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AutoEurope Came Through on Problem I had

Pauline

Forums Admin
#1
For our Italy trip, I booked our rental car with AutoEurope - automatic, compact, pickup and dropoff at Milan Linate Airport. (AutoEurope is a broker who works with local car rental companies. This booking was with Avis.) When we arrived at Avis they told us they had no automatic car for us, they had given it to someone that morning. They offered us a very small manual drive - that was all they had left.

I have used AutoEurope for all our Europe trips for 18+ years. Previously we had one incident where they didn't have an automatic car, but they gave us a manual drive and then we changed it in a few days when the car we wanted was available. This would not work in this case as we were driving a few hours south immediately. Avis did not offer this. A few other times we were given larger cars than we wanted, but usually if we stood our ground a smaller car was found.

I phoned AutoEurope. They checked their system and there were no other cars available at Linate. They told me to walk around to each car rental desk and find a rental. They said that their system only shows the cars each company has allocated to them, so the companies may have cars. They said they would refund my booking and the difference in cost for the new booking. (I thought this second part would be unlikely to happen.)

We tried a few companies and Sixt had an automatic BMW series 1. Wonderful car. I phone AutoEurope and cancelled my booking. I had not cancelled it on the earlier call because I thought we might have to take the small car that Avis had. It was getting late and the small airport seemed like it was closing up.

The BMW was a great car to drive and Sixt was good to deal with. The rental cost more than double what I had booked with AutoEurope (£1200 vs £450 for the 3 week rental).

When we got home I found that I had not been refunded my original booking amount. I emailed them and sent a copy of the receipt of our new rental. They refunded my original booking and said they would look into the situation to see if they could refund the difference between that and the new rental. After a few weeks they contacted me and refunded the difference! They also refunded the amount we paid for a second driver, since my booking with AutoEurope included that (they had a special offer).

Nice resolution to this! But that Seinfeld show kept going through my head - "I don't think you understand what a reservation is!"

One of my photos of the car when we picked it up.

bmw-0975.jpg
 

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