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Car rental company excessive damage costs
Kyp_Durron
post Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 12:38
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My sister has a similar situation to the topic here:

http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=119043

She hired a car from Green Motion which had an alert on the dashboard that she didn't check straight away and drove off, she stopped and checked through the warning later and found it was a low tyre pressure warning (the car is on run flats). Obviously she made a big mistake by driving away but she's unfortunately inexperienced, she's learnt that lesson now.


She contacted the hire car company who advised she call the breakdown company which she did, they inspected the tyre and found there was a small cut/tear on the part facing into the rim. She asked the breakdown person what had caused the problem but he had said it wasn't anything she had done as she hadn't kerbed the alloy nor was there any sign of damage to the rest of the wheel. He used the sealant kit and she returned to the hire centre, they took the car back and didn't offer another (she had rented the car for three days but no refund for that either) and they told her they'd be charging her £800 for the new tyre and replacement sealant kit.

She refused to sign the agreement for the damages so the company proceeded to take the money from her credit card, she filed a dispute with them and didn't hear anything back until the 45th day which was from the CC company to say they were allowing the payment to go through on the basis that Green Motion had sent a signed agreement with my sister's signature and that their pricing was in line with the BVRLA matrix. The documents are attached but it's very obvious my sister's signature has been copied and pasted into the document as it doesn't line up properly and my sister had checked previously and found that the damage pricing wasn't in line with the BVRLA matrix at all.

Is there any point in her trying to pursue this through the small claims court? Aside from the damage being there when she picked up the car, the costs are excessive - the breakdown they gave her is £400 for the replacement tyre (around £110 for the identical tyre) and £400 for the sealant kit (around £50 for an official Mercedes one).


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post Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 12:38
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typefish
post Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 13:34
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QUOTE (Kyp_Durron @ Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 13:38) *
The documents are attached but it's very obvious my sister's signature has been copied and pasted into the document as it doesn't line up properly


Did your sister sign anything electronically?
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red_boots2
post Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 15:02
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Not that it is much good to you now but I noticed this morning when arranging Excess Cover for car hire that a number of the leading suppliers state on the exclusions summary that they won't cover you if you've rented a car with Green Motion which would suggest they're well aware of their business practice!
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southpaw82
post Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 15:04
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She would be alleging fraud, which means that normally the case isn’t suitable for the small claims track regardless of value. She would also be expected to particularise the fraud allegations precisely, so that the company knew exactly what was alleged.


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glasgow_bhoy
post Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 18:52
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Has she disputed with the credit card company that GM aren't following the BVRLA pricing matrix?

And has she used the disputes service with BVRLA? I'm amazed GM are signed up to it, but if they're quoting the matrix I can only assume they are!
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Unzippy
post Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 21:26
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QUOTE (Kyp_Durron @ Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 13:38) *
it's very obvious my sister's signature has been copied and pasted into the document as it doesn't line up properly



Blimey, this company needs burning to the ground!

Watchdog? Daily Mail?
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Kyp_Durron
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 01:33
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QUOTE (typefish @ Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 14:34) *
QUOTE (Kyp_Durron @ Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 13:38) *
The documents are attached but it's very obvious my sister's signature has been copied and pasted into the document as it doesn't line up properly


Did your sister sign anything electronically?


Yes, she handwrote her signature onto an electronic device which was to show her agreement to paying a fee for increased mileage and a £400 deposit. This electronic signature was put into a document showing these two charges along with a date/time stamp which was printed out for her to keep a copy which she still has. When she was taken out to the car she then hand signed a prehire paper damage sheet.

When she returned the car, she refused to sign the after hire damage sheet. The document the rental company have produced to the credit card company showing the charges for the tyre and sealant kit has the first digital signature on it and also has the date/time stamp which is clearly incorrect as it's for early in the morning, not later in the day when the car was returned. She'd never seen this document in paper as it was prepared some time after she'd returned the car.

