Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Car hire......be very very careful

I recently booked a flight to Nice, France on the Easyjet website and the following caught my eye on their Europcar page.

As I needed to hire a car in France for 4 days and the deal looked decent, I paid Easyjet an extra £82 for the hire

Why you get the best deal all

round when you rent with us

easyJet passengers always save more

You will always get exclusive savings on our competitive direct prices, whenever you book. We’ll even give you 14 business days to change your mind after booking FREE of charge.
The earlier you book, the more you save and If you find the same rental cheaper, we’ll refund double the difference. That's our Lowest Price Guarantee (see terms and conditions below).

Europcar goes the extra mile with service guarantees

We're there for you 24/7 to meet all easyJet flights - if you are delayed we will wait for you for up to two hours even if we should be closed We also provide you with the added reassurance of 24-hour roadside assistance included in our service.
Plus, we’ll always have a car available for you – even with short notice.

The price you see is the price you pay

Collision, Damage and Theft Waivers are included in the price you see and we will never ask for additional airport charges, taxes or fees when you arrive - they too are already included.
We even confirm your car rental extras at the time of booking Including items like child seats - leaving nothing to chance.

We’ll never hit you with unexpected extra charges when you arrive


 Upon arrival at Nice airport, I was incensed to be told by the Europcar agent that the excess on the insurance was 850 Euro.

That is not insurance as every car in France has a dent or a scrape.  I did not want to be exposed to a massive accident claim.

The agent told me that I could have full cover for about an extra 23 Euro per day. This I reluctantly agreed to do.

I was also told I had to leave a credit card deposit of 250 Euro - this I did

The car was returned to Nice Airport at about 3.19pm on 16th October with a full petrol tank refueled at 2.39pm at a nearby Total station. Cost 31.83 Euro - receipt is available.

The car was inspected upon arrival and  the operative confirmed that there was no damage and all was in order. I was told that there was nothing to pay and I would get a final invoice by email in due course.

On 26th October I was horrified to receive a final invoice from Europcar UK for 357.86 Euro showing refuelling charges, damage claim and other incidentals which I had not agreed to.

My credit card was hit by an unauthorized charges of £29.26 and £180.43.

I have therefore been overcharged by at least £209.69 for my 4 days hire

There is a mountain of evidence on the Internet that Europcar have done this hundreds if not of thousands of times - If this is true, what they are doing is FRAUD.

I have reported the matter to:-

Leicester Police, The Advertising Standards Authority, Trading Standards

If you are thinking of renting a hire car, be careful, be very very careful!

UPDATE 12th January 2016

Good news - my credit card company has acknowledged the fraud and has refunded me the charges....

Even better news - Europcar in Nice, France has just written to me saying that unless I settle their charges they will take further action and warn all Europcar depots not to rent to me....

They must be having a laugh...never in a million years will I ever rent from them again.......

I am in contact with my MP to see what can be done to close this outfit down.....I have also written to EasyJet management - I am surprised that they associate their airline with such crooks.....!!

I think we see just the tip of the iceberg as most folk do not realize they have been defrauded until they are back in their home country - very often the other side of the world

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Worlds worst car drivers....

After many years of research, there is overwhelming evidence to prove that the worst drivers in the world drive one of the following makes of motor cars.

Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Citroen, Chrysler, Dacia, Daihatsu, Ferrari, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Lamborghini, Lancia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lotus, Maserati, Mazda, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, MG, Mitsubishi, Morgan, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot,   Porsche, Proton, Renault, Rolls-Royce, Saab, Samsung, Skoda, SEAT, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo, Vauxhall

Friday, 30 October 2015

Well done DFDS

The day after returning to the UK from France on the Dunkirk - Dover ferry, my wife realised that she had mislaid her handbag.

An email to the ferry company DFDS was sent, reporting that it may have been left on their boat.

After a few days, DFDS contacted us saying that the handbag had been found and it would be posted on to us.

It arrived the very next day - all credit cards and cash safe and secure.

Well done DFDS! it is refreshing to know that there are still honest folk around.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Ripped off by a fellow Broker

I have been in this industry since 1963 and I have never in that time experienced a situation like I have now with a broker in Florida.

They sent me an RFQ a few weeks ago followed by several emails requesting the exact date/week codes of my parts which were brand new and sealed Infineon parts.

I never heard any more from them until recently when then sent over an order which we shipped on Net 1 day terms the same day.

Within an hour or two of the broker receiving my parts they send me a detailed QA report along with many photos claiming that my parts were remarked and fake.

We have never knowing sold any faulty or fake parts - all our parts are carefully sourced here in the UK and we take great pride in our global reputation for integrity and honesty. 

They told me that as the parts were fake and valueless they were quarantining them and we would not see them again.

We said that the parts are our property until paid for in full and gave them the following options.

1] Pay for our parts
2] Return our parts
3] Hand our parts over to our agent in Florida
4] Send all the 1000 pieces to a 3rd party test house for evaluation

It is very suspicious that the broker  would only commit to send a handful of parts to the test house and not the whole batch. One explanation for this may be that they have already shipped my good parts to their customer.

