Auto Europe: The Car Hire Firm from Hell

1050x400 auto europe devil


I tend to write complaint letters out of sheer mischief.  Very occasionally, I endure such utterly appalling and unforgivable service from a business that genuinely doesn’t give a damn about its customers that I write a complaint letter because I want to teach them a lesson.  This letter to Auto Europe is one of those rare occasions.

I have now received a reply (and a refund) from the Auto Europe head office in the United States after the Telegraph travel desk team contacted them to ask what they were going to do about the issues I raised. Of course, I couldn’t resist sending another letter….

Customer Services Italy
c/o AE Europe Limited
39 Commercial Street
P.O. Box 7006
Portland, ME 04112
United States

By email to [email protected]

 

Dear Customer Relations,

I love Italy.  The climate, the style, the culture and history, the food and wine1.  All of it.  I especially like Puglia and so fly in through Bari fairly regularly.  I really don’t know why, but I have always hired cars from Auto Europe.  It’s probably because you send me ten unwanted emails a week and I’ve been too lazy to add you to my ‘blocked sender’ list (until now that is).

Anyway,  Mrs. Hindsight and I went there on holiday again this year and we booked yet another car with Auto Europe.

We got the usual Ryanair bus from London Stansted to Bari and as ever, arrived on time.  A short wait by the baggage carousel for Mrs. Hindsight’s extensive wardrobe and we were in the arrivals hall in no time  – where we headed immediately to the familiar Auto Europe counter.

There were two ladies behind the counter.  I shall call them Dona2 and Aida.3  Dona was busy with a crazy Italian woman who, judging by the time taken to hand over a set of keys,  wanted a pimped-up SUV with an automatic transmission, a sat-nav, a child seat, sixteen authorised drivers and to return the car to Entebbe Airport in Uganda.    Aida looked like she was close to completing her processing of a relatively normal looking bloke.  They both greeted the simultaneous arrival of two dozen car-less Brits as if we had collectively urinated on their favourite rug.  If looks could have killed, it would have been a massacre.

Then, Aida just got up and left.  That is, she picked up her handbag and departed.  Vanished.  Went home.

There wasn’t a closed mouth in the queue. Every single person was slack jawed in sheer, mind-boggled disbelief.  They would have been less shocked if Aida had taken all her clothes off and started serving the customers in the buff whilst singing Verdi arias4. The only thing missing from the scene was a little roller blind pulled down across her half of the counter saying ‘F@@k You!”  You had arranged for half your staff to simply piss off at the precise moment when a crowd of eager new customers had arrived bang on schedule.

So, we had little choice but to continue our vigil, watching Dona work her way through the paperwork at glacial speed. To entertain themselves, our fellow sufferers began to run sweepstakes on how long it would take her to deal with a single customer. Anyone who bet on less than twenty minutes was to be sorely disappointed. 23 to 27 minutes was typical. At one point, one lucky competitor who had bet on well over half an hour was an unexpected winner when Dona realised that she had run out of Auto Europe child booster seats and went on a tour of the other car hire counters to see if she could borrow one.

Below is a little video taken exactly 2 hours after I joined the queue (if it doesn’t appear straight away, just SHIFT F5 to refresh the window).  It’s only short but it contains all manner of useful information.  From the first few frames you ought to be able to identify Dona behind the Auto Europe counter.  As the camera pans right, you will see a vending machine that was getting some serious hammer from the poor sods in the queue.  (Having spent two and a half hours in the air surviving on a diet of sour cream and chive Pringles, and a further couple of hours waiting in the Auto Europe queue, blood sugar and hydration levels were getting perilously low. There was even speculation that Dona was on a vending machine profit share).  From the remaining frames, you will be able to see that the airport is entirely empty – apart that is from the remaining unfortunates who were still waiting to be pissed off by Dona at the Auto Europe counter.  That includes the people sitting down.  Their legs had given out but, being British, we were holding their places in the queue. Note that the Hertz and Europcar counters in the background are deserted.  Their customers had all left ages ago – in their hire cars.

