It's not often I actually fall prey to an internet scam, but this time I did. I recently used an online booking company called EconomyBookings.com, a site which claims to be able to get you the best deals on car rentals. As is turned out, the price they quoted me was considerably less than other car rental agencies, thus I booked the car and pre-paid for it.
I then get an email stating that they would now find a company that would accept the price, and the next day I received another email stating FOX had indeed accepted the rental deal at the set price.
Upon arriving at FOX at Seattle's sea/tac airport, I was badgered to upgrade to a mid-sized car for an additional $150 dollars, after a few minutes of this I got angry and stated I just want the car I paid for, give me the keys. I was then told there was a required $300 damage deposit, and $166.27 in taxes and "airport fee's" due!
Thats an expense of $466.27 over the price I had already paid of $288.16! That brings the cost of renting an economy car to $30.26 per day, almost double the rate offered by other companies in the bidding process.
The taxes and fees alone added 40% to the quoted price I was given online, despite the fact that my receipt clearly in large letters stated PAID IN FULL. This is essentially a bait and switch scam that I personally haven't dealt with while renting cars before; I rent cars quite often, and I've never encountered such trickery and deception while renting. I'll be surprised if they even return the deposit, I'm quite sure theres a trick to scamming one out of that.
They completely disregarded the email sent to me:
Dear Michael Creel,
Thank you for booking your car rental with Booking Group. Below is a link to retrieve your voucher, you need to print 2 copies of this - one copy for you and the other one you need to present at our local car rental partner as a proof of purchase.
According to this booking, you have made a prepayment in amount of 288.16 USD (211.65 EUR)
On pick up you must pay 0.00 USD (0.00 EUR).
In case the reservation is cancelled 48 hours prior to the pick up, the prepayment sum will be refunded. In case the reservation is cancelled less than 48 hours before the pick up or less than 48 hour because of the force majeure, the refund is not performed. If the reservation is made less than 48 hours before the pick up date, the prepayment sum is not refunded in case of cancellation.
Please, take a little time to check that the booking details shown on the voucher are correct. The voucher will give you full details on where to collect your car and you must take it with you. If you are not sure of anything or need to clarify any of the details – please contact us as soon as possible.
THE VOUCHER STATED IN LARGE PRINT, PAID IN FULL
This was a lie.
I've rented a car at the airports several times with this website and always had first class service. Polite and informative staff, you can be sure that you will reach them any time before and during your rental, because they work 24/7. As for my last rental in Malaga, I've had a nice car with only 10,000 km mileage and no discernible damage, pick up and drop off were quick, it was easy to find the car rental area at the Malaga airport. On the whole – good experience, I will book through them again. The only thing I did not quite like about my rental, was that I needed to return the car with full gas tank, while I prefer to give it back filled for a quarter.
We chose a car online using Economybookings. The sight was easy to navigate and efficient. We especially liked the reminder to print out our reservation a few days prior to departure. We definitely would recommend usine Economybookings to choose a rental car in the future.
The booking online was very simple and straightforward. The vehicle was ready and waiting when we arrived and the check out was very smooth and efficient. When we returned the vehicle at the end of the rental period it only took a couple of minutes to check it back in and then we were on our way. So simple and efficient, we would use Economybookings again without hesitation..
booking group voucher Nr: B64262167
SIXT reservation Nr: 1738156779
I booked a minibus MB Vito in advance of 3 months. I checked class description on SIXT site. SVMR class contained for Prague airport MB Vito only. But at the desk they gave me Ford S-max. It is the same - they sayd. But it is not the same! SVMR capacity - 7 people, 3 large and 3 small suitcases. Where can I place my luggage? There is no such place in 7-seated S-Max. There was no buses in any of rent-a-car and we must use S-max. Our children would have to go in very bad conditions. Very closely. 7 people and some luggage in the cabin.
Many call and e-mail to Booking Group and no result. They didn't call back. They answered my e-mail in a week or more. I wrote to Sixt administration once and they changed my cars class to lower one. But the rate was more expensive, as I booked car without economybookings.com discount. I wrote to Booking Group several times again. What about my prepaid amount of 212 Euro? I think you must return it or decrease the rent cost. They say - you got your car. We will not to do anything more.
