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Sixt van hire scam

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  • Sixt van hire scam

    Hi all

    Hired a van from Sixt. Got back to the depot and they said I'd scratched it. Maybe I had, the guy said there was 'paint dust' on the scratch, but it was very slight in any case, 10 cm long and no dent, just the superficial contact. So I signed the bit of paper to say that I agreed the damage, not realising what would come next.

    Few days later got an email with a repair estimate and a request for me to pay them £599.80 by June 5th! The situation right now is that I have written back complaining about the extortionate cost of repair, and asking if I can get quotes for comparison. They have not replied.

    My cousin is an actuary for a big insurance firm so I asked him about this, and he says these two things:

    1) They are only entitled to receive the loss of value to the van due to the damage I caused. But they never repair their fleet after customer damage, so the panel concerned was already significantly scraped and scratched from previous hiring (much worse than I had done), and so the loss in value is zero. Cousin says they are entitled to that OR to the cost of repair IF LESS, which of course would be less than zero and so also negligible.

    2) If they invoke some small print clause that says, effectively, they can charge what they like, or have the cost of a rub down and respray for the entire panel affected, I should tell Sixt that if we go to court I will ask the judge to agree that the contract clause is unfair, and have it struck from their contracts forever, so that they can't mug people any more. He thinks Sixt won't fancy that, just in case.

    I'm thinking of offering them something like £100 in addition to citing the above when they get back to me saying that I must pay or go to court, so that it looks like I'm being reasonable. I'm really furious about this, because every single time someone scratches their van, they are charging to return whichever panel it is to brand new condition — even though they have no intention of ever repairing it! It's a really nasty little scam in my opinion.

    Grateful for any advice, esp if you think my cousin has got it right.

    Thanks in advance,
    Minxi.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Re: Sixt van hire scam

    mystery1 are you there?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sixt van hire scam

      [MENTION=71570]R0b[/MENTION] ??
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      recte agens confido

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      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Sixt van hire scam

        I'll take a look at this over lunch but I'll tag [MENTION=39710]des8[/MENTION] as he may be able to add comments to this also.
        Check out some useful guides below

        A guide to voluntary termination
        Seting aside a CCJ
        Completing an N180 Form (Courtesy of Jaguarsuk)

        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
        LEGAL DISCLAIMER
        Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Some of the content I post may include example wording, letters, or other similar responses but they are intended purely for informational and educational purposes. Using some or all of the content I post may fail to meet your needs that is specific to your situation. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice and you can do this through the Law Society's Find a Solicitor database, by contacting your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or legal advice centres such as LawWorks. You may also be able to seek legal advice from your local university who may run a free (but limited) legal advice clinic to members of the public.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Sixt van hire scam

          The problem you have is that you've signed something and it can be seen as an admission of liability. You should never sign something which says you are liable in some way unless you agree to it or at least sign it under protest (i.e. you don't agree but will sign it but reserve the option to recoup your money if evidence proves otherwise).

          Did you take any photographs of the van when you first hired it, and when you returned it? Was any photographs taken by the hire firm, again before and after the use?

          You could perhaps argue that they need to show they mitigated their losses and that the cost of the repair was not the most expensive or one of the most expensive options and whether it was proportionate to the damage.

          As for point 2 that your cousin mentioned, he is right in the sense certain clauses must be prominent and transparent so something like this would be expected to be brought to your attention rather than hidden away in the small print. The clause is not automatically unfair but it then must pass the reasonableness test under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. You would also need to raise it in your defence if the matter went to court.

          At the end of the day, you signed something to say you agreed to the damage and the fault for that can only be placed on you and no one else. There is nothing to suggest that you were coerced into signing it so I presume you did it voluntarily. You could offer £100 (is that a reasonable sum for the repair? Have you obtained quotes?) compensation but if they've actually paid that amount for the repair then it is possible that the hire firm might want to pursue it. If they do, they've got written evidence which proves your signature agreeing to pay for the damage.

