Courier cost charge without cardholder's permission?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Credit Cards
14 replies 1.1K views
heidimillersheidimillers Forumite
3 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Credit Cards
Hi all,

Hoping you can help me! I have a case of a US car hire company charging my mum's credit card for courier costs of sending on her lost mobile phone. I was wondering whether she has any rights to object to the charge based on the fact that they never sought her permission to charge it (plus it was quite an extortionate amount! Seems harsh after she sent them such a gushing thank you email!)?

They had obviously obtained her credit card details from when she gave these for use of the hire car (originally by phone/internet/on trader premises, I'm not sure). She then misplaced her mobile phone, which was subsequently later found in the hire car, but the car had been returned and she was boarding a flight to Australia.

I logged into my mum's emails with her permission and found an email from the hire company confirming it had been found. I then communicated with them by email on my mum's behalf (as she had no access to emails or any way of phoning the car hire company) and they agreed to send it on to an address in Australia by courier, which I had requested them to do. However, it was never discussed or agreed that she would be automatically billed on said credit card for the courier costs of sending the mobile phone, or any terms of the courier package. My mum's credit card bill now states the charge already incurred for the courier costs.

We haven't contacted the car hire company about it yet but I was just wondering, does anyone know where my mum stands in perhaps reclaiming part/all of the costs from the car hire company, or is she at least entitled to verify that they have not overcharged her card?

Thanks! :)
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Replies

  • SimonSaysSimonSays Forumite
    716 Posts
    Did you expect them to do this for free?

    She lost it, they found it and provided a service.
  • Thanks SimonSays - you're probably right and we wouldn't have expected them to do this for free, of course not. But just thought they might have billed it like an invoice rather than adding it to the car hire costs on her credit card, or at least expressly confirmed that she would be automatically charged using the credit card details already given.

    Appreciate your input.
  • statorstator Forumite
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    Have they provided a copy of the invoice from the courier company?

    I do think it's a bit of a cheek to just automatically take it
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
  • PeacefulWatersPeacefulWaters Forumite
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    The small print of the car hire agreement may well have an authorisation clause in it.
  • eDickyeDicky Forumite
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    they agreed to send it on to an address in Australia by courier, which I had requested them to do.
    Thanks! :)
    They appear to have done as you requested, payment was taken in the normal and only possible way (as the cost of any fines or bridge tolls etc would have been taken if they had subsequently arisen), and the cost of courier service is much higher than normal mail. You don't mention the charge amount or which hire firm it was, to judge whether extortion might really be involved..
    Evolution, not revolution
  • jonesMUFCforeverjonesMUFCforever Forumite
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    They incurr the cost when they sent the phone - an invoice might not have been paid and they may have had to pay out more to collect the debt.
    How much are we talking about here?
    Compare that with the excess you may have had to pay if they had pinched it and not be good enough to send it to you.
    IMO you have not been disadvantaged in any way by what they have done.
  • brisbris Forumite
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    When you give your card details to a hire company you are authorising them to take any payments. Did you actually read what you signed?
  • Thanks everybody, you've made some really good points and I realise now that we should be lucky they sent it on at all! For your interest, it was about £160, which I know probably isn't considered extortionate by some, but I had naively expected it to be a lot less than this.

    I was just enquiring on my mum's behalf in case she could query the amount, so I haven't personally read the Ts&Cs of the agreement with the car hire company, and it could well have had a clause covering this situation. To be fair as well, as some have said, they did do as I asked.

    Really helpful to get a sense of everyone's views on the situation, and so quickly at that!
  • bigadajbigadaj Forumite
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    To be fair that does sound expensive, just did a quick example quote on Dhl and that came out as 40 odd quid, the hire car company will have additional cost but still sounds pricey. Worth a complaint to see if you can get some money back, but from the firms perspective they probably make most of their money from additional fees as the hire itself is so competitive, so wouldn't hold out too much hope for anything back.
  • jonesMUFCforeverjonesMUFCforever Forumite
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    bigadaj wrote: »
    To be fair that does sound expensive, just did a quick example quote on Dhl and that came out as 40 odd quid, the hire car company will have additional cost but still sounds pricey. Worth a complaint to see if you can get some money back, but from the firms perspective they probably make most of their money from additional fees as the hire itself is so competitive, so wouldn't hold out too much hope for anything back.

    Did you base it on sending the parcel to Australia or UK?
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