So - if You want to save with Booking Group - think twice! May be you can save. But if anything went wrong - they will not help you. And maybe you will lose more.
Cristian Grosu fandt anmeldelsen nyttig
I have been renting cars for a very long time and i would like to say that this company provides good quality service. Cars are all new and the customer support representatives are very kind and intelligent.
I needed the car only for a short period of time, but everything from booking through the web and picking up the car in Paris was very good!
Wee used them many times when renting cars in UK, and haven't experienced any problems at all.
Cars are always in good condition, all their suppliers are international and well-known. If you're not happy with the car you're offered, then do ask for another one.
Regarding them web and service - very easy to use, fast, and great value for money.
The website is very convenient and user-friendly.
Quick recommendation: do read the information about car rental, terms and conditions and Refundable Excess policy.
I booked a car rental on the dates 29/12/2012 - 12/01/2013 on your site and it has paid, and received confirmation of October 23, 2012. BOOKING GROUP VOUCHER Nr: B71428889AUTO EUROPA ITALY RESERVATION Nr: 58580518
When I came to the front desk and pick up the keys then it turned out that I paid for the car is not available, and the staff did not offer me any of this car.
in the end I had to take a car fiat panda, that is not only cheaper than the paid me, but very inconvenient for my trip, as I was not alone, and also with me were snowboards, which is extremely useful for driving the vehicle.
except I had about a dozen customers who also did not get paid for their cars.
all this shows is poor, your work, as we plan to write a review.
Please also return the difference in the value of paid and proposed by a car on my bank card, with which the payment
Cristian Grosu fandt anmeldelsen nyttig
Almost 2 years my family was using service of www.rentalcars.com after few situations we refused servicce of this company and almost one year ago we started to collaborate with economybookings. Last time we prebooked a car BMW 3-series in Denmark, Copenhagen for 11 days at the pick up moment rental company Sixt declined to provide us this car in case of non availability. In 15 minutes after conversation with operator from economybookings representative of Sixt made a free upgrade for us and we got a Ford Mondeo. I think that high service like this should be provided in each unexpected situation. It was more than proffessionalism. Thanks to the staff of economybookings.
Had my experience while on a business trip in UAE. Surprisingly cheap rates and very fast service, had no problems finding rental counter. Car had 3.000 miles on it, non smoking, it was very pleasant to drive a brand new vehicle. Would recommend to friends and colleagues. Economybookings - bookmarked!
Rates were reasonable and while I know I did probably pay more in insurance than necessary (I'm SCDW about fine print!) I didn't want to take any chances. Rates are super reasonable and the last time I rented, I was upgraded to a Mercedes E350. Thumbs up!!
I highly recommend economybookings, especially for those who prefer the German and/or higher performance cars. Best rates I've found for my Vacation.
Last time we decided to book a car through company www.EconomyBookings.com.
We had a lot of questions and incomprehension, but representatives of the company www.EconomyBookings.com by phone calls and emails provided us all necessary information concern cars, companies and rates. That was much easier for us to make our choice. We booked a car for 5 days in Rome, Italy.
At the location in Rome we were provided with CWMR class car as was booked in the beginning. We drove whole 5 days without any problems and accidents. After arriving car at the desk manager of the rental company confirmed that they don't have any complaints concern our rental period and within 2 weeks after drop off our deposit has been unblocked.
We would like to express our gratitude to www.EconomyBookings.com for helpings us to organize our vocation. Hope that next time it will the same.
Just returned from the exciting trip to Jested ski resort in the Czech Republic. We arrived at Prague airport where we picked up the car booked at economybookings.com. Jested ski resort is situated very close to the city of Liberec and 2 hours drive from Prague. So we got there very quickly with our car which was in a pretty acceptable condition and capacious enough for our luggage and equipment. Thanks for good service and fulfilled obligations.
My wife and I have used Economybookings several times and our experience has been only positive.
Site interface is an easy-to-use and I like the fact that we have total control over who we do. Also, communication is everything with staff of Economybookings. We've never had problems getting issues resolved or questions answered either by phone or by e-mail. Even with the smallest issue, communicate with them and small problems will not become big problems.
When i picked my car, company was Europcar, the people were uniformly pleasant.
Car was ready, booking was all in order. Would have been useful if they had taken us through the features of the car. We received just the keys.
