Renting a car is not always a pleasant experience for everyone. This is an issue that Which? has brought front and center thanks to a new study. Which?, who is a consumer watchdog group, says that consumers are getting fed up with the way they are treated by car hire companies. In fact, 60 percent of Which? members who filed a complaint with a car hire company said that they were unsatisfied with how the car rental company dealt with the problem.
According to this study, the biggest complaint that people had about car rental companies were extra charges that were imposed at the end of the rental process. In fact, nearly 27 percent of people who took part in this study claimed that this was their biggest complaint. These kinds of fees are usually added on due to damage to the car.
However, it was not just the fees imposed at the end of the rental process but the fees charged when picking up the car. Nearly 17 percent of Which? members who took part in this study said that these extra charges were their biggest complaint. The study went on to say that customer service was the third major complaint that people had about car hire company, at 14 percent. In fourth place was the condition of the cars that people rent, at 11 percent, and then fuel charges, at 10 percent.
To make matters worse, out of the people who did complain to car rental companies about these problems, six out of 10 people said that their complaints were handled very poorly. Only about 19 percent of Which? members said that they were happy with the way their complaints were handled.
Out of all of the car rental companies, Hertz had the best complaint record. That being said, even Hertz had a higher proportion of people who were unhappy with the way complaints were handled compared to those who felt their complaints were handled fairly. Only about 41 percent of people said that their complaints were handled in a respectful manner.
The executive director of Which?, Richard Lloyd, said that it is no big surprise that people are not happy with the way car rental companies are treating them. They are fed up with these hidden fees. To add even more insult to injury, they are getting a very poor response from the company when they complain about it.
He went on to say that car hire websites have to make their fees crystal clear. This is something that almost no car rental company does. This is the only way consumers are going to know just what they are getting when they shop around for the best price. It may take time for these charges to become transparent, but it would be nice to see companies making some kind of improvement toward this goal.
This study was started back in February of this year. During the study, Which? asked more than 3,200 members about their car hire experiences. Nearly one out of every 10 of the people who took part in the study said that they had made a complaint against a car hire company in the previous two years.