A rental car in Greece

Rental car, Greece

A friend of mine had his credit card overcharged by a car rental firm in Greece recently. He had it pre-authorised but when he checked the bill it was more than the payable voucher  he had. However, he spoke Greek and was knowledgeable about the laws of the country. So he wrote a letter to complain which I have ‘generified’ here for you, because it is very effective.


[Your car hire/ hotel stay dates]

I have been charged €xxx for this, when the sum payable/agreed at the reception/rental desk was €xxx.

I asked for a receipt, but was told that I did not need one. It is my understanding that under Article 1 of the Greek merchant law (αγορανομική διάταξη) which came into force on 12 January 2013, if the customer does not receive a legal receipt, he/she is not obliged to pay, ie. “Ο καταναλωτής δεν έχει υποχρέωση να πληρώσει αν δεν λάβει το νόμιμο παραστατικό στοιχείο (απόδειξη-τιμολόγιο)”. {1}

I do not object to paying the sum I owed you, with or without the receipt, but I do object to being overcharged by €xxx.

{1} This is the killer – if they’ve overcharged your card, then they didn’t give you a receipt at the time. Write this ‘as is’, because you have them by the goolies. It quotes the law in Greece (including the text in Greek) which allows someone not to pay any sum agreed if a receipt is not forthcoming. Not giving a receipt in 2013 Greece is as bad as punching a tax collector in the nose.

My friend received this email back only one day later:

Please accept our apologies about this incident. There was a problem in our system with the price but now everything is fine. Please find attached your reeipt for the original amount and a new receipt for the refund that we made today.

The corollary: quote the merchant law about receipts to any Greek business whose IT systems malfunction.