QUOTE (red_boots2 @ Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 16:02) *
Not that it is much good to you now but I noticed this morning when arranging Excess Cover for car hire that a number of the leading suppliers state on the exclusions summary that they won't cover you if you've rented a car with Green Motion which would suggest they're well aware of their business practice!


I'm not surprised as there seems to be a lot of other people who have had similar issues with Green Motion although that said looking just at reviews it can be difficult to get an accurate measure of a company as people are much more likely to write a review to complain. She organised through some sort of rental app so didn't even choose Green Motion but will obviously not make that mistake again.

QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 16:04) *
She would be alleging fraud, which means that normally the case isn’t suitable for the small claims track regardless of value. She would also be expected to particularise the fraud allegations precisely, so that the company knew exactly what was alleged.


At the moment, that document wouldn't have anything to with the small courts claim as that's part of the interaction between the CC company and Green Motion - if she was to go to court it would be on the basis she didn't cause the damage and the costs are excessive. Can she still go to the small claims court with that approach? Or are you saying it's not worth continuing with as it's not going to be straightforward?

QUOTE (glasgow_bhoy @ Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 19:52) *
Has she disputed with the credit card company that GM aren't following the BVRLA pricing matrix?

And has she used the disputes service with BVRLA? I'm amazed GM are signed up to it, but if they're quoting the matrix I can only assume they are!


The dispute process seems more basic than I expected as I thought it would be more back and forth but basically the CC company told Green Motion the charge had been disputed, they sent their evidence which the CC company have accepted and that's it case closed. She has replied to them pointing out that she never signed the document and the signature there has been falsified highlighting the incorrect date/time stamp and that the costs were not in line with the BVRLA matrix. She also found the following article:

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/jan/...xup-no-evidence

This is a similar situation and my sister has not been provided with evidence from a repairer, the only evidence supplied to the CC company is a bill they've made up which doesn't even state which items were missing or damage it just has a generic entry for items damaged at £400 and another one for items missing at £400 again. The problem is I assume the CC company in the article above only changed their mind because of pressure to their head office.

She hasn't raised a dispute with BVRLA yet although I don't have any hope in that regard as it doesn't give them much credibility if they allow a company like Green Motion to be a member.
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southpaw82
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 10:19
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QUOTE (Kyp_Durron @ Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 02:33) *
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 16:04) *
She would be alleging fraud, which means that normally the case isn’t suitable for the small claims track regardless of value. She would also be expected to particularise the fraud allegations precisely, so that the company knew exactly what was alleged.


At the moment, that document wouldn't have anything to with the small courts claim as that's part of the interaction between the CC company and Green Motion - if she was to go to court it would be on the basis she didn't cause the damage and the costs are excessive. Can she still go to the small claims court with that approach? Or are you saying it's not worth continuing with as it's not going to be straightforward?

What I’m saying is that if for any reason she does go to court and in it pleads that the signature is a forgery the case is unlikely to be allocated to, or remaim on, the small claims track. It would probably instead go onto another track, where she would be at risk of full costs, not the limited small claims costs.

This post has been edited by southpaw82: Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 10:19


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Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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Jimzzr
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 11:41
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QUOTE (Kyp_Durron @ Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 02:33) *
QUOTE (typefish @ Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 14:34) *
QUOTE (Kyp_Durron @ Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 13:38) *
The documents are attached but it's very obvious my sister's signature has been copied and pasted into the document as it doesn't line up properly


Did your sister sign anything electronically?


Yes, she handwrote her signature onto an electronic device which was to show her agreement to paying a fee for increased mileage and a £400 deposit. This electronic signature was put into a document showing these two charges along with a date/time stamp which was printed out for her to keep a copy which she still has. When she was taken out to the car she then hand signed a prehire paper damage sheet.

When she returned the car, she refused to sign the after hire damage sheet. The document the rental company have produced to the credit card company showing the charges for the tyre and sealant kit has the first digital signature on it and also has the date/time stamp which is clearly incorrect as it's for early in the morning, not later in the day when the car was returned. She'd never seen this document in paper as it was prepared some time after she'd returned the car.

