/ Car hire fine - should I be suspicious

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Greenbanks - on 29 Nov 2016
Hired a car for a single day (work-related) last July in Naples. Just received an invoice for 49 euro as "administration" in respect of a police fine I'd incurred during my time renting the vehicle. I have received no notification of any traffic offence at all from the police themselves. Should I be suspicious? The company is Firefly (a Hertz subsidiary).

This is the second time I've had this kind of thing happen in 12 months now btw, though the other 'offence' notification (again, nothing from the police) was via a different hire company.

Cheers
Luke90 on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Greenbanks:

Ask them for details of the alleged offence and then you could check those details with the police.
Greenbanks - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Luke90:

Yes - I'm doing that. As with other issues in car hiring though, they have my credit card details and say they are taking it irrespective because of 'administration'
Luke90 on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Greenbanks:

You could always dispute the charge with your credit card company, if you can satisfy yourself that there's no justification behind it.

Might be worth checking that there won't be any repercussions to that approach, though. I'm pretty sure you could stop them charging you but they might be able to blacklist you if they felt aggrieved.
Offwidth - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Luke90:

What blacklist?

Some advice from Which:

The consumer group Which? receives lots of complaints about delayed car hire charges.
“If you find any unexpected charges are taken from your card, ask for an explanation and supporting documents from the company,” it advised.
“If you are not happy with the explanation, tell the company the money has been taken 'under protest’ and inform your card company about the dispute.”
You may be able to make a claim under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if you paid by credit card.
Debit card users, meanwhile, can ask their providers to reverse the payment via chargeback.
You can also report your complaint to the European Car Rental Conciliation Service (ECRCS) or British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).
krikoman - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Greenbanks:

I had this happen in Slovenia, but rented the car in Italy and drove up.

The day in question the car was parked at the villa all day ( in Slovenia)

The alleged offence ( although I never found out really where or what it was for) came from a request from a police force in Sicily ( I know you couldn't make it up).

I never heard anything from the coppers, but I threatened to to the car hire company to court, and raised a fraud query with my CC company. I found out some interesting news from them, car hire companies can bill you credit card up to 6 years after you've rented from them.

I got my money back but it was a mess about!!

I now use a separate card for car hire and my other card for other things, that way I can cancelled the car hire one and still have a credit card.

Good Luck.

Ask them for a copy of the request. I used Eurocar, obviously a reputable company.

tingle - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Offwidth:

i had the same issue and citizens advice said that i should have the right to cancel any pending credit card charge. So i tried and they flat out refused they could even do anything, and that the cancellation had to come from the hire company i couldn't even cancel the card as it was outstanding. it took literally months of correspondence to save me like £50 total. They really dont want to give it back.
Offwidth - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to tingle:

Citizens Advice shouldn't say that as it depends on the specfics of section 75.

http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/section-75-of-the-consumer-credit-act
grommet on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Greenbanks:
Mu husband had two of these last year from Turin Avis. The details of the offence can apparently take up to a year to come through. Just this week, the details of the violations have come through the post from October and November 2015. They were for driving in a restricted zone. Any appeals or enquiries have to be in Italian......
Post edited at 20:00
Luke90 on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Offwidth:
> What blacklist?

I wasn't suggesting any kind of conspiracy, just that if he does do a chargeback on the credit card they might refuse to hire cars to him in the future. Might well be that he has no intention of using them again but it's worth considering.
Greenbanks - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Greenbanks:

Cheers for the responses. The dilemma for me is a typical and infuriating one: principle versus the time absorbed in taking the matter further. I think I will pursue it though - I'll report back in the event of anything noteworthy happening. Thanks again.
captain paranoia - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Greenbanks:

What's needed here is some sort of pan-European organisation to regulate against this sort of fraud...
Offwidth - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Luke90:

Show us a single example of a company refusing to hire to a 'problem' customer. I've made numerous complaints over the years where the company always paid in the end (one way or another) and never had a problem with subsequent hires. Any such list would be illegal in the UK under data protection laws so it would be one hell of a risk.
fred99 - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Luke90:

I'm pretty sure you could stop them charging you but they might be able to blacklist you if they felt aggrieved.

Maybe we should start up our own blacklist of companies/venues that do this sort of thing.
Martin W on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Greenbanks:

> Hired a car for a single day (work-related) last July in Naples. Just received an invoice for 49 euro as "administration" in respect of a police fine I'd incurred during my time renting the vehicle. I have received no notification of any traffic offence at all from the police themselves. Should I be suspicious? The company is Firefly (a Hertz subsidiary).

> This is the second time I've had this kind of thing happen in 12 months now btw, though the other 'offence' notification (again, nothing from the police) was via a different hire company.

You won't hear anything from the police. They contact the registered owner of the vehicle ie the rental company, and rental company pay up (because it's only a fine, no endorsements involved) and come after you for the money. Vastly easier for both them and the plod than passing on the details of the renter.

Bear in mind that a goodly proportion of these incidents are due to the use of cloned number plates, not fraud by someone in the police or the rental company. That said, if the rental companies actually did something about it when the renter complained, it might go some way to getting the problem dealt with properly. As it is they're effectively passing on the problem of their number plates being cloned, to their customers. Which isn't nice IMO.

Number plate cloning is by no means unheard of in the UK as well: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/feb/27/number-plate-cloning-drivers-fraud
Frank the Husky - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to Greenbanks: I've had something very similar and in the end I cancelled my card because it was "lost in the street", got a new one and the company were then unable to bill me. It's less hassle than going through any formal process of complaint and justification. I had a new card and pin within 6 days.


Luke90 on 01 Dec 2016
In reply to Offwidth:

I wasn't talking about making complaints, I was suggesting that if he took the money back from them using a credit card chargeback for what they presumably see as a legitimate charge, that might make them wary enough to want to avoid doing business with him again. I don't have examples or evidence, it was just speculation. If I was running a business that relied on charging via credit card, I probably wouldn't continue doing business with people who revoke payments.

I can't see how a business keeping a list of former customers that they no longer want to deal with would be illegal, under data protection or any other law.
howifeel on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to Frank the Husky:

Aye. Cancelling your card is the only way to throw these people off your trail as intermittently they use some kind of logic based on providing you an agreed never ending service at their desire for payment, all legit from their office point of view. Come off it Del!
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howifeel on 02 Dec 2016
In reply to fred99:
MyHammer (register yourself as a tradesperson for job searches) wanted money from me after the agreed end of date and nothing could persuade them otherwise.
This one is old - Rent a PC in Edinburgh took £400 from me for HP of a pentium 1 computer insisting you had to rent it until the final week and then make a final payment. It didn't even say that in the small print but Trading Standards officer in Melrose thought anything that involved taking money from me was a good thing for the economy and therefore tenable.
Obviously change your card from time to time just because of the internet of "you" too.
One thing I heard on construction site once from a gaffer was "well bill them back". I did this to the parking people in Bangor who charged me for a supermarket carpark I was in. I was shopping at said supermarket on camera for less than 10 minutes. Finally I quoted how long I had spent replying to them at the same rate their 10 minutes was being charged for me and they whined about not having a contract with me. Of course, had I put my car in their meter? Then this option would not have been open to me.
Paying up front is a major risk too but forgotten to most of us is how the invoice arrived first with the goods.....

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