Car hire – Ireland of the Welcomes?

 

Sir, – As an expatriate returning to Ireland yearly from my home in France, I continue to be shocked by the practices of car rental companies at Dublin Airport. This year was no different. I decided to avoid the extra insurance fee slapped on at the rental counter. I took out extra insurance cover when I booked online. When I arrived in Dublin from Paris in early October with a printout of booking details, I was told that the cover was inadequate and had been taken out through an intermediary company. In the case of any damage to the car, I would still have to pay the car rental company for repairs and then apply to the company for reimbursement.

I should add that this insurance was three times the cost of the car hire! I also had to pay a supplement when I said I was going to Northern Ireland.

Two Belgian friends of mine ran in the Dublin marathon last month. They booked a room with breakfast in Parnell Street through Airbnb for two nights. It cost them €187. The owner informed them that he couldn’t be there when they arrived. Someone else gave them the keys. They had to buy their own toilet paper. The washbasin and bathtub were filthy. Breakfast included processed bread and orange squash.

Why am I writing about these two experiences? Both are examples of ripping off clients when they have no choice as they had booked online. My friends found taxis to be reasonable and drivers to be friendly and helpful. I’m definitely going to take a taxi to a car-hire place outside Dublin Airport the next time I come home. The taxi fare would be much less than the extra insurance cover.

As for my friends, I advised them to read client comments on the Airbnb website before booking anything, and to “name and shame” the people involved.

I am quite disgusted by this “get rich quick” attitude. – Yours, etc,

MEG WALSH,

St Genès de Blaye,

France.