Wednesday, 22 July 2009

HERTZ HIRE-CAR HOLIDAY HELL

All I can say is: READ THE SMALL PRINT - before you click on ‘I agree’ when you’re booking your holiday hire car on-line in preparation for your holiday. It will be the best thing you ever did.
Believe me.
We booked our car way back in March and got a great deal - £128 for the 6 days we’re in Italy. We paid the only way we ever pay for anything – using our DEBIT CARD. We are those in the minority who don’t have a credit card to our name because we were stupid with them in the past, got burnt, got better, and wised up.
If the debit card we used to pay for this car hadn’t expired and we'd gotten a new one with a new number, then there’s no way I’d have “just had a quick check” to make sure there was no small print about having to use the same card with the same number... and that was when it hit us.
When we pick up the car at the airport, it says, they WILL NOT ACCEPT DEBIT CARDS as guarantee. Only credit. Oh, and not only that – you have to make sure you have enough credit available on your card to cover however much they deem necessary for insurance against your writing their car off or something.
All in the small print of course. Very small and way down on the confirmation thingy.
Oh… seven shades of sh*t.
And not only that, the other family we’re going with also only have debit card. So TWO kinds of seven shades….
So for the past few days we’ve tried everything from applying for a credit card (out of time to get one in under 3 days) to working out what other means of transport we can feasibly get at such short notice.
Of course we believed Hertz could help us out. Having been good customers and paid promptly, but no. Their only suggestion was that we cancel our booking. I fear our next telephone bill. I know every minuet Mozart every composed off by heart and backwards and very probably everyone's name who works on the Hertz (loosely termed) Help Desk - oh, and they will take £25.00 from us as cancellation fee.
Easy money for them.
We found out that to get a taxi to our destination from the airport will cost 800Euros (yep, that’s… oh, about £800!) or there’s a train we could catch then change somewhere else and then get a coach to somewhere else, followed by a final taxi. So with the flight we’d be travelling for about 24 hours, give or take a delay.
To Italy.
Finall, thankfully, after sweating blood and tears, other members of the Wedding party (yes, this is the family wedding we’re talking about and one of our stranded party is a BRIDESMAID no less) have said that they will drive the two hours back to the airport from the venue to pick us up.
BUT… we’re also staying on after the wedding at the place (which looks five star perfect it has to be said) but it’s remote.
Ergo: no way of getting to a shop, say, to pick up essentials like… say… food for the rest of our stay.
So as we are packing our holiday suitcases with long life milk, packets of biscuits, crisps, chocolate bars and orange juice, let’s hope to hell we still have room for… oh I don’t know… clothes and suncream etc hmm?
Did I say I was looking forward to this break?
Did I?
I think I did.
But just think, it will make great material for the next book.
It will make great material for the next book.
It will make..... (repeat to fade until I start believing this)

2 comments:

Fionnuala Kearney said...

Oh Debs - what a shitty thing to happen especially cos you WERE so looking forward to it. It will be great. Lots of healthy walking and not eating alot. How bad can that be?! And great scene fodder for the next book....WHen are you off?

Keris said...

Ugh, that's dreadful. We don't have credit cards either (for the same reasons) and Easycar have some alternative but I can't remember what it is (sorry). Maybe try them next time, is what I'm saying.

Hope you have an amazing (and relaxing) time anyway.