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Derechos del consumidor

OCU alleges unfair practices by some car rental companies

16 jun. 2014
OCU, together with Which?, the British association for consumer protection, has launched a campaign denouncing a practice carried out by certain car rental companies which is against the law . 
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Madrid, June 16, 2014

OCU, together with Which?, the British association for consumer protection, has launched a campaign denouncing a practice carried out by certain car rental companies which is against the law .
OCU explains that certain car rental companies require consumers to buy a tank of fuel, even though the price of this fuel appears neither in the original offer nor the price on the contract. Furthermore, in some cases, they charge above market prices for the fuel.

The British organization Which? warned in a report in 2012 that this is a practice which occurs in several countries, but in Spain they found a higher number of complaints from users of these services. Richard Lloyd, director of Which ?, states that "there may be products that ruin your holiday, such as being surprised to see that on the car rental bill, they want to charge you for a tank of fuel, without giving you the option not to accept this clause. We want this abusive practice of car rental companies to end and for people to be able to know the full cost of the car rental at the time the contract is entered into. "

Which? And OCU will ask for information from the Spanish authorities in matters of consumer affairs to protect consumers from these unfair rules. Lloyd says "we have communicated our concern to British competition authorities."
Likewise, OCU spokeswoman Ileana Izverniceanu, said: "We hope that the Spanish authorities will investigate and punish companies responsible for ​​these illegal practices. This behaviour is detrimental both to consumers and to the image of Spain as a holiday destination.
OCU has found that this practice still occurs in our country”. According to a survey by the Organization, the full / empty clause is applied in 30% of cases, there even being 18% of cases in which unused fuel is not reimbursed.

Furthermore, as OCU explains, what is really serious is that the consumer is forced to purchase an additional service which was not requested and not having the possibility of cancelling the reservation that has been made, without forfeiting the deposit.
OCU considers that this practice breaks the law for the protection of consumers and users by violating the right of consumers to information. Therefore, we have filed an official complaint with the Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition (AECOSAN) to investigate the practice and, if necessary, take the required steps to put an end to this abuse.
Finally, until 31 August, OCU invites all consumers who have been victims of any type of abusive practice when renting a vehicle to share their experience via this link:
http://www.ocu.org/organizacion/que-hacemos/acciones-colectivas/alquiler-hire

For more information (media) Eva Jimenez Tel. 917 226 061 prensa@ocu.org