‘Death trap’ van hire company under scrutiny in Spain

LAST UPDATED: 10 Oct, 2012 @ 16:48
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‘Death trap’ van hire company under scrutiny in Spain

EXCLUSIVE by James Bryce

AN expat couple are to sue the owner of a van hire company after a vehicle they used was described as a ‘death trap’ by mechanics.

David Steel, 60, slammed the owner of the company, who also runs a controversial pet transport company, exposed in the Olive Press in August.

He and his wife Ann, 58, had rented the van from One Way Van Hire, based in Torre del Mar, to move their belongings from Scotland to Spain.

But the pair, who live in Puente don Manuel, in the Axarquia, were forced to stop in Portsmouth for emergency repairs after the brakes failed.

“The mechanics said they didn’t know how we’d got that far alive,” revealed the retired prison service worker. “They described the van as a death trap and refused to release the vehicle until all the repairs had been done. It was a nightmare, we could have been killed.”

The van needed new brake disks, two new tyres and an ABS cylinder, despite company boss Jeremy Griffiths claiming an MOT had been carried out in June.

“I told Griffiths I wanted a full refund but he told me that he doesn’t rent out vans for nothing,” added Steel, from Edinburgh.

“He told us it was one of the best vans he had, but if that is the case then God help anyone who has to drive the bad ones.”

“It is not just animals whose lives he is putting at risk,” Steel added of Griffiths, who also runs disgraced courier firm Pet Taxi.

Steel has now reported Griffiths to the DVLA and trading standards.

Griffiths claims all his vehicles are fully licenced and that he is registered with Defra and that Steel wore out the brakes by overloading the van.

This is disputed by the manager of the garage in Portsmouth which carried out the repairs, who confirmed that the damage was caused by poor maintenance.

Steel’s situation is just one of a string of complaints against Griffiths companies. Another van hire customer Francisco Fernandez, denounced Griffiths after experiencing ‘abysmal service’.

“The van I got was in a disgraceful condition,” he said. “I had no insurance papers and the spare tyre had a three inch gash in the side.

“The front passenger door and side door were both padlocked, making it impossible to use them in an emergency, it was extremely dangerous.”

42 COMMENTS

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  1. this man is a crook and owes many people their
    deposits back including us.He rented us a pink van
    which broke down in madrid.
    He is a total scum bag who we will be paying a visit
    when we come over next.
    WE HAVENT FORGOTTEN YOU JEREMY !
    any one else is welcome to join us and put this jeremy
    in his place. SCUM

  2. We rented a van off this ‘gentleman’ four years ago when we moved back to the UK. The vehicle in question was a complete death trap with bad brakes, tyres etc etc. It broke down twice, once in Burgos and once in the UK. When in Burgos, we had to stay overnight in a hotel room whist someone came out to asisst, they never arrived despite this ‘gentleman’ saying they had and there was noting wrong with the vehicle. Again, the excuse was ‘overloading’. This guy should not be trusted and should not be used. He should also be out out of business….it is shocking that for many years he has made a good living by being a crook.

  3. We rented a car from this company and found both the service and vehicle provided were brilliant.The car was a Saab diesel estate.We collected it from Heathrow where the people were helpful and professional.We returned the vehicle to Alicante airport without a hitch.Our deposit was returned to our credit card without any problems.I would use and recomend this company without hesitation!!

  4. This supposed “van rental company” is a bunch of cowboys who rent out ancient vans that could break down at any point… total con artists.

    Having recently rented with them and in a current dispute to get my deposit back…I absolutely, well and truly would not recommend them, even to terrorists.

    Well not unless you want to drive around in a van which has 500,00+ km on the clock, NOT maintained, shakes when you drive it, warning lights galore, spongy brakes, van doors which don’t lock and then they blame you for everything…

    Jeremy, DON’T THINK for one moment you can get away with this indefinitely, your time will come sunshine, they’re on to you.

  5. Diana all I can say is their cars are far better than their vans then! It is the van hire company that is being debated here rather than car hire although I would say,when the SAAB diesel estate has 500,000 miles plus on the clock, bald tyres, no brakes and no locks etc then feedback will look very different!

