Avis Complaint - How Avis Plays Dumb to Fleece You Out of an Unjustified Late Fee
It's not uncommon to rent a car for a day as I wished to do for a one way trip from the Pittsburgh airport to Baltimore Washington Airport. I made the reservation using Avis from the Orbitz web site. I was asked to specify a time of pick up and return and I entered 11 AM for both. I happened to get to the Pittsburgh airport a little early and ended up renting the car from 9:42 AM. Printed out on the rental agreement is pickup at 9:42 with return at 11AM the next day. Any reasonable person would understand that I wanted the car for a day and came early for it, so technically the Avis rental agreement should have had 9:42AM pickup and 9:42AM return. Instead, the Avis rental model plays dumb and assumes that I want a car for 25 hours and 18 minutes with a charge of $121.99 for the first 24 hours and $104.11 per hour for the additional 1 hour and 18 minutes (a severe penalty for keeping the car beyond a "day").
This sets up the scam since the rental agreement lists 11AM as the return time which is consistent with your initial intent of renting a car for a day. However, if you return the car after 9:42AM you get hit with the hourly penalty. The rental clerks are complicit in this deception since they do not change the computer generated return time to make the rental 24 hours. They play dumb and the consumer gets screwed - as I did by returning the car at about 10:05AM.
No doubt Avis figures that there is more money to made by fleecing unsuspecting consumers like myself, than in lost revenue from those who shun their services because they restrict their purchases to honest corporations.