Van Scam




It’s the most expensive gig I’ve ever had.

I decided to take a job delivering medical supplies to pharmacies. The plan was to help out during the Covid-19 crisis and earn some money. 

I needed to provide my own van and pay for the fuel, so weeks before my first day, I booked a van for three weeks from Enterprise. The day I was due to pick up the van, (the day before I was due to start work), Enterprise called and asked what I needed the van for. When I told them I was helping out during the crisis, they said they don’t rent vans to “couriers”. 

I panicked, went online and Googled, “van rental for couriers”. I went with the first company I saw who had advertised on Gumtree, they’re called FLEX-Drive. I booked a Ford Transit Custom for six weeks at £220 a week. I picked the van up from a residential street in Ilford. They made me pay a £500 deposit, which they said was to cover speeding and parking fines, which would go to them. As long as I didn’t get any, I would get the £500 back when I off-hired the van. 

After my first day in the new job, I was seeing small back dots in my right eye. I had it checked out and so far have had two emergency surgeries for a tear in the thing that holds the retina in. I have to go back to the hospital on Friday. The surgeon told me that it was most likely caused by heavy lifting and has written me a note saying I can’t do any heavy lifting for four weeks. There’s a risk of retina detachment which is extremely serious and could cause blindness in that eye.

Yesterday I took the van back. I asked for my deposit back and they said I would need to show them a doctors note. I emailed a photo of it and this morning they’ve emailed back saying, “You had signed a contract for 6 weeks – If you bring the vehicle back before the minimum contract period ends; You forfeit your deposit”.

So I’m out £500 for the deposit, £220 for the first week’s rental, £94 for the three days of the following week, £59.08 in fuel the day I picked it up (it was only has a quarter of a tank in it), £31.19 for fuel after my first day (I filled it up ready for day two), £24.99 for a folding cart I bought to deliver boxes, £6.10 for clipboards, £20 for gloves and whatever it cost in fuel for Julie to drive me to Ilford and back twice to pick up and drop off the van.

So all in all, one day in a new job has cost me the best part of a thousand pounds. I just hope it hasn’t cost me the sight in my right eye.

Craic on!

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