I'm new to Tripadvisor. I actually joined because I had such a negative experience with Athens Car Rental (ACR) and I wanted to share it with people as a cautionary tale but also because I will be back in Athens in a few months and am looking to hire a car from a reputable company.
When I was looking for a car rental company I searched these forum and came across a few good reviews for ACR so we went with them. However, I get the impression that these reviews were based on situations where things went smoothly. I can honestly say they are the worse car hire company I have ever used in all my travels. They left us stranded, wasted our holidays and lied multiple times. Perhaps they are ok if nothing bad happens but if there is an incident you will be left high and dry.
We rented a car from ACR in October for a five day trip from Athens to Volos. We got the car with no hassle and the representative was nice and friendly. Just one day later the car broke down on a mountain hill road about 30km outside Volos. The car died on a bend and we had to push the car to safety as the engine was smoking. While that was unlucky for us the big problem was how ACR dealt with the problem. Had they responded professionally and with good customer service, we would have been ok as these things happen.
However, they refused to send another car and made us go in a tow truck to a mechanic in Volos the next day which was 45 minutes away. They tried to make us pay the several hundred euro for the mechanic upfront and said they would pay us back (we refused, thankfully, as you'll see why below). The next day the mechanic told us it would take three days to fix. We called ACR and they spent a long time doing nothing while we sat in Volos and waited.
At this point we had already paid for fuel and oil for the broken car which was wasted. We spoke to the boss of ACR and he assured us he would cover those costs as it was their fault that the car was not fit for the road. He also promised to reimburse us as we lost a full day of our vacation. About 8 hours later, after negotiating/fighting, paying huge amounts in long distance phone charges and having to hang around and waste a day and a half of our short vacation, they finally got us a car.
When the car came the representative (Ioannis) assured us again that they would cover our costs as it was their fault. When we dropped off the car they refused to even cover the fuel let alone reimburse us for the lost day. I asked him to call his boss who had promised this to us (and we gave him the receipt) and nothing. He even threatened to charge our credit card if we wrote a bad review (we had to call out credit card company before I posted this!)
We lost over €150 because of them! But to be honest, it's not just the money but the wasted time and the repeated lies and threats. It really affected our short vacation negatively.
I've travelled a good bit and the part that got me was how they know they can rip off tourists because what can we do? I REALLY wish we'd gone with another more reputable company with good customer service as we wouldn't have lost a quarter of our trip and spent a chunk of money.
So, now I'm looking for a new company to use in Feb and I wonder if people have suggestions? Thanks very much for any tips or suggestions!