Mindarie Car Hire
Too long, didn't read? They ripped me off by getting some minor damage fixed by their mates, then charging me 3 times what the repair should have cost. Since they had my credit card details there was nothing I could do about it. Use Bayswater Cars instead.
I've just had a deeply frustrating experience with Mindarie Car Hire, one which I think warrants documenting.
I returned a car to them with a palm-sized dent in the rear passenger door. I don't know how the dent got there, but since it wasn't there when I picked the car up it was clearly my responsibility to get fixed. "No problem," they said, "we'll get a quote and get back to you."
When they phoned me back a week later they told me the cost would be well over $600. My jaw dropped. They weren't serious? Apparently they were. I asked a friend who repairs cars and he said it sounded more like $200 to him, but he'd like to see a photo of the damage. I then phoned a repairer at random from a Google search. He said it was maybe a $150 to $200 job, but he'd like to see a photo too. OK, so I phoned Mindarie Car Hire back and asked them to either get another quote, or take a photo so I could get a quote myself. The call went something like this:
"The quote you have seems unreasonable. Can you get another quote?"
Sure enough, there's nothing I can do about it.
I had another look at the quote for the damage - a small dent in the rear door, remember - from Kingsley Smash Repairs. Among plenty of other things, they'd charged me 4.2 hours labour to remove and replace the door trim! They're either pretty slow with a screwdriver, or they've shamelessly padded the bill knowing full well I'd have to pay it.
(Incidentally, the invoice for the damage from Mindarie Car Hire was on headed paper for "The Wood Family Trust". The whois entry for the domain kingsleysmashrepairs.com.au shows it's registered to "The Trustee for THE DUNCAN WOOD UNIT TRUST". Coincidence? I suppose "Wood" is a very popular name.)
So Mindarie Car Hire have got a nice little trick going here. Someone returns a car with a small amount of damage (i.e. less than the insurance excess), so they hand the car to their mates in Kingsley who produce a scandalous quote for 3 times the correct amount, safe in the knowledge that Mindarie will just accept the quote and charge the full amount to the unfortunate customer. Since Mindarie hold the customer's deposit and credit card details, they will have no choice but to cough up.
Charming people. They get good reviews, which I'd agree are generally justified - until something goes wrong and they get the chance to run their little game. I'm annoyed at myself for falling for the trick. I should have got a quote, or at least a photo of the damage, before returning the car.
I'll be sticking to the big, reputable car hire firms in the future.
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