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July 10, 2007

Beware Speed Rent-A-Car on Halidon

I generally try and avoid writing bad things about people just for the sake of it - but we were extraordinarily vexed the other week by Speed Rent-A-Car on Halidon.

We'd used them to get the mookimobile that took us around Crete on our road trip - and I really must finish writing that up and uploading the pictures to Flickr at some point - so we went back the next time we needed to hire a car.

We had guests arriving, bringing two small children with them, and we figured that what with the taxi fares to and from the airport, it made sense to split the cost of hiring a 4x4 / SUV / Galumphing Great People Carrier for the week.

We went and booked it a couple of weeks in advance.

For some reason Claire had an inkling that it all wasn't going to be well, and she went back the next day just to confirm the booking and check that they had noted that we needed two child seats as well.

Anyway, come the day of collecting our minibus, which we had paid a €50 deposit for, we turned up at the office about twenty minutes before we were due to pick it up.

There was no sign of our vehicle, and we weren't inspired by the fact that the guy we handed our slip of paper to looked panicked and kept saying to us "Today? Today?".

We waited for a while, and then as it was so hot, we said we'd come back in twenty minutes. We had a walk in the shade of Leather Lane, fairly certain this whole operation was doomed to failure.

And so it proved.

Speedrentacar When we went back to the office there was still no sign of our vehicle parked on Halidon, and the guys greeted us sheepishly, before explaining that they didn't have a car for us.

Not that they just didn't have our car, but that they didn't have a 4x4 / SUV / Galumphing Great People Carrier. We'd paid a deposit for a phantom car.

They started trying to get us to take two regular sized cars instead for the same price - which apart from being a bit rubbish on principle, was also no good because since I don't drive, we wouldn't be able to get both cars to the airport.

One of them explained that he was phoning his boss to find out what to do. They kept chatting to each other in Greek and it was quite obvious that there was a bit more going on in the conversation than was being fed back to us in English.

One of them asked who took the booking in the first place.

"The guy who usually sits at the back" explained Claire.

"Ah, the guy with the...." replied the bloke, waving at his head as he struggled for the vocab to say "bald".

"Yes, the bald guy" said Claire.

And then, rather unexpectedly, she forcefully swore about the bald bloke in Greek.

The guys practically fell off their chairs.

For a start, I'm sure they weren't expecting us to be able to command any Greek, and secondly, it is a little like the 1950s over here still - people don't tend to swear in front of women, and women don't tend to swear at all.

After that they established that we lived locally and were not tourists.

Which was no help whatsoever.

They offered to phone around for us to see if anyone else had a jeep / lorry / caravan / tourist train that we could hire, but by then we had wasted an hour and were thoroughly fed up with the whole thing. We got our money back and made a new plan....

...taxis to the airport it was.

So, buyer beware of Speed Rent-A-Car.

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Comments

I would have loved to have seen their faces when Claire swore at them! What did she call him?

Hi,

I would not go for Europe something Rentacar, either: Wrong car without license plates.

They have an office at the seaside of 25 august street in Heraklion and at the airport. For now I go with Hertz or similar.

while our caar is off the road the local Alianthos has been treating us very well

bingo wished we had never booked with them first they pass us of with a crappy old big car filthy inside and out when we had ordered a new fiat then after one flat tyre I phoned and gave it some welly they then only had a tiny car Never again
they were bases on halidon street chania at 91

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am sorry to read the bad opinion you have about our company. However, I think that you should have appreciated the fact that the car was delivered to you at Heraklion (which is 150 km away from your hotel) and I waited more than 2 hours for your flight to arrive, as well and all these without any charge or even a small tip.
What is more, it is ironic to say that you needed the cars instead of a taxi.
Concerning the fact that your reservation was cancelled, we apologize for this, but as far as I know the company made all efforts to provide you an alternative car, which is something that finally happened.
This time of the year is the peak and a mistake can be easily made.
Anyway, we hope to see you again.

Efthimis,
For the car rental office.

First off I always appreciate it when companies take the time to pro-actively comment on blogs about their services.

However, unless Efthimis is directing the comments at someone else who has left a message on this post, I'm quite bemused.

We've never flown from Heraklion before, never picked up a car from there, and never got a replacement car from them. We most certainly did have to use taxis to ferry our freinds to and from Chania airport because they didn't give us the car we booked.

So, as I say, unless the comments were directed at Sarah or Hans, I don't really know what they are on about.

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