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Bogus Smoking violation charges
Posted by on
Rating: 5/51
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 harass3ed and persecuted by the manager of the st. Louis Lambert airport location. His name is aaron [snip]. 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 any one 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.
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tnchuck100 on 02/27/2012:
If this was an unjustified charge it would have happened to me only once....not three times.

It appears the car rental companies have added a new charge to their scam repertoire.

I noticed you did not state you were a non-smoker. Not that it should make their claim justified in any way.
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Avis Car Rental Illegal Credit Surveillance Tactics
Posted by on
Ron Nelson
6 Sylvan Way
Parsippany, NJ

Mr Nelson:

I work for a major international manufacturing firm with offices in seven countries around the world. I travel often, flying domestically as well as internationally and I rent vehicles during my visits. My company, has a corporate account with Avis.

My last trip took me to St Louis where I was scheduled to rent a car from Avis. Upon arriving at the airport, I proceeded to the Avis counter. After confirming my reservation, they asked for a credit card. I produced my Sun Trust debit/check card. The rental agent told me that since my “credit” was not good enough, I could not rent a vehicle. My personal credit was run, without my permission, from the information on my drivers license. I confirmed this with the agent at the counter. I know this to be true because I gave them my debit card (as a secondary means) and my credit was run.

1. It is illegal to run a persons credit without their SIGNED APPROVAL.
2. Running a persons credit via their drivers license is also illegal and morally wrong.
3. Avis has caused damage to me by running an “inquiry” on my credit (without my knowledge),costing 6 credit score points.
4. This also happened to a VP in my company, and he has confirmed the credit hit.

After the illegal running of my credit, the counter agent handed my a 3X5 card from Experian, stating a generic reason for denial. In addition to the above listed wrongs, my personal credit has nothing to do with the credit of my company.

I ended up renting a car from Thrifty. While at the Thrifty counter, they remarked, “…that happens to a lot of people, they all end up over here.” Naturally I asked if anyone else had remarked on the illegal search and invasion of privacy of their drivers license and credit and they said no. This is what really incensed me. Avis has been getting away with this! The dumbed down moronic public has been letting your company data mine them! Not any more sir. Your position is one of accountability and responsibility and you need to make a change. We are cancelling our corporate account and I am advising others to do the same.

Please change your policy immediately.

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Anonymous on 07/05/2011:
Credit can be run with verbal permission, it does not require a signature.

However, if your credit was run without your consent, file a dispute with the credit bureau and file a dispute with Avis. I'd love to hear how they respond to that.

If the company you work for has a corporate account with Avis, why did you have to provide a personal CC? I work for a company that also uses Avis and have never had to use my personal CC when traveling.

PepperElf on 07/05/2011:
JC - that makes me wonder if it was a business trip or a personal trip. Or if the OP had authorization to use it as a business trip.

I ask because for most business trips I would think the company would issue an official company credit card vs asking employees to use their own credit cards for the trip.

At least that's how we did it in the Navy, with official government credit cards. of course they also encouraged people to bring their own cards along too - but that was just for personal purchases that wouldn't be ethical to ring up on the government card, etc.
Anonymous on 07/05/2011:
Great review! very informative! I'm glad things worked out at Thrifty. I would suggest writing to Avis'corporate office about this. Sounds like an infringement of your rights.

Welcome to my3cents.
Mrs.Cole on 07/05/2011:
Could this be because they sometimes put a hold on funds until you bring the car back? With a credit card this is sometimes done, could it be they tried this with your debit card and there wasn't enough funds? That might just have been a matter of wording, credit check, overdraft or whatever. It's been my experience some places double or triple the hold funds more than the actual bill.
leet60 on 07/05/2011:
From Avis' terms and conditions for rentals with a debit card:

"If you use a debit card at a location that accepts them, we will perform a credit check to ensure credit worthiness before releasing the car and you must also present a second form of current identification."

