A company is as good as its customer service when something goes wrong. I always used Sixt Rent-A-Car in my life. Usually they offer you new cars, and because of my frequent flyer status with Emirates and KLM I get good discounts. Still they are the most expensive car rental company that I know, and you would expect great service from them. They offered me the contrary. I will never ever use Sixt anymore, and I recommend everyone to read my story and decide if you want to take the risk to rent your car with Sixt. Sixt Rent A Car:
- Rented me a car from a branch that would never open, without telling me
- Then offered me a car category, which I would not be allowed to drive to Croatia, while I told them that I was going to drive the car to Croatia
- In Croatia wanted to charge me €1000+ extra for a two-week-and-one-day rental, than two seperate bookings in total of two weeks and one day would cost
- When I called the call center, they told me that without any problem I could make two bookings
- But when I picked up the car, I was being told that while I was going to drive to Italy for two weeks and one day, I had to return to Croatia after one week already to sign the same contract and only then I would be allowed to take the same car back to Italy, unless I was willing to pay €1000+ extra to make one booking from my two seperate bookings
- When I complained afterwards, it took them almost one month to reply to my complaints and their statement is that “Sixt did nothing wrong”.
I just cannot keep my story for myself anymore. Please read this for yourself and then decide if you would ever like to rent a car from Sixt Car Rental anymore. My advice is: find a different car rental company that treats their (loyal) customers respectfully.
Sixt Car Rental Croatia Review
On the 26th of April, I made a reservation in the FDAR class for a one week rental from Venice Piazzale Roma. This branch would open on the 1st of June. The rental would be in July. In the comments I wrote that this week I would drive to Croatia.
When I checked the rates a couple of weeks later, I found out that I could not make a reservation anymore from this branch and I contacted the Dutch call center and they told me that this branch will not open this summer and they were very surprised that no one contacted me or that my reservation wasn’t changed to Venice Airport. They offered me to pay my taxi costs from and to Piazzale Roma, and they offered me to pay back the difference in rental price between the Piazzale Roma and Venice Airport booking, because the latter was more expensive. So far so good.
In June I contacted Sixt Italy to ask about which cars they have in the FDAR-category, and I was very surprised to find out that the available cars in the FDAR category couldn’t be driven to Croatia. I would be simply put in a cheaper/cheaper brand car, which I didn’t want due to the price of the rental. I decided to not complain or make any problems from this situation and simply cancel my reservation and rent the car in Croatia, which strangely enough would allow me to drive a Mercedes, Audi or BMW to Italy (to rent one of those cars in Italy and drive them to Croatia is not allowed).
Due to the change of plans, I now had to rent a car TWO WEEKS and ONE DAY in Croatia instead of the one week in Italy (I would stay one week in Croatia, and two weeks in Italy – this is why I had to rent a week extra if we would drive from Croatia to Italy instead of the other way around, to not change the hotel reservations in Italy and Croatia that we already made. Also, the rental price in Croatia was much higher than in Venice Airport. I would end up paying more than double because of the confusion about the pickup station in Italy and because I could not drive the chosen category to Croatia. But the story gets worse.
Let me first summarize the situation:
Rental 1 week Piazzale Roma would have been €440,24
Rental 1 week from Venice Airport would have been €555,69
Rental 2 weeks and 1 day in Croatia would be: €2275,86
What?! Yes! I would pay €2275,86 for two weeks and one day, which would be five weeks of the same category in Venice Piazzale Roma. I couldn’t believe it. So I called the Sixt Croatia Callcenter in Zagreb. I have a screenshot of the date and time from when I made this call to prove that this call actually took place and to make it easier to find the call recording back. The callcenter told me that if I would make two reservations instead of one, one of one week and one of one week and one day, the price would be more than thousand euros (!!) cheaper. I just had to tell this when I picked up the car and all would be fine.
So this is what I did. I made one reservation of one week for €491,83 and one reservation of one week and one day for €561,61. Total of €1053,44. Indeed €1222,42 cheaper(!!!). They couldn’t explain why one reservation instead of two for exactly the same car and same days would be MORE THAN 100% MORE EXPENSIVE(!!), but after all I was happy with the solution. …
…until the moment when I picked up the car!