Eventually, after two hours and four minutes – yes, exactly two hours and four minutes – we reached the counter.  Our ordeal was nearly over, we thought.

Wrong!

I presented my Auto Europe voucher. The one with the Auto Europe logo at the top of the page which had been sent to me by Auto Europe after I had booked an Auto Europe car on the Auto Europe website. The ensuing conversation went as follows:

Dona: “Your car hire is with Firefly, you’re in the wrong place”.

Me: “My car hire is with Auto Europe. It was booked on the Auto Europe website and look at the voucher, it has the Auto Europe logo on it just like the one above your head”.

Dona: “Read the voucher. It says you have to ring Firefly on arrival”

Me: “No. It doesn’t”. (I had read the voucher.  Several times.  I’d had two hours and four minutes to kill).

Dona: “Look, there’s the telephone number” (circling a number with her Auto Europe biro).

Me: “I know there’s a telephone number. It has your telephone number on it as well.  Do I have to ring you too?

Dona: Another you-pissed-on-my-rug stare: “You have to ring their number and they’ll send a bus”

Me: “What?!!!”

Dona: “It’s four kilometres away.  Next customer!”

Dona really didn’t give a shit.

Angry does not even begin to describe my feelings at this moment. Up until this point, I had been feeling a just the tiniest bit of sympathy for Dona. After all, you had placed her in an impossible position by sending Aida home just when she was most needed. Right now though, I wanted to fire a cruise missile at the Auto Europe counter and blow it and Dona to Kingdom Come!

Instead, I rechecked the voucher for the umpteenth time. I couldn’t find a bloody word about calling Firefly.

There’s the voucher, just below.  Can you spot the explicit instruction for me to call Firefly on arrival?

Auto Europe Voucher WITH NOTES

No, I didn’t think so.

Yes, it mentions that the car was being supplied by Firefly but this was my fourth Auto Europe pick up at Bari and you have probably sub-contracted the job every time but I had never had to go anywhere but to the Auto Europe counter.

OK, this is only the first page of a four page voucher.  On page two, it does state (and I quote exactly):

“Vehicle returning to the Palermo, Cagliari, Catnia, Milan, Rome or Venice locations must be returned to the off airport location and use the free shuttle service”.

Odd that.  It doesn’t mention off airport returns or pick ups for Bari Airport.

Palermo, Cagliari, Catnia, Milan, Rome and Venice…

But not Bari!  

And on page 3 it states (and again, I quote exactly):

“This Auto Europe voucher must be presented at the rental desk”

Of course, I also found the bit about the minibus eventually but not until I was safely back in the UK.  Buried in the small print under ‘Terms and Conditions’ on page four, right after the bit about not travelling on ferries and the need for German Emissions stickers, it does indeed tell you to make the call and to go and stand by a sign that doesn’t actually exist to await the amateur rally driver and her minibus (more of her in a second).  Your voucher was about as much use as a chocolate fireguard.

You bloody idiots!

Anyway….   back to the story.

By now it was getting late and my car was apparently still four kilometres away so I did what Dona had told me to do and I rang the number.  The young lady who answered the phone – I’ll call her Agata5 – told us to wander down towards the car hire car parks and wait near the ‘Car Parks 2,3 and 4’ sign where she would meet us in ten minutes.  There wasn’t a ‘Car Parks 2,3 and 4’ sign so we waited between the ‘Car Park 2’ and the ‘Car Park 4’ signs in the hope that this would be close enough and after fifteen minutes, I gave Agata another call in case we were in completely the wrong place.  Apparently not.  She hadn’t even set off yet but would be with us soon.

And she was.