Seems fairly clear to me.
PepperElf on 07/06/2011:
Very clear.

This is why I asked if the OP was making a personal trip or a business one.

It seems a bit odd that a company would issue a debit card for a business trip. And even odder that they would do so without letting the employee know the rules of the rental agency. Or that they would expect employees to pay for their own rentals.

Unless this was, as I asked, a personal trip rather than a business one....
trmn8r on 07/06/2011:
Like the first poster asked, if you are travelling all over the world, why aren't you using a credit card? Using a debit card to rent a car may be possible, but it creates all kinds of issues, such as yours and holds put on the card.

I have to tell you, the complaints where a threat is made to have the company one works for change its account over based on one employee's experience - I don't believe in their effectiveness. Not unless it is a major incident or that person is president of the company.
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Horrible Customer Service
Posted by on
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- For our 2 week vacation, we rented a car with Avis at the Philadelphia airport. We went through a third party discount. When I got to the counter to pick the car up, the clerk at the desk said, "Full insurance or mffff" (couldn't understand her). Nevertheless, I said, "I have my own, don't need it." I went through the whole procedure of touching the screen and signing my name to the contract. Two weeks later when we returned the car, we were charged an extra $425. What?!! We were told that I signed up for insurance. The lady at the counter did remember me, but before her manager she said that she asked me, "Do you want full insurance? When you said 'no' I asked if you at least wanted the minimum coverage to which you said, 'yes.' That is why you are charged." I denied that saying I said, "I don't need extra insurance since I have my own." The manager pulled up the contract, there it was, the charge for insurance at $27.95 per day, with my signature at the end (our copy of the contract was mistakenly tossed along our journey). I maintained I didn't ask for it. The manager believed his employee, and because I signed the contract, all they could do was take off half the charge, so we were still charged $212 for something I didn't ask for and flat out rejected. No means no, but for them no means we'll charge you anyway. I would never use them again. I learned a lesson in assuming that even when you say no to their extras, you may still get what you say no to. Read the contract right then and there, even if you are in a hurry and you are holding up the people behind you and make sure they are not putting those extras into it anyway.
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Anonymous on 06/30/2011:
Don't you have to initial that you either accept or decline insurance? And if not, didn't you read the contract before you signed it? I'm not saying this is your fault OP, because what the agent did was sneaky and I'd be pissed but the only thing the manager has to go by is the signed contract. This is why its important read before you sign.
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50% extra charge for winter ties option at Munich AVIS rental
Posted by on
MUNICH -- We went for skiing holiday in 2011 Feb/12- Feb/19 in Austria. I used AVIS car rental in Munich airport (MUC) many times before, so I booked a car at AVIS this time too for 250 EUR per week.

Upon arrival, suddenly, I been asked by AVIS representative do I need winter tires? I never been asked about it before and I expected that car rented in winter season supposes to be equipped with winter tires. AVIS lady pushed on me by saying that driving the car without winter tires in Austria may case to penalty of few thousands EUR. I said OK to winter ties.

BUT. I was absolutely not OK, when they showed me updated price for car rental! Initial 250 EUR became 370 EUR which is about 50% increase for option which actually has to be mandatory in winter.

We asked a manager. The "manager" was a lady next to first AVIS representative doing the same job, unfortunately much more rude, unhelpful and unreasonable! She refused the fact AVIS Car booking wizard doesn't gave a possibility to choose the winter tires option. She just wanted to rip us off. We could not believe we should pay 25% of new winter tires price for using it just for 1 week. We complained about unreasonable high price and asked for discount or car upgrade. AVIS lady-manager said No and was very rude.

