SIXT CPH (Copenhagen) twilight zone

Old Jun 27, 15, 3:43 pm
  #1  
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Thumbs down SIXT CPH (Copenhagen) twilight zone

After lurking on this site for the past three years and benefitting enormously I would have hoped that my first post would be a more positive one, but maybe the below can be used as a warning for others regarding SIXT Copenhagen Airport.

I rent around 40 times per year of which about half are from SIXT in various locations in Europe (around 5-6 times per year at Copenhagen Airport). Over the years I have had some minor issues with flat tires, scratches, and over invoicing which have always been resolved to mostly mutual satisfaction; I did fight a flat tire from SIXT TXL in 2014 since they wanted Euro 254.63 which I thought was excessive, but in the end I just paid and moved on.

Unfortunately I have now hit a brick wall and am soliciting suggestions for how to proceed with the following; apologies for the very lengthy story but wanted to get as many facts in as possible.

Rented an IDMR car with LDW with an excess of DKK 3,000 (approx. USD 450) from SIXT Copenhagen Airport on February 26th, 2015. Picked it up at 20:12 and returned it on February 28th at 18:23 (according to the invoice) after having logged 151 km. At pickup checked the car for visual damage; parking garage at CPH is very dark and at the end of February there is of course no daylight in that part of the world so inspecting a car is not easy.

Upon return the check in person produced an 8” LED flashlight and spent approximately 10 minutes checking under, above, and everything in and on the car. After inspection he pointed out a dent less than 1” in diameter with no visible paint damage on the bonnet and asked me to sign for it.

I refused and then walked over to the terminal and to the SIXT counter where I politely explained why I was refusing to sign. The next day I received the invoice by email with the correct (original) amount so I presumed that they had reassessed and decided that the dent was either normal wear or not caused by me.

Was I surprised when my credit card statement came a couple of weeks later and I had been charged an additional DKK 2,876.25 (approx. USD 430) by SIXT Copenhagen. I immediately contacted my credit card issuer and disputed the charge.

Here 3 months later I finally received the documentation as provided by SIXT Copenhagen and I have to admit that I am questioning whether I have entered the twilight zone. SIXT Copenhagen in their cover letter state that they have included the following documentation (my comments posted behind):

1. Signed rental agreement: yes, they sent a signed rental agreement. Just one small issue; it isn’t mine. But now I know someone in Grove City, OH who rented a Renault Clio for 15 days and returned it on February 24th. I even know the driver license which combined with the address gave me some interesting information when I tried to google it.

2. Invoice: they did include a copy of an invoice. But now we move from the bizarre into the realm of possibly fraudulent behavior. Their invoice copy matches the one I received by email on March 1st, 2015 in all aspects; invoice number, date, car group, rental expenses etc., with only one very important major difference. There is an extra line inserted under charges: “Damage Compensation……2,876.25 DKK”. In the cover letter they assert that this was sent to me by email which did not happen. I only received one invoice from them, with what was the correct original amount.

3. Check sheet: included. Interestingly, although the date mentioned is February 28th and the time mentioned is 15:35 the paper also includes the cost specifications which are split in two parts:
a. “charge 1875 for scratch on bonnet”
b. “charge 3x333.75 for deprevation days”
Since there is a time indication given on this paper I have to presume that someone was immediately able to calculate how much I should be charged on the spot; pretty impressive. Wish my car repair shop was as good .

4. Damage claim: included. Not sure who prepared this, but since my personal details are included I will presume that SIXT prepared it. At least I hope that SIXT prepared this paper since I would expect that they would not give my personal details to a third party. The “scratch on bonnet” from the check sheet has now changed to “collision (bonnet)”. Pretty drastic change in designation in my humble opinion. No workshop invoice included even though part of the charge mentions that the car was unavailable for 3 days so there must be some type of workshop proof.

5. Pictures: according to SIXT these were included but I did not receive anything, excepting if they mean that the drawing of the car in their check sheet is a picture.

6. Terms & conditions: the one and only item that that was included and seems to be correct. Only comment I have is that this document is not included in the rental agreement but I am sure that they have a disclaimer for this.

I am of course refusing to pay, and plan to continue to do so. I am happy to let this continue but am also hoping that the SIXT lurker here might be interested in having a look at this.

Suggestions are welcome on how I should proceed. And promise to update here as this moves along.
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Old Jun 30, 15, 9:58 am
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Hmmm, stories like these are the reason I never rent cars with full LDW with 0,00 excess.

The few times I tried (mostly due to corporate agreements) were tiring with spending weeks of disputing some obscure damages.

