warning re car rental with national

akrogirlSeptember 18, 2005

Hi, I usually hang out on the kitchen and appliance forums, but wanted to warn everyone of the scam pulled on us by National when we rented a car at London's Heathrow airport.

Upon returning the car, the attendant notified us that there was a scratch on the car. Knowing that I had not hit anything I was a little sceptical. However, he pointed out a minute scratch that almost required a magnifying glass to be visible, it was so minor. We had no way of knowing if the scratch was present when we rented the car or not because we certainly weren't looking for anything that hard to see. Nevertheless, we were charged an extra $300 that almost doubled our car rental cost. My husband had the presence of mind to take photos of the "damage", which really seemed to upset them, and we will be strongly contesting this "surcharge" through AmEx.

I would strongly recommend avoiding National in the future or, at the very least, take a really, really close look at your car before leaving the lot, and take photos if at all possible.

National seems to come up with novel ways of extorting extra money from us on each visit. Last year, we were charged for a tank of gas we didn't get. Needless to say, we will only use National as a last resort from now on.

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I believe that there are competant and incompetant people in any industry and what you have experienced has happened to others with other rental companies. I have had National do a wonderful job on one instance, and fall flat another. Usually they do the former.

Rather than taking it up with the credit card company, I would first have taken it up with National. They should be given the opportunity to make it right.

And now, maybe this thread will finally fall into oblivion instead of just sitting at the top, taking up space.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 12:19PM
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I was 'scammed' in a similar manner years ago with another car rental company (no longer in business).

It was a crappy Ford Escort that smelled like baby powder on the inside (nauseating!). After driving that piece of junk they said the emblem was missing from the hood. I am sure it wasn't on there to begin with and they didn't even have a secure lot. The cars were parked up and down the street (and this was Los Angeles).

They refused to close the contract out until they 'reviewed the damage' with their insurance company. Well, I raised holy cain. They wouldn't budge...until I got on the shuttle bus yelling about their 'scam'. That is when a supervisor showed up on the bus and calmed me down and closed out the contract.

I am not a yeller, but that just pis**d me off!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 11:05AM
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You have all the right in the world to contest a bill with your credit card company. If you get no satisfaction with the rental company at the time. I've been screwed from rental car companies ie insurance in foreign countries. That's Bs.

I would also file a complaint with the BBB.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 3:44PM
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