It was funny to see that AVIS treated next customer in exactly the same way. Gentleman has an Internet booking and first question AVIS asked him was "do you need winter tires". I couldn't avoid to give him a friendly warning that he will be charged extra 100+ EUR now. AVIS lady-manager started screaming on me so I am not allowed to speak with her customer. It was such a disgusting to see how AVIS rips off the people using the same trick. It is clear cheating! I an extremely disappointed by AVIS in Munich airport. I never expected such a low quality service in Germany.
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Anonymous on 02/24/2011:
I would have told her to screw the tires and just get a car with regular tires.
Anonymous on 02/24/2011:
"I would have told her to screw the tires" - ROFL!
azspots on 02/24/2011:
Not only would she have been told to screw the tires, I would have said this over my shoulder as I was securing a properly equipped car from another car vendor.
SteveWiginowski on 02/24/2011:
That's ridiculous that they charge extra for winter tires, then go on to say that you can be fined for not having snow tires. It would be like renting a car, and them asking you if you want working headlights, but at a fee.
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AVIS rentacar and NY highway toll administration is a thief group
Posted by on
NEW YORK -- I strongly advise everyone from using AVIS, as they are very unclear as to how much you will be charged for renting a car and to be very cautious of the Highway Toll Administration in NY for unexpected fees. I rented an AVIS car in upstate NY several months ago and was charged $59.45 for not paying the tollbooth fee to the Highway Toll Administration in NY. This charge is ridiculous considering the fact that you wouldn’t even be able to drive past the tollbooth if you don't pay the fee upfront. I paid the tollbooth fee in cash (around $10-20) and never received a receipt for this. Several months later, I noticed a charge on my credit card bill from the Highway Toll Administration charging me the $59.45 violation fee for not paying. I called to dispute this and was told I needed to provide proof of my receipt for them to remove the charge but as mentioned, I never got a receipt. I asked how it could possibly make sense I\'d be charged for not paying when you clearly have to pay right in the moment to get past the gates but the customer service representative kept repeating ad nauseous I needed to show a receipt. AVIS didn’t do anything on my behalf to help, and I was very disappointed with the Highway Toll Administration in NY for charging me a violation fee for something I obviously paid for. Takeaway lesson? Try to use any other car-rental service other than AVIS and use a credit card or make sure to get a receipt from the Highway Toll Administration in NY so they can\'t cheat you. I received my November VISA bill on 11-1-10 from Bank of America and noticed I was charged $59.45 in Avis RentaCar Tolls on 10/03/10 in New York. I did rent a car from Avis once (at the Tompkins County Airport in Ithaca), but that was back in May 2010, so I wasn't sure what that charge referred to. My daughter called Avis on my behalf and she was told that this $59.45 charge was from the Highway Toll Administration in NY for not paying the toll from a tollbooth I passed while driving from Ithaca, NY to Buffalo, NY. However, I did pay the fee in cash (it was around $10-20) and did not get a receipt for this, so this charge stating that I didn’t\'t pay is false. If I didn’t\'t pay the tollbooth fee, I wouldn’t\'t have been able to pass, so this violation charge doesn’t\'t make sense. The person my daughter spoke to at the Highway Toll Administration said that I needed to provide proof of my receipt for them to remove the $59.45 charge but as mentioned, I never got a receipt so I unfortunately cannot do so. I request that I get refunded this $59.45. As mentioned, I wouldn't have been able to pass if I hadn't paid so this charge makes absolutely no sense.
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idontthinkso on 01/12/2011:
While I sympathize with you on the erratic nature of enforcement and communication by the NY authorities (Former LI resident!) I have to stop your rant mid-stream. Calling people thieves is only correct when there is an element of dishonesty or coercion involved in separating you from your money.

Your receipt is your proof. You lost it, you bear the burden. YOU chose to pay cash. YOU chose to not purchase an electronic toll device. YOU are now blaming the RENTAL company for the actions of yourself, and the NYS transit authority?? Why? All Avis did was rent you a car. Should they pay your parking fines, if you fail to read the local ordinances and signs? Should they pay your speeding tickets if you get caught speeding??


This sounds like you failed to read the signs, went into a paypass only lane, and got double charged. The reason for this is likely automatic, and if you had ASKED for a receipt, none of this would have happened.

