WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA -- I rent from Avis almost on a weekly basis and always had good luck, that was until this past Friday. I returned my rental to find the manager on the prowl in the parking lot looking at vehicles. She finds a rub on front bumper and claims I am liable. I explained to her that if I did it my credit card and company insurance would cover it. It is just a matter of principle, trying to rip off the consumer, you would need to be an attorney to understand all the clauses in the contract. I also discovered that the Wilmington, NC site is a franchise and not a corporate location, so be careful in renting cars in small airports.
SAINT LOUIS, MISSOURI -- Since the early part of December of 2011 after complaining of poor customer service as it relates to preferred customer status with Avis rent a car, I have had my credit card charged with 250.00 on each of 3 occasions for an alleged smoking violation. The final straw came today when I attempted to refill the vehicle rented 02/23/12 to return it and found my card to be over the limit thereby forcing me to pay cash for the fill-up required upon return. Having been a loyal customer for over 12 years with preferred customer status, I find it appalling to be harassed and persecuted by the manager of the St. Louis Lambert airport location. His name is **.
At no time during the return of any vehicle have I been approached by the employee checking it with the accusation of violation of their smoking policy. The violation has always come after the fact and with prejudice. I have always been a good customer and have accepted vehicles with odors, not cleaned fully and those that have had smoking smells as well. I would think that the appropriate administrative staff would look at the fact that all of a sudden I am being charged after all these years. It is more than stupid to violate a policy that is posted on the windows of the vehicle.
I tried to approach this manager and was insulted by his response to me. He stated that he was no longer going to rent to me as if I was some kind of child and that I was guilty of this alleged violation. He failed to show proof, and even if he did it would be questionable as anyone could have used the cars after I returned them, including his detailing crew. Let it be known that after the first alleged violation and charged I have all but persecuted anyone I have had as a passenger about smoking in the vehicle.
No one has smoked in the vehicles and I am a victim of this manager's prejudice. I resent this approach and would appreciate the funds that have been extracted from my credit card be restored. Until these last transactions I have promoted the excellent customer service that I have received from Avis, but now because of this manager I am considering ending what has been an admirable consumer relationship over the years.
MUNICH, GERMANY -- This is the first & last time we'll rent with Avis. After almost 13 years renting from other companies at the Munich airport nothing like this has ever happened. We checked the car over for damage but did not take photos (you'd better do that now with these scams) and found NO damage. When we returned the car the person checking them in first showed us something on the door that he said was a scratch. I took my fingernail and with some spit I removed it (a little paint from another car door that did NOT break the paint on the rental car) and showed that to him.
He then gave us a receipt to sign that was hundreds of dollars higher than the contract we made with AVIS online before we left the United States and we told him it was wrong and we wouldn't sign it. We then get a bill for over 500 Euros for a new windshield and door paint. He didn't show us any damage to the windshield and since you normally hear the rock that hits, I'll swear that either it wasn't there or, if you can believe the photo they sent, so small to be fixed by the injection method for a few Euros. I don't think it was there, I always notice any windshield damage when I'm driving and we had this car for over 2 weeks. I would have noticed.
Interesting he didn't show that to me like he did the so called "scratch". A bad thing about the Munich Airport is there is no one to talk to about any damage if there was any except to walk all the way back to the contract desk. You leave by way of inserting a card in a reader and the gate opens. I suppose you can write something down on your contract but it would still be your word against theirs. They know you're going home to the States and can't complain in person like a local can.
We're fighting it with our travel insurance company as it's not fair for them to have to pay a scam. It would be nice if there was a Better Business Bureau in Germany but I can't find one. I do have a friend that lives in Munich that used to work for Diamler-Benze and I may ask him to go and try to inspect the car for me. That will probably surprise them as normally tourists don't have any recourse and they know it.
AVIS Players: ** – nice, helpful guy at pick-up, ** – obnoxious, ignorant woman at pick-up, ** – obnoxious, arrogant guy at drop-off, ** – nice, helpful manager. Story: Took parents up to Sequoia NP, and due to weather needed an AWD. Customer service on the phone will tell you they cannot guarantee anything, unless you talk to the actual location. It is impossible to reach the LAX Avis by phone, so I went there on the previous Sunday. I told ** I would need an AWD on Friday morning.
He said he would be there on Fri morning and personally guarantee the AWD. Come Friday, I enter and foolishly I chose to go to ** because she was waving for the next customer. At 8:51 AM I rented an SUV for 3 days. I had to walk all the way to the back of the lot to find out it's not AWD. I go back to ** who's standing outside of the building. I tell her I need an AWD, she looks at the Ford that's parking on the side, points at it: is that an AWD?