Anyway i recommend Economybookings.
I have also been a regular customer of Economybookings, over the years.
Our family was suitably concerned about renting a car on our recent trip to Austria and I spent sometime researching the many different options. In the end we choose for Economybookings. The reason I went for this option was that Economybookings offered a free additional driver. Our holidays was great and my family is very happy. And the end price wise reckon- we saved 25% and didn't paid for any extras.
We'll use Economybookings.com
The website was quick and easy to use which is important when time is limited. We booked a car befor 24 hours pick up time in London. Very easy to use, nice to know there are some who work 24/7 Excellent service and easy site to navigate.
Being in Austria once I hired a car through http://www.economybookings.com/
My car was Volkswagen Golf, German car in German city.)) I did not think long where to rent a car, because I used http://www.economybookings.com/ services couple of times and was not disappointed. And this time was not exception – my journey went very good.
I hired a car for 5 days in Milano. I've never been there before but still decided to rent a car. www.economybookings.com has wide range of cars of all classes so I've found and booked good, nice car without any problems. This company offers to book cars of all classes worldwide and I can say for myself, that I had a great car.
This feels great to know that I am not the only one who had an awful experience using Economybookings.com aka The Booking Group. This company is unreliable and uses ugly methods to screw over its customers. Here is my story:
- I booked a car to be picked up in Paris, automatic and with UNLIMITED MILEAGE included (unlimited mileage was key to me since I had about 1200 km to drive). I received a voucher confirming my reservation and the price to be paid at pick up (EUR 150).
- When I went to pick up the car, the car dealer told us that Economybookings had booked a car with them on our behalf for...limited mileage, i.e., 250 km a day! The car dealer could not offer a solution although he acknowledged that my voucher stated that my booking included unlimited mileage. I immediately called Economybookings.com customer service and here also, they acknowledged that my rental included unlimited mileage but they also told me that they could not do anything at this point, that it was too late to rebook a car properly under the same terms. I needed the car so I took it, confident that I will later find a solution with Economybookings.com since everyone agreed that my booking had been mishandled. As Economybookings.com will claim it later, they offered what they call “alternative solutions,” which were barely solutions since: they proposed an non-automatic car that I cannot drive (I did not book an automatic car for no reason) OR an electric automatic car (I am not joking!!!), certainly the most practical way to go when you are going to the countryside and there is no place where you can charge the batteries.
- When I contacted Economybookings.com afterwards, I first noticed that they had changed the terms of my booking to limited mileage (easy maneuver: they just changed the voucher as made available to you when you click on a link in the email they send you upon confirmation of your booking). After several emails I sent without any answer, I finally got a hold on someone on the phone regarding my matter. The answer: My booking has always been with limited mileage (although they acknowledged earlier that it was with unlimited mileage) and I should read better my voucher next time! Basically, they are basing themselves on the forged-after the incident voucher to tell me I do not know how to read and too bad for me if I had to pay extra. Changing the terms of a contract after an incident behind the back of the customer is the way this company does its business!
All of this cost me EUR 300 extra (EUR 450 for the whole rental)! Before using this company you should know that although they present themselves as a UK company, they are based in Latvia, which complicate any action against them. I am planning on hiring an attorney in Latvia to see if something could be done against them and if other victims of the ugly methods of Economybookings.com are interested, maybe we could join our little cases for cost efficiency.
But if you are reading this post because you have not yet booked a car with them, it is still time to STAY AWAY and to turn to a serious car rental company!
I've rented a car using economybookings for a rental in Madeira Airport on 11th of September. I've successfully received the car provided by SIXT. Unfortunately during the day, when I've parked the car in Funchal in a metropolitan paid parking space, a malicious person intentionally scratched the car on the driver door and left. I've announced immediately the security of the parking space and filled a complain at local police. Under those circumstances I've contacted economybookings and SIXT, and asked what to do. Economybookings never replied, SIXT replayed saying that they are not liable as well, and according to their procedures they asked 300 Euros for two minor scratches.
I paid for it, and asked a refund from economybookings.com, as I bought an Refundable Excess insurance from them. They admitted the claim and informed that the delay is due to SIXT not providing them a copy of invoice, even if I've sent them a copy of it.