QUOTE (red_boots2 @ Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 16:02) *
Not that it is much good to you now but I noticed this morning when arranging Excess Cover for car hire that a number of the leading suppliers state on the exclusions summary that they won't cover you if you've rented a car with Green Motion which would suggest they're well aware of their business practice!


I'm not surprised as there seems to be a lot of other people who have had similar issues with Green Motion although that said looking just at reviews it can be difficult to get an accurate measure of a company as people are much more likely to write a review to complain. She organised through some sort of rental app so didn't even choose Green Motion but will obviously not make that mistake again.

QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 16:04) *
She would be alleging fraud, which means that normally the case isn’t suitable for the small claims track regardless of value. She would also be expected to particularise the fraud allegations precisely, so that the company knew exactly what was alleged.


At the moment, that document wouldn't have anything to with the small courts claim as that's part of the interaction between the CC company and Green Motion - if she was to go to court it would be on the basis she didn't cause the damage and the costs are excessive. Can she still go to the small claims court with that approach? Or are you saying it's not worth continuing with as it's not going to be straightforward?

QUOTE (glasgow_bhoy @ Mon, 4 Jun 2018 - 19:52) *
Has she disputed with the credit card company that GM aren't following the BVRLA pricing matrix?

And has she used the disputes service with BVRLA? I'm amazed GM are signed up to it, but if they're quoting the matrix I can only assume they are!


The dispute process seems more basic than I expected as I thought it would be more back and forth but basically the CC company told Green Motion the charge had been disputed, they sent their evidence which the CC company have accepted and that's it case closed. She has replied to them pointing out that she never signed the document and the signature there has been falsified highlighting the incorrect date/time stamp and that the costs were not in line with the BVRLA matrix. She also found the following article:

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/jan/...xup-no-evidence

This is a similar situation and my sister has not been provided with evidence from a repairer, the only evidence supplied to the CC company is a bill they've made up which doesn't even state which items were missing or damage it just has a generic entry for items damaged at £400 and another one for items missing at £400 again. The problem is I assume the CC company in the article above only changed their mind because of pressure to their head office.

She hasn't raised a dispute with BVRLA yet although I don't have any hope in that regard as it doesn't give them much credibility if they allow a company like Green Motion to be a member.


I would keep the pressure on with the CC company.

Have you made a formal complaint in writing to them?

It doesn't seem to me that the evidence supplied by green motion would generally be considered adequate proof of the costs they have incurred, but others here are better able to advise.

I also suspect that the CC company may have an obligation to investigate/report an alleged fraud.

If CC company state that the end of the complaints process has been reached ( I suspect 'case closed' does not equate to this), then take the issue up with the Financial Ombudsman.

Jim
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whitewing
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 21:47
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Definitely persue the CC company, tell them that she did not sign the docs provided as evidence and threaten to go to the banking ombudsman if they don't back down.
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Kyp_Durron
post Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 23:26
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At the moment, she's replied back to the credit company explaining she never signed that document and showing that's the signature from a different document and that the pricing isn't inline with the BVLRA matrix. She's not heard back yet but if they're still not playing ball I'll tell her to raise a complaint with them,

From what Southpaw has mentioned above pursuing this through the courts is going to be potentially difficult so hopefully she'll make some progress with the credit card company.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
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Redivi
post Sat, 9 Jun 2018 - 17:01
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Quite a long article about their practices in The Guardian today

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/jun/...-car-hire-bills

Interesting comment on the experience of using the BVRLA to arbitrate
If there's an inspection report and an invoice, the BVRLA won't intervene
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Kyp_Durron
post Sun, 10 Jun 2018 - 22:39
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QUOTE (Redivi @ Sat, 9 Jun 2018 - 18:01) *
Quite a long article about their practices in The Guardian today

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/jun/...-car-hire-bills

Interesting comment on the experience of using the BVRLA to arbitrate
If there's an inspection report and an invoice, the BVRLA won't intervene


I get the impression the BVRLA are pretty toothless, any instances I've found of them intervening they seem to make little effort and simply take Green Motion at their word.
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