Help me fight Italian car rental scammery!
September 28, 2009 7:02 AM Subscribe
I am being badly ripped off by Maggiore, an Italian rental car company (with a strong assist from a cab driver in Lucca). Please help me.
posted by COBRA! to Travel & Transportation around Italy (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Executive summary: I worked with a company called Europe By Car to book a car rental in Italy for the past week; they set me up with a rental through a company called Maggiore who rented us a bum car, are sticking me with thousands of dollars of undeserved charges, and we're pretty sure that one of their workers colluded with a cab driver to shake us down.
Details: We picked up the car at the Pisa airport, and drove just past Lucca. On the Autostrade, just before the Capannori exit, the clutch went out, forcing us to push the car off of a busy freeway. After getting off the freeway, we called the Maggiore roadside assistance number, and a tow truck was sent out. We were towed to a garage in Lucca, where we called the Maggiore desk; they told us to bring paperwork from the man who towed us and take a cab from Lucca to the Pisa airport.
We did so, and were told the cab fare (which was supposed to be reimbursable) was 70 Euro. We paid it and got a receipt for the
reimbursement. We gave the paperwork to the Maggiore people, and they gave us a different car, and everything seemed OK for most of the week.
Yesterday, then when we returned the car, the cab driver was standing at the Maggiore desk, and the man running the desk (he said his name was Alberto, and wouldn't give us his last name, which does not exactly fill me with confidence) said we had never paid the cab driver, and could not leave until we did. This is simply not true; we remember paying the man, and have a receipt to prove it. During the ensuing discussion, "Alberto" also started accusing us of breaking the first car (not possible-- we simply did not have the car long enough to burn out a clutch, even if we were driving poorly. Which we were not) and denting the second (also not true-- we were extremely careful, and returned the car in good condition). In the end, we got worried about missing our plane, and paid the cab driver another 70 Euros just to get the hell out of there.
This morning, my credit card is showing charges from Maggiore for $1177.04 and $1469.38.
So, my complaints are manifold: a Maggiore worker colluded with a cab driver to scam us, and now appears to be sticking me with thousands of dollars of undeserved charges.
What recourse do I have? I've sent an email to Europe By Car, the booking company we worked with (the text of that email is pretty similar to this post). I would love more information on how to fight this.