: www.elliott.org/company-contacts/hertz. I additionally accept the acquaintance advice for the Auto Europe controlling contacts: www.elliott.org/company-contacts/auto-europe.
I contacted Auto Europe about your case. The aggregation agreed to acquittance your allowance charges.
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