I look at the car, it is. ** goes inside to change the car on my paperwork. I examine the car, it's dirty inside. Probably somebody just dropped it off, dirty carpets and debris on the seats. I go after her offering that I would take the car dirty if she gave me a discount. She cannot do that - is the answer.
She will have it cleaned. But I don't have time to wait for the car to be cleaned, I need and AWD and I need it clean, and I need it now. Why else would someone make a reservation and choose a pick up time if not to make sure to get everything right the first time, and on time. Anyway, this guy walks slow motion towards the car with a wet rug in hand. He wipes the inside of the car, now it's so wet I can't sit inside.
I turn on the heat to dry the seats and head back inside to get the modified paperwork. ** is with another customer. She tells me to sit and wait. WTF! I go over to ** begging for help. He rushes over to ** desk, takes the paperwork from her and sends me off on my way. On my reservation, I indicated I would return the car on Sunday at 11PM.
I arrive 20 minutes early. Somebody looks at the inside and says, “You'll be charged for detailing because there is mud inside.” Of course there is mud, it's been raining for days, but obviously with a little vacuuming it can be cleaned. No, the charge of $100, will be put on your card. I go to ** asking for help who is obviously more preoccupied by the ** that stuck between his teeth (constantly trying to get it out buy loudly sucking on his denture) than paying attention to me. I tell him I will take the car and vacuum myself.
He says, "It's almost 11PM, you won't make it back on time." Besides, if they close my contract, I would need to rent the car for another day for them to let me out with it. Luckily, that ** did not close the contract as I was demanding the manager and he went to get him. Here comes **. He listens and examines the mud.
Then he happily informs me that actually I have until Monday morning to return the vehicle without any additional charge. The 11PM is the approximate time they expect me to return, like I said I would, but officially time is until 8:51 the next morning, so with his permission I leave the premises with the car. I go to the nearest gas station on the corner. I spend 1 dollar and about 6 minutes to vacuum the inside of the car. I return the car few minutes later and it's cleaner than ever.
Afterward I think about this experience: Are they ignorant because that's what they learnt from their parents? Are they rude and obnoxious because they are not paid enough to care? Do they really think that with their behavior, the world is going to improve? I mean what are they thinking? They probably think nothing, because they are just too dumb to think anything.
I feel sorry for them, but I feel more sorry for all their future customers who will have to deal with them. Even the old security guy at the front gate made a remark (he was curious why I left with the car then returned few minutes later). He said, “They are ** America.”
FT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- Avis is charging us for a key scratch that was on the car before we took possession of it. Unfortunately, we did not notice the scratch until we arrived at our condo (directly from Avis) and could see the vehicle in sunlight. We mistakenly thought Avis probably already knew of the scratch. When we returned the vehicle, we were told by the inspectors that it was not there before.
We then asked to speak to a manager, and someone disappeared and then returned saying they could not find the manager but, “Don't worry about it, we'll take care of it. It's no problem, go catch your plane.”So we filled out a report and left. Several weeks later we received correspondence that we were being charged. We again wrote a report explaining what happened. Without any regard to any of these attempts to discuss the issue, Avis has now billed us for the damage.
We contacted the claims department and they are unwilling to assist us suggesting we contact the managers at Ft. Lauderdale's facility. We then left messages with those managers and never received a return call. We would place our hand on a bible or swear on our lives this did not happen in our possession if it would help. No one at Avis is willing to listen. Of course (after the fact), they tell us we should have inspected the vehicle before leaving the lot and reported any damage found.
No one suggested this to us before we picked up the vehicle which would've prompted us to look and probably see the scratch before we left. We would like to see video of what occurred while the vehicle was parked in the garage before we picked it up to know if someone keyed it then. Also video of us pulling out of the facility might also show the scratch. No one is responding to this request.
Avis has disappointed us tremendously on this issue and we are glad for this forum which allows us to let others know what type of customer service they provide when they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Well they have lost a customer. We only went to Florida because we had 2 free plane tickets and a place to stay without charge. Our insurance is covering most of this bill but we are still responsible for the $250 deductible. We had hopes that State Farm would back us but they say it is not worth the fight. Well, $250 is the cost of one of those free plane tickets and not a small deal to us.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- If I could give the Las Vegas Avis Rental center 0 stars I would. Their latest "program" charges you $13.99 for 0-75miles driven. We specifically were asked during check in whether we wanted to opt out of the program, so naturally we said yes. The woman was very rude, but made it clear that we had to decide there because it was an opt-in/out program. We refilled the tank to full as usual, and noted upon return that we were charged a $18 fee (after taxes).