I was told that because I have two reservations, I had to drive back from Italy to Croatia after one week to sign the contract for the second reservation, and that there was absolutely no other possibility. I offered to sign the second contract on the spot. I offered them to take twice or three time the guarantee of my credit card, but nothing would help. If I wanted to rent this car for two weeks and one week without paying more than the double of my two reservations, I had to spend one day/10 hours extra in the car (5 hours to Croatia, 5 hours back to Italy).
It was very warm in the rental office in Croatia, we had to wait very long because of the client in front of us picking up the car, and we had to leave to be on time in Venice to pick our friends up which would arrive by airplane, so we agreed to rent the car for one week and then drive back to Croatia to sign the second contract for exactly the same car.
When we started driving to Italy and saw how busy it is on the roads, we started to realize that we would need to spend much more than 10 hours driving from the middle of Italy back to Croatia, and we felt that were were unbelievably mistreated by Sixt. I don’t even want to mention my Platinum Status, because I believe that no one should be treated like this.
So, here’s how the story ends.
We decided to cancel the second week of our stay in Italy and return to Croatia early. Thanks to Sixt. Because to drive back 5+ hours to Croatia to sign the second contract and drive 5+ hours back to Italy would take a lot of time, money and pleasure away from our holiday.
I can imagine that this whole situation would make a lot of people angry at Sixt, maybe I’m too much trained in the reality of companies and complex bureaucratic companies like Sixt and knowing that Sixt Croatia is a franchise, my expectations were altered already a bit. I was not planning to file a claim, to ask money back up to the amount of my original booking, call my legal insurance – no.
All I did was to call Sixt Croatia and ask them if we could bring the car back a couple of hours later than the time we picked up the car, because it would allow us to enjoy the last day or of holiday in Italy.
Do you know what was the answer? “No, if you would be a couple of hours later we have to charge you an extra day”.
Do you know what was the answer of the manager, who supposedly should be in the position to be a bit more flexible? “No, if you would be a couple of hours later we have to charge you an extra day.”
Sixt, this is the saddest experience that I had in my entire life with any company, and I’m ashamed that this should be one of the flagship multinationals operating out of Germany and Croatia – two countries that I really appreciate – and hereby I would offer you to quickly and generously settle the situation with me.
…after one month, Sixt replied, and this is the single most numb and incomprehensible reaction that I’ve ever had in my entire life from any company, that as you can read also completely misses the point of my complaint:
We do confirm that Croatia is a franchise of Sixt. You state that the price in Croatia was much higher than in Italy. From our point of view this is logical. Each country has their own pricingmodel and it is not possible for evey country to offer the cars at the same price. Just to name a few reasons why: Cars have a different purchase price in different countries, the general income in different countries is different and different laws apply. This is why we are not able to offer the same conditions for a carrental in Italy as one in Croatia. It does however sound like the employees helped you frinding a solution to the problem and save a lot of money by making two bookings, instead of one.
The reason why they did not allow you to to stay in Italy for the second conract is because Croatia is a Franchise country, and Italy is a corporate country. This means that the cars of the Croation station are owned by the station self that is renting them out using the name of Sixt, whereas in Italy the cars are owned by the company of Sixt themself. For the same reason it is not possible to make a Croatian contract in Italy etc. We understand that this was inconvenient for you at this time. Unfortunately there is no solution to this problem. It is not that we as a company are trying to mistreat you or think it is fun to send customers for a 5 hour trip to a different country. If there would have been a more convenient solution, our collegues would have offered.
You are asking to quickly and generously settle the situation with you. Even though from our point of view not really a mistake has been made from our side. As stated before it is not correct to expect the same price for a rental, or the same conditions for a rental when changing the rental to a different country. Next to that you chose to change from a corporate rental country to a franchise rental country. For that reason different conditions applied. From your story we understand that whenever you asked if something was possible, like making the second contract in Italy, or returning the car two hours later, the rental agent or manager was honest and answered the question correctly. Apart from that we are sorry that the answer wasn’t always what you wanted to be, but sometimes when the answer is no, what you would like to do really just is not possible, or terms and conditions apply.
We trust we have provided you with sufficient information.
Should you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
My advice is: never book a car rental with Sixt, because when something goes wrong they will not be willing to treat you respectfully or settle the problem fast, quickly and/or in a acceptable way.