Auto Europe the arse end of nowhere

The-Arse-End-of-Nowhere, photographed two weeks later when we returned the tractor

Auto Europe - the firefly warehouse

The Firefly warehouse. Notice the helpful, enormous Firefly sign to make the place easy to find

The minibus, Agata at the wheel, screamed into view ten minutes later.  She was apologetic about the confusion caused by our voucher (unlike Dona).  It clearly wasn’t the first time she had heard this story of woe and she wasted no further time in driving like Lewis Hamilton to the Arse-End-of-Nowhere6 where she handbrake-turned to a halt outside a large metal clad warehouse with a very large Hertz sign on it7 in the midst of a deserted industrial estate.

We ascended to an upstairs office where we joined Agata’s colleague, Arsenio8.   I handed my voucher, driving license and credit card to Agata and she set about the paperwork.  For a few moments, it looked like our luck was finally improving when Agata spoiled things again by quoting me the extortionate daily additional cost of insuring the excess on the insurance policy for the vehicle.  I pointed to the words on the voucher:

Your rental includes: Excess refund cover.

Agata:  “Ah yes, but that’s with Auto Europe.  We’re Firefly”

Me:  “I know, but I’ve already paid for it”.

Agata:  “if you don’t pay the extra daily insurance rate, I will make a €1,510.00 block on your credit card”

Me: “Or?”

Agata: “Or you can’t have a car”

 Me: “But I’ve already paid for excess cover”.

Agata: “If you have an accident, I take the €1,510.00 from your credit card and then you get it back from Auto Europe”.

Bloody marvelous!.  I could just see myself back at the Auto Europe counter with Dona trying to get back my €1,510.00!  “Read the voucher.  It says on page 347 of the Additional Supplementary Terms and Conditions in Braille that you have to telephone the Pope before you can have your excess back!”.

It wasn’t a pleasant fantasy.

I needed a car.  We had been trying to get one for three hours by now so I caved in.  On principle, I wasn’t going to pay again for something I was already covered for so I took the chance and let Agata put the block on my card.  I could always phone the credit card company and tell them not to pay anything to any Italian car hire firms. Then she told me I had been upgraded from a Ford Fiasco to a Ford Hocus Pocus Estate (which would be very useful for all Mrs. Hindsight’s luggage).

A small victory I thought.

Wrong!  Obviously.  As I was soon to discover.

Firefly Car Hire Map

In the meantime, Agata then handed me a copy of the directions for how to find my way back to civilisation and, of course, to enable me to return to the Arse-End-of-Nowhere with the car  a couple of weeks later. To the right, you will see a high resolution, actual size scan of the map she gave me.  Amazing isn’t it?  Obviously, assuming North is indeed up the page, you set off East from somewhere grey, go East then West in a white bit, cross another grey bit then sort of bear right across another white bit and you’re there!  Easy.

May I suggest that you submit this masterpiece to the Italian Museum of Cartography where it can be added to the ‘Most F@@king Useless Maps of All Time’ archive.

Anyway, despite having no bloody idea as to where we were or how to get to where we were going, it seemed that we were finally close to having a car!  We followed Agata back downstairs and out into the pitch black car park where she presented to us an equally pitch black car.  It took a while for our eyes to grow accustomed to the darkness but eventually, the wreck took shape in front of us.

It looked like a cast off from the set of a Die Hard movie.  Bruce Willis had obviously hired this car and had chased a lot of baddies in it.  Or perhaps it had lost a fight with an earth-mover.  Either way, it was a collection of dints and scratches joined together by small areas of smooth, black metal.

It had no wheel trims.  The rear bumper9 was hanging off.  It was a piece of shit.

“I’ll take it”, I said.

This was probably a big disappointment to Agata but I’d had enough.  Besides, I could crash this car and they wouldn’t even notice.  My €1,510.00 was safe.  Just to be sure, I took 20 photographs of the wreck with my phone with the help of Arse who thoughtfully shone his torch so I could see all the dints and scratches (and missing bits) more clearly.  I compared the reality in front of me to Agata’s little form with the diagram of a flattened car (you know, the one which all hire car companies use to record the damage).  It had more little kisses than a teenager’s Valentine’s card.  All was well.

