We Were Scammed By Green Motion Car Rental
Honestly, for this story, I'm not even sure where to properly begin. *deep breath*
In case you missed it, Ethan and I went to Scotland a few weeks ago. We traveled all throughout the country and saw dozens of breath-taking sites and we did it all by car.
We rented a Mercedes-Benz C-Class…wagon. I know, the "wagon" bit takes a lot of the sting out of the "Mercedes" bit, doesn't it? Jeesh that thing was ugly - no shiny logo in the world could have helped it. What a let down, but unfortunately the car’s aesthetic wasn’t the only problem.
I still stand by what I said from the very beginning: we should have rented a Mini.
Anyway, we originally rented our car for the entirety of our trip for an incredibly reasonable price, thanks to Expedia.com. I used my card and we rented it under Ethan's name because he's a much more experienced driver than I'll ever be.
Everything seemed to be on the up-and-up, but I still had a bad feeling about the whole thing and I just couldn't put my finger on why. Ask Ethan, all the way to the car rental lot, I was saying things like, "this is the part I've been most worried about," and "I just have a bad feeling about this". You know when they say we should always trust our intuition? Well, situations like these are exactly why.
To back up a bit, we arrived at EDI and had the darnedest time trying to find the rental company, and there was a very good reason for it, which we would learn later.
In reality, this should have been our first clue that something wasn’t quite right. I mean, the rental company was located in a make-shift trailer, a few miles outside of the airport. When was the last time you saw something like this and a red flag didn’t raise in your mind?
We arrived at Green Motion and not moments after they pull up our booking reservations, the problems start. It all begins with them telling us that they have to cancel (and not refund) our original booking because the name on the card wasn’t the name of the person who booked it, and as we did it through a third party, it couldn’t be changed. Astonished by how quickly things went to pot, we were barely listening when they tried to up-sell us and get us into a Range Rover for more than 6 times our original booking price. We negotiated with them back and forth… and back… and forth… for ages on what vehicles we could get for what price and with what features, since all of this was suddenly considered a walk-in, rather than a previous booking (despite our planning ahead weeks out). I’m terrible with confrontation anyway, so it’s a wonderful thing that Ethan was there to not only keep me calm, but do 90% of the talking. But, after the long travel and this whole stressful situation was done, I was shaking and nearly in tears. Remind me never again to rent a car, ever, for any reason, in any country.
But returning to the story - they finally got us back into our original vehicle we asked for (well, the wagon version, anyway) and had gotten us most of the features we originally had booked, but the price was still astronomical compared to what we had planned for. They didn’t end up giving us the unlimited miles they originally promised us, either, because - according to them - we wouldn’t need them, so they LITERALLY just revoked their offer of free unlimited miles. The jokes on them, though, because just before we left, one of their employees found it in his less-than-generous heart to make a note for himself that IF we were to over our mile limit, he’d cover the difference. And, in case you were wondering, we did go over our mile limit - by 400 or more at $.25 a mile. Lolz
Then, they drop the next massive bomb on us - Ethan won’t be able to be a driver on the car. Not that we can’t have 2 drivers, due to costs, because if that were the case, I would have more-than-happily taken my name off the rental, but he couldn’t at all, because they refused to accept his temporary license that he had went to lengths to get in time for this trip, primarily for this reason (he had misplaced, and never found, his other one not long before this).
Cool. This means that I have be wholly responsible for this stupid car for the next 9 days. Christmas came early for Jami, I guess. *note the sarcasm*
Whatever. We let the annoying little rental dude show us around our new car after he and Ethan walked around its entire perimeter looking for any pre-existing damage to note. We got in and I drove away, on the other side of the road. My only thought at this point was how badly I wanted to scream.
We drove the car for 9 days, being ever-so-careful with it at every turn. In the end, it was a real piece of work. Fitted with the most useless GPS system I’ve ever seen and crash sensors that would literally go off when the weather was bad because it thought snow or rain were obstacles in the road, we couldn’t wait to turn her in and go back to our Mini and BMWs.
Fast forward to leaving day - I wrote an entire post on the catastrophe that was this day, if you’re interested. But for those who haven’t read it, just know that we were under a bit of a time crunch, which, apparently, was what made Ethan and I the perfect targets for the utter scam that was about to befall us, if you trust the many sources you can find online -
The Guardian (again)
And small as they might be, there’s even a Twitter Account dedicated entirely to Green Motion complaints. This isn’t even all of them - the laundry list of reports for Green Motion rental and its corporate scamming techniques can more than fill a Google Search. Come to find that the reason they weren’t located with the rest of the rental companies at the airport was because they had been banned from most of them in the U.K. thanks to their shady methods. Yeah, these guys suck. This is why it’s always important to do your research, folks.
So, knowing we were in a hurry, the scammers pounced. They took one look at the front of our bumper, ran their fingers UNDERNEATH THE CAR and claimed to find scratches that we had caused. They knew we were international and would, therefore, have a hard time fighting the accusations and the sub-sequential charges, so they took full advantage of our frenzied mindsets and foreign bank accounts. They charged us hundreds of dollars for SCRATCHES UNDER THE CAR and because that wasn’t an area they (obviously intentionally) went over in the walk-around when we first picked the car up, we couldn’t say a word.
And while not saying a word is exactly what they wanted, and what I alone would have probably done, Ethan (bless him) won’t let ANYONE take advantage of us that way. From the moment our wheels touched down back in Michigan, he’s been on the phone and sending countless emails to my bank, Expedia.com, and Green Motion literally FIGHTING it out for to get these ridiculous charges reversed. They even had the cheek to ask us if we had thought ahead and taken photos of the underside of the car, as evidence. Excuse me, what?
As it turns out, remember how I mentioned in my last travel nightmare post that my card had gotten declined near the very end of our trip? Well, it’s a good thing that it did because the con-artists at Green Motion tried to charged my card for various amounts ranging between $500 - $1,000 nearly ten different times!
We’ve been home over a week and we are still hashing the whole thing out. What. A. Nightmare.
I sincerely hope someone at Green Motion reads this, although, considering how many other people have been scammed by them and written about it, I don’t think they’re worried about bad press.
On a serious note, folks, no matter where you go or who you rent with, DO NOT make the same mistake we did. Yes, I’m saying DON’T EVEN DREAM of renting from Green Motion, but beyond that, do all your research and make sure whoever you’re getting you rental car from is a trustworthy and valued business.
Otherwise, you could end up ranting about how incredibly awful your rental experience was on your blog, weeks later.