A few days ago a friend from a New Zealand campervan travel website (Wandering New Zealand) was telling me that they’d been contacted by someone who had a complaint about their recent New Zealand campervan rental holiday.They wanted to know how they could lodge a complaint against the company they’d hired the motorhome from.
It got me thinking. Why do unpleasant experiences happen in the first place? And how can you avoid them?
A bad experience 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 complaining.
Making your New Zealand campervan holiday memorable for all the right reasons
Do your research! Make sure you hire your campervan from a trusted, respected company which has received many good reviews. The Rankers website is the place to go to read travel reviews of New Zealand campervan companies (as well as reviews of activities, attractions and campsites). Choose a company that has received a high satisfaction rating from a lot of reviewers. This is a good indication that they know what they are doing and are consistently providing a good product and excellent level of service. Be wary of companies that have a high rating but have only received a small number of good reviews.
Be realistic. You get what you pay for! If you’re paying the cheapest rate for a budget campervan you can expect the quality of the campervan and the level of customer service to reflect the cheap price you’re paying. If you want to hire a modern, reliable campervan with good 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 obligations as the hirer? Do you know exactly what will be provided in the rental vehicle? Are you clear about pick up and drop off procedures, what identification you need to provide, and the hours of operation of the rental 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. You have chosen to take the risk. Our advice is to 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 prevent you from travelling.
Ask questions if you’re not sure. You have the right to ask as many questions as you like before and when you book your rental campervan. If you’re worried about your campervan not being powerful enough, ask. Nervous about how to empty the waste tanks – or perhaps you got shown when you picked up the vehicle but you can’t remember? 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 letter. 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 campervan at the end of your holiday. I used to work for a large rental motorhome company that would occasionally receive complaints from clients. We asked each customer to complete a survey at the end of their holiday. So when we received a complaint, we would look up their survey to see if they had said anything when they dropped off their campervan. And it was amazing how many people wrote nice things on the survey and then waited until they got home to complain! This is not fair. You need to give the company a chance to respond and fix whatever the problem is. Most complaints can be resolved at the time if the company knows you’re not happy.
Finally - make sure you write a review of your New Zealand campervan rental company on the Rankers website so other people can learn from your experience, good or bad!