Most horrific holiday experience ever !

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yaqovisrael's review of GoldCar Rental -


“Most horrific holiday experience ever !”

Written on: 03/07/2018 by yaqovisrael (1 review written)

I collected a car from Gold car/ Rhodium boot at Malta airport on Tuesday 27 March 2018 at around 21:00.

 I was offered any insurance that was more expensive than the rental itself. I politely refused and for that I was given extra two detailed penalty documents to sign. I never saw anything like this anywhere else in the world! But I wasn’t given a choice.

At the street garage, the agent handing over the car did a very fast walk around the car, it was 21:30 and the inspection took place under a semi lit streetlight. He kept on assuring me that the many little scratches and dents are too small to mention in the report. 

He didn’t give me any copy of the inspection report therefore I insisted to photograph it.

I then drove directly to the hotel (25mins drive) the car was full of loud mechanical sounds and scary noises and the overall feel was that I drive an unsafe , unmaintained , old car. I am having twelve days holiday in Malta with my partner, my mother age 73 and my 3 years old son and my guts feeling indicated the situation is not safe nor professional. 

 25 mins after collecting the car from Malta airport, while I hand the keys to the concierge to park the car in the Intercontinental Hotel parking hotel I quickly noticed a  little scratch on the front. I remember myself wondering at the back of my mind if we included that in the inspection report that took place only 25 mins ago. I was too busy with checking in to the hotel and dealing with a 3 years old toddler therefore  I could not pay too much attention or thoughts to this.

After putting my little boy to sleep while sitting in the bath I recalled on the scratch and remembered I took a photo of the inspection report. I checked my phone and surprisingly it was not included. The following day I asked the concierge to get my car out of the hotel garage. Under day light I could inspect the scratch more closely. I took a picture on my phone and emailed the branch as soon as I got back to my room. 

At that stage, on Wednesday, I was unconcerned and confident that my quick report will be quickly  resolved assuring me not to worry, or that they forgot to include this in their report or any other explanation but instead I received a generic copy paste reply that did not answer any of my queries.

 It was only when I started to call the car rental office branch the following day (Thursday), when the phone was put down on me during the conversation a few times, and then when my further calls were totally ignored, that I started to get suspicious.  A quick internet search and online review website revealed the hundreds of bad reviews and similar incidents of scratches that appeared from nowhere and the heavy fines. I started to get really concerned  that this rental company was operating an unacceptable scheme.

On Friday morning, before heading further inland, I returned to the airport to have face to face chat with the manager. I first looked for the guy who inspected the car in the inspection garage.  He wasn’t there. I  talked to other employees and they all seemed to be briefed with a fixed short reply ‘this is why you should have taken the insurance we offered you’ ! 

I walked to the airport terminal and after an hour wait I managed to meet the branch manager. She is the person who replied my email with a standard copy-paste reply that you can see at the bottom of this page (*1)

Her approach/attitude was very strict and unpleasant. Rather then listening to my story she kept on repeating that ‘if not on inspection report then it is my fault’ she already came with a price tag of EUR 430 which EUR 150 would be as an admin handling fee. 

It sounds and felt a very professional scheme at that stage but there was nothing I could do about. I felt frustrated and helpless. I kept on wandering it could have been worst when you are in a rush to get to your flight and have no other choice. 

Although I do have an annual insurance with ICarHire. Com I knew it wasn’t my fault so I decided to keep on with my argument on and on and on and  see what happens. Eventually, all of a sudden, she came with a surprising suggestion. She suggested that I would quickly register online for car insurance and that she would amend the dates of the car reservation to start after I start my new insurance (30/3) and that she would issue a new rental agreement. She also offered to change the date of the scratch/incident to the last day of the rental (8/4) so I could claim it back from this new insurance.

I was overwhelmed by her upfront and direct suggestion to me committing fraud /insurance crime and immediately refused. I decided to go to the nearby police station but she was not intimidated at all ‘ it is your word against us she said’.

She was right, at the airport police station they briefly explained to me that this is a civil case and that it is my word against them.

I then called you at MasterCard where you confirmed that EUR 1,400 were provisionally blocked on my card but that you cannot do much before they actually confirm how much money they will charge my MasterCard card account. 

I returned to the terminal to see again the branch manager giving it one last chance to see if I can talk senses to her. This time I decided to secretly record my conversation with her. She kept on suggesting me to do fraud while handing over a printed bill of EUR 430. It was only the beginning of my 3rd morning into my car rental period and I already got a bill double than my twelve days rental fees. She kept on ignoring my request to check if the scratch was already recorded by previous rentals. I refused to pay and left the airport keeping the same old car.

I have nine more days left on my rental, in a car I don’t feel safe to drive and I have no way to change it unless I pay hefty fine and claim responsibility on a tiny scratch at the front.

To summarise:

1. The scratch seemed to be ‘peeling off’/revealing itself during the drive to the hotel. Another option is that we might have noticed the scratch during inspection but it was deliberately omitted/not written down. 

2. The scratch that seemed to be deliberately caused by a sharp metal/key got bigger and longer with each passing day.

3. I was given an old car that felt unsafe to drive in.

4. I was offered to take part in an insurance fraud.

5. I am anxiously await to see what else they might blame me for after returning the car.

Update 8.4.2018 | Upon returning the car , the scratch was dismissed by a member of staff saying all is OK and no extra charge. He even signed my form as all OK. The following day a charge of euros487 appeared on my card which included euros40 for loss of use due to repair of the scratch (seriously?!).

Update 1.7.2018 | After returning to the UK, I emailed and . I then got reply from which promised to investigate my claim. It has been 3 months now and no one answers my emails.

  • 4.2018

    Date of hire (month/year)

  • Malta

    Country & City of hire

  • Poor

    Condition of vehicle

  • Poor

    Choice of vehicles

  • Customer Service

  • Value For Money

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