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AVIS - Frankfurt Airport, Germany SCAM!!
Posted by on
**Links to all docs and pictures are at the end of the message**

Had to go to Germany for a business trip. Since AVIS/Budget is a U.S. name, and my company has a contract with them, I went with this company. The guy at the counter was not particularly friendly and, although I had reserved an automatic, he told me they only had one car left and that it was a manual. It was an "upgrade" so I didn't complain. The car was a black Renault Megane. I rented a car from the 4/25/2011 - 5/5/2011. When I did the initial inspection, I couldn't find anything wrong with the car.

I turned the car in on the morning of May 5th, as the contract stated. I thought it seemed extremely strange that the attendant who I turned the car in to walked straight to the back left of the car and pointed to a tiny ding on the wheel well. It was so small I couldn't see it. I actually thought he was messing with me, until he handed me a paper and asked to sign it acknowledging the "dent". I told him I don't see a dent. He pulled me over to where he was and said "You have to look at how the light reflects from this spot". There was a tiny flaw, no bigger than a 10 font letter "o". I mean SO SMALL that you need to get 2 inches from it to see the distortion of the light reflecting. He said he was writing it down, but not to worry about it, wasn't going to get charged for anything. He never gave me a receipt or anything. I will admit that there were a lot of things I could have done to better protect myself in this situation, but I trusted AVIS and their reps... that was a HUGE mistake.

When I got back to the U.S. I saw a charge of over $1700 on my credit card. I called AVIS and they informed me that since its a franchise in Europe, there was nothing they could do about it but send an email. They couldn't even get me a receipt or tell me what had been charged!! AVIS stated that I should get a call back in 24 hours. 3 days later I called them: "Still investigating". 4 more days: "No new information, still investigating". I finally got a letter in the mail from AVIS that said something about over 1050 EUR of damage and that I didn't have to do anything, as they simply charged my card. Gee, thanks for taking care of that for me AVIS... with NO AUTHORIZATION. he back of the letter had 4 pictures on it. One of which was a huge scratch and dent on a zebra striped background that was NOT what they tried to show me when I returned it. I've read on this site another person that got a "photo with a scratch on a zebra striped background". If you are reading this and have the same photo, reply immediately so we can fry these guys for fraud and extortion.

I'm currently in the process of disputing it with AMEX and AVIS, but haven't heard anything in a week or so. Here's some links to the "damage photo" and other things. I've also compiled a Word Doc of all the other complaints on the "AVIS Frankfurt Airport" that I could get my hands on to try to build a case against them. Almost all of them are from the last 6 months... Kind of suspect.


Scratch: http://legendarywou.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/scratch. jpeg
All Pictures: http://legendarywou.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Letter-back-Pictures. jpeg
Other Cases: http://legendarywou.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/AVIS-Frankfurt-Germany-Fraud-Case. doc
Letter: http://legendarywou.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Letter-Front-anon. jpeg
     
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Anonymous on 2011-05-24:
Business trip? Shouldn't your employer handle the charges? Unless, of course, you are self employed. In which case...best of luck!
flockie99 on 2013-07-05:
Avis Munich same thing
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Unauthorized toll charges placed on my credit card after usage
Posted by on
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND -- To Whom It May Concern:

Indeed I did rent a car from Avis Budget Group at Providence Airport from 10/06/11 to 10/09/11. I did not however go through any Garden State Tolls. I did not go through any toll stations.

After arriving at Providence airport, my friend and I proceeded to the Budget counter. The reservation I had made 3 months prior was evidently worthless, the clerk in training offered me a larger vehicle at more money as they did not have the vehicle I contracted for. I told them I did not need nor want a larger vehicle and had to wait until an economy class vehicle was checked in, ironically a little red car with New York license plates. My elderly blind friend and I were made to wait until they could rinse the car off.
My guess would be that perhaps the person driving the vehicle to Providence went through the tolls or someone switched out whatever the transponder things are.

We left the airport and proceeded directly to Groton CT to our motel within the hour where we spent that evening after stopping to see my brother in Ledyard CT. The next day we spent the entire day touring Mystic Seaport in Mystic CT with the car parked until we visited my brother in Ledyard CT again. All these locations are in southeastern CT close to the Rhode Island state line. The following day, Saturday, October 08, 2011, we did not drive the car as my brother in CT took us around for the day. On Sunday, October 09, 2011 we returned the car to Providence airport via Burlingame State Park and Misquamicut Beach. The car was returned by the appropriate check in time. I have documentation showing where we were. We used 400 miles + - the entire time.

When I received my November credit card statement, I noticed the charge. I called the telephone number given to me 866-257-3707 on 11/02 at approximately 5 pm and spoke to a young lady about it. She was very rude and told me the transponder things didn’t lie. I explained to her I never left Rhode Island or southeastern Connecticut nor did I go through any toll stations. I spoke with her for about 17 minutes and she said she would contact me back after their investigation. To this day, I have never received a call back.

