West Midlands MEP wants more car hire firm accountability

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Car Rental News - 07/08/2008


West Midlands MEP is calling for car hire firms to be held accountable for damage charges to customers.

Liz Lynne, a Liberal Democrat, wrote to the EU Commissioner for Consumer Affairs to inquire whether current car hire company practice regarding charges for damages to hired vehicles contravenes existing EU legislation. She indicated that she had received numerous letters from her constituents complaining about how they had been treated by car hire firms.

Lynne has also expressed concern about that practice of some car hire firms that requires customers to sign contracts in a foreign language that contain provisions allowing the operators to levy additional charges for damages, often with little or no requirement of providing evidence of the damage.

"The forms and credit card slips that some firms make customers sign can mean hefty unknown extra charges due to mistakes in damage reports, or even deliberate over-charging," the MEP commented.

She added that she was fortunate to have realised the mistake on the day she returned the hired vehicle, so that she was able to register her complaint with the company straight away, and was able to negotiate a refund and an admission from the company that they had made a mistake.

Lynne continued: "The fact that companies take extra money from customers without letting them know or asking further permission is totally unacceptable.

"If anyone has suffered a similar fate I urge them to contact me, especially if they have had no luck getting money back from the company."

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