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“Avoid them”

Written on: 01/07/2020 by armstger (2 reviews written)

Usual story you will find repeated about this awful, immoral company. I booked a car at Faro airport, paid in advance with Holiday Autos so the only transaction I expected on my card was the pre-authorization deposit. It was during the covid 19 lockdown so only 1 person at a time allowed in office, the desk clerk was behind a perspex screen with a little cut out for the card machine and passing keys and rental forms. I presented my voucher, she asked the usual questions and then asked for my credit card. I explained that I did not want her to touch my card and I could put it directly in the machine as we were doing with all transactions at that time. She said she needed to enter the card details in the computer to make it work. I watched as she held up the card and typed numbers in. She then passed the card reader through the cut out and I saw the correct deposit amount of 1845€ in the display. I checked with her that it was only a pre-authorisation which she agreed it was. I entered my PIN and received a paper receipt for it from the machine. Now, you do not sign paper forms as with other hire car companies. They ask you to sign a blank screen on a tablet for the contract. Then you receive the contract and keys and off you go.
Later after returning the vehicle, which by the way was an unattended return with a key drop. I took pictures and videos as I saw an opportunity for rogue damage charges. Expecting this I checked my online card account and saw that they had charged me an amount roughly double the hire cost. I called the number which turned out to be an office in Spain and was told they could not do anything as I needed to complete a claim online. Well the online process must have been designed to avoid receiving claims, it took me 4 attempts over 3 days to actually get it to work. I was promised a reply within 30 days, so my expectations were low. In fact I received a reply a few days later telling me that these were charges I had agreed to in the office. A New Car Surcharge and the % airport location fee on that. I never requested a new car, the rental staff did not ask me if I wanted a new car. Rental staff did not explain to me that it was a new car nor did they explain that there was a charge for a new car. At no time did I even know this was a new car, If I had known there was a charge then I would have asked for a different vehicle as I had booked purely on price. At no time in the rental office did anyone say that there were additional charges for this hire. The only time I handed my credit card over was when asked to do so for the Excess deposit for which I entered my PIN code. My Credit Card company have informed me that this transaction is a cardholder not present transaction made on the day I picked up so maybe done in my presence while the clerk was keying into the computer. Now here is the funny part, the email I received from the CS dept attached a pdf as proof that I knew about these charges. The "proof" they have sent me is a piece of paper which I never saw as it was a totally paperless transaction. On this paper there are two boxes, one approved by company - this is signed by them. the 2nd box is approved by client and this is completely blank, i.e. unsigned by me. So even the evidence they have presented to me clearly states I have not approved these charges.
I tried to dispute both with Holiday Autos and with my credit card company but despite the overwhelming evidence, a document unsigned by me, a cardholder not present transaction for the charges yet a chip and PIN transaction for the excess deposit. I have been unable to get a refund because Goldcar realised their error and sent a new scan to HA and my card company containing my scanned signature on the document that was originally unsigned.
So you have absolutely no redress with this company so best to just avoid.

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