How can I get my money back?
July 4, 2011 4:10 AM Subscribe
Eighteen months ago, a Florida car hire company went out of business, owing me money. Although I submitted my details for the creditors' list, I heard nothing. Now the company has resurfaced under a new name. What are my options?
posted by londonmark to Work & Money (12 answers total)
YesCarHire was a third party company that sold pre-paid rental vouchers for Alamo. I used them for several years, before one day I turned up at the Alamo desk to collect my car and was informed that the company's account had been suspended. My vouchers were no longer valid so I had to pay again.
On return, I received a letter from YesCarHire informing me of a "temporary major issue" and instructing me to send a number of documents to an address in Orlando for the unsecured creditors' list. I assumed this meant the company had gone bust. I complied with the instructions even though I had little hope of ever hearing from them again. There was no telephone number, the website showed only an outage message (still does) and I had no name for the appointed administrators. To this day, I have received no communications from them. I had pretty much written off the loss as a life lesson and now deal only directly with the hire car firms.
I probably would not have given the issue another thought had the same slimey bastard who stole my money not started re-sending me promotional emails, ostensibly for a new company called BudgetHire but identical in every other way to those I received from yesCarHire. The website is similarly skinned. I know they are the same person because both yescarhire.com and budgethire.com are registered to the same person, Ian West, the former president of YesCarHire and now presumably President of BudgetHire.
Incidentally, as the creditors list was held at an address in Orlando, I thought it was an American company, but this Ian West has registered the websites to a UK address. So I don't even know which country's laws apply.
Do I have any recourse to continue pursuing this matter? What steps should I take next? Or do I have to accept that my money has gone and I ain't getting it back?