  6. Jeremy time must be running out for your shoddy business and blatant lies. Another Brit trying to get back to the UK due to poor economy and you withhold my deposit for months with nothing but excuses that your busy.

    Very much up for taking this further. You should not be allowed to do this and only wish that you a UK business we could have much more help with LAW!

  7. What a joke this all is. Just another group of people who have nothing productive to do and chose to jump on the band wagon. I’m surprised One Way Van Hire haven’t sued the Olive Press for libel with this article. Interesting how it appeared so soon after OWVH stopped advertising with them. And as vehicle in question wasn’t deemed ‘a death trap’, no legal action was taken and it has been proved more than likely the vehicle ended up the way it was because it was severely overloaded, surly this is just a very spiteful and undeserved poke at a company trying to get through a recession?

    I suppose regardless of the situation with the vehicle, does this mean that it was driven in a dangerous state. I find it very hard to believe that if the vehicle was in such disrepair, it wouldn’t have been much better when it was collected. If that is the case then it appears to me that someone had a ferry to catch and drove with no regard for other road users until arriving, safely as it seems into Portsmorth for “Emergency repairs” just right to get a full refund for the service they’d just used. I ask you, any more dramatic and we’d be seeing it as a channel 5 film.

    Considering the amount of rentals this company do on a weekly basis, I find it no surprise to see the odd complaint, but if anyone can honestly say that there was any reason they couldn’t have returned the vehicle if they weren’t happy when it was collected I would be interested to know how they managed it. Blindness perhaps – doesn’t sound very conducive for a 1500 mile drive…

    As for Amy, I guess this is the Wasabi story. I’ve heard about this and saw you dog in the OWVH office in Torre del Mar and was disgusted with the state of the animal. Not only was he massively over-weight but the amount of fleas that where coming off him was unreal. They were climbing up the wall and all over the floor. It amazes me how people can let animals get that way. I also heard from the report that it was a collapsed trachea – common with over weight pugs. Don’t get me wrong, it was a shame what happened to him but after seeing him and hearing the story afterwards I think the blame lies in more than one place here – don’t you think. Maybe it’s guilt that has seen you publish this story so many places around the web.

    Any way, no doubt that will have upset a few people, but then you don’t seem to have a problem with doing it yourselves. As for all the ridiculous threats… really, maybe it’s time to grow up a little.

  8. I have just been shafted by this cowboy and wish that i had found these reviews before continuing to go through with my hire.

    I have just found this article as well:
    http://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2012/10/10/lives-at-risk-on-spanish-roads-due-to-allegedly-unsafe-hire-vans/

    Can someone get in contact with me as i want to go ahead and shut this guy down for trading once and for all.

    I havent received my deposit back yet either, have people been successful with this?

    Regards, David

    • Hello David,

      Hello,
      I have some furniture in a storage since October 2016, I pay monthly and in January I need it back, I ask the boy and he was on holiday 3 more weeks for that reason I stopped paying the monthly payments since he demanded more money than agreed because I was on holiday, I think wasnt my problem if he was on holiday when I need it and asked me for more money, he moved my furniture 3 hours away from London without my consent.
      What can I do? I do not speak English well and I would like to go to court.
      Can I go to speak face to face?
      thank you in advance
      Ana.

  9. David,
    perhaps for many the biggest benefit of the Olive Press are the articles and responses to actual life in Spain – sadly this forum did’nt exist before we came to live in Spain and like you say had you looked at this forum first you would’nt have gone near this company.

    I’ve yet to come across an English language forum in France that has the balls of the Olive Press, in France it’s the English cowboys that you have to watch out for.

    Some advice – if you use lawyers to tackle this company, the only winner will be the lawyer.

  10. Hi David,

    I am sorry to hear that you have had problems with One Way Van Hire SL. As customer Service Manager here please feel free to contact me at [email protected] and I will be happy to go over the case and hopefully bring it to a satisfactory resolution for you. Please note that we dealt with over 50 rentals a week from our Spanish office and unfortunately, occasion problems do occur. To combat this issue we know have developed a large customer service department to help with these issues. We look forward to your email.