We immediately turned around to inquire about the additional charge and were told this was for the $13.99 EZFuel program (or whatever it was called). We made the mistake of paying the $8.05 in gas in cash (we're in Vegas after all, cash dealings is almost the norm), so we did not have a receipt to provide to "waive" the fee. We got the manager out-- a youngish guy-- extremely rude and poor customer service (none at all really). The contract specifically states that yes, a fee will be charged "if rental is returned with less fuel than originally rented". There's also one line after that that says "00-75 miles will be charged $13.99, present receipt to waive".
Based on our questions and experience during check in, we had every reason to believe that this was an opt-in program. Our mistake on not getting a receipt, but it's clear the tank is full. How can anyone justify charging $13.99 for returning a car with a full tank? Apparently, Avis can run this kind of racket. The manager even had the nerve to counter, and I quote, "How do I know you didn't just drive 20miles and didn't refill the tank? You could do that and the meter would still show full."
Excuse me? That's your customer service? Snarky comments? Our odometer readings checking out and back in clearly shows we drove 64 miles. They would gouge you out of $18 of hard-earned money and lose the business of us and all our friends (we're spreading this around to everyone we know) because they can justify charging for a full tank in their fine print, and misleading instructions. The manager by the way, offered no help at all in terms of retrieving a receipt.
They could've called the gas station, refunded us the 8.05 once confirmed, or let us take another car out to retrieve the receipt (gas station was 2 blocks away). But no, nothing. No concession. This is a new program, we've not seen it before mind you. But based on the nature of this program and the misleading directions by Avis's personnel and non-existent customer service, I suggest everyone rent elsewhere. Enterprise, Thrifty are other options we've had no problems with. Give your hard-earned money to honest companies that earn it.
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- On August 7, we arrived in Tampa for short three day visit for a wedding. After checking without issue, we drove off to enjoy our weekend. Our trouble began when we dropped off the vehicle. Upon entering the drop off area at 7:00 A.M. on August 9, we were hurried through the check in process due to a couple of other vehicles coming in at the same time. After quickly grabbing our things we received our receipt and headed to the airport.
Upon takeoff I realized that in the rush I had left my GPS in attached to the front window below the rear view mirror. Our flight was only two hours long. When we landed I immediately contacted the Tampa Avis office alerting them to the fact I had left my GPS unit in their car. This was at 11:00 A.M. I was assured it would be set aside and someone would contact me shortly. After not receiving a return call, I called the office back that afternoon and was told I would be contacted Monday morning, after the person who handles these things matched up the items with the calls.
Monday came and went without a call. I called again and again, left my number. I again called the office after 11:30 A.M. Tuesday only to be told the woman was out to lunch. I again left my phone number requesting a call back as soon as possible. At 5:30 I called again only to be told this time the lady had left, but they would be happy to take my name and number and make sure she called the next day. After numerous calls such as these, I was finally able to connect with her after calling the corporate customer service number and them tracking her down on Wednesday, August 12.
According to Avis, my GPS was not in the vehicle, and the vehicle had been rented out at noon the same day. I was told they had contacted the rental office where the vehicle had been dropped off that day, but they did not have the GPS either. When I brought up the fact that it was Sunday when I first called, AND I had called an hour prior to the vehicle being rented again, I was told there was nothing that could be done.
Several emails to Avis only resulted in a quote from the contract stating Avis was not responsible for any personal items left behind. I realize I was at fault for not letting myself be rushed at check in and making sure I had everything. However, the fact the vehicle was on their lot for an hour after I called and before they rented it out leads me to believe the unit was either stolen by the Avis associate who cleaned the vehicle, or they never bothered to even check the vehicle after I called and it was taken by whomever rented it at noon.
Obviously, Avis does NOT "Try Harder". If they truly did try harder I cannot help but to believe I would have my GPS unit back by now. This was the first time I have ever used Avis and it will be the last. Oh and good luck finding any phone number or email to anyone in the corporate offices to take your complaints to a higher level.
PANAMA CITY, PANAMA -- We have been on the telephone for hours over the past two days with Avis in the US and Panama and am getting nowhere. We rented a car in Panama last Tuesday, 24 March at 10:45 in the morning. We returned the car Friday, 27 March at 16:00, at the same location: Marcos A Gelabert Airport (PT2). When requesting a receipt on the Avis website we were advised on the website that the car was never returned! We were supposed to pick up the car at 08:15.