I called my sister in law in CT that same evening, 11/02 to ask where the Garden State Parkway was and if I had gone through tolls from Providence to Groton CT, the furthest distance I drove. She said it was in New Jersey! Imagine my surprise. I have receipts tracking everywhere I have told you and times of checkins/visits. My friend was with me the entire time and has agreed to become a witness to this case.

I hope the credit union will alert their customers to this shady practice of adding charges to unknowing customers in the hopes they will overlook them and pay the bill. Fox 13 news and Bay News 9 here in Tampa have been documenting and reporting on these shady practices. Furthermore, I will never rent another vehicle from Budget Rent A Car and will alert my friends and family to this incident by sharing and posting this letter.
     
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trmn8r on 2011-12-16:
My hope would be that this is not intentional, and designed to doop unsuspecting people who never check their credit card statements.

It sounds more like a case where transponders got moved around somehow.

Did you write down the woman's name who said she was launching an investigation on 11/2, and have you called her back since she did not contact you? Sometimes you have to go out of the way to protect you interests, when the people who should be working to help you don't.
trp2hevn on 2011-12-16:
Have you tried disputing the charges with your credit card company (before its too late)?
At Your Service on 2011-12-17:
I agree that you need to dispute the charge.
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False Charges Totaling almost $3,000 with NO WAY TO REMOVE
Posted by on
I was heading camping with my family for the weekend in a PA state park, and due to major storm warnings decided it would be smart to rent an SUV with four wheel drive. I made a reservation and picked up my vehicle no problem from 30th street station.

Several hours later upon arriving in the local town where the state park was located, we stopped to purchase some groceries for our weekend - in doing so I found that my checking account was overdrawn several hundred dollars.

Terrified I quickly loaded up my bank's mobile application on my iPhone to discover that not only did Avis charge me an initial balance for my rental; $182.40, but in addition charged me $1,112.69, TWICE!

Furious I immediately called Avis who said they had no record of this charge as the amount made no sense. After a long time on hold, they conferenced in my bank who confirmed the amount and gave them instructions to fax over a request to remove the erroneous hold. I was told to give it an hour and call back.

We headed to our campsite, where I had no cell phone reception, so an hour later I had to drive up the road to a pay phone located outside the park's office. I called my bank who notified me that the hold was being reversed and the money would be credited back to my account again shortly. The representative then asked if I was aware that the charge had been run through twice? Shocked I said of course not. She then informed me that in order to have the second charge removed I would need to have another fax sent over specifying that 2 holds in the amount needed to be removed.

I called Avis back and after 20 minutes of holding got someone on the phone who had no record of my prior call or the scenario I was faced with. Frustrated I explained the scenario and was put back on hold. After close to 40 minutes on the phone I was informed that the fax had been sent and all would be well. I informed the representative that I understood and required a second fax to be sent, to which she replied that is not possible as she could not see the hold in her system. Again, we called my bank - only this time after my bank representative explained there were two charges there was no Avis representative to be found.

Getting extremely upset at this point I sent my family hiking without me and stayed at the phone booth to call back Avis. Again, I got a representative who had no knowledge of my situation as his system did not contain any notes on the matter, this time I asked for a reference number so I had something to provide them with going forward. He assured me that the fax would be sent and I should try back in an hour. After an hour and a half I called my bank to learn that the charge was still there.

beside myself at this point I called back Avis who again conferenced in my bank and seemed to smooth the whole thing over, I was told the credits would be on my account and that the bank system would update at midnight, relieved I left to head back to my campsite after almost 3 hours of dealing with the mess.

The next day I awoke to find the charge still on my account and even less information contained in my file (even with a reference number) than before. Worst of all once back in my hometown, with the car returned, I found myself still on the phone with Avis trying to find out where the, at this time 3 faxes, that were presumably sent to my bank went - since my bank had never received them.

I called the local Avis branch yet again to AGAIN speak with someone who with my case reference number, did not see any information besides a single phone call from 2 days prior that was 'resolved' by sending a fax. They also refused to believe that I still had an additional $1,100 charge on my account since they could not see it in their system. At this point I took off of work and went to my bank where I had a customer service representative literally print up the transaction log and fax it on Bank letterhead to Avis. I then went to the Avis branch to confirm receipt, and deal with their puzzled faces when they realized they had charged me close to $2,700 for a two day rental. They had no idea what to do.

After another hour at the local branch watching Avis staff walk in and out of the front desk area scratching their heads, I called my bank after I watched them send a fax through hopefully vindicating the erroneous charge. My bank then informed me that the hold was in fact not a hold but was "notched" for payment, and nothing could be done until it cleared or dropped off - which would not happen until the end of the month, almost 2 and half weeks later.

My bank account is still showing charges IN ADDITION to my rental fees for $1,112.69 and I am told nothing can be done. Avis has AWFUL computer systems and INCOMPETENT staff, sorry but it's true. This has been overall one of the worst experiences of my life!
     
