Exercise your constitutional rights in the air
Simon Calder: The Man Who Pays His Way - Saturday, 13 January 2001
In this article going back to January 2001 The Independent's Travel Editor Simon Calder responded to Philip Suter of jml Property Services concerns over the easycar car rentals. He had rented several of these small Mercedes cars, however on the 2nd rental was charged for alleged damage to a car rented from the Nice, France, depot.
He contacted Simon Calder and sent a tape of the BBC television programme to Nice Matin and as there were so many complaints of "alleged damage" and with exposure in the media, Philip Suter and many others were refunded their "fines". He went on to use easycar rentals for many years after that however, always checking the vehicle very thoroughly when collecting it and making sure it was checked in his precence when the vehicle was returned.
In 2004 Philip Suter read an article in The Independent about insurance4car.com an annual car hire excess insurance for those renting cars. As he had this problem back in 2001, he bought a policy immediately and within a very short period jml-property-insurance.co.uk was acting as an introducer for insurance4car.com.
The January 2001 article says" NEITHER IS easyJet's much-trumpeted refund-if-you're-four-hours-late policy quite as good as it appears. Philip Suter arrived home from Nice two days late because of snow at Luton, but finds he is ineligible for a refund:
"We were booked on a series of flights, each cancelled before the four-hour deadline." Another piece of easySmallprint excludes passengers who had agreed "to transfer on to an alternative easyJet flight, which then departed within four hours of its scheduled time of departure".
Mr Suter has also had some dealings with easyRentacar. He suggests photographing or videoing the car when you drop it off - ideally with an accurate clock in the background.
Source of images, unless otherwise stated - Suter family archives