Beware of booking with Goldcar
Subjective report of experience in Palma de Mallorca at the airport, September 2015

Arrived at the desk of Goldcar at 22.45h (received our luggage 1 hour after flight arrival 21.45h).
The queue was of 6-8 other client families in front of us, as well as other clients on the other side of the open counter (outside of the luggage/arrival area).

We didn´t move ahead at all. The clients right at the counter obviously had problems, but that then continued for all other guests and for every single car pick-up.

We left that queue within the luggage hall after 1/2 hour and continued queuing on the other side of the counter, in the arrival hall, as the counter was open from both sides and that line was shorter (hint, if you want to wait less, providing that the queues are shorter there).

There the clients in front of us also had problems with their rental car pick-up. It took significantly longer as usual, with everyone having arrived with a reservation, pre-booked.

When it was our turn, we learnt about the problem each and every other client has/had: we should sign up for an extra insurance of some 80€ for 5 days. We were told that our insurance we bought in Germany with Auto Europe was invalid and not cover any important damages. This was presented highly convincing. Including the information papers (in German, attached). One was forced very professional to take out that insurance!

As we denied signing for that insurance, although I fell for it – my travel partner was a tour operator who knew about these dubious practice – we were told, that instead of the insurance, we have to give a 1.200€ (!) safety deposit, either cash or by credit card, which then will be protected with that amount for 35 days.

Latest then many people probably think they rather take that insurance. Even if it is absolutely not necessary and one is already very well insured. The employee at Goldcar also doesn´t just accept a “no, thank you”, but keeps on insisting and pushing to take out his insurance with Goldcar.

The manager of the station told and convinced me, that he knew about this problem, that the clients arrive with the wrong information, that they had bought an insurance at home, but that this was not true. This is being explained very professional by the Goldcar employee, so that one is easily believing him.

If the employees of Goldcar really believe what they tell their clients remains to be seen. One of our partners on Mallorca has a friend who works for Goldcar in Palma, who told him that the insurance problems are an ongoing issue – always. I don´t want to think about the mental pressure the employees have to stand due to the constant complaints.

Then it got worse: As in the meantime it was after 23.00hrs, we should pay 40€ penalty. At the wall the office hours showed 07.00-23.00h. In the conditions we were handed, in which is also explained in length why we alledgedly have to buy another insurance, were different penalties mentioned, of which we learnt for the first time.

At that time we had already waited 45 minutes at the counter of Goldcar, because the employees took that long to discuss the insurance problem with every new client. We denied paying the extra fine as we where at the counter before 23h. And asked for the manager. Who alledgedly was the one we were speaking to (I am the manager), and he said that he cannot delete the extra charge from the system, which according to him happens automatially after 23h. Even though we did not believe him, we had to pay for Goldcar having made us wait. We wanted to file a claim and he said he has written that in the booking. When we asked for a print-out, he said that is not possible. Our emotions were in between furious and “es lo que hay” (argentine saying).

Then we were sent to the park deck with the remark to return if we find any scratches or dents on our car. When we arrived on the car deck, the Goldcar booth was closed. We did not have any scratches or worse, but the people who were already in the cue when we had arrived first, had a massive dent which of course they wanted to report, so they had to walk back into the terminal to have that damage recognized.

Others said, they had been persuaded to buy the insurance. Another couple was horrified by the 1.200€ deposit and the 40€ penalty.

In the meantime have googled Goldcar and found only negative stories. There is even a Goldcar victim account on twitter.

 

Trip Advisor
Goldcar complainta via Trip Advisor

Twitter – “Goldcar-Victims”
Goldcar complaints via Twitter

 

(more links on the German page of mine)

Goldcar has very cheap internet rates and attracts clients like that.

While we were waiting I was wondering, why at Hertz and Avis all is well…

Goldcar according to my opinion clearly relies on (angry) 1-time clients and the sale of insurances to be profitable.

After reading the various websites mentioned about there are other “traps” Goldcar makes money with, via the credit card and after return of the car. Hopefully that won´t happen to us.

If we get back the money for the full tank (we filled it up directly at the airport before handing the car back), we will see…

It is simple to fall for this once (!), when the text on the website states:
“Goldcar is one of Spain’s leading car hire companies and the largest dedicated to the tourist sector.
The company, with over 30 years of experience, now has 55 offices located in the airports and main tourist destinations of the Iberian Peninsula, the Balearic and Canary Islands.” – Sounds good…

“Hindsight is easier than foresight”

This text was written to warn others, not to get money back.

2015-09-Goldcar-Abzocke-01-b2015-09-Goldcar-Abzocke-042015-09-Goldcar-Abzocke-052015-09-Goldcar-Abzocke-062015-09-Goldcar-Abzocke-072015-09-Goldcar-Abzocke-082015-09-Goldcar-Abzocke-092015-09-Goldcar-Abzocke-10-b