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East Coast Car Rentals - beware

Melbourne, Australia
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1 post
3 reviews
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East Coast Car Rentals - beware

Hi,

Just a note to let people know this car hire company should be avoided. Yes they are cheap, but there is a reason for that.

Basically this is what happened about 2 weeks ago. My husband and I arrived at the Melbourne office at 8.30am to pick-up the vehicle I had booked 2 weeks prior. A young man, I believe the Branch Manager, ushered us into the office. We were quickly told the vehicle we had booked had not yet been returned. Initially is was to be returned the previous afternoon, but the customer was now going to have the car back at 8am on Saturday. Initially the manager assured us it wasn't a problem because he would move reservations around which was a blatant lie because there were no other vehicles available. So he sat there and lied and wasted our time.

The manager tried to contact the driver of the vehicle, but his mobile phone was turned off. The manager then informed us there weres no other cars available for us and basically it was out of his hands. Obviously we were very upset, as I think any reasonable person would be under the circumstances. We were headed to NE Victoria to see some friends over the long weekend. The chance, at that stage, of finding another car from another agency was slim.

We made it perfectly clear we very unhapy with the outcome. The manager then said that because we had an attitude we could get out and not come back! So we left to try and find another car which we did, after visiting 4 agencies, with Hertz. But in the end we had to pay $130 more than the booking we had with East Coast for the same exact car. Once on the road I did speak to someone in the Gold Coast office, about the situation. She was sympathetic and apologetic. She advised if I would like to make a formal complaint to contact the General Manager. So I sent an email to the General Manager and waited and waited. After 7 days I did not receive a response nor an acknowledgement my complaint was even received. I rang and spoke to the GM and was told the Branch Manager had tried to contact me, which again I suspect is not the truth. There was no mention of the reimbursement of $130.

To be perfectly frank I am absolutely disgusted and irate at the service we received from East Coast Car Rentals. The lack of customer service was appalling. East Coast should be ashamed of itself to allow such behaviour and I am amazed that people like that Manager and GM are employed by them.

After doing some research it turns out that numerous others have similar stories so beware!!!!!!

Melbourne
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for Melbourne
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5,361 posts
54 reviews
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1. Re: East Coast Car Rentals - beware

Curlyq1970, you have gone to a lot of trouble in writing this complaint - including just registering with TripAdvisor! Whether your complaint is genuine or not is not up to me to say. But if you want more creditability and people to take notice of your complaint, then I suggest you become a regular poster to this forum and say some positive things as well.

South Pole
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15,381 posts
36 reviews
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2. Re: East Coast Car Rentals - beware

thanks for your report. i am one of the few on this forum who doesn't really care if the first post is a complaint. sometimes it takes a bad incident to stimulate joining and venting.

whether it is genuine or not has nothing to do with being a first post.

that is up to the reader to decide.

so dont be bullied or intimidated by the naysayers. they were all one time posters themselves.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
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11,467 posts
148 reviews
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3. Re: East Coast Car Rentals - beware

I have used this company a number of times when at Coolangatta and I have always found them to be honest, professional and courteous and great rates. I have used them in Brisbane too, and again, the same professional service and a great car. Until such time as I receive what I consider to be poor customer service, I will keep using them.

Why a manager would order you out of his office is something of a surprise that anyone in any business would do - there must have been something that upset him as much as you were upset too. Regardless, if there are circumstances beyond his control such as a person returning a vehicle late which was what you experienced, I would imagine that he would be pretty frustrated about that.

All car rental companies have a certain amount of stock available to them at any one time. When a renter fails to return the car in good condition and on time, it throws everything out. It just so happened that it was you who were very inconvenienced and had to pay a lot more for another car - you can thank the recalcitrant renter for that.

Whether the Manager lied or not, is not for me to say but perhaps he thought his staff would be able to procure another car while he kept you talking or maybe his staff were trying to contact the renter....I don't know as I wasn't there.

Did you pay for your car up front when you booked it? Have you checked your CC to see if it has been charged?

The reason I ask is because I've always booked my hire car if not on the internet on their site, then over the phone and my CC details have been held but not charged until I picked up the car.

If your CC has been charged, then contact the company again and if you get no joy from the Melbourne office, then contact the sympathetic lady in their Queensland office.

And finally, East Coast rent more than 60,000 cars annually. To my knowledge there have been few complaints about them on this forum so for the majority of renters including myself, they must be doing something right.

Brisbane
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6 posts
22 reviews
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4. Re: East Coast Car Rentals - beware

East Coast car rentals - we rented a car June long weekend. All good except for the poor shuttle service in Sydney. Kept waiting for 30 minutes at the domestic terminal, had to call twice for pick up. On returning the vehicle at the Sydney Baxter Street Office we were informed the shuttle was out at the international terminal. Staff did not know when it would return we waiting and waited while the staff at the counter chatted to each other. Rather than miss our flight we walked. Extremely poor service especially when they promote a shuttle service. The car was clean and reliable.