I then kicked the bumper back into place, climbed in and started the car.

The engine worked.  Lights came on.  The tank showed full.  The dashboard informed me that it had recorded 96,000km10 of abuse already (yes, that’s not a typo – ninety-six thousand kilometres – registration number EJ 905 YB if you would like to check).  Anything I could inflict on it was unlikely to be terminal.  It would do nicely.  The cases were loaded and we set off into the night, sounding like a farm tractor after someone had peed in the fuel tank.  I pulled up at the end of the road, fired up my sat-nav and programmed in the Arse-End-of-Nowhere so I could find my way back to this grim hellhole through the grey bits and the white bits.

At least the bastards wouldn’t have the pleasure of getting me lost.

And there the nightmare ended.

Arriving at our rented villa in the early hours of the morning (four hours late) was a pain in the ass but, despite the very considerable efforts that your company had put into ruining our holiday, you ultimately failed.  The black tractor, Mrs. Hindsight and I had an absolutely wonderful two weeks.  However, Auto Europe has lost a regular customer for ever.  I would rather crawl naked on broken glass with the suitcases on my back than hire another car from you.

But then what does just one customer mean to you when your viral marketing can replace me with ease?

Not much I imagine.

But remember this.  Because of the appalling way you treated me, I’m going to tell others about my experience.

Lots of others.

 

 

Yours Faithfully,

 

Anthony.

 

Copies to:

Chief Executive Officer, Auto Europe (Portland, Maine) – by email;  President, Auto Europe (Portland, Maine) – by email; Chief Financial Officer, Auto Europe (Portland, Maine) – by email; Chief Information Officer, Auto Europe (Portland, Maine) – by email; Auto Europe Customer Services teams in Europe, China and Australia – by email.  Managing Director Europe, Auto Europe, Munich, Germany – by email. Firefly Customer Services, Italy – by email.

A week later, I received the following email reply from Molly at Auto Europe in Portland, Maine.  They had been contacted by the Daily Telegraph travel desk team which had begun investigating my complaint.  Whether I would have received the reply without the Telegraph’s intervention is impossible to say:

From: Molly – Auto Europe [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 14 August 2013 22:41
To: Anthony
Subject: Auto Europe Voucher # UK 2666642 – Firefly Reservation

Dear Anthony,

Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.

On behalf of Auto Europe, I would like to extend my apologies for the inconveniences and distress which you experienced in Italy.

It would appear, a great deal of the misunderstanding relates to a confusion between our company Auto Europe (with an E at the end), which is car rental broker, and the Italian rental car company Sicily by Car who also go by the name Auto Europa (with an A at the end).

Auto Europe has contracts with a variety of rental car suppliers all over the world, such as Hertz and Avis and Europcar and Firefly and even Sicily by Car.

It would seem that you have booked directly through Sicily by Car in the past, and this time you used our company to broker the best rate, in this case, Firefly.

We do regret that Sicily by Car/ Auto Europa did not treat you kindly.

Please note, it is a standard practice, with all car rental companies world wide that they block a security deposit for the rental car.  The amount caries from supplier to supplier, although Italian security deposits tend to be high due to a great amount of damage and theft.

In this instance, you had a rate through Firefly which included collision and theft protection with an excess of approximately €1,510.00.  This means, in the event of new damage, or theft of the vehicle, Firefly would have charged you up to €1,510.00.

The rate you purchased through Auto Europe included a product named “Excess Refund Cover”.  This means, had you been charged for most cases of damage or theft of the vehicle, Firefly would charge you, and Auto Europe would process the claim and refund you.  It is essentially extra assurance for a few pounds more.

This is all explained on the Auto Europe website (www.auto-europe.co.uk) and also printed on our voucher (copy attached for your reference).

