I fought Easycar and won (for now)

A month or so ago, I tried to hire a car from Easycar. First mistake, of course, with their ridiculous policies and puny (100km/day) mileage allowance. But anyway, I attempted to do it.

I use Mozilla to browse the web, which has no problems with nearly all sites these days. Easycar's site seemed to work fine but, for some reason, at the very last stage of booking, it crashes. So I got that far with my booking, and no further. I hadn't finalised the booking, so I just gave up.

A few days later, I thought I'd try it again, this time booking a longer hire as my parents wanted to drive around England a bit more after our weekend away. The browser crashed again at the last stage, so I gave up and rented from a company without such ridiculous policies for not too much more money.

So a few days later I'm looking at my bank statement online and notice two payments from Easycar. Odd, I think, since I haven't received any emails or anything from them thus far. Going to their site and logging in, however, I discover that there are indeed two bookings under my name. Opening the bookings at this point also seems to trigger the confirmation emails, which are sent at that point.

Not wanting three cars, I decide to cancel the Easycar bookings. Of course Easycar have a policy of not allowing cancellations, despite the fact that they don't have this right under consumer law. So I fill in a problem ticket on their online help system. I'd phone them, but the only number they publish charges 60p/minute for the privilege of sorting out their fuckups!

Two days later, I've still received nothing from them over there online system, nor heard from them. I'm fed up by this point and can see I'm just going to hear nothing and will have to exercise my consumer rights. Digging around, the only fax number I can find is the one you're supposed to use for damage reports. I fax them a formal letter cancelling both bookings, pointing out my right to do so under the EU Distance Selling Directive (which, of course, Easycar are trying to weasel out of), and the fact that the order wasn't actually finalised and there are faults in their system. As a precaution, I also sent it by registered post to the address listed for them at Companies House, so they can have no excuse of not receiving it at the appropriate place.

Of course, I still haven't heard a peep from these clowns. It's the height of rudeness that they don't even bother to respond to ANY communications. If this were to end up in court, I suspect the judge would rule in my favour just due to the fact that I made so many attempts at communication and they ignored them all.

So I sent a fax to my bank, explaining all this. They have summarily refunded my money, put the transactions in dispute and asked Easycar to explain. I know how these things (chargebacks) work from my time working in mail order. Easycar would have to present a pretty damn strong case to get the money back from the banks without resort to the courts.

Regardless, I now have my money back and the ball is in Easycar's court. If their communications with the bank are anything like their communications with their customers, they'll just ignore the chargeback notification and lose the money. Good.

If you're in dispute with Easycar, let me know how you get on. I'm curious.