South africa 4x4 : No car and no refund





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  1. #1
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    Default South africa 4x4 : No car and no refund

    Hello.

    In october 2014 i booked a Landrover Puma 110 fully equiped for camping at Southafrica 4x4. I payed the deposit (1/4 of the total sum i had to pay, the deposit was 864 US$) and of course i still have proof that i did pay. We arrived my wife, my two daughters and i in johannesburg at the beguining of august 2015, Carel Pienaar was waiting for us at the airport only to tell us he had no more 4x4 available, but assured us he would do everything he could to get us one, insisting on the fact that he knew a lot of 4x4 rental shops and that there was a great solidarity between them.
    He offered to pay for our stay at a hotel of his choosing, the Mapunbugwe hôtel, which (we would later find out) belongs to him. He told us we'd meet the next day to tell us if he had any solution. We trusted him and were full of hope.
    The next morning he came to the hostel : still no car. Then he started doing what he promised he'd do the day before as soon as he got home : he started calling a bunch of car rentals in our hostel room, They all told him they had nothing available.
    I foud out later that he was very well known in the area indeed...
    He then asked us what we wanted to do.
    I told him that our accomodations in Botwana were payed for and we had to get there with or without 4x4, even if that meant we'd go there with a regular car and then he'd get the 4x4 driven in Maun one or two days later. We then discussed the type of car he could get us, we agreed that our family would settle for a less powerfull vehicle like the Hilux 2.5 l if he couldn't find anything better.
    Then he told me he wouldn't mind at all bringing the car to Maun and that he was used to driving that far.
    Then i asked him where i could find a vehicle that would get us to Maun, and he told me i would have no problem finding one myself at the airport
    We where a little surprised, but we whent there, i asked him if he could pay for the hostel before he left, he had told us that he'd pay for food he confirmed it and told us he'd pay for drinks as well, (all three of us heard him). When we arrived at the reception the food and drink weren't payed for.
    Misunderstanding or lie?
    At the airport we were stupefied to realise there was no car available.
    I called him again, he told me he'd try to find something and sends me a text message with a number. When i tryed to call it it didn't work, I called him again. He tells me he has an Xtrail for us in two days, (!) I pointed out that an Xtrail wouldn't be powerfull enough for that type of trip ( Moremi, Savuti Chobe Khubu Kumagha CKGR Kgalagadi through Kaa Gate) he then sent me another number : SMH car hire.
    They had a dicovery for us... twice as much as the Puma and not equiped for camping.
    Considering Mister Pienaar was supposed to keep looking for another 4x4 he'd bring to Maun as he promised we rented the dicovery. I stillhave his text message telling me he'd fax his driving licence to SMH in order to be allowed to drive the discovery from Maun to Johannesburg.
    After arriving in Maun I called Mr pienaad that was no longer anwering my text messages. He tell me he still hasn't found anything and that i should Look for a carmyself in Maun since the car rental there could according to him tell him they had nothing for him eventhough they did, (which was the case) I ask him if he still agrees to drive the discovery back to Joburg.
    He refuses.
    I remind him that we agreed he would, and that he even sent a copy of his driving licence in that purpose to SMH and spoke to an employee of SMH about that.
    He keeps refusing, telling me i refused the replacement car he offered to rent us : a landcruiser with two roof tents (!) ... At this point i had to sit down, the Xtrail magically turned into a Landcruiser which i refused ! I pointed out that there would be no reason for me to refuse a landcruiser, it didn't make sense! I asked him if it was still available, he tells me it isn't, he even refused to give me the name of the company that rents the landcruiser, when i asked for it in order to call them.
    I get it's another lie to avoid any responsability. Of course there is no text messages of him making this offer, nothing written. There is though a text message of me asking him to send me by text every important new imformation. I t keep in order to use it in the legal procedure i will intempt.
    PEople from maun offered to help us, the heard about mister pienaadr and not in good terms.... They quickmy found a car rental in maun that offered to rent us a 4x4 fully equiped... But nobody to drive the discovery back.... I'm sick of this unbearable relationship and ask Carel pienaard to refund me what i had already payed him. I send him my bank details, asking him not to wait as i will have some extra charges because of him. He anwered quickly " it's all done" I negociated a good price for the discovery with SMH and we go on our trip. three weeks later i checked that Mr pienaard refund me. He didn't.
    We met him in Johanesburg at SMH where we left the camping gear we had bought (600euros) and that he was willing to buy ( 3 to 4 times less). before i let him leave with the camping gear, i ask him why he hasn't refunded me. He tells me that he sent me a text to explain it to me : my bank details where incomplete. I tell him that strangely the same exact bank details had been sent to someone else for a refund and it worked just fine. i checked again they where not incomplete. I tell him that after so many lies i can't let him leave with the camping gear without paying straight away.
    We parted on it.
    So far I haven't been refunded
    Tothose who wouldn't believe the numerous negative reviews they read about soutafrica4x4, I appeal for caution. It is obvious that all customers are not cheated but increasingly find themselve without a car or with a defective car in the middle of CKGR or in Zimbabwe.
    I invite you to request some changes to the contract including high financial penalties in case of non delivery or non replacement.
    They will refuse.
    the best thing to do is to avoid this company.
    Last edited by Erwan; 2015/12/15 at 07:41 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Hmmm, not good.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jola View Post
    Hmmm, not good.
    Not good at all. Does anyone know anything more about this company, I have never heard of them.