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trmn8r on 2011-09-12:
I use my credit card for everything. This is obviously the fault of someone at Avis, but with a credit card this may not show up at all, and if it did it could be disputed more easily.

When a checking account is involved, the footwork that you describe if often required to get a bank and a company to communicate. I'm sorry this happened to you - it is a real nightmare.
trp2hevn on 2011-09-13:
This is one of the reasons that I never use a debit card to rent a car.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Agency Operator Not Worth It
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
USA, NEW JERSEY -- I'd like to add my "3 Cents" to Avis' Agency Operator position. This position is a total miss-classification of an independent contractor status that the State and US Dept of Labor is looking hard into. As a few other posts have stated, they sell you on the sizzle but when you look for the steak it isn't their and will not be found. THIS IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS, as they tell you, you are working for them for less than minimum wage - long hours, insurance costs, Workman's comp, employee costs. These costs all come out of your monthly commission check. I'm all for hard work but when you get taken advantage of, that's when it becomes a problem.
Be advised that if you have to sign a contract that has at a minimum of 50 pages in it, there is no protection for you it is all one sided, in ABG favor.
Most independent operators that leave are all small and do not have the time or finances to combat this practice. The best way to do this is not with a class action lawsuit (it may tied up in the courts for a long time) but through your state dept of labor, Attorney General's office and a your state public representative.
A lawsuit that is in CA right now has not gone away, and there is a good reason for this. Hopefully someone that is interested in this will not do it you're better off working a few part time jobs, remember if the contract is that big it's for a reason that benefits them not you. Makes you wonder why the other auto rental companies are not doing this IC relationship also?
     
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Budget Rental Trucks--Don't rent from them!!!
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I, rented a 24’Budget rental truck from Rincon, GA 31326 on Thursday 12/17/2009 with a destination to Mississippi. At the time of the rental the Budget rental truck was inspected by myself and an employee. The Budget rental truck had 83,561 miles on the odometer and the fuel level was checked and marked as full. However the representative did advise me that the fuel gauge did not work properly and showed me how to check the tank fuel level manually, this information was not documented on the Budget truck rental agreement. I also paid for an auto trailer to tow my personal vehicle to my destination but the representative advised me that they didn’t have one at the location she worked at and couldn’t find one at any of the surrounding Budget rental dealers as well. I advised her that we were going to South Carolina to see my children before we headed to Mississippi and she said she would check in that area to see if she could locate one for us. The representative for Budget was able to find an auto trailer for us at a Pep Boys in Augusta, GA and we decided that I would drive the Budget rental truck and my mother would follow me in my personal vehicle until we were able to pick up the auto trailer. After we picked up the Budget rental truck we drove it no more than 20 miles or so while it was being loaded and it stayed parked at the location we were staying while not in use for loading purposes.
On Saturday 12/19/2009 at approximately 11am we checked out of the motel we were staying at and started heading towards, South Carolina to see my children for a little while and then pick up the auto trailer to start heading towards Mississippi. We started heading towards North Augusta, SC and about 30 miles into traveling the Budget rental truck stalled on me and I had to coast it off the main road. Once I got it off the main road I tried a few times to restart the Budget rental truck but it wouldn’t restart. The Budget rental truck broke down at the Highway 67 exit off of Interstate 16 East nearby Brooklet, GA at approximately 12pm on 12/19/2009. I immediately contacted Budget’s Roadside Assistance department to advise them of the situation and the representative I spoke with took down all of the information and advised they had paged an emergency roadside assistance serviceman in the area and he had been dispatched out. The serviceman contacted me about an hour or so after the initial breakdown advising that he me would be there in about twenty minutes to assist. When he arrived he immediately could tell that regular gasoline had been used in the truck instead diesel fuel. The serviceman advised that the Budget rental truck would have to be towed to his shop so he could drain the fuel and replace the fuel filter in order to get it back in working condition. He towed the Budget rental truck to his shop and we followed him in my personal vehicle. We arrived at his shop at approximately 4pm and he advised that it would be several hours before the Budget rental truck would be ready and recommended that we just get a hotel room for the night. Since our clothes for the trip to our destination were in the cab of the Budget rental truck my mother climb into the truck cab on the passenger side to retrieve her change of clothes for the evening. While getting down from the Budget rental truck, she missed a step and felled out of the Budget rental truck. She hit her head on the door and felled on her left side of her body and head. She complained of difficulties of breathing and serious pain on the left side of her body under her arms. I immediately rushed her to the nearest hospital and advised the serviceman that I would contact him later to check on the status of repairing the Budget rental truck. I went back by Serviceman's shop after my mother was discharged from the ER to check on the status of the Budget rental truck and he was done with the repairs at that time, however it was too late to hit the road.
I obtained a copy of his receipt for the work done on the Budget rental truck with the odometer mileage documented. At the time of the Budget rental truck breakdown the mileage odometer had a reading of 83,612. I had only driven the Budget Rental Truck for a total of 51 miles since the vehicle was checked out.

