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What to Do if You’re Not Happy with your Campervan


Recently we received an enquiry from someone who wanted to complain about their  New Zealand motorhome rental holiday. They weren’t sure how they could lodge a complaint against the company they’d hired their campervan from.

If you do have a complaint about any aspect of your New Zealand campervan rental holiday, here are some tips for how to handle it.

What if I’m not happy with my NZ campervan rental holiday?

If you do feel you need to complain about some aspect of your rental campervan experience, we recommend that as a first step you talk to the company at the time, either while you’re on the road or when you drop off your rental campervan. Ask for a manager or supervisor if necessary. If that doesn’t work, gather any evidence you might have (photos, receipts etc) and write a letter.

Still no joy? Then it will be time to lodge a consumer complaint under the Consumer Guarantees Act or the Fair Trading Act. The NZ Department of Consumer Affairs has a very useful website which will give you more information about what you can and can’t complain about. Note that they are only able to help with complaints for issues that occurred in New Zealand. They also have useful information on travel scams.

Tourism New Zealand also has a complaint form on its website, though if your complaint concerns a specific tourism operator they do encourage you to go direct to that operator.

It can be really time-consuming writing complaint letters and trying to find out the proper channels for submitting a complaint. It can also be upsetting. And it can definitely ruin your nice memories of your motorhome holiday in New Zealand! If you are planning a New Zealand campervan rental holiday, here are some things to consider to ensure you don’t end up in this position.

Making your New Zealand campervan holiday memorable for all the right reasons

Do your research. Hire your motorhome from a trusted rental company that has received many good reviews. We recommend you check out the Rankers website which has travel reviews of New Zealand campervan companies, attractions, activities and camping grounds. Choose a company that has received a high satisfaction rating from a lot of reviewers. This is a good indication that they have a good reputation and consistently high standards.

Remember that you get what you pay for. If you’re paying the a low price for a rental campervan you can expect the quality of the campervan and the level of customer service to reflect the cheap price. If you want a modern, reliable rent campervan with on-road support and customer service that goes the extra mile, you are going to have to put your hand in your pocket and pay a little more. It will be worth it!

Read the paperwork. Do you understand your responsibilities as the renter? Do you know exactly what will be provided in the rental campervan? Are you clear about pick up and drop off procedures, what identification you need to provide, and the hours of operation of the campervan hire company? It is the responsibility of the motorhome rental company to provide this information but it is your responsibility to make sure you read and understand it.

Choose to take out motorhome rental insurance. If you decide not to take rental insurance and you have an accident or if the campervan you’ve hired is damaged during your holiday, it is your responsibility. We recommend you always take out insurance on your rental campervan. We also recommend you purchase travel insurance to cover you against unforeseen circumstances such as illness or natural disasters which may affect your travel plans.

Ask questions if you’re not sure. You should ask as many questions as you like before and when you book your motorhome hire. If you’re worried about the motorhome not being powerful enough, ask. If you’re nervous about any aspect of operating the vehicle during your trip, give the company a call and ask them to talk you through it again.

If you’re not happy, tell someone. Don’t wait until you get home to write a complaint. Call the 24-hour helpline if something happens while you’re on the road and you don’t feel it is dealt with properly. And definitely tell the customer service agent that you’re not happy when you drop off your rental motorhome at the end of your holiday. You need to give the rental motorhome company a chance to respond and fix the problem. Most complaints can be resolved at the time if the company knows you’re not happy.

And last but not least – write a review of the campervan rental company on the Rankers website so others can learn from your experience.

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