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TKenney, Ph.D.
TKenney, Ph.D., French Attorney (Avocat à la Cour)
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 791
Experience:  Practicing law in France, 10+ years of experience on Paris Bar. Taught French Business Law in US
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I hired a camping car from Calais Caravannes on Saturday 13

Customer Question

I hired a camping car from Calais Caravannes on Saturday 13 July to the 19 July to travel to the UK as we had house viewing appointments in the north of England on Monday and Tuesday. I paid 1010 euros for the camping car hire and cheque for 1500 euros for the caution. The vehicle offered had two beds, a fixed bed and a bed that lowers from the roof using an electrical power switch. The owner at Calais showed me how this bed lowered but he did not lower it down to the position it would be in to use it. My wife and I left for the UK on Saturday night arriving at our parking area in the UK around 2.30am. My wife used the fixed bed and I lowered the other bed down. In the morning I tried to raise the bed again but the electric motor on one side failed causing the bed to jam in the down position right across the living area meaning that the table and seats were not useable and you could not walk from the back of the vehicle to the front without going out the side door which was also partly blocked by the bed's position. We decided that the vehicle could not be safely used by us as it was and I looked for a suitable Burstner agent near our location in the UK. I found that it was nearer, although very expensive, to return to Calais as all other agents were too far away and in the opposite direction that we intended to travel North. Having returned to the hire company at Calais it was closed so we returned to our home as it was not possible to travel to the North of the UK in the time we had left. I drove the vehicle back to the hire company on Monday afternoon the 15 July. The vehicle was washed and cleaned thoroughly to avoid any loss of the caution. Whilst washing the vehicle in the jet wash I reversed into a concrete bollard scratching the rear plastic bumper of the camper. I showed the company owner this and the bed jammed in the down position. He then tried to fix it but could not. He did not have another vehicle available but I told him that we now had to cancel out trip as we had lost the two days necessary to travel there and back. He at first seemed quite helpful and as I had admitted the damage to the bumper quite freely he told me that it was going to cost me 245 euros which I paid. I asked then for a refund of at least 4 days of the hire fee as the vehicle could not be used. I said I was quite happy to pay for the days we had used the vehicle even though it meant we had only used it for a short period having returned his defective vehicle as being unfit for the use. My French is not sufficient to argue and I understood he was saying that as there was only two of us travelling the vehicle had a bed for two so could still be used and it was my decision to return early but the contract was for the weeks hire so no refund was due. The fact that the living area was blocked by the other bed seemed to pass over him and he repeated that it had been our decision to return and I should have phoned for help. Bearing in mind he could not fix the problem himself having the vehicle there seemed to me to be a pointless statement. After about a hour of getting nowhere I signed the vehicle back to the company and asked for my 1500 euro caution cheque. He refused and said it would be returned in about 10 days. Once I got home I reread the form I had been given to sign and it clearly states that I would only get the caution back after the vehicle had been repaired and fit for hire again. But I noticed that the repair to the bed was shown on the same document as being under guarantee. My concern now is that I will be charged a further unknown amount for the repair to the bed that was nothing to do with me. Is there a way I can claim back any of my hire fee and my caution cheque? As I said earlier although I live permanently in France my French is not up the standard required to challenge a company owner in a situation that I found myself in on Monday.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: French Law
Expert:  Wendy-Mod replied 4 years ago.

I'm Wendy, and I’m a moderator for this Legal topic.

We have been working with our professionals to try to help you with your question. Sometimes it may take a bit of time to find the right fit.

I was checking to see if you had found your answer elsewhere or if you still needed assistance from one of our professionals.

Please let me know if you wish to continue waiting or if you would like for us to close your question.

Also remember that JustAnswer has a multitude of categories to help you with all your needs from Health, Pets, Computers, Cars, Finance, Tax, to Home Improvement, and more.

Thank you,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I only spoke with the owner as I did not want to start getting involved in anything without knowing my rights first. I intend to wait for my reply from your website and decide whether to approach a French advocate to push for a refund. Obviously I have to wait now for the caution cheque to be returned before I know if I have been charged for any more repairs. Ian

Expert:  Wendy-Mod replied 4 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX continue to look for a professional to assist you. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance while you wait.

Expert:  Fran-mod replied 4 years ago.

We are still working with the professionals to find you the best possible match. I wanted to touch base to see if you still needed a professional’s assistance.

Please let me know if you would like to continue to wait or if you would like to cancel your question at this time. We sincerely XXXXX XXXXX the extended wait time.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can I assume that you are not based in France as your post times are not European. If you are not able to help with French consumer law please can you tell me as soon as possible.

Expert:  Fran-mod replied 4 years ago.
The site itself is based in San Francisco and we site moderators are in the US. We have legal professionals in various places throughout the world, however, including France. Your question will be addressed by a French legal professional.

I have marked your question high priority.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Please can you tell me if, as I have not been given any advice just moderator contact, do I get a full refund of my 38 euro deposit.