What they have done – plain and simple is THEFT – they have STOLEN my parts.

The owner of the broker told me that it would be illegal for them to send my parts back and in any case I would feed them back on to the market.

That statement not only questions my intelligence but also my integrity – I am not about to wreck a lifetime’s spotless reputation by putting fakes onto the market.

I then told them that I was going to get the Police involved and they said that they were informing the HSI whoever they are.

We have trading with brokers in the US for 25 years and have always found them to be honest and reliable and have usually afforded them Net terms.

This problem with the Florida broker will sadly force us to re-evaluate our credit terms.

Any help or suggestion from fellow brokers would be most welcome – at the end of the day, my loss is only about $3000 but next time this broker could rip somebody off for many thousands

Monday, 3 February 2014

3 MOBILE - one of my biggest mistakes!

In 40 years of being in business, I have make some good decisions and some bad decisions and some unbelievable bad decisions.
One of the worst ever was getting two Apple iPhones from the 3 Mobile Store in Wellingborough.
Almost from day 1, the manager of the store proved to be the most unhelpful and arrogant shop worker I have ever had the misfortune to come across.
Over the next two years 3 Mobile have caused me to involve the local trading standards office and solicitors because of their attitude and lack of service
The last straw came recently, when, knowing that the contracts are due to expire on the 28th of March, I phoned them to give them more than the thirty days notice period. ( they insist that you phone in order for them to try and get you to stay on....!!)
Their operative in India said that I had to call on the 28th of February to cancel otherwise I would have to pay an early settlement fee.
I said that I did not want to cancel early , I just wanted to give early notice that on the due date, the contract was ended and in any case I did not know where in the world I would be on the 28th February.

I eventually I was put through to a supervisor who accepted my cancellations.

Just another example of my time that this outfit has wasted.

As I told the supervisor, if 3 Mobile were the only phone company in the UK, I would do without a phone.

Monday, 24 October 2011

The Union Flag...

Get treated like royalty in one of Cheshire’s most stately mansions....

proundly boasts the website of the hotel I stayed at this weekend......

When I scolded the duty manager that their Union flag was upside down, she said that several guests had also advised of the mistake in recent months.

I think in the next year or so the hotel should give some thought to correcting their elemenatry gaffe.

Three hundred years ago they would have been treated by Royalty and got banged up in the Tower of London.........!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Am I a Virgin – No, not yet….!

Excited at the promise of ultra high speed broadband at my office at home, I checked on the Virgin Media website that their service was available at my address.
I then visited the Virgin Media shop in Bedford where the assistant answered my technical queries.
I asked if there really was cable in my road as there was no tell-tale scar in the pavement where cable had been laid.

She assured me that there was and indeed according to her computer, several residents had already taken up the service.

Good enough for me.

Upon returning home, I telephoned Virgin Media and ordered a high-end package costing almost £100 per month and forked out £150 for the hardware.

The sales girl assured me that there was cable in our road and according to her computer several residents had already taken up the service

I was given an installation date of 16th June.

I then spent 3 hours trying to cancel my telephone and broadband service with BT.
Not easy when you keep getting shunted from one department to another.

On the 13th June I had a tatty note pushed through my front door from Virgin stating that my order was cancelled, as there was no cable in my road.

Disappointed, but not totally surprised, I called the number on the letter and was asked if I wanted a refund. In my finest sarcastic voice I said no - you go and have a few beers on my account!

An email to the person that took my order and payment remains unanswered and the telephone number that she gave me is never answered.

The shop manager in Bedford was less than helpful. I put it to him that the very least he should do is to have the Virgin database amended so that our postcode is removed to save other residents in Wellingborough falling in to the same trap.

The manager said that it was not his job to do that and in any case, it would take at least six months to filter through.

I then had to go cap in hand back to BT and explain, and to try and get reconnected

Not easy when you keep getting shunted from one department to another.

The sympathetic BT girl said that it happens all the time and promised that I would be reconnected with no loss of service.

On the 1st of July I was incensed to learn that my home telephone number and broadband service was disconnected.

I then spend 3 hours talking to BT to find out what had gone disastrously wrong.

Not easy when you keep getting shunted from one department to another.

Apparently, the residential team at BT do not talk to their Business team who looked after my broadband account.

I am now without any service whatsoever at home until at least the 13th July and I am losing the telephone number that I have had for 24 years.

Mushroom Components is now placing funds at my solicitors disposal so that they my claim appropriate damages from Virgin Media for my loss of earnings and vexation.

As of today’s date, the Virgin Media website still proclaims that their cable service is available at my address and proudly boasts “Virgin Media – a more exciting place to live!”

6th July Update

Virgin website at last updated to show that fibre-optic is not available at my address although it is available at all other houses in my street.

BT are going to charge me £99 to reconnect my telephone line

July 10th Update

My neighbours have had a mailshot from Virgin Media soliciting Hi-Speed Broadband & TV

Letter sent to Virgin Media giving them 14 days to pay our expenses plus £99 for BT reconnection or face County Court Summons

October 24th Update

Virgin Media summoned to appear at Bedford County Court on December 6th to defend my claim.