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WA Additional Car Hire Charges After Paying Invoice - Entitled to Refund?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by ELJ, 5 November 2015.

  1. ELJ

    ELJ Active Member

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    I recently went on a holiday that was organised through a travel agent. The travel agent booked a car hire through a company at our destination on our behalf.

    We stipulated we wanted to pay in full prior before departing for our trip and I was sent an invoice detailing the amount due to be paid. I paid the amount in full, the vouchers for the car hire were emailed through and off we went.

    When we arrived at our destination to collect the car, we were charged an additional one way drop off fee. We begrudgingly paid the fee and continued on our holiday almost $1,000 AUD out of pocket.

    Once we returned we brought up the issue with the travel agent. I went back through all my emails trying to locate where this fee was mentioned, however none of the paperwork provided mentioned the fee.

    I eventually located an email that mentioned the fee however it was sent amongst invoices and additional information on the car hire company sent some days AFTER we had paid the invoice.

    As it was not mentioned in the original paperwork and was sent to us as an afterthought once we had paid the invoice, are we entitled to a refund under Australian Consumer Law or are we stuck?

    Thanks!
     
  2. JS79

    JS79 Well-Known Member

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    As it wasn't mentioned prior to purchasing the car you should be able to obtain a refund.

    You may be able to ask for a refund from the travel agency as it was not represented to you prior to booking the car and the only reason you went with that company was due to the terms you were informed of prior to paying the invoice.

    If you are unable to receive a refund by writing a fairly stern letter then the next action would be to take it to a small claims court.
     
  3. ELJ

    ELJ Active Member

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    Thanks JS79
    Does it matter that the fee was from the car hire company and not the travel agent?
    The travel agent is the one that booked it for us and neglected to mention the fee.

    I spoke with the travel agent again and have been informed that we were told "verbally" at our first meeting about the fee and then information was sent to my travel partner only regarding the fee early on in the booking process.
    My argument is that I requested the invoice and notified them that I would be paying, no such information was passed onto me regarding any additional fees or charges.
    They are also saying it was my travel partners responsibility to pass their terms and conditions on to me and that we should have read the information in the car hires pamphlet (sent days after payment) and on noticing the fee, cancelled the service if we were not happy.

    Is it still worth trying to get our money back?

    Thanks again for your time
     
  4. JS79

    JS79 Well-Known Member

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    If it was against the travel agent it could be worth it however if it is a against the international car hire company it wouldn't be.

    I would try and write a letter demanding the money from the travel agent for failing to mention and provide all necessary information prior to travel.
     

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