"Britz campervan - beware very poor customer service when something goes wrong with the vehicle"
We hired a 4 berth camper for a 3 week trip in Western Australia. The booki...
We hired a 4 berth camper for a 3 week trip in Western Australia. The booking and pick-up all went fine and the trip was going well until the pull-out awning completely broke when pulling it out. The camper could not be driven because long, metal support struts were hanging at right angles off the side of the van. We were in a National Park with little mobile phone reception. When we managed to get another very kind camper to give us a lift into town, we called Britz On-Road Assistance and they were truly dreadful. All of their staff seemed to be French and had a poor understanding of English. They certainly did not know what an awning was and told us to drive the vehicle 50km to the nearest mechanic! They had no understanding of why it could not be driven and were determined to tell us we had crashed the vehicle and that was why the awning broke!
Eventually got a towing company to come and remove the awning, at $700 personal cost. When we retuned the campervan to the Perth office their dreadful customer service continued. In short, under a thinly veiled attempt at "helping the customer" we were fairly and squarely blamed for breaking the awning (despite us having numerous photos of how it broke). This included out right lies from the front desk staff. The manager was more professional in dealing with the issue but still just said what we wanted to hear, without actually taking any responsibility for the vehicle having a mechanical fault with the awning before we hired it. Amidst all of this our $7000 deposit was being withheld. After one week, the Britz head office conceded that we could have the deposit back and reimbursed the towing fee we had incurred, so it all ended OK financially. But it was unnecessarily stressful being blamed for a mechanical fault with the awning (it had metal fatigue), and the one time we needed support from the customer service team it was glaringly lacking. I would never use Britz again nor recommend them.
Everything went very smooth. The service was excellent. It was good value for the money. I could have wished for a bit more cozy interiour in the van and a bit more cool look on the outside but I knew what I paid for and it was great
We found the rental experience very positive. The camper wasn't cheap to rent, but we thought that we were provided with a good quality vehicle which met our needs. It was almost new and as such was in very good condition.
The staff at the collection and drop off points were very helpful and provided all the information we needed. They offered additional items but were not pushy.
We couldn't fault the experience we had
A very poor experience! We rented a Britz Venturer motorhome from their Brisbane depot a few weeks ago for an 11-day hire. Not a great start when an awning that we’d booked and paid for months previously was not available. ‘We’ve had a run on them recently, lots of people wanted them at the last minute’. Having asked to see the manager I was told that he was unavailable but had agreed that we could buy one ourselves and he would reimburse us!
The vehicle was disappointing. We were aware that Britz vehicles have generally done 2 years with Maui and are ‘up to 4 years old’. This one definitely showed it’s age with a battered front number plate and at least a dozen minor bumps and scratches. The mileage was 183, 000 km.
When being shown the van, the rep was unable to remove the toilet cassette from it’s locker. A technician was called and had to pull out the cassette using some force; he then pushed it back in (again with some force). ‘Working perfectly’ I was told!
Within a day or two I noticed an unpleasant smell coming from the toilet/shower cubicle. I removed the cassette from it’s outside locker and noticed liquid pooled beneath it, and in the open trap beneath it. I hosed it out, emptied the cassette and replaced it back in the locker. We used the toilet for the next few days but the smell continued. I removed and emptied the cassette several times. We eventually stopped using the toilet (we were on sites with good facilities). On Day 9 I emailed Britz for advice. I was told to check that the toilet was properly seated and that that the ‘exit’ area lined up with the ‘entry’ area in the cassette. I checked and it was lined up perfectly. I have had a caravan for 10 years and am familiar with Thetford toilets. My suspicion was that it had been damaged being so tightly fitted and that the technician having to force it in, and then force it out had probably damaged the seal. As we were managing without it (and returning it 2 days later) I was unwilling to spend holiday time taking it to a dealer or awaiting a technician.
On return I flagged up the toilet issue, and some other issues that needed sorting - a waste bucket with a large hole in it, frayed towels, kitchen trim that needed re-fixing, a broken windscreen wiper. Also the condition of a picnic table that we had paid 25AUD to hire - it had a hole in it and was so grubby that we were embarrassed to use it (we were camping with Australian friends). Duvet and sheets were ridiculous - 2 double duvets and a sheets that were around 2mx2m were useless when sleeping on 2 single beds (Britz maintain that 2 singles isn’t an advertised configuration on the Venturer - they should check their website!)