Anyway, for you're case first thing I would ask them is to produce the workshop invoice showing what they did to the vehicle. If it was out for service 3 days they will need to show why repairing a tiny dent would take three days.
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Old Jun 30, 15, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by fassy View Post
Hmmm, stories like these are the reason I never rent cars with full LDW with 0,00 excess.
let me fix this for you: This is why I always rent with zero-deductible LDW....
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Old Jun 30, 15, 1:15 pm
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Originally Posted by bhomburg View Post
let me fix this for you: This is why I always rent with zero-deductible LDW....
Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately SIXT CPH must be the only place where this is not possible. Try making a dummy booking; the lowest possible is DKK 400 (USD 60) and the cost of that is USD 37 per day.
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Old Jun 30, 15, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by fassy View Post
Hmmm, stories like these are the reason I never rent cars with full LDW with 0,00 excess.

The few times I tried (mostly due to corporate agreements) were tiring with spending weeks of disputing some obscure damages.

Anyway, for you're case first thing I would ask them is to produce the workshop invoice showing what they did to the vehicle. If it was out for service 3 days they will need to show why repairing a tiny dent would take three days.
Agree on the issue of disputing small charges; gets very tiresome.

I have sent SIXT a similar email to my original post with the issues and requested a workshop invoice. Have also gone through previous rental agreements from this station and the list of scratches, dents and other issues mentioned in those makes me doubt whether they would bother taking a car out of rotation for three days to fix something as minor as this.

But since they clearly said that it was out of service for three days they must be able to prove it. Otherwise I think that their case loses a lot of credibility.
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Old Jul 1, 15, 3:38 am
  #6  
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Hi AlisGraveNil,

Please can you send the reservation number in a private message and I'll do what I can to help.

Best regards
Pete
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Old Jul 1, 15, 6:48 pm
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Originally Posted by SixtCustomerServices View Post
Hi AlisGraveNil,

Please can you send the reservation number in a private message and I'll do what I can to help.

Best regards
Pete
PM sent. Appreciate the offer to help.
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Old Oct 18, 18, 2:50 pm
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Sixt CPH is definitely the price leader for my travel dates which is why I booked with them, but man oh man I don't think I have ever come across a rental agency with such terrible reviews. It sounds like things haven't changed since this thread was created... the situation in CPH sounds worse than FOX and the usual low-budget US suspects.

Time to cancel my reservation and rebook...
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Old Oct 18, 18, 6:44 pm
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OP here. Sixt CPH is an outlier; and an extreme one!I regularly rent cars from SIXT in HEL and RIX, as well as more infrequently in ARN and OSL. They all seem a bit stingy on upgrades, but service is fine, and have never had any issues with any of them that could not be resolved with a couple of emails. Have no clue what the issue is in CPH but since I have not rented from them since 2015 I cannot comment on whether things might have changed.Have moved my business to a competitor and have not looked back since. Enjoy the very long walk (or long wait for the bus) from the terminal to the ‘new’ rental facility. As a bonus you can get another long walk from the rental office out to your rental car depending on which company you choose ��.
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Old Oct 19, 18, 3:51 am
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Originally Posted by heraclitus View Post
man oh man I don't think I have ever come across a rental agency with such terrible reviews
The problem is that none of those reviews are objective, and they don't fully represent the userbase. People will typically only voice their opinion when they are dissatisfied. This thread of yesteryear is a bit the case in point. OP stated he had been lurking for three years and renting multiple times, to then break the silence when a mishap occurred.

I can't speak for the CPH location, but I've been to a number of Sixt locations, some of which have gotten horrible reviews, but when I went through my experience has so far (knock on wood) been without problems. The other recommendation in this thread to always go with LDW with excess of 0.00 is also a fairly good one. Renting with that insurance shuts you off from them trying to claim such type of damages against you. (If you drive long distances roadside protection may also be worth the money because it means windshield and tire damage is also covered.)
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Old Oct 19, 18, 11:01 am
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Originally Posted by codfishcandy View Post
The problem is that none of those reviews are objective, and they don't fully represent the userbase. People will typically only voice their opinion when they are dissatisfied. This thread of yesteryear is a bit the case in point. OP stated he had been lurking for three years and renting multiple times, to then break the silence when a mishap occurred.

I can't speak for the CPH location, but I've been to a number of Sixt locations, some of which have gotten horrible reviews, but when I went through my experience has so far (knock on wood) been without problems. The other recommendation in this thread to always go with LDW with excess of 0.00 is also a fairly good one. Renting with that insurance shuts you off from them trying to claim such type of damages against you. (If you drive long distances roadside protection may also be worth the money because it means windshield and tire damage is also covered.)
To your first paragraph, this thread is not the only sign of CPH Sixt shenanigans. Google searches yield numerous Tripadvisor threads, and there are other threads here which speak to this. And Google Reviews are just the mother lode with a pile of complaints... and always the same thing: Being accused, typically well after the fact, of some 10 cm dent that costs a ludicrous amount to fix.

I guess springing for the LDW with zero excess is one way to deal with it, but then Sixt is no longer the best price.