My brother, my uncle, and my mother’s pastor left Sunday 12/20/2009 afternoon from Mississippi to assist me with getting my mother and the Budget rental truck to Mississippi. They arrived later that evening and had to check into a hotel room for the night. We all woke up the next morning, ate breakfast and decided that it would be best not to pick up the auto trailer and just drive my personal vehicle back since we would have to go about 2-3 hours out of the way to pick it up and I would just come out to visit my children in a few weeks when I had to come back to Georgia to finalize some personal business. We picked up the Budget rental truck at the serviceman's shop on Monday 12/21/2009 around 10am to start heading towards Mississippi. Since the Budget Rental Truck tank was completely drained and only $46 of fuel was put back in, I had to put in the additional replacement fuel.
12/21/2009 Po Jo’ Gas-N-Go Gas – replacement diesel fuel for Budget rental truck due to tank being drained 117.50
I hold Budget Rental Trucks fully responsible for the additional expenses incurred as well as liable for my mother’s accident. She had to visit the ER in the area the accident occurred and her primary care physician and the ER twice in her home town. If the Budget Rental Truck didn’t break down, we wouldn’t have gone back into the cab of the Budget Rental Truck to obtain clothing for an overnight stay and my mother wouldn’t have fell out of the Budget Rental Truck. My mother has 3 broken ribs that occurred in result of the truck breaking down.
Budget refuses to pay any of the additional expenses. Don’t use budget they don’t inspect their vehicles before renting them to a customers. I know from experience.
     
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Ruined My Christmas
Posted by on
CHESAPEAKE, VIRGINIA -- I went through Travelocity to rent a car from Avis to make a trip to my familys' homes for Christmas 08. Two days before Christmas, we were told by Avis Car Rental that they were going to place a $500.00 hold on our bank account. We asked for options since my son was paying. They told us they could not place the $500.00 hold on his account because he was under 25 years old and could not drive the vehicle.

We tried paying cash, but the teller, Jason (they refused to give me his last name) told us that he would still have to place a $500.00 hold on our bank account. We asked if they'd take checks, but again, he had to place a $500.00 hold on our account, and the rest would be settled when we returned the car.

Not knowing the amount in our bank, and it being close to closing time, we rushed to the closest ATM to confirm our balance. We rushed back and told him that we had barely enough, but had the money to cover $500.00. This left us with a couple hundred dollars for gifts.

We had discussed the fee of a total $922.74 including the insurance, but when I mentioned the AAA membership, they offered us a 10% discount, bringing the total down to $848.16. We asked for an adjustment, at which time, [snip] told us the computer was closed out. Jason assured us that it was, however, in the computer. I wanted to be absolutely certain that the total we were to pay was $848.16. He insisted that the total was was adjusted in the computer, and that this was NOT going to reflect in our bank account...that only the amount of $500.00 would be frozen. So that we weren't charged $922.74, we asked Jason for this in writing, and he wrote $848.16 on the contract and initialed it.

When we checked our bank account, the amount of $500.00 hold--as promised-- was not frozen. Instead, they put a hold of $922.74, the initial cost before the AAA discount.

This eerror cost us an over draw, a overdraft fee from both the companies we paid AND the bank. Since it was during Christmas, we were accepting gifts from people we could no longer give gifts to. If that weren't enough, we had to rely on the same relatives to cover the difference in the bank.

I contacted the car rental immediately, and Jason answered. I reminded him that I was the one who rented a car for $800. After he confirmed his recollection of us, I reminded him that they were supposed to hold $500 on our bank account, which he agreed. I reaffirmed that the hold WAS supposed to be for the amount of $500.00, which he again confirmed. I explained to him that over $900.00 was held in our account, causing us to overdraw and bounce checks.

He said, "Oh wow! That shouldn't have happened!" He paused then said, I have a few customers. Can you hold?" I waited on the line, which eventually hung up. He never called back.

I called my bank, who then told me that the hold was not put on by the bank and that the only ones who could lift the hold was Avis.

My brother and husband went to the Avis at the airport, who was surprised that the hold was over $900.00. Because of the rates and fees of returning the car early, my husband decided to keep the vehicle and discuss this with the branch we leased from upon the return of the SUV.

When we confronted the lady who claimed to be the manager[snip]-she refused to admit fault. I asked for the person who directly dealt with us, but the claimed he was not in. We pointed out that the amount OVER the agreed price was frozen. She insisted that the amount of $922.74 was the estimated price and this was their policy to freeze the entire estimated amount. We tried to explain the $922.74 was the price before they included the AAA discount, and was not the estimated price. She continued to disagree.

I took a photo of her with my cell phone (God bless those things!), she posed with her hands framing her face, Shirly Temple style. This was just one of her ways of showing total arrogance toward her customers. I assured Tim that I was going to upload the picture since she was aware of the photo and indeed posed for it. After going back to check the pics, I discovered I had actually flixed her.

Another worker came out and when we tried to explain the situation, he said, "I know the situation, I heard it from my office". He also refused to admit fault.

