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Unauthorized Toll Charges Placed on My Credit Card After Usage
By -

PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND -- Indeed, I did rent a car from Avis Budget Group at Providence Airport from 10/06/11 to 10/09/11. I did not however go through any Garden State Tolls. I did not go through any toll stations. After arriving at Providence airport, my friend and I proceeded to the Budget counter. The reservation I had made 3 months prior was evidently worthless, the clerk in training offered me a larger vehicle at more money as they did not have the vehicle I contracted for.

I told them I did not need nor want a larger vehicle and had to wait until an economy class vehicle was checked in, ironically a little red car with New York license plates. My elderly blind friend and I were made to wait until they could rinse the car off. My guess would be that perhaps the person driving the vehicle to Providence went through the tolls or someone switched out whatever the transponder things are. We left the airport and proceeded directly to Groton CT to our motel within the hour where we spent that evening after stopping to see my brother in Ledyard CT.

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

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

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

I hope the credit union will alert their customers to this shady practice of adding charges to unknowing customers in the hopes they will overlook them and pay the bill. Fox 13 news and Bay News 9 here in Tampa have been documenting and reporting on these shady practices. Furthermore, I will never rent another vehicle from Budget Rent A Car and will alert my friends and family to this incident by sharing and posting this letter.

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False Charges Totaling Almost $3,000 With NO WAY to REMOVE
By -

I was heading camping with my family for the weekend in a PA state park, and due to major storm warnings, decided it would be smart to rent an SUV with four wheel drive. I made a reservation and picked up my vehicle, no problem from 30th street station. Several hours later upon arriving in the local town where the state park was located, we stopped to purchase some groceries for our weekend - in doing so I found that my checking account was overdrawn several hundred dollars. Terrified I quickly loaded up my bank's mobile application on my iPhone to discover that not only did Avis charge me an initial balance for my rental $182.40, but in addition charged me $1,112.69, TWICE!

Furious I immediately called Avis who said they had no record of this charge as the amount made no sense. After a long time on hold, they conferenced in my bank who confirmed the amount and gave them instructions to fax over a request to remove the erroneous hold. I was told to give it an hour and call back. We headed to our campsite, where I had no cell phone reception, so an hour later I had to drive up the road to a pay phone located outside the park's office. I called my bank who notified me that the hold was being reversed and the money would be credited back to my account again shortly. The representative then asked if I was aware that the charge had been run through twice?

Shocked I said of course not. She then informed me that in order to have the second charge removed I would need to have another fax sent over specifying that 2 holds in the amount needed to be removed. I called Avis back and after 20 minutes of holding got someone on the phone who had no record of my prior call or the scenario I was faced with. Frustrated I explained the scenario and was put back on hold. After close to 40 minutes on the phone I was informed that the fax had been sent and all would be well. I informed the representative that I understood and required a second fax to be sent, to which she replied that is not possible as she could not see the hold in her system.

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

Beside myself at this point I called back Avis who again conferenced in my bank and seemed to smooth the whole thing over. I was told the credits would be on my account and that the bank system would update at midnight, relieved I left to head back to my campsite after almost 3 hours of dealing with the mess. The next day I awoke to find the charge still on my account and even less information contained in my file (even with a reference number) than before. Worst of all once back in my hometown, with the car returned, I found myself still on the phone with Avis trying to find out where the, at this time 3 faxes, that were presumably sent to my bank went - since my bank had never received them.

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

After another hour at the local branch watching Avis staff walk in and out of the front desk area scratching their heads, I called my bank after I watched them send a fax through hopefully vindicating the erroneous charge. My bank then informed me that the hold was in fact not a hold but was "notched" for payment, and nothing could be done until it cleared or dropped off - which would not happen until the end of the month, almost 2 and half weeks later. My bank account is still showing charges IN ADDITION to my rental fees for $1,112.69 and I am told nothing can be done. Avis has AWFUL computer systems and INCOMPETENT staff, sorry but it's true. This has been overall one of the worst experiences of my life!

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Horror Story With Avis in Kampmannsgade, Copenhagen, Denmark
By -

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.

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Horrible Customer Service
By -

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!

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Avis : Khoury- Alternative Claims Management >Bogus Damage Claim
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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.

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Budget Rental Trucks - Don't Rent From Them!!!
By -

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.

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Always Start With the Manager - Don't Waste Time With the Others
By -

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.”

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First and Last Avis Experience
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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.

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Avis Still Has Not Resolved This Serious Problem
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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.

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Avis Customer Service Is Severely Lacking
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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.

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1.4 out of 5, based on 18 ratings and
111 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
Avis
900 Old Country Rd.
Garden City, NY 11530
800-352-7900 (ph)
www.avis.com
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