  4. #4
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    Some more reviews on TA, I've seen I wasn't the only one.
    Strangely, there are many five stars reviews posted by some "one single post" reviewers...
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  5. #5
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    Sorry to hear about all the issues you had. I hope you get your refund.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Not good at all. Does anyone know anything more about this company, I have never heard of them.
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...1&postcount=30

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckzoo View Post
    Sorry to hear about all the issues you had. I hope you get your refund.
    Well...I hope so, but I'm pretty sure I won't.
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  8. #8
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    You booked in October 2014?

  9. #9
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    Yes, I booked in October for 1 month rental in August 2015.
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  10. #10
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    I hope Southafrica 4x4 read this forum or someone who knows them points them in this direction to see what they have to say. Thanks for the feedback

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Not good at all. Does anyone know anything more about this company, I have never heard of them.
    We met him when he bought my neighbours 110 TD5 a couple of years ago, he also worked at a hotel in JHB accross the road from where swambo works. She met with him a few times to finalise the deal/ paperwork on behalf of the neighbour, at that stage he seemed pretty legit.

    He was also interested in "hiring" our defender for clients, but I was a tad dubious with certain clauses in the contract so rather opted not to go that route
    Alan


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  12. #12
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    seems like a scam company catching overseas tourists. Take money,don't deliver as promised. I really hope you get your deposit back.
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  13. #13
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    another scam for tourists

    Marv in SIN City had a nice phrase... "the nice thing about hit men.. no matter what you do to them, you don't have to feel bad afterwards"

    con men are the same.

    scum bags like that make for unhappy holidays and just make life harder for decent businessmen.

    sorry to hear about your ruined holiday.

  14. #14
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    sorry to hear about your ruined holiday.
    Frankly, the hollidays haven't been ruined. We had to manage with it and we did; it hasn't been simple but we did it.
    The point Is that it's hard to accept that guy is keeping my money is his pocket.
    This is pure robbery.

    scum bags like that make for unhappy holidays and just make life harder for decent businessmen.
    the fact is that I'll be much less confident now
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  15. #15
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    Has nobody laid theft/fraud charges yet
    There is no task too simple for some people to complicate !



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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by duncang View Post
    Has nobody laid theft/fraud charges yet
    Not very easy from France, I've send few emails.
    It appears that nobody cares about me...

    I guess I will have to do it when I'll come back.
    Last edited by Erwan; 2015/12/07 at 09:30 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Hit him where it hurts. On the internet travel forums starting with TripAdvisor.
    Most forums will let you remove posts after the fact. So start there and then email him that your intent is to post all over the internet your experience with his company.

  18. #18
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    Terrible for our reputation. In many cases you are better off booking via a good old fashioned reputable tour operator or specialist in your home country. You then have proper recourse and there is much more pressure for the vehicle supplier to deliver as promised.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by luangwablondes View Post
    Hit him where it hurts. On the internet travel forums starting with TripAdvisor.
    Most forums will let you remove posts after the fact. So start there and then email him that your intent is to post all over the internet your experience with his company.
    luangablondes is right, this will have an impact, I am sure.

    Here's the website;

    http://www.tripadvisor.com
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckzoo View Post
    luangablondes is right, this will have an impact, I am sure.

    Here's the website;

    http://www.tripadvisor.com
    It's allready done, but in french, i'm taking care of his réputation on the french speaking internet world
    Last edited by Erwan; 2016/03/11 at 09:11 AM.
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