Entrepreneur Louise Moura Cruz, 40, and her husband, actuary Thiago Moura Cruz, 39, had their car locked remotely by a car rental company late Tuesday afternoon (25). They were aboard a vehicle rented by Movida Aluguel de Carros, traveling on PE-16, in Recife (PE), when the vehicle simply stopped working.
She said that her husband, who was driving, was no longer able to control the car at the time it was blocked. The steering stiffened and the brakes were unresponsive. With much effort, he managed to steer the car to the side of the road and apply the handbrake to stop it. Luckily, the rental vehicle did not cause or be involved in an accident. “I think my husband managed to avoid worse.”
At first, the couple thought the car might have broken down. “When we called the insurance, they informed us that they could not answer us, because according to the system our contract was in default and the car was indicated as “with restriction”. That’s when we suspected that something strange was happening”, says Louise.
The couple then called the company’s commercial agent and also the store manager who made the contracts. As it was late afternoon, they said there was nothing they could do because the office was closed. “We were able to tow the car to a plot of land nearby to prevent it from suffering any damage and we would still have greater damage”, he explains.
The next day, the entrepreneur thought they would apologize for what happened. However, according to her, the company’s only concern was with the location of the vehicle – if the couple did not go to the place to rescue it, the company would send a search team. “And then we would be negative. We would never be able to rent another car again”, he says.
“The consultant even told me that I had to be there again, to try to start the car, because ‘the blockage had been removed’. That’s when the final confirmation came. It wasn’t really a breakdown. remote blocking carried out by the rental company. That’s when I, with the screenshots of the conversation and everything, ended up publishing it on LinkedIn”, said Louise. The publication went viral on the social network, with more than 18,000 likes and 1,800 comments.
“I feel really terrified. Shocked. I found it unbelievable that such a thing could happen. It looks like something from a 007 movie, a car being blocked from a distance”, she declared.
In a note, Movida Aluguel de Carros reported that the company became aware of the client’s manifestation and sympathizes with her indignation, since the blocking system “must not be activated, under any circumstances, with the car in motion”.
“US We apologize and take all measures in relation to the service she received, reinforcing our concern for our customers and so that the situation does not happen again. We communicated the matter immediately to the company responsible for controlling the monitoring and temporarily suspended the system”, concludes Movida, in the note.
Notice of default generated blockage
The confusion involving the blocked vehicle actually started last Friday (21). Louise says that she received a call from Movida, informing her that her contract was in default. The contract, for the lease of two cars, was signed in February 2021, on behalf of her husband’s company, Solvency Consultoria e Assessoria Atuarial.
“I said I had the receipts, but the agent said it was not in the system. She then asked me to get in touch with the store manager of the rental company”, recalls the entrepreneur. “I called, we talked. I sent the receipts, but even so, the warning in the system remained the same, attesting to the default”.
Louise would then have asked the employee to do a written survey, with the debts that the system still reported as “open” in both contracts. “I told her I would take everything she asked for on Tuesday. Only she didn’t send me anything. I thought then that she had verified that it was a mistake and that everything was fine. Only on Tuesday the same vehicle that we were using was blocked”.
The road on which the couple traveled at the time of the blockade, PE-16, also known as Estrada de Mumbeca, is in Nova Aldeia. It shortens the distance between Mata Norte and the Metropolitan Region of Recife. Despite being a narrow, dark and poorly signposted road, it is widely used for those traveling towards the beaches of the north coast.
“I feel really appalled by what happened. Shocked. I found it unbelievable that something like this could happen. It looks like something from a 007 movie, a car being blocked from a distance”, she declared. “We run a very big risk for a default that never happened.”