We are very sorry for any misunderstandings, and for any poor service you received from Firefly.  We were also distressed to read of your description of the condition of the vehicle which you received.  In light of this very poor experience, as a gesture of goodwill, Auto Europe has refunded the entire voucher value, for the 14 day rental, in the amount of £285.60.  Please allow 2-3 working days for this to post.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Yours sincerely,

Molly Douglas

Customer Service Manager

____________________

Auto Europe

Tel: 207-842-2000 Fax: 207-842-2222 Mobile: None
Address: 39 Commercial Street, Portland, Maine 04101
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.autoeurope.com
Reservations: 1-800-223-5555

____________________

Auto Europe email footer

 

 

 

 

Well, I couldn’t leave it there could I?  I had to say thank you for the refund at least!

 

Sent:  18th August 2013
To:  Molly Douglas, Auto Europe [mailto:[email protected]]
From:  Anthony [mailto: [email protected] ]
Subject: Auto Europe Voucher # UK 2666642 – Firefly Reservation

Dear Molly,

Thank you for your email.

Thank you also for the refund which I look forward to receiving.  I was going to ask you to donate it to charity to demonstrate that my complaint was not financially motivated but Mrs. Hindsight has been buying dresses again so I have decided to keep it.  Now I can tell her that orphans are suffering as a result of her flagrant disregard for the dress-buying ban, so I am indebted to you.

All 3 Auto Europe logos

Since sending my complaint, I have made a study of the various Auto Europe and Auto Europa logos (on the right) and have seen the error of my ways.

The first one is the standard Auto Europe logo used all over the world.  This was the logo on my car hire voucher.

The second logo is taken from the website http://www.autoeuropa.com/italy-car-rental/ which is actually one of yours  (if you click on the logo on the Auto Europa website it is hyper-linked directly to the USA page of the main Auto Europe website).  It seems that you and your colleagues are being a bit naughty when you say that it’s you if it has an ‘e’ on the end but it’s another firm altogether if it has an ‘a’.

However, it is the third logo which was over the counter in front of which I queued for two hours and four minutes.  (from http://www.autoeuropa.it/)

Obviously, this third logo bears no resemblance whatsoever to your logos and I was profoundly stupid to think that this logo was in any way connected to the other two.  Clearly, you have no affiliation with the company which uses the third logo.  I should have spotted that immediately.  I will be more careful in future.

I’m a firm believer that every cloud has a silver lining and I am pleased to tell you that this whole experience has inspired me.

Learning from your fine example, I have decided to start a new online venture.

Look, I’ve even designed a cool logo!

 

GooglA logo

It has an ‘a’ at the end instead of an ‘e’ and has no affiliation whatsoever with a well known search engine so it shouldn’t cause any confusion at all.

Should it?

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Anthony.

 

Help spread the word about Dear Customer Relations – hit the Facebook ‘Like’ button below:

 

And why not share this page on your Facebook timeline (or a friend’s timeline):

Share button


  1. And the cars and the women.  Especially the women (but don’t tell Mrs. Hindsight). 
  2. Apparently, in Italy, the name Dona only has one N.  It is the short form of Adona, meaning ‘my lord’ (which is odd for a girls name).  Full name: Dona Give-a-Shit 
  3. Aida means ‘happy’ so it was probably a bad choice on my part given that she was a truly miserable sod.  Full name: Aida Rather-Be-At-Home 
  4. Did you notice the clever link between ‘Aida’ and ‘Verdi’? 
  5. Full name: Agata Nattitude 
  6. Just up the road from the Back-of-Beyond. 
  7. Hertz didn’t hire cars here.  This was where Hertz sold cars that were too knackered to be hired out any more (to Firefly presumably). 
  8. Arsenio Somewhere-Before.  Arse to his friends. 
  9. For the benefit of American readers: Bumper = Fender 
  10. Beating the record for all previous hire cars by about 90,000km! 