Because I no longer trusted them, I insisted that the manager (I think [snip] is his name) confirm the full tank of gas and that there were no damages. When I insisted that he write this down and initial it, he shrugged and laughed, as if the request was unnecessary.

They continue to refuse to admit fault for ruining our Christmas. They continue to lie. They insist that the amount of the entire car rental AND more puts a freeze on our account and that this is policy. They insist that there was an
error of communication and that perhaps Jason made the mistake of giving us the wrong amount to be frozen.

Our claim that they'd frozen more than we'd agreed on was dismissed as:

1. "It's our policy to put a higher hold than the actual cost", pointing to the $922 (which was the cost before the discount)

2. "This was an error with the bank" I explained to her that when I called the bank, they informed me that Avis had been responsible for the hold and only Avis could lift it (Kathie shrugged and smiled)

3. "We apologize for the miscommunication and failing to make sure you knew how much was going to be frozen" (again, lies)

4. "We apologize for the promises Jason made, it was an error on his part" (if it was an error, which it wasn't, Kathie was standing next to him when he made them)

5. "We have no control over what the computer does" (They have total control of the computer)

The only grief I have for Jason is that when I called to correct the error and ask him to lift the hold, he put me on hold and never called back. He did, however, admit via phone that there was an error, that he was surprised the total amount was frozen and that they were supposed to freeze only $500.00.

As for the rest of the staff, they continued to lie, cover their mistakes and deny any error on their part. When I asked for the name of the gentleman who waited on us, Kathie refused to give the information out. There's something to be said for a manager who's too ashamed to give out the names of their own staff. As clients, we have every right to know who we do business with.

If you plan to rent a vehicle, I strongly urge that you look beyond Avis. IF you do insist on renting from Avis, then at LEAST mention this article and others similar to it. They may go out of their way to try to prove us disgruntled ex-clients wrong. Either way, I hope this review is somewhat helpful to others.

I will, however, admit that had it not been for this error, everything would have run smoothly. To my knowledge, they did not overcharge, (unless $340 is more than the standard fees). This excessive freeze, which my brother transferred to his card, prevented us from buying gifts. We had to borrow to cover the excessive amount (which I strongly believe was used to pay for THEIR Christmas gifts).

Because of their dishonest and denial, I will never deal with Avis again, and I strongly urge that if you do deal with them, ask that everything be put in writing. EVERYTHING! If they try to make you feel like your request is "trivial and silly", it's just another sign that they want to rip you off. A good company that respects it's customers will not hesitate to meet your needs of trust and honesty.



     
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jktshff1 on 2009-01-06:
Why did your son not just transfer the funds from his account to your account or send you the funds before you started the trip?
Why did you not know your account balance?
Ben There on 2009-01-06:
Most rental car companies are going to ask for a large cash deposit and/or place a bank hold on you account if you do not have a proper credit card. Pretty much all of them charge for under 25's as well, if they even rent to them at all.

I suggest shopping around for the most lenient rules next time your son needs a rental car. If he plans on renting lots of cars, I suggest he applies for a credit card - not only would this eliminate the need for deposits but many offer some rental insurance as well.
yoke on 2009-01-06:
The only one the ruined Christmas was you for not planning ahead for the trip. You can't blame Avis for treating you like every other customer.
hello dolly on 2009-01-06:
The hold amount varies depending on form of payment. If it is a credit card it is a minimal amount as they can always charge the card the higher amount. If it is cash it is the estimated maount of the rental.

While your experience was regretable I would imagine it was more important to your family to see YOU rather than receive gifts. These are financially tough times for all but Avis cannot be held accountable for your financial shortfalls.
nbaycaligirl on 2009-01-06:
I don't understand. Why did you feel the need to take a picture of the representative? That seems so bizarre to me
AJ80015 on 2009-07-10:
Why would he tell you that $300 less was going to be held on your credit card? would you buy a sweater for $30 and then honestly expect the cashier to charge you $20? use some common sense. I have a hard time believing that the Rental sales agent told you that only hold $500 when your est. rental charge was $850. Also, if a discount is applied AFTER the contract has been completed, the ORIGINAL hold on the card still prevails. So, he processed it at $900, and when you asked for the discount, he probably thought he applied it after the fact. The computer system there is not the greated, the employees do the best with the cards they've been dealt. and of course they won't accept a credit car that is not in the renters name-what kind of logic is that? if a stupid, ignorant customer wanted to take a picture of me, I'd pose like an idiot too, because that is obviously the only way to help people like you....to humor, accept, and move on
mondavi on 2010-02-19:
its not there fault you didn't have a enough in your bank account.. oh yeah, don't EVER use a debit card for car rentals. use a credit card. I don't blame Avis for this problem, but yourself.
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Horror story with Avis in Kampmannsgade, Copenhagen, Denmark
Posted by on
COPENHAGEN -- We recently visited Denmark, which is the country where I was born. For the first time, we had decided to rent a car. Our first choice with nembil. dk turned out to be an unwise decision. We were given a car with almost 200,000 miles on it (a Nissan Primera). The interior of the car smelled badly; the rest of the family was indeed disgusted with it. The ignition went out at least 10 times during the short distance from Frederiksberg to Amager, where we were to return the car. Nevertheless, at least they were gracious enough to cancel the contract since this car could not reliably take us anywhere.
After wasting half a day, and upon the recommendation of our hotel, we contacted Avis car rental in Kampmannsgade 1, Copenhagen. At first they seemed like a wise choice. However, when we returned the car three days later, they attempted to charge us for an extra day. Even though the car was brought back 15 minutes before it was supposed to (5 pm we were told). After arguing our case, and only then, they took the extra day off our bill. We should have known right then that something was up.
One week after returning to the US I noticed a VISA charge of $820 (equivalent to 5000 Danish kroner) on my checking account. It was from Avis in Copenhagen. I called them up and they alleged they had noticed there was a scratch over the wheel. I told them I was confident that we had not been in any accidents and had inspected the car thoroughly upon returning it. We did not see evidence of any damages. Besides Avis at the time had not made comments about anything.
Now one week later they’re alleging that the car was damaged and they’re charging $820 to fix this alleged scratch. I told them that it doesn’t make any sense that you contact me one week later about a damage and claim that I did it. In America vehicles are inspected right away and you get a receipt that everything checks out.