I might be wrong. The authorities could have simply screwed up, and you were completely in the right. But it is STILL your responsibility to keep your receipts. Your complaint is with the tollbooth, not the people who rented you the car.
Anonymous on 01/13/2011:
Why would AVIS take this charge off? Avis charged you because THEY were charged the fee. WHy should they take it off?

I can understand being upset if you paid the toll, but this complaint should be against the toll admin. Not AVIS. I don't think its fair for AVIS to take the 60 dollar fee off, and be out 60 dollars.
Anonymous on 01/13/2011:
Also, I'm sure in the terms of the rental agreement, it says any parking tickets or violations will be charged to the renter.
Obsfucation on 01/13/2011:
I can't think of an instance where you pay the toll up front, except in places like tunnels and bridges. You pay for toll roads when you exit the road, not when you get on, so I am not clear on how the toll was incurred.
momsey on 01/13/2011:
Obs has it right. Unless it's a bridge or a tunnel, where there are no exits and everyone is driving the same length of road, you don't pay tolls up front. On interstates or other toll highways you pay an amount based on how far you've taken the road.

And, if you paid the toll but don't have proof, why should Avis take off the charge? The takeaway should be either get receipts for tolls when you pay cash or use your own ezPass (or similar device). I'm sure this could have happened with any rental agency.
trmn8r on 01/13/2011:
People - when the OP states "up front" he means prior to the driving through the toll gate. Not that they pay before getting on the toll road.

Being a former, regular customer of the New York State Thruway, the road in question, your complaint surprises me. Unless you barged through the gate without stopping, or they arranged to let you pass through because you didn't have payment, I don't see how this happened. As I recall they give a small receipt, which I would discard them immediately.

Tough situation. Without a receipt, I don't see how you can prove your innocence. This isn't Avis' concern, in my opinion, it is between you and the Thruway. Good luck.
momsey on 01/13/2011:
trmn8r, you pay up front on the Thruway?
trmn8r on 01/13/2011:
No, you don't - please see my edit above. Thanks!
momsey on 01/13/2011:
I see what you're saying, trmn8r.
Obsfucation on 01/13/2011:
I see what you are saying Trmn, but most of the tool booths don't have gates becayse of EZPass, so people often do blow right past the tolls, not knowing that their license plate is being recorded and charged the toll, plus a penalty.
trmn8r on 01/13/2011:
I was trying to give the OP the benefit of the doubt, but note that in my first comment above I included the drive-by as a possible cause.
Anonymous on 01/13/2011:
bridges in philly have gates....even with EZ pass The pass is scanned, gates open.
JJ on 07/22/2011:
Sounds like a lot of AVIS employees sticking up for their extortion.
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Damage to rental cars
Posted by on
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.
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Horrible Customer Service
Posted by on
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA -- I recently was verbally abused my the Manager at Avis after I told him that I was going to file a formal complaint with Avis Headquarters regarding the customer service (or lack thereof) that I have received at Avis Reagan National Airport location.

I have been an Avis First Member for over 3 years which allows certain perks ... at the very least, being treated with respect! Well to make a long story short, I was on my cell phone speaking with a representative at headquarters obtaining instructions for filing a formal complaint against the Reagan National Airport Branch when the Manager became visibly LIVID. After telling me that I had "never made a reservation" and that it was my fault that I did not make one (even though I produced the confirmation number) he finally got me into a car. The Manager then left the desk, went out of the side entrance to what I thought was to give me the registration document, and proceeded to "rip me a new one" where no one else could hear; verbally abusing me. The Manager was so angry that immediately removed myself from the situation, got into the car and immediately called back to headquarters to explain what had just transpired and asking the representative if I should contact the police. The representative placed me on hold and contacted the Manager to find out what was going on. She then advised me that I would be well within my rights to contact the police in addition to filing the formal complaint that we had discussed moments earlier. I decided to just leave the premises and file the formal complaint.

