I have been advised to try all means to have my situation resolved before I escalate this.
This posting is an attempt to communicate with someone higher up in the Onto Management team as to my experience and how money has been taken from me based on inaccurate reports and falsification of documents that were used to take a payment from against my permission.
I took delivery of a Renault Zoe for one month, the drop off driver parked it on the road near my house, took four photographs of the car and left.
My hire period ends and in the next fews days I received phonecalls to say that the collection driver is unable to pick up the car. I explained that I no longer had access to the vehicle via the App because the hire period had ended but the car had 70% battery charge at this point.
I am informed that a collection driver will pick up the car at 1pm on this day.
At 1:30pm, he arrived, rang my doorbell and asked for the key to the car. I explained that I do not have the key and that it is opened and started via an App. I was on a work phonecall at the time and so advised the driver that he contact Onto as to how to access the car and that I would join him after my phone call. 20 minutes later I went to join the driver but he and the car had gone.
I received an email from Onto saying that the car had been inspected by GEFCO and that there was a charge for £114 (£95 +£19 VAT) which would be taken from my account. Upon looking at the attached report I see that it was for a Nearside Front Alloy to be polished. The report had a different figure of £117 containing an inspection fee of £22 and the Polish at £95. The date of this Inspection Report was 03/12/20 and the photographs of the car were taken in the interior of a garage area with many other cars. The car is clean in the photographs. The battery was recorded at 6%.
The email offered for me to query the damage and so on the same day I sent a reply. I wrote back to Onto within the hour to say that I dispute the damage informing them that the damage was done after the car was picked up from my address and that there was no damage to the car during my hire period. I highlighted on the email that these photographs were taken some considerable time after it was picked up and that I should not be debited for this.
I received an email from Onto to say that my dispute had been rejected and that the amount would still be debited. The email attached a Collection Report from the driver and the body of the email stated that the driver is not responsible for the Nearside Front Alloy damage as the scratches are present in the images on the Collection Report.
The Collection Report is dated at 5pm on 27/11/20. It contains a supposed signature from myself at 4:42pm. The images in the Collection Report are taken at dusk time in a large car park clearly taken after the Collection driver finished his journey with the battery saying 15%. One particular photograph shows the dashboard at a time of 16:29. The photographs include one of the Nearside Front Wheel showing no damage. The car is dirty in these images presumedly from the Collection Driver’s journey which judging my the addresses is a journey of 70 miles. Under the damages section, nothing is marked for damage.
Instead of including any photographs taken at the point of collection, the report contains the four photographs taken when the car was dropped off. This is notable because the car is parked on yellow lines which are no longer present when the council resurfaced the road in early November.
At this point I phoned Onto and spoke to a customer representative to explain that the documents sent to me contain no damage and that Onto were wanting to charge me. The representative said that he could not speak to me about this. I asked to speak to someone who could speak to me. He said it was company policy for me to not speak to anyone else about this and the call ended.
So I replied to the email on the same day. I explained that it was not my signature, that the Collection Report contains zero damage anyway and that the photographs were taken somewhere else not outside my house. I explained that four photographs were not from the day of collection but from a month previous. I explained that the scuff was not done during my hire period, and that it is clear that the damage was done between collection and the Inspection Report date when the car had been driven by other people. I explained that I can accept that the clear mistakes made on the administration paperwork are forgivable but any attempt to place the damage of the car on myself outside of the terms and conditions then I would consider this an attempt of fraud. I expressed that there is no permission from myself to take payment.
I received a reply to my email to say that the Collection Report does contain images and that there may be issues on my side loading the document.
It states that due to Covid the drivers are required to keep a certain distance from the customer therefore no signature is required.
The email highlighted in the previous photograph a mark on the wheel which they attribute to the damage and that Onto deems myself liable for it.
I replied that the any damage to the car in these photographs is not identified in the Collection Report and that it was outside of my hire period and after collection. Onto are trying to claim for damage that is undertaken between collection and inspection.
Onto takes payment from me without my permission and for damage outside of the hire period.
Perhaps the Collection Driver did not take any photographs of the car at my residence. Instead photographs of the drop-off are included in the Collection Report. When the car is collected I am not liable for any damage to the car, especially after a 70 mile journey from a collection driver who was unaware how to unlock the car. No damage was listed in the collection report even after this 70 mile journey and my signature has been forged at this point 70 miles away.
I have been chatting to numerous people on forums with similar experiences and it appears that my experience is not uncommon. One person pointed me to this community forum which is why I write here.
I am not accountable for any errors of Onto staff and I am not accountable for any damage outside of my hire period. Could someone from the Onto management team please respond to this posting before my experience with Onto is escalated.
I wish Onto well as the service had generally been positive up until this point. But this method of attempting to charge customers without the due diligence of paperwork is dreadful. Especially when paperwork is inaccurate and falsified.