    Jon Eggett
    Customer Service Manager
    [email protected]

  11. Dear Jeremy and Rita,

    I am writing to express concern over the refund of the security deposit which is still pending. My partner, Kristiana has contacted Rita and Jeremy on several occasions to request our deposit as per our contractual terms. As you know it has been over 65 days since your van was returned to you and with no tickets or other problems. As per your contract, we are due our deposit of 250 EU. In addition, Rita has promised this to us on several occasions knowing that we had sent the information for the bank transfer.

    The communication with your company has been difficult. We are getting passed from one person to another and with expectations of communication on our part which is inappropriate. It is not Kristiana’s responsibility to speak on behalf of Jeremy to Rita and vice-versa.

    As per the last conversation with Jeremy, it appears that he is willing to do the bank transfer but Rita will not comply. We are hoping to avoid further negative communication and would very much appreciate a direct response or action in regard to the deposit. At this point, and based upon the latest communication with Rita, it seems that you have no intention of refunding the agreed-upon security. I sincerely hope that this is not the case.

    We would like to avoid making claims and complaints with other agencies as well as with our credit card company and would appreciate a show of good faith on your part by returning the deposit as our contract indicates. You have all the information necessary to make the transfer. As you are a company based in Spain and the account is with Caixa, I cannot understand why this is causing further delay.

    I am very disappointed in the communication and treatment we have recently received. I would very much appreciate a response so we may either resolve this on good terms or take action of another sort.

    Kind regards,
    Leah Roblin

  12. I would imagine so but I am no expert. In this case I would contact the credit card company and ask. This company should not be getting away with keeping people’s money. Its daylight robbery! I wonder how many people have given up and walked away? Good luck.
    Helen

  13. I hope you get sorted Nick. I just cannot understand how this firm gets to continue doing this to people. Pity I hadnt discovered this thread prior to hiring from them. My husband and I have been lucky….fight back people, dont let them get away with stealing your money.

  14. Please can someone get in contact with me to tell me how we can shut this guy down and stop screwing people over!!!! Its unfair and indecent of him to continue operating in this manor – I am so surprised he hasnt had a death on his hands!

  15. Who is Rita? another personna of Jeremys I presume! She! has sent excuse after excuse!
    We are still trying to get our deposit refunded after 3 months, a denuncia will be taken out against him and the company (probably just one of many).
    We paid monies directly into his UK bank account details of which are
    Mr J Griffiths RBS 16-23-32 10153211 if this is of any help to anyone.
    The van we had was very dangerous doors not opening, dodgy brakes and then they forgot to collect the rust bucket for three days and also when they sent someone to get it he wanted us to pick him up some thirty miles away! Needless to say we refused. I wish I had found this thread sooner, don’t touch this man and or any of his companies ever!!!!!!

  16. Hi all,

    Can someone tell me who is Jonathan Eggett? He is the person I booked a removal from UK to France for next week with in One Way Van Hire but I can’t get in touch with the gentleman. Phone numbers not working and not answering emails. I spoke with Jeremy on the phone, he said J.E. is from another company called Easy Euro Move. A vary nice lady working in OWVH in Malaga told me she doesn’t know, but they do jobs sometime for Easy Euro Move (just by emails, no phone numbers) It would be great if someone could explain me and if possible, give me a phone number? Thanks.

  17. I have just managed to get my deposit back (a month late) after a string of e-mails with this company. They gave me a van that was not what we had agreed, which turned out to be unroadworthy, dangerous and excruciatingly slow. I strongly advise people to avoid this company. I feel they have taken me for a ride and am furious.

  18. I’m currently trying to locate Jonathan Eggett as this individual is going to be dealt with in person. He has stolen £795 from us. Anyone who knows his physical whereabouts please let me know.

