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A good reason NOT to hire a car from Great Car and Boat Rentals... 

This is my personal experience with Great Car and Boat Rentals, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. I hired a sports car from them for the purposes of getting away for a few days and relaxing. The holiday did the trick, only to have to deal with the following on my return:

Tuesday 3/9/2002 - Collect Car. $1200 charge made for car rental.

Wednesday 4/9/2002 - $5000 charge made to ensure insurance excess was covered.

Friday 6/9/2002 - Returned Car.

Monday 9/9/2002 - See that credit card is "maxed" out due to $5000 charge. Make one phone call to Great Car and Boat Rentals (GCBR) and was told it would be refunded but it can take a couple of days to show up.

Tuesday 10/9/2002 - Make at least 2 calls to GCBR. Starting to worry about different "stories" that I am being told by different staff. Explain that my card is "maxed" and how inconvenient this is as I live off the card due to how my mortgage is set-up.

Wednesday 11/9/2002 - Visit GCBR in person. Found out the Operations Manager (Cleeton Hill) is on holidays. Was told I should speak to the General Manager (Carol Williams) but she was not in yet. Made further phone calls (2-3) in the afternoon. Managed to speak to Carol who explained her Operations Manager was on holidays. She also explain that a part time "accounts" person must have had my paperwork as she could not find it. I was understanding but explained I don't deal with any of these individuals, I deal with GCBR and I would appreciate if my money could be refunded immediately. Carol said she would call me back later that day. $25 over limit fee charged.

Thursday 12/9/2002 - At least 2 calls to try and get an update from Carol.

Friday 13/9/2002 - At least 2 calls to try and get an update from Carol. She was very difficult to get hold of and rarely returned calls.

Monday 16/9/2002 - Operations Manager (Cleeton Hill) was back from holidays. Cleeton was much more professional in handling my requests but still did not deliver as he promised. At least 4 phone calls over the day. The last call I was told heavy rain that day had got into their phone lines and they weren't able to make any refunds.

Tuesday 17/9/2002 - 3 Calls to try to get an update from Cleeton. The last call I was told that a batch of refunds had been made and he was just waiting on the confirmation print-out from the bank, which he would fax to me. This never came.

Wednesday 18/9/2002 - No calls. Although I didn't receive any fax, I wanted to believe the transaction had been made and it would only be a couple of days before it appeared back on my Visa.

Thursday 19/9/2002 - As above.

Friday 20/9/2002 - 4 calls. I was told that Cleeton was in a meeting, the same meeting, with the same person, all day.

Monday 23/9/2002 - 1 call. I was told Cleeton was ill and no one else would be able to help. I went to Consumer Affairs and logged a complaint on their web site.

Tuesday 24/9/2002 - Received a call back from someone at Consumer Affairs. They requested doucmentation I had to be faxed to them.

Wednesday 25/9/2002 - Faxed information to Consumer Affairs as requested.

Thursday 26/9/2002 - Someone else from Consumer Affairs called me back. This person was taking over my case as they were already dealing with another complaint against GCBR. They said they were going to speak to them today. $4000 was refunded to my credit card, $1000 still outstanding.

Monday 7/10/2002 - Spoke to Consumer Affairs for an update. They said more action was going to be taken. I also phoned and spoke to Carol Williams. She claimed to be unware that the $1000 was still outstanding. $1000 was paid to my credit card.

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