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Terrible experience with Athens Car Rental (ACR)

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 posts
35 reviews
12 helpful votes
Terrible experience with Athens Car Rental (ACR)

Hi all,

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!

1. Re: Terrible experience with Athens Car Rental (ACR)

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Removed on: 09 November 2015, 21:54
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 posts
35 reviews
12 helpful votes
2. Re: Terrible experience with Athens Car Rental (ACR)

It was ACR.

Perhaps you were lucky or we were unlucky? All I know is it was an incredibly bad experience and included interaction with many different representatives of the company who told us one thing and did another. To be honest, that's what surprised me. Because I agree with you that it isn't what happens but how it gets dealt with. What we wanted was as smooth a vacation as possible and when an incident occurred that it was dealt with professionally (this didn't happen at all). Given the good reviews I felt compelled to share this very negative one as it was FAR from our experience.

In hindsight I should have asked the TA forum for support before we rented on this trip but instead had read previous listings. In any case now I am and hoping to get some suggestions for the next trip as I will be staying far away from ACR.

3. Re: Terrible experience with Athens Car Rental (ACR)

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Removed on: 09 November 2015, 21:54
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 posts
35 reviews
12 helpful votes
4. Re: Terrible experience with Athens Car Rental (ACR)

Thank you. I appreciate your sharing your experience in this matter. It does seem pretty hit and miss? I'll have to keep digging to find one that will work.

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
7,907 posts
21 reviews
15 helpful votes
5. Re: Terrible experience with Athens Car Rental (ACR)

>>>Well a lot of people recommended Economy Car Rental.<<<

EconomyCarRentals.com is a broker, they do not supply the car. I rented through them in Athens in 2008. The car was supplied by Avis from their office on Vas Amelias. The car was and Opel Astra, clean and quite new. Ran just fine. I opted for the 'return full' fuel option but brought the car back almost empty as there was a truck strike and most gas stations were dry. They could have charged me a lot to fill the tank but only charged me 60 euros which is about what it would have taken to fill it at 'normal' prices. The Avis agent at the airport was very fair.

If you feel you have had a problem with a car supplied by someone you reserved through Economy you should contact Economy with your story. They may choose to no longer use certain agencies if the problems are ongoing.

6. Re: Terrible experience with Athens Car Rental (ACR)

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Removed on: 09 November 2015, 21:54
Molaoi, Greece
Destination Expert
for Peloponnese
Level Contributor
4,218 posts
32 reviews
38 helpful votes
7. Re: Terrible experience with Athens Car Rental (ACR)

Whilst I have every sympathy with someone whose holiday is ruined by misfortune, these things happen and, hey, this is Greece. Having to wait until the following day for a tow truck is not unusual depending on what time of day the breakdown occurs and if a replacement car has to come from Athens, then eight hours for it to arrive is perhaps just a couple of hours too long. No car rental company will send another car until they know the nature of the problem which could be something trivial that could be fixed in a few minutes.

I suspect this would have happened whichever car rental company was used. It would be interesting to hear ACR's version of events.