    On the 24th of September I contacted One Way Van Hire by telephone number provided on their website (http://owvh-sl.co.uk/). I left a message and had a return call from Jonathan Eggett. I asked for a quote on a transit van to pick up in London on the 30th of September and drop off in Malaga on the 5th of October. He said no problem, sent me a quote through and said I could pick the van up from Autorama in Hounslow. We paid him £795 (£495 hire, £300 deposit) by bank transfer to account 16326072 sort code 16-16-23. He confirmed everything by email and said he would send a contract to be signed, it didn’t arrive and so I started to call and email him and did not get any replies to either.

    The 30th of September arrived, we had to vacate our flat and arranged return flights from Malaga to London, so quite a bit of planning, costs and stress. Never heard from Jonathan, no van, nothing. So I called the Spanish number on the website (+34) 952 541 147 and spoke with Jeremy who said Jonathan and One Way Van Hire SL is nothing to do with him and that Jonathan was an agent for One Way Van Hire and no van was booked for me. Jeremy said the bank account was not theirs. He did say he seen my name come in for a request for a van but they didn’t have any vans for me. I told Jeremy I couldn’t get a hold of Jonathan and was expecting a van as I paid him for one. Jeremy suggested maybe Jonathan was trying to find a van from elsewhere as this is something that sometimes happens.

    I contacted the police who said if he didn’t deliver the van he was committing fraud, I told Jeremy I been in touch with the police and after speaking with Jeremy I had a call from Jonathan, saying he thought the van was all oganised by Jeremy and that he was taken to hospital for a few days and only just then became aware that no van was available for me. He agreed to refund me all my money (to date 31 Oct still not happened) and I have not heard from him since. He is ignoring all my calls and emails. Not only has his action and lying cost me £795, he has cost us an additional £1500 as we had to rent a van at the last minute and drive it to Spain and back incurring all the costs, time and stress.

    I contacted Jeremy the other day to see if he knew how I could track Jonathan down. He suggested I forward any emails to him and he would forward them on to Jonathan. Through my own investigations Jonathan’s company Euro Easy Move Ltd, which he is a director of, has a proposal to be struck off as of 23 September and the annual accounts have not been filed. According to other businesses located at Jonathan’s given business address in Guildhall Street Lincoln, he hasn’t been seen for a while and he has been given notice to vacate the office he has been using. Also, it appears there are a few people he owes money to. He is also registered as a director for Pet Traveller Limited in case anyone has dealings with this company.

    It appears that there are a number of other addresses for Jonathan:

    If anyone can 100% confirm that Jonathan is Jeremy’s son that would be helpful, as I have met Jeremy and know who and where he is, as I used One Way Van Hire in December 2010 and I did not have any issues. I met Jeremy and he refunded my deposit as promised; it was a positive experience. However, after my current experience I would say do not do business with any company calling themselves One Way Van Hire (or similar), Euro Easy Move, Pet Traveller or have any dealings with these individuals.

    If anyone has been duped by Jonathan/Jeremy or their companies I would urge you to contact the fraud police in the UK on 0300 123 2040, or report it through “www.actionfraud.police.uk”

  19. If anyone knows the whereabouts of Jonathan (Jon) Richard Eggett please let me know. Jonathan has stolen £795 from us.

    On the 24th of September I contacted One Way Van Hire SL through their UK number on their website, as we wanted to hire a transit van to drive from London to Malaga on the 30th of September until the 5th of October. I left a message and Jonathan returned my call and told me that he would be able to supply the van. He emailed me a quote for £495 hire and £300 deposit and we booked it and paid directly by bank transfer to bank account 16326072. He confirmed the booking and payment by email and said an agreement would be emailed to me for signature and to notify him if no agreement received in 48 hours. 48 hours passed and no agreement so we tried to contact Jonathan both through telephone and email and left numerous messages, but never heard back from him. As the 30th arrived and no van made available at Autorama Hounslow as stated by Jonathan, we contacted the Spanish number on the website and Jeremy (Griffiths) answered. I met Jeremy in 2010 when I rented a van from him, hence why we chose to rent again from One Way Van Hire as we did not have any problems with them 4 years ago.

