I’ve written about the pitfalls of buying car insurance while abroad before, but it seems this subject just won’t get out of the headlines.
As you might be aware (if you’ve ever rented a car abroad) the rental firms like to charge you something called excess waiver cover. Now don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing to have as it protects you against facing a large bill if you are involved in an incident abroad.
However, recent cases have been popping up where a holiday rental firm appear to happily charge customers this excess waiver cover charge…twice. Not only that, but this company don’t want to give back any money when they are found out, as a recent customer recently discovered.
A holidaymaker from Suffolk who was visiting another country paid for his car insurance in advance, at home on the internet. Unfortunately when he arrived at his destination and went to pick up the car, the rental firm demanded that he pay the waiver fee again, on the basis that it would be refunded once the vehicle was returned.
Of course, this guy didn’t want to pay, but when they stood their ground he decided the best thing to do was to hand over the cash so he could drive away and start enjoying his holiday. Ultimately, the money would be refunded anyway…right? Wrong.
Despite bringing the car back on time and in the same condition, the holiday rental firm refused to give him the money back, claiming the excess waiver fee could not be refunded. When he explained this fee had already been paid when the car was booked they simply didn’t want to listen, and refused to give him a penny.
This leads us to one conclusion…that the company in question are basically mis-selling car insurance and ripping off their customers. How many other Brits in the sun have fell for these kind of unfair charges? Many thousands no doubt.
Do the holiday rental firms care though? No they don’t. As long as they are making a profit and renting out their cars they will continue to use these kind of strategies to get as much money out of you and me as possible. The only way things are going to change is if customers start to move away from the companies that “try it on,” but realistically this won’t happen anytime soon.
This story does have a good ending though, as the man from Suffolk did get a refund on the excess waiver he was charged twice for…but only after he went to the press and gave the company a lot of bad publicity. A lot of the time that is the only way to get your money back.