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Firefly Car Rental

London, United...
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Firefly Car Rental

We were allocated Firefly when booking through Holiday Autos. The broker offers no indication which company will provide the car before paying - in future, I would carefully review the rental conditions (this is possible before booking) as generally the better companies operate a full/full policy. As it turned out, Firefly are a budget arm of Hertz. The vehicle we received was a Opel Meriva with 35,000km on the clock. We were made aware on receipt of the car that we would be charged for a tank of fuel (the rate was surprisingly comparable to most filling stations) and that there is a possible cleaning charge of EUR15. We returned the car as clean as possible without a full interior/exterior wash, and were still charged the cleaning fee. I had to drop the car off out-of-hours so was not possible to get the car seen by a representative. Firefly have no telephone customer services, and there has been no response to an e-mail I sent them a week ago. The local offices refer all problems to Firefly customer services, and almost acknowledged the issue by advising we may have to end up contacting Hertz customer services. Overall I would avoid Firefly, or at least price in sneaky charges.

77 replies to this topic
Limerick Ireland
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1. Re: Firefly Car Rental

I totally agree. It mirrors my experience. My rental was also an Opel Meriva Just adequately cleaned, but not what I expect from car rental in France. No customer service back up on site (Nice airport), reported a light flashing on dash before leaving the airport. Was told it was OK. !!!. Had money deducted when I got home but was unable to ascertain why. Presume it was for fuel, which I thought was prepaid for. Cost more than double what it cost me to fill a tank. Was also asked to clean car inside and out or a charge would be applied. This I had done. Firefly may appear to be the cheapest but the hidden extras get you. The worst experience that I have ever had with car rental in France. Will never use them again, no matter how cheap they are !!!!

London, United...
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2. Re: Firefly Car Rental

To my pleasant surprise, on complaining to the broker (Holiday Autos) about the cleaning charge, it was refunded as Firefly did not respond within their 2 week window. Good service from Holiday Autos!

Wirral, United...
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112 posts
65 reviews
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3. Re: Firefly Car Rental

I just booked car rental at Toulouse Airport through Jet2com. They put me with Firefly who I now know are Advantage under another name. They are half a mile away from the terminal and consider that to be 'at the airport' so don't provide a shuttle service. It's next door to Radisson Blu Hotel which does provide free bus. Surprised to receive a phone call from 'Sean' at rentalcars.com trying to sell me additional cdw insurance. He confirmed that rentalcars.com are agents for Jet2com. I have taken the precaution of buying annual xs insurance from Questor at less than £40 so that shut him up. I queried the cleaning charge some have been made to pay and credit card charges added months after the car has been returned. He assured me that there is no such charge on my booking and no extra charges will be added. I did intend to return the car at 7.30am Monday 20th September due to my flight time but see they don't open until 8am. I'm now returning it on Sunday afternoon the day before and have booked the night at Radisson Blu hotel. Means I won't have a two hour early morning car journey and a rush through the rental car return procedure. Having dealt with Advantage at Malaga previously I'm expecting trouble and will be armed with camera and some argumentative French phrases.

In view of that I'll probably have an easy ride.

I'll report on return how it went.

Wirral, United...
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112 posts
65 reviews
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4. Re: Firefly Car Rental

Back home after the Firefly experience. Managed to miss the turn and ended up at McDonalds in the wrong direction. They advertise as being 'at the airport' and do not pickup clients although the hotels next door accept that they are 'off the airport' and provide shuttle bus service. It's a helluva hike to walk with suitcases in summer heat negotiating a series of roundabouts and road works. Small car Chevrolet Spark (in reality a rebadged Daewoo Matiz) adequate for the job until it needed a push start the second day. Whilst the bonnet was up I checked the engine oil level-none! Screenwash fluid reservoir-empty. Now worried about the rest of the contraption I checked the tyres-three with 30psi but front nearside with only 15psi. Required two litres of engine oil to put the level between the upper and lower dipstick marks so it wasn't far off suffering a seizure. Phoned the helpline number but it was either engaged or answered electronically by unintelligible gallic automaton. Eventually got through to lady manager who agreed to discuss reimbursement on return of vehicle. The invoice showed fuel charge of €87.73 which I thought had been charged to my credit card for the full tank of fuel present on collection but she stated that it would not be imposed unless the car was returned empty (and that's how I brought it back). She agreed to cancel the fuel charge. Taking into account the €7.90 I paid for oil and the car was returned running on fumes I reckon I've been refunded about thirty pounds. That makes the deal cheap... but not what I'd call cheerful. Lady manager was nice, unflustered and judging by her quick acceptance of liability is probably used to dealing with complaints.

Sandbach, United...
2 posts
2 reviews
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5. Re: Firefly Car Rental

I have tried to contact you several times since hiring a car from you at Nice Airport on 30/07/2013.

I have received a speeding fine from the French Police for 08h43 on that day although our flight didn't arrive in Nice till10h50 and our document from you (90582981-6) states the time out as 11:41.

I have written to the French Police to explain, but feel you should be able to clarify the situation to say it was impossible for me to have been driving. Also I agree with other customers regarding the cleaning charge, as I too brought the car back in clean condition. I also brought the car back with half a tank of fuel, and your policy of charging for a full tank (57.05 euros +VAT) is a real "rip off"!!

I have filled in the Query form twice on the web site and although several days have elapsed, I have still not heard a word. It is extremely unsatisfactory to have such difficulty contacting an organisation, and does nothing to make one think you have any concern for customer services.

Edited: 25 October 2013, 22:57
Wirral, United...
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112 posts
65 reviews
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6. Re: Firefly Car Rental

Maybe if you contact the parent company,Hertz-you may get some satisfaction.

If they tried that trick in UK they'd be investigated for perverting the course of justice.

Sandbach, United...
2 posts
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7. Re: Firefly Car Rental

Thanks for that. If I don't hear soon, I will try Hertz as you suggest.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Firefly Car Rental

<<<I have tried to contact you several times since hiring a car from you at Nice Airport on 30/07/2013.>>>

What the heck are you talikng about?

Wirral, United...
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112 posts
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9. Re: Firefly Car Rental

talikng? (Canadian dialect).

Amsterdam, The...
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10. Re: Firefly Car Rental

In November I rented a car in NIce, well, an Opel Meriva. At collection, the car was very dirty, both outside as inside. Inside there even was a spiderweb! The car inside stank immensely, a kind of deep-fried odour. The smell refused to go away during the rental period. Btw, the majority of the there parked Firefly cars appeared to be very dirty on the outside. No one of Firefly on the (hard to reach) parkinglot.

The electronically adjustable side-mirrors did not funtion. They were also not adjustable by hand.

The rear luggage door was troublesome, it sometimes just blocked in the lock without apparent reason.

The window sprinkler did not work properly; the fluid only reached the front window halfway.

The employee at the desk told me that I had to return the car with an empty gas tank. As I would be charged a full tank of gas + refueling costs anyway, irrespective of the quantity of gas that would be in the tank at return. This is not in accordance with the conditions as stated on the reservation made through Rentalcars.com.

At return the Firefly-parking was overflown with cars. Not only all parking lots were occupied, but also the driving lanes were full of parked cars. It was difficult to find a place and to put the car away properly.

I complained at Rentalcars.com and they offered me a €15,- refund for the cleaning costs. While polite for a intermediate, in the end I think it is only meager compared to the discomfort of a stinking, partially defect car.

Never ever a Firefly car for me again. And probably no Herz for that matter too.

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