I made a written complaint. The Britz response has been to remind me that in the circumstances they would waive the 125AUD for returning the toilet not fully emptied! Apparently nobody else has had the same problem - unsurprising as it was probably caused by them as were were being shown over the vehicle - and may have been righted by my removing and refitting several times. Additionally they reminded me that ‘ when a camper-van is returned without being reasonably clean, we reserve the right to charge an additional AUD250 to cover the cost of providing a deep clean.’ Words almost fail me…..the van was spotless, surfaces clean, washing put away, everything left tidy. An astonishing response.
They have not offered to recompense us for the picnic table hire or for our unpleasant experience. Apologies for the long post but our experience was very poor, and Britz’s response astonishing.
If you are in a hurry picking up the car and starting your trip you may miss some important things like we did:
The car had 3 standard tyres and only one proper offroad tyre.
The gear was in bad condition except for the fridge which was great. Eg: the cheap portable stoves will not be good in any breezy conditions. One did not even work properly. If you get the prepaid gas refill ($18) for the end of your trip you'll feel ripped off because you could hardly use the stoves and also the refill is a few butane canisters, exact type for 3 was $4.95 at Bunnings.
A part of the internal tent pole was so worn that we had to jam a nailfile in the top bit to stop it collapsing each night.
The sleeping mats were old and really uncomfortable so in the end we decided that sleeping in the Toyota was better ie; put the seats back, this was preferable to sleeping on old mats with an ancient tent that also nearly flooded on the first night we camped. One of the sleeping 'bags' was not a bag at all so my partner had to wrap the velcro material thing (not sure what it was) around him in stead of promised sleeping bag.
We ended up buying our own mugs as the mugs provided were covered in some unidentifiable yellow substance ( I have photos of this).
Hiring the car and gear was a big deal for us, ie alot of money for us. The car was good except for the tyres, good that we weren't doing any full on 4 wd driving. You should be able to though for this money. Using crappy gear was not a great start to the holiday.
It was very difficult to find out what was included in the camping gear, which is tricky when you are planning your gear especially from interstate or overseas and you have little time. We were glad we borrowed a friend's stove. I emailed Britz but was fobbed off. You can only find generalities on the website. The website is also confusing in offering all sorts of inclusions (pay extra) and it's hard to work out what you are already getting or not getting.
I guess the cars must have a very quick turn around, something is obviously wrong with the process. The staff member didn't really show us any of the gear in the car. We were in a hurry so we didn't care at the time but in retrospect she probably didn't really want to.
As pointed out in another review on this website the tent is on the roof, not easy to get down if you are under 6ft. The cover of the tent was quite dirty as well. I could go on.
What choice is there though I guess they have monopoly
We were thrilled with the car - strong and solid - in excellent condition, and we traveled safely over some tough roads. Fuel consumption a pleasant surprise - very efficient. The roof top camper was well equipped with basics for cooking, bedding etc - a grater would be a good addition - stove was fine for our needs.. The erection of the camper was a little problematic - even with the instructions. The tyre step is inadequate and made it very difficult to reach the top - without climbing on the roof - which you are not allowed to do. You would need to be very tall ( and my partner is 6') to manage this function. A small step ladder would be a great help. Had concerns about the pull over access ladder - flimsy and malfunctioned - ( didn't lock in as pins were bent) and we didn't feel totally confident - climbing into the tent. The tent itself was perfectly adequate - good sheets ( terrible pillows - bring your own) and great to feel safe - especially in the NT. Excellent fridge and Tom Tom a great help - small humane gas bottles should be in a small box maybe. Overall once we got the set up right - we were very happy with our experience - had an extraordinary time and dealings with Britz. .
We rented a 5 Berth Outback 4WD for 4 weeks with camping equipment and fridge. Staff in both Brisbane and Cairns were nice, but some were rather inexperienced (mostly interns from abroad). While the car and the fridge were excellent, 3 of the 4 inflatable mats showed leaks, one sleeping bag had a broken zipper and the two tents had central poles that slowly come down during the night, making our first night on Straddie a cold and uncomfortable one. If you expect to see some rain during camping these tents will not keep you dry. After buying two light-weight tents and air-mattrasses we were ok except for the bulk space that the Britz mats take in. Britz did compensate us for the three air-mattrasses but did not offer any other compensation. So buy/bring your own tents and mats and leave the bulky Britz equipment behind (that will also give you more space for your own luggage as space is limited).
We hired the voyager 4 berth Britz camper van (the one with the high top that extends over the drivers seat) from Broome to Perth for 5 weeks.
