Car Hire Agency Apologizes to Ruth Kelly over Gaff

by Alister POOLE on September 17, 2009

In a story which broke last week, former Secretary of Transport Ruth Kelly took exception to charges she received for damages to her rental car.  The former Secretary fumed over charges she immediately called erroneous and demanded that they be removed from her bill.  The incident led to discussion over this ever growing problem in which customers are charged for damages to a rental car, which appeared on their credit card long after they have returned the car.

Europcar, the largest car rental company in Europe, issued an apology for what they are calling a simple error.  The company has refunded all of the money for the charge, which amounted to just over thirteen hundred Euros, as well as the false charge for petrol, which was just under fifty Euros.   The company issued a public apology for the gaff, which they are spinning as an isolated incident and not part of a growing trend in the industry.

The incident underscores the need for customers to thoroughly check their credit card records, as well as make detailed notes of damage to the automobile they have rented.  This problem has been reported worldwide and not all customers have the high profile to get such swift retribution for disputed charges.

This incident occurred after the tires in Ruth Kelly’s car went flat a mere hour after she drove off of the rental car lot.  She immediately called Europcar’s helpline, which arranged for a taxi home for the former secretary, as well as a replacement vehicle.  Kelly was assured she would not be charged for the damage, but a charge of over one thousand Euros appeared on her statement nonetheless.

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