7 Comments

  • Reply January 15, 2016

    me

    Well, as me working in car rental… For me Auto Europe is only a broker (we do not have Auto Europe counter at all) and it says supplier Firefly. Was customers own fault. With the Excess Refund it is also said in terms and conditions of brokers that car rental will take money off you and you have to claim that back. Customers are just to lazy to read it

  • Reply July 29, 2014

    Paul Kerr

    I too had a very similar experience as Anthony! Waiting 1hr25mis in a queue to be told that although it was the same company sign (exactly the same) it was in fact a different company. After arguing for all of 3 mins and being told to go away we then had to fight our way with 4 cases & 2 Trunky’s (under my arm) all the way from T1 4th floor back to T3 (where we had just come from to wait all that time in the wrong queue with the same logo) and get A BUS!! to where the car was held. No one took the time to tell us where to go or in fact that when you do find where THE BUS comes that it resembles an episode of whacky races with all the locals who have just got off their flights looking to go back to the park & ride (10 min bus journey) so when it shows up everyone runs to fill the 6 seats that are available (other seats have been taken out to allow for luggage. After missing 4 buses because of this fiasco a kind porter decided to take pity on this poor Scotsman with the apoplectic young kids and wife blaming me for hiring an airport car that isn’t at the airport and we managed to get on the 5th bus!

    After our 10 mins bus journey we arrived as Goldcar to join yet another queue and then be told we didn’t have insurance. Oy yes we have, oh no you don’t…..this went on until she explained that although we have insurance we don’t have their insurance. Oh really! well I, like Anthony did not have any intention of paying twice for insurance (especially when I had been extra careful and had taken out the extra, don’t mess with me I have all angles covered insurance called Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) Insurance. Haha what a joke! So far my story nearly mirrors Anthony’s story however from this point on this is where my story gets even worse.

    10 mins after leaving the airport pick-up which isn’t at the airport and although has the same company logo as the company at the airport is in-fact a different company according to the rude young lady at the desk in the airport, I had the misfortune of colliding with a small concrete barrier while exiting a roundabout where a car on my inside lane came in to my lane leaving me no choice but to move over. I buckled the front and back passenger-side wheels. As the other car didn’t hit us, although he stopped and made sure we were ok he went on his way without even exiting his car. I’m not sure exactly what he was saying as his rapid Italian was more rapid that many other rapid Italian accents that I’ve heard, however I gathered from his gesture of sticking his thumb up and saying “ok” that he was indeed checking if we were in-fact ok.

    We managed to get the car back to our destination (thankfully it was only 12 miles from the pick-up point) although it would only have been 8 miles if the pick-up point was actually at the damned airport where we were led to believe that it was. We contacted the hire company and told them of our woes to be told to call the breakdown number so the car could be picked up. Ah the breakdown number, well we tried that but funnily enough, the break-down number was not unobtainable. We explained this but they said, ah this is not possible so we ended the call and called the number again…yes it was definitely unobtainable however as we were in a foreign country and not used to the local telephone exchange ways of life we spoke to the holiday rep who kindly agreed to call for us from her local telephone as it can sometimes be difficult, but hey guess what? the 24hr a day breakdown number was unobtainable!

    Anyway, after calling them again they said they would arrange it and low and behold within 2 hrs a tow truck arrived to take the hire car away never to be seen by us again. What about another car I stupidly asked? Well for that we will need to take a further £800 from your credit card, but you already took a £1200 swipe of my credit card I explained and I have extra insurance! No they said, without a further £800 you will have no car, so with that I explained to my family that for the next 2 weeks we were, as they say in Rome “without a car” But we did pay for the car for 2 weeks my better half said! yes we did but I am not parting with another £800, we will use the money that will no doubt be refunded to us as we don’t have a car and use it on taxis and public transport.