They, on the other hand, claim that they took photos with a time/ date stamp right after it was returned. Then why did it take them one week to contact me about it? You think that sounds suspicious?

Eventually they sent me those photos. Two comments should be made: First, the photos they sent did not come with a time and date stamp. They could have been taken at anyone time afterwards, even after the car had been rented to others. Second, the photos show a very minor scratch that might not be noticeable when you first glance at the vehicle. Yet they try to charge $820 for that!

To sum up our experiences with Avis in Copenhagen: Avoid them at ANY cost, unless you’re willing to risk ending up with fraudulent charges on your VISA card. Do I believe that they have a scam going on? Yes, I absolutely do.

There are other reputable car rental agencies out there I’m sure. Clearly, with Avis there’s no such thing as customer service. Obviously, they took advantage of us for not living in Copenhagen and being able to show in person and challenge these charges. Their slogan is a joke:” We try harder”. This takes on a whole new meaning after our experiences.
     
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mary nuttall on 2013-10-11:
same problem here in Copenhagen. I was told the rental was 87GBP a day, given a contract in Danish to sign then received a charge of over 150GBP on my credit card. After translation, turns out all these 'optional' charges were put on, without telling me they were optional. Plus an exorbitant airport surcharge. All my very polite emails have been answered with 'you signed a contract - tough' and a point blank refusal to refund those 'optionals'. I would avoid this company at all costs.
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Avis : Khoury-Alternative Claims Management >Bogus Damage Claim
Posted by on
STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA -- On May 23, 2006 I received a letter from Khoury-Alternative Claims Management (KACM) informing me that I owed damages on a vehicle I had returned to Avis Rent-A-Car at the State College University Airport on May 3rd. [Searching the web I find that this kind of experience with Avisw is not unique to me, see http://www.my3cents.com/showReview.cgi?id=11250 for another complaint so similar to my own I had to look twice. There are also others posted on the web.]

After contacting KACM several times, I learned that Avis claims the left rear panel was scrapped and dented while the car was in my possession. This is false. Had there been any damage on the driver’s side in the rear when I returned the car, I would have seen it when I went to take my luggage out of the trunk.

The Avis counter at the airport was not open when I dropped off the car at 5:45am, so my only option was to place the key in Avis’ courtesy drop-off box. I have requested pictures of the damage several times, as did my insurance Agency, Allstate. None have been sent. The total bill is for $830.10. On top of the damage charge of $650.10, KACM is requesting $100 for an administrative fee, and $80 for 4 days loss of use. When I requested documentation showing that no other cars were available from the Avis fleet for the 4 days billed for loss of use, KACM told that they do not need to provide this documentation.

After discussing the case with my insurer, Allstate, I agreed that Allstate would deny the claim so that the case could go to arbitration, a typical procedure among insurers. KACM tells me that they do not participate in arbitration.

Avis responded to my complaint saying that the State College office was independent and I should call them. When I called them in May they told me to call Avis Complaints, where I was told that KACM handled their complaints. It seems to be a circular game that is set up so that no one is responsible to address the complaint itself, or to even be receptive to the customer.

The last two times I call KACM to inquire about the photographs and other outstanding details, the representatives hung up on me. The agency is incredibly uncooperative and have written to say if the bill is not paid by the end of the month it will be sent to a collection agency.

I did not damage the car and find no language in the Avis contract specifying that a customer who accepts Avis’ offer to drop-off a car before the company’s counter opens is responsible for damages sustained before Avis checks the car in. Moreover, I cannot believe they are charging me for damage and see no need or responsibility to provide evidence to demonstrate said damage happened.