          You could ask for digital photographs before and after the hire took place or if there was a witness with you at the time when you hired the van to verify if photos were taken but it might be risky going to court. If you have the funds already to pay that amount you can take a fly on it and run the risk at court and then even if you do lose you can pay immediately without incurring any CCJ marker against your name, provided it is paid within 30 days of the judgment.
          Check out some useful guides below

          A guide to voluntary termination
          Seting aside a CCJ
          Completing an N180 Form (Courtesy of Jaguarsuk)

          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
          LEGAL DISCLAIMER
          Please be aware that this is a public forum and is therefore accessible to anyone. The content I post on this forum is not intended to be legal advice nor does it establish any client-lawyer type relationship between you and me. Some of the content I post may include example wording, letters, or other similar responses but they are intended purely for informational and educational purposes. Using some or all of the content I post may fail to meet your needs that is specific to your situation. Therefore any use of my content is at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way. It is always recommended that you seek independent legal advice and you can do this through the Law Society's Find a Solicitor database, by contacting your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or legal advice centres such as LawWorks. You may also be able to seek legal advice from your local university who may run a free (but limited) legal advice clinic to members of the public.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Sixt van hire scam

            When you hired the van was there no pre-check listing of damage already sustained and did younot get a copy of that?
            If there was (and my local hirers certainly do) it should have indicated the existing damage.
            If there wasn't how do they distinguish one scratch from another?

            It certainly seems they are charging for a whole new paint job, and I'd go along with your cousin.

            Refuse to pay and ask for a detailed breakdown of the cost to touch in the slight scratch to which you admit causing.
            You said it was a "very slight" scratch, by which I assume it has not gone down to the metal.
            Such a mark could (should?) be repairable by a competent bodywork specialist with little work unless the van was painted in hi gloss chameleon paint with added sparkles!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sixt van hire scam

              Thank you both very much indeed.

              I have the list of damage given to me before I went out in the van. It has 31 entries which are not complete, in that they say e.g. 'passenger side scratch down to ...' but then stop so you don't know exactly the locations they describe. But it does clearly illustrate that in (up to) 31 scrapes they have not repaired even a single one.

              I have pictures they have sent which show damage, but they are more pics of the pre-existing damage — you can hardly see what I'm supposed to have done, and since the quote was probably done from the photos as they won't have wanted to take the van out of service (loss of hire fees), I'm wondering what they thought they were looking at. I only took shots myself after the fact unfortunately, so I can't say I didn't do something.

              Yes they are charging for a whole new paint job on the panel concerned as I have the 'estimate' sent to me, which says, and I quote, 'side panel rear complete, glazed K (L)'. So they are going for the whole panel. But you see the scam: they NEVER repair anything, but charge each customer for the whole panel, even though it is littered with scratches from multiple previous incidents.

              Just to say, if each of the 31 previous were single incidents, and cost each hirer £600, then Sixt are £18000 to the good so far, which is obviously a scam — they cannot seriously justify this policy unless extortion is legal nowadays.

              To be clear: I have their pix, my pix, the list of existing damage (not complete) before I hired the van, and the estmate from a garage that has clearly never seen the van in the flesh.

              Please advise, many thanks.
              Minxi.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Sixt van hire scam

                Obviously you are only liable for reinstatement of the paintwork you damaged.
                The ESTIMATE is not a reflection of the damages the hirer has incurred

                If the scratch is not repaired they are only entitled as damages to the amount the vehicle's sale value has been diminished by the scratch.
                If the scratch is actually repaired they would be entitled to claim the cost of the repair, but that wouldn't necessarily be the cost of a complete respray.
                Try telling them you want to obtain another quote from your own panel repairer to repair the damage you caused, and this must be before they proceed with the full panel resparay with which you disagree.

                I would offer Zilch, and see what ther reaction is.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Sixt van hire scam

                  Thanks des8.

                  They will not repair the panel, as they have not repaired it on any previous occasion of damage. And that's the essence of the scam, charging for an entire panel respray for each scratch (31 so far on that van), but keeping the money, not using it to repair the vehicle.

                  I agree that they are only entitled to the cost of repair to the scratch that I did, and no others, as it is not necessary to do a full respray to fix a small scratch. I'm also inclined to stick with the idea that my scratch has diminished the vehicle's sale value effectively by zero, as none of the existing damage has been repaired. What's one more little scratch? Well, nothing actually.

                  Thank you very much. I will wait for them to reply to my outstanding email (in which I asked if I may get quotes as I find theirs 'extortionate'!), and then proceed with the advice you have given me.

                  Minxi.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Sixt van hire scam

                    So offer them 1/31st of the alleged cost of the respray as your contribution.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Sixt van hire scam

                      Hi Ostell

                      Yes — that seems quite logical!

                      Minxi

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Sixt van hire scam

                        Dear all


                        I’ve had contact from Sixt. I’d sent the following in reply to their £600 demand:


                        Are we able to obtain quotes? £600 to repair a very superficial scratch (as evidenced in my own photos in addition to your own) doesn't seem appropriate to us. Please bear in mind that you have agreed that the panel had already suffered a number of dents and scratches, none of which you have repaired, prior to your contract with us.