    Jeremy said loads of companies use the name One Way Van Hire and said we didn’t book through his company and the bank account isn’t theirs. He said Jonathan Eggett is an agent of One Way Van Hire SL and runs a company called Euro Easy Move Limited, Jeremy then said that he did see a request for a van for us but that no booking was ever made and they didn’t have any van available for us anyway. I mentioned to Jeremy that I had been in touch with the police who told me that if a van isn’t delivered to return to them and report it as fraud. After hanging up the phone I had a call immediately from Jonathan saying he had a call from Jeremy and only found out about the van not booked and that he was taken to hospital over the weekend and wasn’t aware of my calls or emails, basically excuses.

    As we had to vacate our flat on the 30th we were stuck. We had to hire another van at the last minute and said to Jonathan to just return our money and he agreed that he would do it straight away. It is the 1st of November and we still have not had our money returned. We ended up having to drive a van to Spain and back to the UK, and incurred unnecessary stress, time and costs due to Jonathan’s lies.

    We have been trying to track down Jonathan, his company Euro Easy Move Limited, has a proposal to be struck off at Companies House registered the 24th of September. We have also discovered that he is registered as a director of a company called Pet Traveller Limited. We have been to the business address in Lincoln and through the other companies operating at the same address we were told that no one has seen Jonathan for a while and that he has been given 30 days to vacate the office he was using. We also heard others have been looking for him and their money he owes them. We have checked the last known address in Bromley and have a couple of addresses in Lincoln. If anyone has any additional information we would greatly appreciate it.

    I spoke to Jeremy again a few days ago to see if he new anything further about Jonathan or his whereabouts and he suggested I copy him on any correspondence to Jonathan. If anyone has proof or can confirm that he is Jeremy’s son please let me know.

    Coming across the reports of others on this site now reinforces the fact that these individuals are criminal/not to be trusted. I would urge anyone to not do business with any of these companies or individuals. I would also urge anyone that has been duped by them to contact the police and report it either by phone on UK number 0300 123 2040 or on-line at “www.actionfraud.police.uk” and in addition to make a denuncia to the Guardia Civil or Policia Nacional in your area or call 902 102 112 or direct at “http://www.policia.es/denunweb/denuncias.html”

  20. Sadly we have been had by these jokers as well. They gave us a van that basically blew up the motorway before we even left the UK.

    A year on and we are still chasing for our deposit and money back!

    Looks like their website has now gone off line. Does anyone know how I can get hold of Jeremy as he is no longer answering the old telephone numbers.

    Failing that if you have a home address then I might just drop by one of these days and get payment, or the equivalent!

    Thanks

  21. You may have to be quick, but I can only hope this is of help to you.
    I have just rung Jeremys mobile that we have, from when he tried to rob us, back in april!
    I hung up, when it rang and an english mobile rang me back and then text me saying – “you rang me?”
    These are the numbers:
    0034667235205 and 07850575862.
    The very best of luck-we have only just got our money back, after 10 mnths!
    Jo and Lee. (Merry Xmas to you!)

  22. It appears as though One Way Van Hire and Pet Traveller websites are now offline. Hopefully, either the police have caught up with these thieves or enough on-line negative reviews have put them out of action. I intend to keep the pressure on both Jonathan and Jeremy until I have my money and if anyone else who has been conned by them wants to join me I have set up a website (onewayvanhire.eu) to catalog comments/reviews about these individuals and their business interests, to warn others not to do business with them or their companies. The site will have a blog so you can add your stories/comments.

  23. Jonathan Richard Eggett, 29, of 39 Norris Street, Lincoln, case proven in absence at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court for failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis and driving without insurance. He was fined £640, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £34 and costs of £400. He was disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for 40 months.

    Read more: http://www.lincolnshireecho.co.uk/courts-Lincolnshire/story-21040627-detail/story.html#ixzz3ROM68K11
    Follow us: @LincsEcho on Twitter | LincsEcho on Facebook

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