The van is a larger version of the traditional camper. It berths 4 but is very cosy. There is good cupboard space and head space. All the cooking and kitchen benches are inside, so limited space for chefs assistants. No fold out table to prep food outside.
this new larger hi-top had some good features (larger, bigger fridge, more storage space etc.) but some significant cons are that the bed folds up by day blocking out the light and view out the back window which made it dark and stuffy. Most importantly the
bed was incredibly uncomfortable (and I’m not that fussy). It is very short and is formed from two separate pieces that slip apart. The base has terrible plastic springs that the thin mattress (an inch thick) sits on. Awful design. It is also very heavy to lift up and is only on hinges so a bit dangerous if u drop it on you which I did.
The water pump is electric so when it broke one week in we had no water. We ended up having to take it to a pump person for repair and they commented they were cheap simple pumps which frequently break.
The gas bottle they gave us was tiny, only 2kg. It was not a swap and go and we spent 21/2 hours driving around trying to find someone to fill it. Even the place Britt said would fill it did not provide that service. Wasted a chunk of our day. Really need a swap and go or larger bottle.
The sink drains into a greywater collection tank rather than just onto the ground. A good idea but it causes the van to stink. There may be a product called bioactivator that a few squirts daily might kill the odour without chemicals. Worth trying Britz.
We hired fromBroome where the male staff were grumpy, offered no free table or chairs (which Apollo had done the year prior) and had a very strict rule of 12 km on dirt if heading to an official campsite (Apollo were much more relaxed about this). We had booked into Broome bird observatory which was 13km on dirt, Broome staff said no way.
On board they pointed out was a Tom Tom which monitors your every move and makes audible warnings for going on non approved tracks, too fast, driving in the dark, cornering too fast etc etc. we turned it off and buried it in the glove box.
Britz charged $750 for pick up from Broome and a $150 feel for relocation from Perth.
Apollo vans were cheaper, and a well tried out design.
I feel we can compare apples with apples as we hired an Apollo hi-top from Perth last year for 6 weeks and this year a Britz from Broome to Perth for 5 weeks.
Apollo vans were very relaxed about how far you can drive on dirt roads. They provided us with free chairs, table, extra towels etc due to our length of hire. Super friendly staff, they even emailed us to check all was well.
I would not recommend this company to anyone. There was a miscommunication when we rented the van and when we called the manager from Melbourne, he called us liars, and did the bare minimum to help us out because we kept persisting. We thought this would be a great company and spent extra to get the best insurance and the best of everything and they did nothing for us to help us with our issue. Very very disappointed with this company. Will be going with a different company from now on. And will continue to tell people to steer clear from Britz campervans.
Véhicule fiable et sûr
La couchette pour la troisième personne n'est pas très confortable mais reste convenable.
The campervan was a reasonable size for two people and the shower/toilet although small worked well. At some places the connection did not fit for refilling the water, an adaptor should be provided. Also they do not provide enough chemical for the toilet, that should be explained so you can purchase it before you go on the road.
The campervan was presented in clean condition.
There are no gauges for water and gas which is a bit of a worry when you are free camping for a couple of days. Also we couldnt get the barbeque to work and the staff did not seem very interested when we told them.
We made up the double bed which was a good size and we left it made up. It was reasonably comfortable and the doona was warm but I think they should provide a mattress liner to go between the seat cushions and the sheet, not only for comfort but for hygiene.
I think a booklet or sheet with RV friendly towns should be provided as you can only free camp in certain areas. We were given a campsite book but if you used them every night it would be very expensive.
After the add on for full insurance and gas/ fuel top up charge it actually works out to be an expensive holiday, especially with camp fees on top.
The staff at Hobart were rather offhand and not interested in any comments on our return
We hired a Britz 6 berth traveller and drove from Sydney dropping the van off in Brisbane. The vehicle was great we had a few minor problems but were given a generous refund at end of trip. The customer service was excellent .The Mercedes Benz vehicle was beautiful to drive. The bed was made up felt a bit small due to the fact the shower was beside it. However there is a large double bed over cab as well as centre .overall webwould give vehicle 9/10 shower was great larger than most motorhomes that are older .
The voyager that we hired was a great design and was nice and clean but the double bed down the bottom was absolute torture, because the base was one piece of wood that folded down it had a metal frame to support it. This metal frame was rectangular in shape and had two other bars running across the base, it had plastic squares around it that were supposed to support the mattress but unfortunately all they did was poke into you and the bars were unavoidable too. The mattress was too thin for this arrangement too. I am still getting osteo as a result. My friends cousin hired a voyager and had the same experience . The staff did try to help me by hiring a Doona to add extra cushioning but that's all that they could do for us where we were. I'd say don't hire one in the first place .