Two weeks had passed and I received a letter from Avis stating that and investigation had been conducted and based on what the Manager had stated, I was no longer eligible to rent a car from Avis or Budget". In other words, we have spoken to one of our employees (Manager) and because we all work for the same company, we believe everything that he has told us. The District Manager never contacted me to ask what happened, offer an apology, NOTHING! The Manager took every step he felt necessary (to include lying) and told the District Manager that I verbally abused him; I now know that this was his reason for leaving the front desk to curse me out where no one else could hear.

Once I received the letter for my denial of car rental service with Avis, I contacted the District Manager, and she basically confirmed that the Manager's actions was the "norm" at Avis because she too began speaking to me in a very rude manner. I began to demonstrate to her (since it has become evident that neither she nor the Managers have been trained in treating people with respect) how one should be spoken to by remaining calm and telling her that "I can rent a car from anywhere, it's the PRINCIPAL of this whole ordeal that she and her employees are not understanding). That conversation just fell on deaf ears because she kept saying what the Manager had told her. (?!?!)

In short, I have chosen to take my business elsewhere, I thought about filing charges against the Avis Manager for verbal assault, but I am a very busy lady. I was an Avis First Member because I would rent from Avis on average of 3 times per month. I will now give my hard earned money to another rental car company that values my business and me as a person. What ever happened to the days when customer service really meant something????

Being an Avis First Member means nothing to Avis, the employees are ALWAYS RIGHT!
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goduke on 05/28/2010:
Wow, what a bad situation. You're probably better off with another vendor. Sounds like the Manager lost control, which is just unacceptable at all levels for a service individual, irrespective of the circumstances. It's even more unfortunate when it affected one of their very loyal customers, who most companies want to cherish.

As a side note, I'm really not sure what the Avis agent was speaking about, but there's really no crime such as verbal assault.
WScott on 05/28/2010:
Well, actually, I think assault IS verbal. It is the Battery part of assault & battery which is physical.

Somebody correct me if I am wrong but I think 'assault' is verbally putting someone in fear of their welfare.
goduke on 05/28/2010:
Assault is putting a person in fear of an "improper touching." In virtually all jurisdictions in the US, the verbal part of it has to be coupled with something physical -- a gun in your hand, a clenched fist, etc. Simply uttering words in anger doesn't get you to that point.
jktshff1 on 05/28/2010:
"I have chosen to take my business elsewhere" Seems they made that decision for you..."letter for my denial of car rental service with Avis"
goduke on 05/28/2010:
I think the OP may have meant "I chose to take my business elsewhere than to fight them on this issue."
jktshff1 on 05/28/2010:
Thanks gd, makes sense.
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Always start with the manager - don't waste time with the others
Posted by on
Players: Percy – nice, helpful guy at pick-up, Rose – obnoxious, ignorant woman at pick-up, Marc – obnoxious, arrogant guy at drop-off, Joe – nice, helpful manager

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 Percy I would need an AWD on Friday morning. He said he would be there on Fri mo’ and personally guarantee the AWD.
Come Friday, I enter and foolishly I chose to go to Rose because she was waving for the next customer.
At 8:51AM 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 Rose 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. Rose 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. Rose is with another customer. She tells me to sit and wait. WTF!

I go over to Percy begging for help. He rushes over to Rose’ desk, takes the paperwork form 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 Marc asking for help who is obviously more preoccupied by the sh*t 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 b*stard did not close the contract as I was demanding the manager and he went to get him.

Here comes Joe. 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.”
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Anonymous on 02/17/2010:
So...the car was dirty and wet and you wanted a discount to take it that way, yet you wanted THEM to take it back muddy. Right. Bet you got blacklisted when you left.
jktshff1 on 02/17/2010:
+10 TB
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Wrongfully accused of damage
Posted by on
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.
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Anonymous on 10/19/2009:
That's how all rental car companies keep up their cars, they scam whoever they can.
JR in Orlando on 10/19/2009:
Protect yourself at all times. If you did not inspect the vehicle prior to leaving the lot, you are partly to blame for this situation. Without have inspected it, who - including you - really knows if a bush or some other object did not cause this while it was in your control.

