Goldcar pressured me to get unwanted insurance | Automotive
I rented a car from Goldcar for a holiday in France. I already had annual insurance to cover the deductible due in the event of a claim, so I did not need to buy the additional cover that the staff at the Marseille airport collection desk tried to sell me. Instead I offered my credit card for the €1700 deposit to be reserved. I was told there would be an additional 8% to take the deposit and another 8% to refund it. It was clarified that the keys would not be handed over unless I accepted the charge of €272 or paid a lower sum of €236.95 for Goldcar’s insurance cover. I reluctantly paid the lower amount. I inquired when I got home and Goldcar confirmed that they did not charge credit cards, but they did not respond to my complaint within the promised 30 days.
Goldcar has the form when it comes to mis-selling insurance. In 2019, an undercover investigation by consumer group Which? exposed what he described as “criminal lying and intimidation” by Goldcar staff to pressure customers into buying unwanted insurance. Five months earlier, the company promised to reform after evidence of insurance mis-selling emerged. Under the Consumer Protection Against Unfair Commercial Practices (CPR) Regulations, it is a criminal offense to use misleading or aggressive practices to coerce customers into making purchases.
Goldcar, which was taken over by Europcar in 2017, only dealt with your complaint after I made contact, and they admitted their service was lacking. His explanation is that human error, not hard selling, was to blame. The assistant, he claims, confused your credit card with a debit card and was trying to point out that your bank may charge a fee to debit and then credit the deposit. “Based on company experience, in some cases a customer using a debit card may not have funds to cover the excess deposit,” he says. “In these circumstances, the alternative of taking out additional cover is offered.”
Another human error apparently prevented you from receiving a response to your complaint. Goldcar claims to have responded, but a member of staff mistyped your email address. You’re sure the collection office knew what type of card they were dealing with, but you’re relieved to have been reimbursed for the cost of insurance. Goldcar says: “Rest assured that this is not typical of the service we provide, and our customer’s experience will be handled internally to prevent such situations from happening again.”
Since car rental companies are notorious for pushing their insurance policies to the excess, you should be aware that under EU law basic insurance is included in the cost of a car rental , so additional coverage is not essential. You can, in any case, insure the deductible much cheaper via an online comparator.
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