I have the pleasure to report excellent holidays we have spent in Australia, with only few drawbacks stemming from the Britz negligence – however finally well compensated.
We arrived to Sydney, went to Blue Mountains, then via Canberra and Cooma to the Ocean, along the coast to Adelaide and then up to Darwin with side-jumps to Uluru and Kakadu, with a flight on our way back via Perth. We enjoyed all these places, although the weather in the South was terrible (the rain was “dropping” horizontally at the 12 Apostels), and the heat in the North was too great.
The problems with Britz started in Sydney – I had to return to the depot twice to have the GPS and “check engine” control fixed (it came back in Canberra and was removed in VW service). The driving over 80 km/h was almost impossible due to unbalanced wheels. In the Bridgestone service station in Canberra they found the front tires to be completely worn down and also ovalized. The Britz Vista van had also several other minor faults. After I asked them to whom I should report the fact that we were put on the road with an unsafe vehicle we were proposed to change to a Maui motorhome which we did in Adelaide. We were also refunded one full day fee for the time we spent in the service stations (and a bottle of white wine!).
So overall very positive experience. Australia is great, I regret we were able to see only a small fraction of your country and could not get into true Outback.
We had the new model 4wd camper, the Outback. The vehicle was brand new, the staff were great and everything was as expected. It took just over an hour to check the camper out after watching the videos and everything, but that was fine. We got our bond back pretty quick and I was really happy with Britz
We drove a Britz hitop van from Adelaide to Alice Springs and I would say Britz was really reliable, far better than the JUCY condo van we hired for Great Ocean Road, Grampians an Kangaroo Island trip. PROS for Britz: There's a microwave, toaster and water boiler in the van, not only a stove. It's more spacious than JUCY condo and the bed is more comfortable. When renting the car, they show a tutorial video on how everything works in the car which was very helpful - the staff was very helpful in Adelaide. We needed to call the customer support at Britz regarding a camper light (we didnt see a button for turning the light off ) and the CS representative was very friendly and helpful. Also, before hiring the car I called them up to confirm the exact cost of everything etc and they were pretty helpful. We also noticed that all the cooking supplies were clean and wrapped in the van, in JUCY they were kinda dirty. The Britz hitop has a quite powerful engine, it was easy to drive it up the hills etc and it didn't take too much fuel actually. We got a discount for booking the car early so we were very happy with the price. CONS: Small water tank (but the greywater flows out right away, so you are not wasting fuel on carrying it on the car), also the roof of the car was a bit moldy and the backseat and sheets could have been more clean! Overall, would definitely recommend the Britz hitop van for longer roadtrips (ideal for 2 people), it's not a 4WD so it can of course get stuck if you drive on the sand, but if you stay on the road you'll be fine. Great memories with the van :)
Very bad customer service when returning the vehicle, staff refused to check the vehicle with us even after we requested and made it clear that we would like them to inspect it. The female staff member was very rude and unnecessarily short with us. It left us feeling very unhappy about the situation
Spent a small fortune on a 6 berth camper van from Britz. Very worn interior, noisy water pump, terrible kitchen and engine with an assortment of light coming on and off during the 6 days. Would definitely not hire from britz again.
Title says it all really.
We hired a two berth campervan for six days during the last week of Jan 2017 from the Hobart branch.
The van was reliable and clean. Bedding and cooking/eating/cleaning items provided were all clean. We had a great time....... BUT.........
The cooking gas isn't provided, and by the depots own admission they are one of the few companies that still use refillable gas bottles. Refillable gas bottles that the depot informed us very few retail outlets serviced... Cue an $18 gas fee.
You'll also need a Parks vehicle pass.... $60
The biggest negative re Britz is their deposit policy. We hired several vehicles whilst in Australia, including a 4x4 for self driving on Fraser Island where the risk of damage is high.....
All the rental companies required a security deposit, but Britz is the ONLY company that actually charged the full deposit to our credit card at time of vehicle collection.
The standard security deposit is $5000. On top of that they add a $100 credit card admin fee (that won't be refunded if you pay the security with Amex).
As a UK resident with a UK based credit card, this Britz policy incurred a £94 (circa $160 ) foreign currency transaction fee!
Our rental went without issue............
Our returned security deposit despite zero damage or extra fees is £50 ($84) less than the deposit paid... and the exchange rate hasn't varied that much in the past week.....
Britz admin has added $243 needlessly to our rental. Such a shame given the quality of the vehicle and the fun we had. I'd love to be able to recommend Britz, but in view of the unavoidable admin costs I'm sad to say we wouldn't use Britz again....