A GRANDAD charged £325 after a rental car company falsely claimed he damaged TWO vehicles has revealed how he fought them and won.
Tom Cunningham, 66, says if he hadn’t used a trick he learnt years ago from parking at the airport, he would have had to cough up the cash.
The OAP said he thought it was a “joke” when he was billed £235 from Europcar for breaking a rental’s wing mirror when he knew he hadn’t.
Then he was fined £90 for damaging a different car’s bumper.
Tom told The Sun Online: “I was frustrated.
“I thought it was ridiculous, I knew I hadn’t damaged them.
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“How is it that now I’ve had this issue twice?”
The Scot grandfather said he had been forced to use Europcar on both occasions while his own car went in for scheduled repair work.
But, before stepping foot in either vehicle he popped his phone on record to note their condition – something he learned to do after his car was once damaged in airport parking.
Tom returned both cars in the condition he'd found them in, and said Europcar staff didn’t mention the damage on either vehicle.
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But in the weeks that followed he received a letter noting damage, accusing him of causing it and billing him.
He said: “Obviously there was damage already. I knew I hadn’t damaged it.
“I just couldn’t believe it. I thought you’re joking.
“If it’s happened to me two times, how many other people has that happened to?”
Tom continued: “I had a problem years back at an airport car park.
“From then on I always take a video of it.
“If I hadn’t taken those videos those two times, I would have paid that money.”
Obviously there was damage already. I knew I hadn’t damaged it.
He claimed the company’s photos were “pixelated”, therefore it was hard to see any pre-existing damage.
But "low and behold" when the 66-year-old checked his own footage the damage was there.
Tom has called for the company to compensate him, after all the time and effort he spent going through the videos – and stressing about having to cough up hundreds of pounds.
He added: “I was angry, annoyed, frustrated
“It seems strange to have it happen twice.”
Europcar admitted Tom had been incorrectly charged on both occasions.
A spokesperson told The Sun Online: “Europcar is sorry that Mr Cunningham did not have a positive experience following his rentals with the company which were not up to the company’s usual standards.
“The company uses a range of equipment to take evidence of vehicle condition and will certainly investigate whether this needs to be improved.”
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They said both times, photographic evidence proved that Tom was in the right and the charges were cancelled.
Europcar added: “Should Mr Cunningham have incurred any other costs (such as bank charges) as a result of the original damage charges, the company would be happy to reimburse these.”
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