KANSAS CITY AIRPORT, MISSOURI -- I reserved a car at Avis for pickup at the Kansas City International Airport (reservation made through American Airlines). The daily cost was quoted as $52. When I returned the car, I noticed I had been charged a $15 per day "upgrade fee." I called the Avis customer service and asked why. I had not requested an upgrade and to be honest by the size and comfort of the car, I don't know how you get any smaller.
The "customer service" representative asked if I had read the contract before renting. I said not really as the only thing the desk agent went over was declining insurance and prepaid gas. If there was something about an upgrade in the two pages of 8 font, single space document that was displayed on a tablet screen, I did not see it. He came back with "You signed the agreement and it was in the agreement so you have to pay it." So basically, the desk agent upsold me and didn't tell me she was upselling me nor tell me I was being charged extra for the upsell. How unscrupulous can you get? Sickening that Avis has to stoop that low to get more money.
NEVER AGAIN. I implore anyone considering renting from AVIS (or Budget for that matter as they are owned by the same company) to think twice and if you are still bold enough to go through with it... Read every freaking word of the agreement even if it takes all day. I won't worry about that as I will not rent from them again and I travel a heck of a lot.
ROCHESTER AIRPORT, NEW YORK -- I reserved a car but because my flight was due in pretty late I called to confirm that it wouldn't be a problem. The person said they always wait for the last flight even if it's delayed. Liars! My flight was 45 minutes late. I went straight to the counter from the plane and I watched them walk out as I approached the rental counter. The guy said the manager had left and there was nothing he could do. He said he was calling someone but then he got in a car and left. My group had to spend $300 renting a hotel room for the night! I won't EVER rent from Avis again! Terrible!
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 it's 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. The 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. 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.
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 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 pickup 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 email 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 pickup 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 anyone 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.
MINNEAPOLIS AIRPORT, MINNESOTA -- I prepaid online for a rental car from Avis to be picked up at the Minneapolis/St Paul airport. I presented my receipt at the counter. I was charged again at the counter without my knowledge. I didn't realize I was charged twice until I got home and checked my online banking transactions. I also received a survey to complete for Avis about my recent rental experience. I explained that I was charged twice for the same car without my knowledge. I also reported that the person at the counter upgraded the car I had requested online without asking me.
When he told me the price, I questioned him and he said he had given me an upgrade. He said he would change the order back to the original price. I have emailed the customer service department 3 times and they keep telling me they will refund my money. I was contacted by someone in customer service regarding my survey and still no refund. I have asked to speak to a supervisor and have been told a supervisor will call me.
This is my first experience with Avis. I always rent a car at this airport from Alamo and have always been very satisfied. I tried Avis since they offered a better deal. They admit they owe me money but I am still waiting for a $160.00 refund. I do not recommend using Avis Car Rental services.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I rented a one-way car for one day $44.06 from Panama City to Orlando, Florida. The rental agreement ended at 9am the following day. When I called the company to extend the rental only 8 more hours I was told the total was $97....MORE THAN DOUBLE THE ONE DAY AND I AM ONLY KEEPING IT 1/3 OF A FULL DAY!!! I talked to several people at the company, but no one seems to bat an eye at this gross inflation of rental fees! Hertz and Budget will gladly extend rentals by the hour, but Avis apparently does not care about their consumers or what makes sense....they are about exploiting customers for every dollar they can. BUYER BEWARE!!!
FRANKFURT -- We are a U.S. expatriate family so we have been using AVIS for years in the UK and US. Over our families Spring Break we rented from AVIS at Frankfurt Airport. We drove to Saas-Fee and parked the vehicle in the garage for the week since it is a carless village. We then drove it back to the airport and parked it. The man working at the AVIS desk in the garage waved us off without checking the car.
We however had looked over the vehicle and it was in perfect condition. Later we were charge 1500 Euros for imaginary damage that absolutely wasn't there. We now realize looking back it was a scam because they purposely waved us away without inspection. AVIS says we can get a lawyer! Seriously!
How much would that cost?! You can read about the other Avis Frankfurt scams on Trip Advisor. I will be posting on all travel sites and blogs to let everyone know that AVIS has an office that will scam families and take money from hard working teachers and government servants.
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA -- I prepaid for a rental from Avis in San Jose, Costa Rica for 10 days. It was a little over $600. They specifically told me when I booked & prepaid that mandatory insurance had to be purchased at the time of pickup and that it would cost me about $9/day... about $100. When I pick the car up, they said it would cost $59.99 day, over $600, as much as the car rental itself. I had no choice and two other customers who were picking up their rental cars at the same time were also in complete shock.
We had all been lied to and, being in a foreign country ready to pick up our cars with no other choice, we had to pay the requested fee. I could have paid as little as $24.95 for 42 consecutive days of insurance coverage through American Express and similar inexpensive premiums for rental cars through other independent insurers. Avis totally screwed me and others I observed when we picked up our vehicles. We were all in complete shock with no options. Be smart and don't fall for this trap. Get your insurance if you are renting a car in another country, (especially Central or South America), through American Express or other company and avoid getting grossly over charged.
QUEBEC CITY -- The worst car rental experience of my 65 years! They promised to pick me up at the cruise terminal - WRONG. They promised to reimburse me for my taxi ride (they forgot). There were 10 people in a single line that took 45 minutes to process with one employee only on a Sunday morning. The promised to get me back to the cruise terminal - WRONG!
They left me to wander through a huge hotel into the next building and down three flights to an enormous parking garage to find my car. They never responded to five emails subsequent to the awful experience. Stay away from this particular rental facility of Avis at Hilton Hotel in Quebec City.
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND -- 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 ** 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 check ins/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.