Before reading this you may want to refer to a comment posted by one of our rental car customers on TripAdvisor.

I hesitate to respond to this sort of thing, but we get referrals from the TripAdvisor forums and what is said about us there is very important. Here's our side of the story.

Ms. XYZ (of course we won't use her real name...or even the login ID she used at TripAdvisor) was indeed charged 74.75 plus 19% value added tax (not quite the $150 she claims) by the rental car supplier when she failed to return her rental car with a full fuel tank. Very high fuel charges are standard procedure with all rental companies in Europe. The voucher she received prior to her rental contained this language: "Client is advised to return the vehicle with a full fuel tank and to retain all gas receipts." Furthermore, all our customers are sent a link to our free special report entitled: "What You Should Know About Renting a Car in Europe" which contains this information: "If the rental company has to fill the fuel tank when you return the car, you'll pay as much as $18 per gallon, and perhaps a refueling charge as well. Bring back a near-empty tank and you might pay more than $200 for fuel plus a refueling charge." Since Ms. XYZ was unable to produce any receipts for fuel, or in any way document that the tank was not full at the start of the rental, we were unable to obtain a refund for her.

As to our inadequate service, Ms. XYZ does not mention the exchange of two to three dozen emails—between and herself, between and Auto Europe, and between Auto Europe and the car rental company in Europe—regarding the fuel charge and other issues related to her rental. Nor does she acknowledge in her TripAdvisor posts that through's efforts and the efforts of our partners at Auto Europe, the rental car supplier in Europe refunded 35.28 euros (about $45 at the time). The supplier incorrectly charged Ms. XYZ an additional day's rental which we were able to have refunded. We wonder if she understands that had she booked directly with the supplier, she would have been alone in seeking her refund from a car rental company whose offices are in Europe.

With respect to the dirty car, we are always disappointed when our suppliers fail to provide top quality service to our customers. I should again point out that our "What You Should Know About Renting a Car in Europe" report contains the following language: "If the car is dirty inside or out, refuse it," and "Don't leave rental location until satisfied." In addition, in the event of service problems with the supplier, each customer is advised to call the toll-free-from-Europe help line.

To summarize, Ms. XYZ accepted a dirty car and one with a fuel tank that was not full. Both these scenarios are specifically covered in our “What You Should Know...” report, the link to which was emailed to her with the rental voucher before she left the U.S.

After her return from Europe, we assisted her in the same the way we do with all customers who encounter problems with a supplier; we collected the relevant documents, listened to her account of what happened at the rental counter, and then presented it all to our contact at Auto Europe who in turn forwarded it to the rental company in Europe. Ms. XYZ was unhappy with the outcome.

A final note: Ms. XYZ says she was injured prior to picking up the car. We fully understand her pain could have distracted her and her husband from challenging the rental car supplier in the ways we recommend. But unfortunately, when all is said and done, what we are left with is the paperwork...or lack of it.

If you are a car rental customer and have had a different experience with us, perhaps you would like to respond to her post at TripAdvisor. You can do so here.