                        To which they have now replied (this is uncorrected for spelling etc):


                        If you are unhappy with costs of what our engineers have provided you can attain your own life for like quotation, please see the following requirements:
                        -Garage would need to be an insurance approved garage
                        -You would need to attain a comprehensive quote similar to what we provide
                        -It would need to be a quote on a full repair i.e. not a smart repair



                        To which I have responded, as a temporary measure:


                        Dear Ms Sagoo

                        Thank you for your response and the information in it.

                        We make no comment on it for now, save one (see below), as we need to clarify a few things before proceeding.

                        First, moving forward can we please deal with yourself in this matter, rather than with a multitude of Sixt representatives. It is neither convenient not helpful to have to reiterate information with various persons, and I’m sure it would make things easier for yourselves too to utilise just the one point of contact.

                        Second, can we please have a complete list of the damage to vehicle as supplied to us on the day of hiring. The list provided to us at that time is not complete and as a result has been of little use.

                        Third, can we please have full Ts & Cs, i.e. the full contract between ourselves and yourselves for the hire of the vehicle. Moving forward we will require full access to that information. And as yet, of course, we have not seen it.

                        Fourth, how was the damage assessed for this vehicle? We note that whilst the van was hired in Bromley, the assessment was carried out by a firm in Burton-upon-Trent, but assume that for business reasons you would not take any superficially damaged vehicle out of service for such a procedure. So was the work carried out from photographs, i.e. as supplied to me in your previous communication? Or did you perhaps email a description of the damage? Please advise in detail the method you used.

                        Fifth, how should we ourselves assess the vehicle for repair? Are we able to take possession of it for the necessary time? Or should we use the photographs as supplied by you, or indeed our own photos, or some other method? Please advise.

                        Once again, thank you for your response. I hope to hear from you regarding the above as soon as possible so as not to delay resolution in this matter.

                        Kindest regards
                        Minxi
                        Sixt Customer



                        My feeling after this is to go with the idea that they’re not entitled to claim for the whole panel, or that since there was no loss of value I owe them nothing. What do you think?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Sixt van hire scam

                          I personally would offer nothing, and would not enter into negotiation with them except to dispute the ESTIMATED cost of repairing the damage you caused, and require them to prove their ACTUAL loss.
                          I very much doubt they would take it to court, even tho' they will bluster.
                          It would be dealt with on the small claims track so even if they were to win they would only recover their claim plus certain minor fixed costs.

                          For those not in the automotive business a SMART repair is a Small Medium Automotive Repair Technique offered by most main dealers, and is even available as an insurance policy.
                          Not quite sure what he means by "full" repair. A SMART repair refers the technique used to repair the damage, not the completeness of the repair!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Sixt van hire scam

                            Hi Des8

                            Many thanks. I agree with you, especially about the SMART repair. They will only entertain an estimate for the repair to the entire panel, I think that's what 'full' will mean, but that's also what they ain't gonna get. There's no way I'm responsible for all that.

                            My mail in response to them as posted above is designed to buy some time, get the full contract out of them so we can see what the terms are under which they can practise extortion, and find out how they managed to get a quote for the alleged damage in Burton-upon-Trent when the van was still being hired out in bloody Bromley. Saw it again today being used, and there had been no repairs made. Plus, of course, I'm dying to know how I'm supposed to get a quote for the damage if the van's out and about on hire.

                            Will advise when they respond to latest.

                            Cheers
                            Minxi.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Sixt van hire scam

                              Hi all

                              Just to update you, Sixt has failed to respond to our lengthy email (shown above) that requires details about their processes, but they did send us this today, inc. a doc that we certainly didn't 'request' (i.e. a copy of their outrageous bill):

                              Dear customer
                              Thank you for requesting this document from Sixt Rent-a-Car.
                              Please find the document attached to this mail.
                              Thank you for using our services!

                              Your Sixt Team

                              So we said:

                              Good morning Sixt
                              We're unable to move on this in the absence of your response to our previous email. We appreciate that you may be busy, but is there any other reason why the response has been delayed?
                              Please advise.

                              So they said

                              Good afternoon
                              Thank you for your e-mail.
                              We have replied on 12/06/2017, but did not get a response.
                              I will give you the information again.


                              So we said:

                              Good afternoon
                              The email you quote above was in fact replied to, so I wonder if you might want to check your records. We've had no response from you regarding our own reply, unfortunately.
                              If you can't locate it for some reason, please advise, and we will send again, including e-trail.
                              Kindest regards.


                              And that's it so far. But we do know that the long mail they can't find was definitely sent.

                              Cheers
                              Minxi

                              Comment

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