Knock on wood, I have never had a problem with a car rental agency. Even the much-maligned FOX gave me a 100% positive experience the one time I rented from them at LAX. But in this case the sheer volume of negative reviews is too much to ignore.

I wouldn't avoid Sixt elsewhere, but to me it looks like you'd have to be crazy to patronize them in CPH knowing the games they're likely to play.
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Old Nov 11, 18, 2:10 am
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Be aware when renting with Sixt Copenhagen Airport

Be aware when renting with Sixt Copenhagen Airport. Similar fate for me as many others on various consumer review websites for this specific branch of Sixt (must add that I have never had any problems with other Sixt branches around the world during the last 20 years of car rentals).Rented a car from Sixt Copenhagen Airport in October, 2018. Noted a pre-existing scratch and dent in the rear of the car before leaving the rental garage. Pointed out the pre-existing damages to Sixt and was advised that the damages had been noted. Brought the car back five days later without any incidents during the rental. The car was parked at private residences and never parked or driven in any compromising inner-city spaces.

A day after the car had been returned, I received a request for a damage report as they had discovered 5 new and 1 existing damage on all sides of the car. As support, Sixt attached one photo of the already existing rear damage, three photos of a stained/mildly scratched tire rim, two photos of a rear dent which I had already pointed out as pre-existing during rental check-out. There was no evidence provided for the other three alleged damages. None of the photos were date or time stamped and the quality was poor. They did enclose the Return Checksheet where an inspector off-handedly had noted damages amounting to DKK 6000.

I promptly responded a with rejection of the claims. I received an automatic reply that they would respond within 48 hours. No response ever came back other than a demand for payment of DKK16,000 six days later. They gave the option to pay the fine via the credit card on file or to their local bank.

Once again I responded to the damage and claim department and , again, received an automatic reply that they would respond within 48 hours. There was no response other than a one sentence e-mail reply, another six day later, that I had to pay DKK16,000 for the damages.

I then wrote back and requested more evidence including date and time stamped photos of all the alleged damages, a copy of the return checksheets for prior and subsequent rental periods, an official estimate from a licensed body shop, and evidence the vehicle had been taken out of the car pool for repair. I received no response.

What really startled me was that as I checked various customer review websites, it was clear to me that this was not a one-off thing for this branch of Sixt. There were multiple complaints of exactly the same nature. It appears the scheme set in motion by this branch is widespread and systemic: Rent the car out; fine customers for minuscule damages which are not visible to the eye, may require optical tools, and may simply be normal wear and tear; demand the maximum DKK16,000 as everyone will not pay or will dispute the claims, do not send customers clear and obvious evidence, rent the car out again without noting minor scratches and stains as pre-existing, fine customers again, always keep the car in the pool and do not repair minor scratches, dents, or stains until it the car has reached its ordinary end-of-rental life. If the customer doesn’t pay the unsubstantiated claim, sell the actual claim to a collection agency and let them handle the collection. It’s a win-win for this Sixt branch. I truly hope I am wrong...

I have now forwarded my case to the Danish Consumer Ombudsman and to the European Car Rental Conciliation Service for a review and second opinion. If this has also happened to you, make sure you voice your concern. These kind of business practices need to be discouraged.

UPDATE Nov 17: A month has now passed since Sixt, Copenhagen demanded DKK 16,000 for alleged damages. Sixt has not bothered to reply to any off my correspondence including the request for additional evidence. In other words, total radio silence. The European Car Rental Conciliation Service has replied and is looking into the case. The Danish Consumer Ombudsman has replied that they primarily handle industry wide cases but suggested that I file a claim with Center for Klageløsning and complain to Forbrugerklagenævnet by contacting Nævnenes Hus on +45 72 40 56 00. This Danish entity is focused on individual cases and that is where my correspodence will go next. Updates will follow as it appears to be in the interest of all consumers subject to the woeful scheme by this Sixt branch.
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Last edited by L.C.; Nov 16, 18 at 11:39 pm Reason: update of the case
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Old Nov 12, 18, 1:41 am
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Sorry to hear about your experience with SIXT CPH. Seems that they are still playing their games. The communication that you are experiencing mirrors my experience from 4 years ago; slow communication that does not deal with the issues raised and evidence never appears, but simply regurgitates their previous demands. The amount they are demanding from you is of course much higher than the amount that I had to contend with, so I hope that you push back hard.

Contacting the Danish Consumer Ombudsman seems like a good first step. There used to be a SIXT lurker on this board; maybe that person can chime in and try to help. In my case it did not help but maybe they have had enough issues with this branch by now that they are willing to put a bit more effort into your case.

Watch your credit card; in my case that was the first that I found out about the issue.

Good luck with your case and I hope that you find time to report back
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Old Nov 27, 18, 3:32 pm
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Good luck, L.C.

Let this thread be a lesson to anyone considering renting from Sixt in CPH. Clearly it's just not worth it.
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