Con­cerns for con­sumers raised against ve­hi­cle hire firm

Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Gwyn­neth Hay­wood Gwyn­neth Hay­wood is the se­nior re­gional of­fi­cer for Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion.

Have you booked a four-wheel-drive or camper ve­hi­cle for a trip?

Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion is con­cerned about a ve­hi­cle hire busi­ness which ap­pears to have closed shop, leav­ing cus­tomers out of pocket.

Rent Beyond Pty Ltd, trad­ing as Drive Beyond for­merly of Beech­boro Road in Bayswa­ter, va­cated its Perth premises. The com­pany is reg­is­tered in Queens­land but its sole di­rec­tor Nathan Joyce is based in Vic­to­ria.

Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion has not been able to con­tact Mr Joyce or any­one from the com­pany, with the con­tact in­for­ma­tion on their web­site no longer valid and phone num­bers no longer op­er­at­ing.

We know of at least four cus­tomers who claim to be owed al­most $30,000 paid up­front for the rental of 4WD ve­hi­cles as well as bonds, which were sup­posed to be re­funded. One cus­tomer is from WA, two are from the Eastern States and one is from Europe.

A NSW fam­ily of four found them­selves stuck in Broome without ac­com­mo­da­tion or an off-road ve­hi­cle af­ter ar­riv­ing there to find there was no 4WD camper wait­ing for them, de­spite pay­ing more than $10,000 in ad­vance to hire it for four weeks.

Cus­tomers have turned up at the empty Bayswa­ter premises ex­pect­ing to pick up their hire ve­hi­cles, only to be left high and dry. Oth­ers who re­cently re­turned their ve­hi­cle while the busi­ness was op­er­at­ing claim they haven’t yet had their bond money re­turned. We want any other con­sumers who may have booked and paid for ve­hi­cle hire through Drive Beyond to be aware of the sit­u­a­tion and to con­tact us.

Con­sumers who have paid by credit card may con­sider ap­ply­ing for a charge-back from their provider if they have not re­ceived the ser­vices they paid for.

Drive Beyond cus­tomers who are owed money and have yet to lodge a com­plaint are urged to do so via dmirs.wa.gov.au/ con­sumer-pro­tec­tion.

For in­quiries, email con­sumer@dmirs.wa.gov.au or phone 1300 30 40 54.

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