Why I will not rent from goldcard.es again

Last month I rented a car from goldcar.es in Sevilla, Spain.

The car was great and the rental experience was good… Until yesterday when I received an email from gold card saying I received a parking ticket during the rental period.

Goldcar forwarded on to the relevant local authority my details, which is fine by me and charged us a 40 euros admin fee.

What I think is wrong is:

1. The admin fee they charge your is based on the cost of the fine you get (goldcar have been nice and only charged me based on the late payment penalty and not the actual fine).
2. They don’t pay the fine for you and by the time you actually get it, you will be charged late payment penalties at least a few times.

To recap:

1. I got fined 80 euros for parking the car in the wrong place in Jeres.
2. I only noticed the fine once hundreds of km away from the town, so I didn’t come back to sort it out because I thought goldcar would pay the fine on my behalf and back charge my credit card + a then justified admin fee, like most rental car companies do.
3. A month later, the local authority sends bill to Goldcar of 80 euros + 40 euros (50% of the fine) for late payment because the ticket wasn’t settled within 20 days.
4. Goldcard charges me 40 euros of admin fees. The ticket is still outstanding payment.

Now I’m waiting to receive the fine through the post, which probably include another + 50% late payment penalty.

Great service (not!) from goldcar. I wouldn’t min paying their admin fee if they were actually providing a service and were settling the fine on your behalf like other car rental companies do.

And now moving on to the local authority of Jerez:

1. I genuinely looked around when I parked the car and didn’t see any indication that I couldn’t park on this parking space or that I need to put money in a park meter.
2. There are some instructions in English on the back of the parking ticket but they are so badly translated they do not make any sense.
3. On the ticket, there is no phone number to call or payment instructions or details of who to contact to settle the fine.
4. They don’t state that there is a +50% penalty fee if the fine is not settled within 20 days.
5. On the invoice they sent to goldcar, that goldcar forwarded me there is not contact details or instructions on how to pay the fine other than a dead link payment platform. Great.

Update:

1. The link to the payment platform worked today. It redirects you to a website secured with an unsigned SSL certificate. Great! For information this is the link: https://sprygt-sanciones.org/PagoTarjeta/. By the time you make it to the payment page the certificates are verified.
2. To pay the fine online you have to enter a 51 digit long number! Seriously?

Total cost for parking in Jerez: 160 euros. Ouch.

Javascript date gotcha

When you instantiate dates in javascript, if you do it using the string constructor (e.g. new Date('2013-06-01')), you’re effectively calling the Date.parse function.
Date.parse is implementation dependent, which means you’ll end up with a different date value depending on what is executing your javascript (for instance Firefox or Chrome).

The results can be catastrophic when you’re grouping stuff by day and you’re instancing date with just the day component coming as a JSON serialised value like '2013-06-01T00:00'.

If you want your dates to behave, always use the constructor that creates dates from int values (e.g. new Date(2013, 5, 1)). And remember: the month parameter is zero based (0 represents January)!

I discovered this gotcha whilst developing a calendar visualisation for watchdogapp.com (using D3.js).

Visualisation parsing the date with the string constructor (Chrome):

chrome-date-using-string-constructor

Visualisation parsing the date with the ‘int’ constructor (Chrome):

chrome-date-using-int-constructor

You can see on the two visualisations above that in Chrome, parsing a date from a string does something extra (probably to do with summer time offset)!