I’ve rented from AVIS almost exclusively for the last many years.  And as I said in a previous post, I’ve not always had the best experience.  But now, this is a new low, even for AVIS.

Every few weeks, I get an email from AVIS saying, “Enjoy a free weekend rental!” along with a coupon code, etc.  I’ve used them in the past, and I’ve only ever had to pay the tax on rentals.  This past weekend, because of an incident with our own car and a deer, I used one of my free weekend rentals, just like I had in the past.  I made the rental for Thursday 8PM to Monday 6AM.  In the past, when I have made reservations with these coupons, it’s warned me if the period is too long or too short, etc.  No warning.  I picked up a Toyota Camry (which should have been my first clue, since Toyotas have all been massively recalled, yet again.  I got gas on the way to the airport this morning and turned the car in.

That’s when the guy handed me a receipt for $91.31 charged to my credit card on file.

Now I’m used to paying something for taxes and such, and that’s fine.  But this bill clearly says “Time and mileage: $67.50”.  Now if they started something new, then fine.  That’s their right.  But when you allow someone to use your coupons, and you DON’T tell them you’re actually going to charge them, well that’s bullcrap.

So I have a rental with Hertz this morning.  We’ll see how long they can go without pissing me off.

Oh – and one more thing.  For that previous post that I mentioned, a followup:  Ann from AVIS was quite concerned over Twitter, and someone was to call me “the next day” at the number I gave them.  No call.  No call the following day either.  I got home and had a voicemail on a number I did NOT give AVIS.  When I called, they’d already given me coupons for $75 off a future rental.  Most consultant business travelers don’t pay their rental fees, so these were useless.  The person I finally talked to said he was sorry and that the district manager would be calling me.  He didn’t.  Not that I expected them to.  For most companies out there, AVIS included, customer service is in the toilet.

And one more thing…  Here’s the difference between AVIS and Hertz, in my own findings.  I’ve had exactly two incidents with rental cars, one with AVIS and one with Hertz.  Upon reaching the drop off point, Here was the discussion:

ME: There was an incident with the car
AVIS Rep: You know you’re going to have to pay for that

Me: There was an incident with the car
Hertz Rep: Oh my goodness. Are you okay? Do you need anything?

THAT should have been my clue to switch over.  Oh well.

By walterh

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