Written on: 15/02/2012 by AFle (1 review written)
On February 2, 1011 we rented a car from Thrifty.com via the InterNet. We picked up the car at Fiumicino Airport in Rome on June 2nd from Auto Europa (Sicily by Car), who is the subcontractor of Thrifty in Italy. Since I booked the car on my Gold AMEX, which states that they cover the insurance and the C.D.W., we refused to pay for the extra insurance, so they took a safety deposit of 800 Eu. saying it would be returned, if there was no damage on the car. It was an old, banged up car with 18098 km on the odometer. The inspection sheet showed at least 15 scratches and dents, which were marked. Our inspection revealed at least another 15 scratches and dents on the car, which we also marked on the Inspection sheet, since no-one was around in the garage at 7:00 P.M, and then we drove away. Upon returning the car they said there were new scratches on the car and a stone chipping on the windshield. I knew about the stone chipping, which was very small and no cracks around it. It would have cost $50.00 to fix it in Toronto. But I knew nothing about the new scratches. Besides how can you tell new scratches, when there were already at least 20-25 on the car and half of them were not even marked by the rental agents on the inspection sheet? Nevertheless they refused to return the safety deposit amount. A month later a charge of Eu. 712.79 appeared on my AMEX statement by Auto Europa. Obviously they replaced the entire windshield and repainted the entire car body on my cost. Interestingly, the previously existing scratches did non bother them before! Since the Bill, they sent me later at my request, was an estimate, not a repair bill, I am almost certain, they never actually performed the repair. I strongly believe, the car was rented out in the same shape, as we returned it, perhaps they marked the stone chip on the windshield on the Inspection sheet.
Eventually, after a lot of hassle, AMEX refunded the repair bill, saying that they are aware of this type of insurance scam, but would cost much more to contest it.
Never rent a car from Auto Europa (i.e. Sicily by Car), certainly not at the Fiumicino Airport !!!
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