London
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2 posts
201 reviews
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5. Re: East Coast Car Rentals - beware

ANother car rental company never to use on the East Coast in Melbourne is Rent a Bomb, the used car people. You do not want to rent a used budget sedan EVER!!!!!! The new cars may be OK but oh my goodness the used car was just about roadworthy! We took out separate insurance to reduce the liability to zero. The car we hired cost 32 dollars a day. It was a piece of beep beep beep. 265,000 km on the clock. A 1999 Hyundai Excel, with peeling paintwork and dents. The interior had not been cleaned, it was disgusting with cigarette ash on the floor and stains all over the seats. The car smelled terribly of stale, old yuck. You could not open the driver door, you had to open the passenger door and reach across. The tyres had almost no tread. When you indicated left or right the steering column would move. When you put the car in reverse, you had to make sure the handbrake was down first and your foot on the brake because otherwise your hand would slam into the handbrake when putting the car into reverse. Had I known the car was really going to be so bad I would NEVER HAVE HIRED it. Plus they charge a 200 dollar bond. They have the cheek to put a 1000 dollar excess on such a piece of 'beep'. FELLOW TRAVELLERS PLEASE DO NOT EVER HIRE A USED CAR FROM RENT A BOMB. I NEVER WILL AGAIN.

Edited: 18 December 2011, 17:22
Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
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11,467 posts
148 reviews
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6. Re: East Coast Car Rentals - beware

colourfulcloud

You should start a new thread for your post rather than tack onto an existing thread for another company.

Having said that - what part of name of the company - "rent a bomb" - did you not understand that you would get a car that was less than pristine / used / perhaps damaged as the name suggests ? It's like getting a dorm room at a hostel then complaining about having to share the room with others !!

With the cost of hire charged to you at $32 per day, you didn't save much IMHO compared to a newer car, ie, 2 -3 yo - 5 days rental including reduced excess and extra insurance which recently cost me $276 ... not a huge difference to the budget for a nice new clean roadworthy car not to mention safety issues....

Launceston...
2 posts
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7. Re: East Coast Car Rentals - beware

I too have been extremely disappointed with east coast car rentals and rentacar.com for their blatant misinformation!! I booked a car last weekend and with regret only read the voucher info and not the 6 pages of T&C's! The voucher clearly stated that the car was to be picked up from Melbourne airport and not a half hour wait and shuttle bus to the depot as I experienced! I also had decided to have peace of mind and pay the extra $22 per day for comprehensive insurance only to be told by the 'powerless' staff in the office that rentacar.com have taken their payment but they (east coast rentals) also require $22/day for secure insurance or alternatively I could pay $3450 to cover the excess!!! Yes I did find the car clean and in good working order but an additional disappointment was that the shuttle bus didn't start til 7am....not much good when my flight was at 7.20am...SO an extra outlay for a taxi!

Sydney
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2,456 posts
26 reviews
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8. Re: East Coast Car Rentals - beware

rentacar.com seems to be a consolidator that only resells avis and budget, doesn't resell east coast car rentals?

east coast car rentals have their airport location quite clearly on their webpage, i.e not in the terminal.

eastcoastcarrentals.com.au/car-hire/melbourn…

are you sure you have your information right?

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
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11,467 posts
148 reviews
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9. Re: East Coast Car Rentals - beware

Anna

did you rent a car from East Coast Rentals through www.rentacar.com?

Why would you do that when you could have gone directly to East Coast's site ?

If you had already paid for premium insurance did you take it up with Rentacar as to why they didn't hand over the $$ to East Coast ?

And waiting half an hour ... well sometimes that happens - you may have just missed a shuttle and then once they got back to the depot they load up again with returning passengers and then drop them off at various locations.

I've waited half an hour at the desk at the airport for the car rental companies to deal with others before they got to me so you either wait one place or another.

As for drop off at the airport for your return flight, again something you might have asked East Coast directly prior to booking ... just a thought ...

And BTW, I've always booked directly with East Coast at Coolangatta and Brisbane and never had a problem ... maybe it wasn't your lucky day.

adelaide
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276 posts
104 reviews
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10. Re: East Coast Car Rentals - beware

Last Easter we had a car booked - months in advance- with East Coast car rentals at Coolangatta. 3 days before our trip I received an email cancelling our booking. Apparently the tarrago had been in an accident. As we were a family of 6 not many options. East Coast had a couldn't care less attitude. On desperately ringing around another car hire company suggested a small family company, and we were lucky enough to get a vehicle. Sorry but after a couple of experiences with low end car rentals , I will only hire from the big boys now.