When we went to the Avis rental counter at the airport there was no one at the counter, no telephone at the counter, and they did not answer their posted telephone numbers. Another rental car company finally helped us contact Avis. They kept promising to be there in a few minutes. We waited from 08:15 until 10:30 for a man to show up with the car. He spoke no English and had a Spanish-only rental agreement to sign. With the help of a bilingual passerby we finally signed the paperwork and received the car keys.
The airport office was supposed to be open from 08:00 to 17:00 daily. There was NEVER anyone there and no one to contact. Per the Avis Panamanian representative's instructions (via the volunteer translator) we left the car in the airport parking lot and dropped the keys into the "drop box" (hole) in the Avis counter. Avis still continues to charge us a daily/hourly rate for a car we turned in. We also preordered a GPS unit and it was not delivered with the car. We are apparently being charged for it, too.
We returned the car with a full tank of gas. The mileage was 89729.4 kilometers. The time was 16:00 local time on Friday, 27 March. I suspect the car is still sitting in the parking lot, or by now has been stolen. I am curious and apprehensive as to how long before the arrest warrant for us is issued. It is particularly frustrating that we cannot contact anyone with Avis in Panama City, Panama.
It took many calls and hours on hold before we finally reached someone at Avis Customer Service that was even willing to take some ownership of the issues. While Avis USA customer support has rendered some assistance, they also were unable to contact anyone in Panama who could speak English. Finally, Avis USA supposedly sent a fax and asked us to wait another 48 hours. Avis has not replied to any of our emails.
I personally feel that the Avis operation in Panama City needs a complete evaluation of its operational and management practices. As a long-time Preferred Avis customer this has been a terrible experience and still has not been resolved! The worst financial impact is that we are still being charged for the rental of a car that we turned in last week. Additional costs are in fruitless telephone calls to Panama and much wasted time on hold on the telephone.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I have to vent on the horrible experience I had recently with Avis out of Boston Mass. I am a premier member with Avis and had no real complaints prior to this. I rented a car at Boston Airport. Upon arrival, I had to stand in line for well over 30 minutes just to get my car. There were 2 people working the desk and for some reason, they did not have my name listed on the premier list. I got a disgruntled clerk. The car they set me up with was a stripped down PT Cruiser.
I drove from the airport to my hotel, about 35 minutes away. After checking in, I was told that they would be expecting snow in the next few days and asked if I had a scraper for my car (at the hotel, mind you) or if I needed one. I went to the car and decided that I better check the wipers. Well, lo and behold, the wipers were non-functional. The wiper arms moved, but the blades were not wiping anything. I called Avis and was told to either buy a replacement set or bring the car back.
I drive back to the airport and stand in another line, to get a replacement car. I waited a total of an hour to get the replacement car because a midsize car, which I rented, was not ready. Fine. After an hour, I complained that I was tired of waiting and the clerk upgraded me to an impala (I don't know what size that was). When I got in the car and started it, the power steering made a grinding noise. I walked back in to the clerk and told them about it.
They came to check it out, but of course, the noise was not there. Fine. I figured it was just the cold. I drove back to the hotel. 2 days later, after a snow storm, I go to get in my car after a long meeting offsite. The power steering makes that same noise again and it would not work at all. It was like driving a 1966 car with no power steering.
As I go to drive out of the lot, I notice that the tire is making noises. I pull over to check and find a flat tire. Great. It's probably 15 degrees out and I have to change a tire. I go to the trunk and there is no spare tire. The place where it belonged was empty! I called the 800 number and was told that all they could do was tow a replacement car to me but it would be 2 to 3 hours from the airport! Wow!!
No repair trucks with tires?? I waited in the car for 2 hours before the replacement car showed up. The driver tells me that he did not have a replacement contract because the computers were down at the Avis place. OK, fine. I drive away in my Hyundai beater and prayed that nothing else happened. Well, nothing else happened to car but when I went to return it a week later, they couldn't find the contract on the car because no one ever put one in when they replaced it. Wait another 45 minutes and I am finally out the door to my flight.
I wrote Avis twice with the complaints, via their website and I have yet to receive a response. This was over a week ago. I am so disappointed with their customer service and lack of care about their customers that I am going to start using a different car service. I know that I am just a little fish but I think that renting around 12 weeks a year would at least get me a "We're sorry about your experience, we value our business and here's something to make up for it".
Heck, even a free upgrade would have been nice. It's nice that Avis is not suffering financially like the rest of the world and they can afford to alienate loyal customer. It's a good thing my manager runs the travel dept at work too. Maybe if I get the word out to 1500 travelers where I work, it might cause Avis to think twice about their customers' needs.
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 Avis is not unique to me, see ** 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 scraped 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. Personally, 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 collection 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.