It is my understanding that to go to Small Claims Court I need to pay first and there is no mechanism to collect payment from the defendant if I win. My insurance company will pay some of the fees (minus my deductible), which hopefully will not have any repercussions on my insurance fees later. Persoanlly I do not see why anything should be paid since I know I did not damage the car and we have received no evidence of said damage. Since they are threatening to send it to a colletion agency, it is hard to ignore the bill.

I will never rent from Avis (or Budget) again. For those who do not know, Budget is now a part of AVIS.

     
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Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-08-06:
If you feel strongly about it, let them send it to collections and make them sue you - at least the court will be able to make them produce the evidence against you. They are counting on 99% of the folks out there just letting their insurance pay for it. You might take a ding on your credit report for a while, but you have the right to attach brief comments to the listing in your credit file. Just a sentence to the effect that you deny the debt and it's in court should be sufficient. Best of luck!
Anonymous on 2006-08-06:
I agree with Hugh and must add that if they and you signed off on the car when you turned it in then they have no case anyway. It will be very obvious in court and you could turn it into a case of fraud.
Sparticus on 2006-08-06:
This has always been a fear of mine with the dropbox during after hours option! And now I'm going to be even more paranoid! Thanks for the review, but very sorry for what happened.
Baffled Bill on 2006-11-09:
As a licensed insurance adjuster.... who used to work in the car rental industry.......who is also a debt collector.... I offer the following:

1) You dropped the car off after hours thereby depriving the rental agency the opportunity to inspect the car in your presence. Wow!!! How convenient is that for a renter to have carte blanche to drop cars off after hours with perceived impunity for damages because they later cry out "I didn't do it." No, the real world does not work that way. If I were the adjuster at your insurance company... I would have definietly accepted liability on your behalf.

2) When scheduling trips I always pick return times that will allow me to turn the rental car in at a time of day when I can get the rental outfit to inspect the car with me. I owe it to myself and.... its fair to the car rental company too. Trust me.... in the situation that you just described: the car rental companies are victimized FAR more times than the "poor" renters.

3) I am reasonably certain that the claims company's letter(s) to you qouted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act... you were probably given ample opportunity to issue a written dispute (as required by the FDCPA) as to the validity of this debt. Had you issued said written dispute... the claims company could have then forwarded your dispute to the car rental company so that they could double check their facts. Afterall, its their car and their claim.

4) You might want to watch what you say in an open forum like this one. Being angry (and/or not wanting to be held responsible for damages) does not give you immunity to make slanderous or libelous statements about Avis, Budget and the claims handling company.

Spur73 on 2006-11-09:
I am an insurance agent and former adjuster. I know the game. I had a client that recently returned a car to Enterprise at noon. The Enterprise rep did not inpsect the car on the return. The client went in the office and was told to park the car in an open numbered spot and notate the number. She went back in , gave then the number, paid her bill and left. TWO DAYS LATER Enterprise called her and said she had damaged the left (drivers side quarter panel. She denies this. They were sloppy in their claims demand and violated numerous claims handling laws and fair debt requirements. They finally went away.
I my self returned a rent car to the denver Airport 3 years ago. When I checked in, the rep walked around the car and signed off on no damage. Two weeks later, they called and wanted to know if I caused like $1500 damage to the right front.

LESSON FOR ALL: Never turn in a rent car when the place is closed. If you have to, then take digital picture that show the date and time. ALWAYS have a rental rep come out and inspect the car and give you a signed release.

Andfor Baffled Bill.....chill out dude.
burnig on 2009-06-20:
I have just returned from a trip to Salzburg, I had hired an Avis car. On my return the Avis agent took my documents and asked if all was OK, I said it was, she said that was it then. The same day they took £196 from my credit card for damage to the vehicle. I have my own insurance for this excess and have called them for advice, the insurance company tell me this is fairly common practice and they are seeing it more and more. I know I have not damaged the car, I have no knowledge what the damage is, and they took the money from my card the day I dropped the car off...seems odd that, they can work out the cost of the damage so quickly. I have also raised this with my credit card company, as I believe this to be fraudulent, they are to take this up with Avis.
Naively I trusted the company, but having read the comments on the internet and speaking with the insurance company I was wrong. Trouble is you only start to look for info on this after the event.
I would advise anyone collecting any car to take their time, know exactly what you are signing for, take photos/videos of the car when you collect and drop off, do not drop key off in a box, and if the company don't bother to check the car when you return it, write it down and ask one of the agents to sign...I think you will find they will then become interested.
iggypop on 2009-09-23:
The same thing happened to me with Avis. I discovered a $700+ charge on my credit card 6 months after renting an Avis car while travelling. And then I received a package with a photo claiming I had damaged the car. I disputed it and it was taken off my credit car but now it has gone to a collection agency who threaten to negatively impact my credit if don't pay up. Any chance of a class action lawsuit? This seems all too common and as someone noted there are probably a number of people who simply pay to avaid the hassle. If anyone knows of anything or would like to look into this further, please email me @ sadelman@paripassu.com. There must be something that can be done about this type of extortion.
hank on 2012-09-29:
Same here, Khoury Alternative Claims -- a month after a trip - sent a bill for almost $1000. Orbitz says they aren't responsible
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Beware of Avis' Rental Car Insurance
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA -- I recently planned vacation travel to Costa Rica. I made car rental plans through Avis well in advance and went over all details on the phone before booking. I was told that comprehensive insurance coverage would cost about $100 for the rental period, (about 8 days). When picking up the vehicle, I was shocked to find out that the insurance coverage would actually run over $59/day. The car rental as a little of $600. The insurance coverage was over $600. I have 3 other people with me and our destination was about 100 km away. I had no choice and I our vacations plans would have been ruined had I declined the vehicle. I was in complete shock. Two other customers picking up their cars at the same time at either side of me at the pick-up counter were going through similar shock and were pulling out their credit cards, as landing in a foreign country with plans already made, none of us had any choice.