I learned my lesson. I rented a vehicle and after a day discovered a hole in the lower front bumper the size and shape of a bumper hitch ball. I thought I would have to pay, but luckily the rental records had the car listed as needing a new front bumper for a hole in it from a prior rental. Neither I nor the clerk had stooped down as we walked around and we had missed it. That's the last time that happened. Since then, I have been extra careful.
Anonymous on 10/19/2009:
OP, my husband is ANAL about checking rental cars before we leave with them. We always bring an extra memory card JUST for the car. Right in front of the attendant, he calls out every ding, scratch, bump, paint chip etc for me to write down AND he photographs it.

We have NEVER been charged for anything real or imagined lol.
Ytropious on 10/19/2009:
Same with apartments, you go through with the landlord and write down everything wrong with the unit before you sign the lease so they have little claim to your deposit. SAME deal with rental cars. Check it before you leave. You said you didn't notice it when you left Avis, but did when you got to your condo. How do you seriously know it didn't somehow happen in your possession? Also this scratch is costing more than 250 dollars to fix, seriously? If it was that big you'd think it would be more noticeable huh?
POMMYBLOKE on 01/07/2010:
see if you used sixt rent a car in the first place this problem wouldn't of happened as I always use sixt and they are very honest about there damages.
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Avis running a racket with their new EZ Fuel "program"
Posted by on
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 checkin, 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, Thirfty are other options we've had no problems with. Give your hard-earned money to honest companies that earn it.
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goduke on 08/31/2009:
Anyone who has ever rented a car knows that if you don't have the receipt with you, even without the Avis 75 mile rule, you are in risk of getting hit with a fuel fee. You absolutely have to be able to show them you bought gas, even if it's only 1/2 gallon.

Probably should have taken a cab to the strip. It's a lot cheaper than renting a car.
Anonymous on 08/31/2009:
Well I've had at least 12 rentals this year alone and I sure didn't know about the 75 mile rule. In fact I'd like to personally thank the OP for enlightening me on this subject. I pulled out my rental agreement from last week and sure enough it says, '00-74 miles $13.99 fuel fee added. To remove show receipt' then holy cow there's the 'SL' initials next to it. I DID NOT READ IT.

Well I for one think that stinks. I can't tell you how many times I've picked up a rental car when the tank wasn't completely full and heck sometimes it was actually below the 'F'. It's been my experience they sure don't top those tanks off at the rental place but I guess they're going to charge as if they do. Dirty pool.

It is indeed reviews like this one that educates some of us less sophisticated travelers to the slick ways of the travel industry. Good review!
dan gordon on 08/31/2009:
same thing in Tucson and other airports I've rented a car in. You need to get a receipt. Even if they checked you in full some companies bill you later and you still need the receipt to prove your innocence. I know its reverse logic but car rental firms are desperate for more revenue so they have added many more rules than before.
snoozypanda on 08/31/2009:
Well one thing I'd like to add is that we have rented numerous times before and this has never been an issue. This particular case was also interesting because at the time we returned the car, the guy didn't even ask--he just presented us with the $18 charge and sent us on our way. We had 10min to spare so we looked at the receipt and asked specifically at the desk.

So by this logic, you apparently also have to manually go and wrangle with them to remove the charge (I guess they charge first, waive later). Maybe that's just the vegas rental center, but even assuming we had a receipt--if we hadn't stopped to ask, we would still be hit with the fee.
goduke on 08/31/2009:
Snoozy: if you show them the receipt as you check in, they take it off right then. I've done it in McCarran about 15 times in the last year.
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