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 any 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.
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA -- I recently was verbally abused by 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 PRINCIPLE 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. Whatever happened to the days when customer service really meant something? Being an Avis First Member means nothing to Avis, the employees are ALWAYS RIGHT!
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 11 am 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 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.
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.”
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.
CHESAPEAKE, VIRGINIA -- I went through Travelocity to rent a car from Avis to make a trip to my families' 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, ** (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, ** told us the computer was closed out. ** 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 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 ** 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 error 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 ** 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 **-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, Shirley Temple style. This was just one of her ways of showing total arrogance toward her customers.
I assured ** 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 ** 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 ** 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: "It's our policy to put a higher hold than the actual cost", pointing to the $922 (which was the cost before the discount).
"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. (** shrugged and smiled.) "We apologize for the miscommunication and failing to make sure you knew how much was going to be frozen." (Again, lies.) "We apologize for the promises ** made, it was an error on his part." (If it was an error, which it wasn't,
** was standing next to him when he made them.) "We have no control over what the computer does." (They have total control of the computer.) The only grief I have for ** 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, ** 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 its customers will not hesitate to meet your needs of trust and honesty.
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA -- I recently rented a car from Avis in Anchorage. I am a frequent flier and am a 1K on United and a Diamond with Hilton. You can imagine that when I say that I had my worst rental car experience ever in Avis Anchorage - that means something. I met a very unfriendly and unhelpful counter person named James who was the renting agent behind the counter. Don't go to him if you can possibly avoid it.
I was initially helped by an agent called Jessi, who offered me an upgrade to a Toyota Highlander for an extra $15 a day. I pointed out that I had rented a mid-sized SUV that should sit 5 (per the Avis website) but Jessi said that there was nothing should could do about it. She suggested that I check out the vehicle first and come back. After my group loaded the luggage into the vehicle we found the vehicle to be too small. I was also not pleased with the coffee stain near the gear box, the bent license plate, and the 2 scratches that I found on the car.
When I returned, Jessi was gone and James was there. I made my case with him again about the size of the SUV and asked for a better option given that Avis had not delivered on what they had promised. James was very unhelpful and told me that was all that they had and went on to say that the class of vehicle that I rented was a Rav 4 - but that they were out of that. When I asked to be upgraded to the Toyota Highlander that Jessi had offered me, he told me that I would have to pay for it. Given that I had no choice, I agreed to pay for the upgrade. This leads me to my second disappointment.
James goes ahead and processes the upgrade and tells me that I have to pay $500 more for the 10-day rental. When I pointed out that it was more than 3X the initial $15 upgrade which I felt that I should not have had to pay for - he shrugs his shoulders and tells me to take it or leave it. At this point I inform James that he was neither being very helpful nor providing much customer service - to which he responded that "it was not his problem". When I asked him the reason for the 3X increase in price, James said that the contract was already concluded and that the price had changed in the 10 minutes that it took to load my luggage into the vehicle prior to driving off the lot.
My third disappointment is that when I asked to speak to the manager, about the bait-and-switch tactics going on and the poor service that I was receiving, James tells me that the manager is not available. I made the request again and told him that it was important that I get in touch with his manager. He gave me exactly the same response - with a look that challenged me to do something about it. There was never an attempt to get my number or to even reach the station manager at his after-hours telephone number.
Fortunately the card of Bob ** the Anchorage Station Manager was on the counter and I took a copy of it and I told James that I would certainly be in touch. His response to me at that point was that he would talk to the Station Manager first. Please avoid Avis Anchorage at all costs. This is a poorly run operation. You don't want to spoil a business trip or vacation by dealing with the incompetence of some of the members of the customer service team at this location.
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.