Car Hire desk closed on arrival due to C-19 - had to seek alternative and pay a lot more.....

Hi all,
I booked and paid for car hire through Expedia.co.uk way back in January 2020. Turned up at the Italian airport to collect my car early August to find the car hire desk closed with a note stating 'Due to special situation for the Covid-19, this office will be temporarily closed. For info/assistance you can contact our numbers (and two phone numbers)'. I tried calling both numbers to no avail, no answer on either.  Then the agent at another car hire desk advised me the office had been closed since lockdown and they had not been answering their phones to any customers. She suggested I wasn't the first and I wouldn't be the last. I telephoned Expedia and got cut off three times, I managed to get across to them that I wanted a refund for the original booking and that I needed an alternative car for the duration of my stay.  One of the call handlers suggested I get a price from one of the other desks so he could see if Expedia could help -  there were only two options available across all the car hire desks, I got prices and got cut off again.  Eventually (and after a minor melt down), I decided to hire the cheaper of the two alternative cars and get on with my journey. I have since received the refund for the original car hire booking and have emailed Expedia to request the difference between the original and replacement car hire (a difference of £853) but to date I haven't received any response, other than an automatic email saying they'd reply within 48 hours.  I'm now concerned I won't get a response or a refund for the difference! I'm not sure who I should pursue or who is liable, Expedia or the original car hire company. If anyone has any ideas on this or my rights I'd be grateful! Thanks in advance.

Replies

  • bradders1983bradders1983 Forumite
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    Original sum you paid would be a chargeback for services unrendered. Speak to your insurer about the difference.
  • Hibou22Hibou22 Forumite
    2 Posts
    First Post
    Original sum you paid would be a chargeback for services unrendered. Speak to your insurer about the difference.
    Thanks for your reply, Expedia have refunded the original car hire fees. My Insurer covers me for car hire in the event of cancellation of the trip (before it is due to start), abandoned international departure (because of delay) or curtailment (cutting the trip short). No mention of providing alternative car hire in the event of supplier failure but I'll call them to double check anyway.
  • StuieUK34StuieUK34 Forumite
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    Hibou22 said:
    I decided to hire the cheaper of the two alternative cars and get on with my journey.
    Unfortunatly, that means you have no comeback..
    If by random chance you managed to get the agent from expedia to get you a car from the moment you made contact with them, it would be a different story.
    Not what you wanted to hear, but looks to be the case.

  • brianposterbrianposter Forumite
    943 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
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    I would claim from Expedia ( Angel Building, 407 St John Street, London, EC1V 4EX, England), although it might be hard work..
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