My France Odyssey

Firefly car hire – the return

The day arrives to return to the UK and so we are all set for the journey home via Charles de Gaulle airport where we are to drop off the dirty car back to Firefly.

We neared the airport and looked for a petrol station where we could top up the tank due to the full to full policy that Firefly car rental have. From the motorway we saw a Shell garage and came off the motorway. After a bit of a detour we found that the shell was a truck stop with only diesel, no petrol which is what we needed. Sitting stationery outside we tried to find a petrol station on the satnav, trying “on my route” and “near me” settings, but all was lost. The satnav said “nothing found”. After about 20 minutes of aimlessly driving around and failing to find fuel we decided to give up and head for the airport, willing to fork out for the half a tank of fuel necessary.

The satnav had given up the ghost so with that failure we had to hope that the signage to the airport and then the car hire terminal would be good enough. Amazingly the signs were there, they were big and prominent. We soon found ourselves back in the gloomy car park, out of the car and walking towards the Firefly cabin.

What joy to find a queue. Never mind, we thought, we have plenty of time, but the clock was ticking. Once again the single staff member gave no indication that he knew we were there and was as slow as when we arrived, a single click n his computer taking so long. Our flight was due and we had to get moving bearing in mind the long, long walk to check in. We asked could he hurry as we had a plane to catch to which he said “leave the keys and go”. No please, thank you, hello or goodbye, he didn’t even look in our direction. We put the keys on the desk and left, unable to apologise for the half empty tank.

We caught our flight and returned home safe and sound, a bit upset about the poor service and state of the car from Firefly but thought no more about it except to expect a bill for around £35 for petrol.

After a while I began to wonder what had happened to the bill. Nothing in my email, the whole booking was online. I was checking my credit card there it was £70.83. What? Twice what I was expecting. I immediately emailed but as yet no reply. I also got in touch with Holiday Autos but again have heard nothing.

I guess I will put this down to experience as I don’t think there is much I can do, especially as neither company I booked is responding. I now think I was naive in expecting a “cheap” car hire to actually be cheap. Next time I need to hire a car it definitely will not be with Firefly and probably not with Holiday Autos, just terrible the both of them.

See also my post on the collection from Firefly

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