    So for the next 2 weeks that’s exactly what we did, we got taxis and public transport! So, you may think that is where the story endeth! Oh no! That would be bordering on being somewhere close to reasonable however, on my return to bonny Scotland I found that the 2 wheels I had damaged in my collision had cost me the grand total of £900 from my credit card! and when you add in to that the cost of hire of a car for 2 weeks that I did not have including an extra driver (my wife who actually didn’t manage to sit in the drivers seat due to the short stay of the car in our company) and a tank full of fuel that I didn’t get the chance to use since I only managed to travel the grand total of 12 miles I was now out of pocket £1397.38 and I didn’t actually have a hire car for the 2 weeks I was in Italy. Ok, I thought it was a harsh lesson but I have learned not to be hoodwinked when hiring a car in the future. So I contacted Auto-europe explained my woes, again! Only to be told that as the damage was over EURO 300 my claim was turned down and I would be getting nothing back. No damage returned, no hire refund even though I didn’t have a hire car for the time I was there, NOTHING! as I din’t contavt the local Police as the damage was over EURO 300.

    I have written back to them explaining that as my profession is not to evaluate the damage to cars while standing at the side of a dual carriage-way with no hard shoulder in Italy and having not familiarised myself up to page 4 of the small print where it does state that if the damage is over EURO 300 then call the Police, I was not actually aware, until I got home and saw my credit card bill, that the damage was over EURO 300, I still don’t have a damage report so how am I meant to know how much the damage will cost?!?!?!

    Since I now have access to a computer I have checked on the Renault web-site and found out that I can indeed pick up 2 steel wheels for approx EURO 205 so where a charge of £900 has come from I do not know.

    Anyway, in conclusion, as it stands I have heard nothing back and I am out in total £1397.48. If anyone can offer some helpful advice as to how to clear up this sorry mess and get my money back I would very much appreciate it.

  • Reply October 31, 2013

    Henry Jonson

    I can definitely see how you would be confused. That being said, for a gentleman with such attention to detail, you sure missed a few big ones. Reading any terms and conditions in full is a great place to start.

    • Reply November 2, 2013

      Anthony

      You’re right of course but this was my fourth time here and every other time, I had been directed to the Auto Europa counter so I thought (wrongly) that it would be the same again!

  • Reply September 19, 2013

    Lindsay

    My brother recommended I might like this blog. He wass
    entirely right. This post actually made my day.

  • Reply August 9, 2013

    Nanci Sullivan

    Hi Anthony,

    We sent a response to your letter to the Telegraph. Please contact us to explain the difference between the two companies ‘Auto Europa” which is Sicily by Car and Auto Europe.

    We have no affiliation with Auto Europa.

    Regards,
    Nanci Sullivan
    http://www.auto-europe.co.uk

    • Reply August 9, 2013

      Anthony

      Thank you Nanci. I have yet to see a response but I look forward to reading it. I appreciate that the Sicily by Car Auto Europa is possibly an independent business but I don’t think you’re being entirely straight when you say you have ‘no affiliation’. I believe you send customers to them (indeed, I think you sent me to them two years ago). It is interesting too that you have web pages which utilise the Auto Europa name and logos (http://www.autoeuropa.com/italy-car-rental/ – which links directly to your website if you click on the logo). The independent Auto Europa is I believe found here: http://www.autoeuropa.it/newae/booking/en/index.aspx
      Why would there be two Auto Europa sites? Why on earth do you allow the supposedly independent company to use your name AND logo if you are not affiliated? It can only lead to confusion.
      You apparently believe that it was my fault that I queued at the wrong counter. I think not. I queued at a counter that bore a logo all but identical to the one on the voucher which you supplied to me just as I had done previously. The fact that I did so is transparently your fault for failing to point out the potential confusion.
      A more complete and frank explanation would be genuinely appreciated. The one you have provided is simply not credible.
      Anthony

Leave a Reply

Let DCR know what you think about this post