Wednesday 25 July 2018
Europcar Australia acknowledges the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) announcement today to institute civil proceedings against Europcar Australia relating to allegations that Europcar contravened the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 by unintentional overcharging of debit card fees in the period between July 2017 and 5 November 2017.
Europcar can confirm that customers who paid by debit card in the two month period from 1 September 2017 to 5 November 2017 were unintentionally overcharged and were fully refunded the difference in credit and debit card fees as soon as the data was available to identify and correct this issue.
This impacted 22,602 customers who were overcharged by a total of $20,294. The amounts refunded ranged from $0.01 to $18.33, with an average of 89 cents per customer.
With regards to the ACCC allegations relating to the period July to August 2017, we believe that we complied with the Reserve Bank Standard in relation to that period and will be taking this into account as part of our review of the claims made against Europcar.
We have fully co-operated with the ACCC since it commenced its investigation in October 2017. At every step we have sought to not only do the right thing by our customers but to also work openly, cooperatively and transparently with the ACCC to identify and correct this issue and to ensure the best possible outcome for all of our customers.
Europcar has worked closely with its financial institution and the regulator to ensure that its systems are compliant with changes to the rules relating to surcharge rates on debit and credit card transactions and that any modifications were fully implemented. We conducted our own thorough analysis to assist in ensuring compliance with these changed rules.
Unfortunately, the data available to us at the time and the global reservations system we had in place meant we unintentionally overcharged customers who paid via debit cards in the two month period from 1 September 2017 to 5 November 2017. Once this issue was identified and the data from our financial institution was available, we were able to identify and correct instances where this had occurred, Europcar immediately refunded those customers impacted.
While this action by the ACCC is disappointing given we have been transparent with the ACCC on this issue and promptly refunded all impacted customers, we remain absolutely committed to delivering the best value experience for our customers and as such, we look forward to presenting our defence in this case.
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Monday 10 November 2014
Europcar has invested substantial resources in making the booking process fully transparent and user friendly and has attempted to engage with the ACCC as part of an industry-wide review and enquiry into the car rental industry. We are disappointed that the ACCC has taken this action and it will be robustly defended.
In particular, Europcar rejects comments in the ACCC's media statement that, irrespective of fault, charging the Damage Liability Fee for damage, theft or third party loss is unfair and it will strenuously oppose any attempt by the ACCC to prevent Europcar charging this fee. Full details will be set out in Europcar’s defence when the matter goes to court.
The ACCC has also alleged that Europcar's terms and conditions make a customer liable for a breach of the rental terms and conditions that may be trivial. It has always been Europcar policy that any potential breach of the Rental Contract is treated seriously and occurs only after review by senior management.
It is also alleged that Europcar has engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and made false or misleading representations on its website. These allegations are denied. Full disclosure of what a customer would be liable for if there is loss or damage to the rental vehicle or third party loss is contained on Europcar's website.
Europcar constantly strives to improve the experience of our customers and we are proud of our reputation for commitment to quality of service.
Tuesday 19 April