Had I known this situation in advance, I could have easily arranged for rental car insurance from another source. For example, American Express offers such coverage for about $25 for over 30 days of coverage.

I complained to Avis on returning home only to be blown off, with their e-mail response containing an attached copy of the contract I signed in Costa Rica when I picked the vehicle up. Of course, I already had a copy of that contract which I signed with no choice when I picked up the vehicle, as did the other two customers at the pick-up counter that day.

I have rented cars internationally on multiple other occasions, (not through Avis), and have never been so blatantly taken advantage of. I would caution any one considering an internal car rental to avoid Avis and to have whatever company they are selecting verify (in advance) the rental insurance charges IN WRITING and to consider other rental car insurance options.

Jim
     
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Charged fees though I wasn't told about them
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY -- I have rented cars through the years and NEVER had an issue like I did with Avis. I wanted to rent the car for a weekend. And because I knew where the AVIS location was in Lexington KY went with them. Had I known how dishonest and unhelpful they were I never would have used them!! We added a driver who was over the age of 25. Same last name as mine. I was NOT told that there would be a fee for this. They charged us 52.00 to have an additional driver for three days without telling me there would be a cost involved. I have used Hertz and Enterprise in the past and will use them in the future as they DON'T charge for this. I have used Alamo once, but they told me there would be a cost so I didn't add a driver. AVIS is NOT HONEST! The crazy thing is only ONE person drove all weekend we didn't need the extra driver and NEVER would have done it had we know there was a cost. I have called four times and gotten NO where. They won't give back the money and trying to talk to a manager has not happen though I have asked! DON'T USE AVIS! Any other company will serve you better! I had wrongly assumed that all rental car companies were easy to work with and had good customer service. From now on I will be loyal to one company as HONESTY works for me! Never again will AVIS get any of my business and I will tell on my friends to never use them either. After all that's what social media is for getting the word out about BAD companies.

I would like my 52.00 dollars back. There should not be an additional charge to have a driver for a car. ONLY one person drove all week and last I check renting a car meant someone was going to drive it. Why should you have to pay an additional 52.00 that you weren't warned about to leave the parking lot!
     
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CUontheFlipSide on 2012-10-30:
Actually, Hertz and Enterprise DO charge for additional drivers. (Although a little sweet talk often gets Enterprise to waive the fee). The bigger question here is what did the contract you signed say?
trmn8r on 2012-10-31:
Did you ask if there was a fee before you rented? How were they "dishonest" with you - did they tell you that there was no fee?

The AVIS policy, as with many rental car companies, is to charge for an extra driver:
http://www.best-car-rental-tips.com/car-rental-additional-driver-policy.html

What matter most, I believe, is what is on the contract that you signed. Did it quote a rate for the additional driver?

Bee on 2012-10-31:
Hertz and Enterprise both charge for additional drivers:

From Hertz website:

"What is the cost for the additional driver?
There is a $13 per day fee for each additional driver with a maximum charge of $91 per rental/per driver at corporate locations. Maximum of 4 additional drivers per rental contract."

From Enterprise:


"Additional Driver Policy / Enterprise
Can there be an additional driver on the contract?

All additional drivers must meet all renter requirements.
Appear at the rental counter with the primary renter.
Present a valid driver's license.
Present a major credit card in their name at the time of rental, or meet the locations cash qualifications requirements.
An additional daily fee will apply for Additional Drivers."

Directly from the Avis Website:

"For all US states other than CA, NV and NY, the charge for additional drivers is $13 per day per additional driver, with a maximum charge of $65 per rental per driver. The additional driver fee in New York is $3 per day per additional driver. The additional driver fee in Nevada is $11 per day per additional driver, with a maximum charge of $55. There is no additional driver fee in California."


The ONLY exception I see is that Enterprise will waive the fees if the additional driver is a spouse. You state they were over 25 and have the same last name, but that could be a sibling, parent, child, other relative or even non relative with same name.

But otherwise, your argument does not hold as the car rental companies you named also charge additional driver fees.

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