After large number of ping - pong emails, and quiet from their side..finally I was refunded with 300 Euros. But it took me a lot of effort, and I am not sure that everybody will get the same treatment. I escalated the problem at SIXT, FB..regulator on consumer protection..and finally solved the problem.
Everything was fine - my only complaint is the fact that you have to pay for a full tank and return the car empty; it can be difficult to use a full tank on a holiday in Benidorm. I much prefer the system where you return the car with the same fuel content that it had when collected.
The car I booked (Fiat 500, automatic, 4 seats) wasn't available for renting when I arrived in Catania. In fact, europcar doesn't have an automatic fiat 500 in the park at all. The only automatic car I could get was Smart for two (not a 4 seats car as I booked and payed for) and I got it 2 days later, which means that I had to spend 2 days using other transport but paying for the car which I hadn't got. As much as I understand from the europcar I cant get any compensation because they don't even have Fiat 500 automat in the park, it's improssible to reserve. So how should i rate your service?
The worse ever start of my vacations.
Dear Economybookings.com Team,
you are the WORST rent a car broker i have ever worked.
You still need to refund me the money paid by myself due to your mistake.
It's more than 2 months since i rent a car and i did not receive from you ANY MONEY.
DEAR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS - DON'T YOU EVER CONSIDER BOOKING WITH THIS COMPANY!!
I did go through lots of car rental sites including consolidators like economybookings.com, direct rental companies, leasing options.
I was lucky to stumble upon economybookings.com and was able to get the lowest rate for Peugeot 308 SW through SixT.
The staff at Economy Bookings is very helpful and guided me through the various options that I had in mind for my travel.
I believe they do offer the best rates. In fact I did check the same booking directly with SixT and the rate was higher.
The best part is there is no cancellation cost (if you cancel 48 hours prior).
Definitely looking forward to the next booking.
Arrived to Bergamo airport. First it's impossible to take car 24 hours even it's prepaid so have to stay 1 night around airport. When come back in the morning we spent 15 minutes just to find it - we showed confirmation for a car but no one from car agencies said it's theirs. Finally when found the guy in the agency was not very friendly and even a bit irritable. Probably it's specific for a country mentality but... it' the service. And people expect the staff would be nice.
The good point that car was fine, no issues with it.
When returned we hurry a bit and absolutely forgot to refill the tank. And were so surprised when they charged 128 EUR for that!!! It's the most expensive fuel the word has seen for ages! It required 2-3 weeks to clarify that also.
when i arrived to pick up my car, i was told that there were no cars available. whats the point of a booking, let alone booking 3mth in advance, if there isnt a vehicle there when you arrive? then i was told that i couldnt get my money back on the spot and that i would have to go to another car company to hire a car. i dont know if this is related to the hire company, however, they managed to "make it work" and i drove away in a 'similar' car.
useless website if you ask me. better off doing a quote from each company individually.
After a bad experience, where i trully thought they ripped me off, I sent a complain by mail to ask for an explanation and nobody answered back. Just the tipical mail, "we will come to you soon with an answer" but nothing.
I recommend to go directly to the webpage of the rent acar companys, and not using intermediearies.
I reserved Fiat 500 in Sardinia during a very high season for a very reasonable price. Few days after I paid for the car rental in full, I called them in order to modify my reservation (to change drop off city) and they were able to do it within 30 minutes with confirmation email. No nerve-racking wait, no questions asked and no extra charges!
When we arrived in Sardinia and came to their booth in Elmas airport to pick up the car, the wait for pick up was about 3 hours (50 people ahead of us). Two agents working and one in training (working very slow, constantly needs help of the other two). This part could be improved!!!
Due to the high volume of tourist they were out of Fiats 500, however they gave us brand new Peugeot 308 SW, which otherwise would cost me double.
Returning the car at the same location was very easy. Will definitely rent from them again.
Я, [name] взял машину 25.07- 01.08 2012. в Барселоне.
Инвойс 83 92 00 90 98/ 00/ m/00n
Сумма - 246,25 евро
Деньги до сих пор не получены(12.08)! Большая просьба разобраться в ситуации
[Oersonal data removed]
Dorian Postevca fandt anmeldelsen nyttig
Tilmeld dig her for at svare som firma.