Avis engages in deceptive practices?

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Jun 2, 2019
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Company you have a question or a comment about: Avis

I booked a rental in Honolulu, HI for one week. I used an online travel agent that gave me a great deal of $300 for the week. Upon picking up the vehicle I asked if I could have a complementary upgrade and I got a mustang as they have too many of those!

I refused all extras and I was all set. Still, I got a pending charge of $186.76 inexplicably. During the rental, I reach out to the OTA who opens a claim with Avis and tells me it'll take 3 days to resolve.

Upon returning the vehicle, the charge posts and I get a receipt for it. I then fly out to Hilo and I rent a vehicle there, and the same issue happens. Ladies at the local Avis counter figure it out and it gets fully resolved. They give me instructions to call customer service and get this sorted. I also got an upgrade here too!!

I then receive 2 contradictory responses:

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your recent experience. We appreciate your feedback since it helps us improve our service and your rental experience.

I deeply regret that we were not able to meet your expectations regarding your recent Avis Honolulu rental.

After reviewing your final charges, your rental charges shows that it was paid in full and you should not have a balance. It looks like the agent who assisted you at the time of rental, accidentally placed in the wrong prepayment amount causing the over charge. I will submit a request to our billing department and have them remove the charges that was imposed. Please allow 7 - 10 business days before you see the credit on your Visa credit card statement.

Good news or bad, comments from Avis customers help us to evaluate our services and if necessary, change to meet your expectations.

Sincerely,
Kaimi A.
Avis, Operations Support

--------------------------


Thank you for contacting Avis Customer Service regarding your bill dispute. We extend our most sincere apologies for any difficulties or inconveniences you have experienced. We can certainly understand your concern and will be more than happy to assist you by reviewing this matter.

We would like to inform you that our records show the following:

1. Reservation vehicle type: Kia Rio
2. Rental Vehicle: Convertible Ford Mustang

This vehicle change caused your rate differential, we find your bill to be correct and no adjustments due.


We appreciate your patience and thank you for choosing Avis.


Kind Regards,

Caleb Manning
Representative | Email Customer Service
Avis Rent A Car System, LLC



Is this going to be another chargeback situation? What has happened to good service?



What's your desired resolution? Full refund in the amount of $186.76.

What's the value of your claim (in US $)? 186.76

Date of transaction/travel date: 2021-05-12 / 19
 
Jun 2, 2019
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The provisional amount was $186.76, which made me contact the OTA for help. At Avis Hilo they explained to me that Avis Honolulu made the mistake of not updating the voucher field as this was a prepaid reservation.
 

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Last edited:

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Forum Director
Apr 13, 2016
1,065
2,304
St. Louis
Basically, they are saying that due to the upgrade you were charged a rate difference. This would have been reflected in the rental agreement you received when you picked up the car. The rental agreement would be the driving factor to what you agreed to be charged at the time you accepted the vehicle and what they ultimately charged you.

We would like to inform you that our records show the following:​
1. Reservation vehicle type: Kia Rio​
2. Rental Vehicle: Convertible Ford Mustang​
This vehicle change caused your rate differential, we find your bill to be correct and no adjustments due.​
If that is your rental agreement you attached, it shows they added $255 for the pre-paid voucher, and you agreed to the estimated $186 for the upgrade. What was the amount you prepaid to the OTA?
 
Jun 2, 2019
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Basically, they are saying that due to the upgrade you were charged a rate difference. This would have been reflected in the rental agreement you received when you picked up the car. The rental agreement would be the driving factor to what you agreed to be charged at the time you accepted the vehicle and what they ultimately charged you.

We would like to inform you that our records show the following:​
1. Reservation vehicle type: Kia Rio​
2. Rental Vehicle: Convertible Ford Mustang​
This vehicle change caused your rate differential, we find your bill to be correct and no adjustments due.​
If that is your rental agreement you attached, it shows they added $255 for the pre-paid voucher, and you agreed to the estimated $186 for the upgrade. What was the amount you prepaid to the OTA?
$308. Sorry but you are wrong here as the same thing happened in Hilo and they figured it out, even writing down what Avis Honolulu should have done as this is a pre-paid reservation.

The upgrade was COMPLIMENTARY and I never approved any increases to the base rate. A mustang would have been a LOT more than an extra $186 for a week... let's be logical here, please.

It looks like the agent who assisted you at the time of rental, accidentally placed in the wrong prepayment amount causing the over charge.

This explains everything. And yes, I did get a mustang as a complimentary upgrade for asking nicely and because they have too many over there as well.


 
Last edited:

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Forum Director
Apr 13, 2016
1,065
2,304
St. Louis
$308. Sorry but you are wrong here as the same thing happened in Hilo and they figured it out, even writing down what Avis Honolulu should have done as this is a pre-paid reservation.

The upgrade was COMPLIMENTARY and I never approved any increases to the base rate. A mustang would have been a LOT more than an extra $186 for a week... let's be logical here, please.



This explains everything. And yes, I did get a mustang as a complimentary upgrade for asking nicely and because they have too many over there as well.
The problem is by accepting the vehicle and not questioning the charges provided on the rental agreement at the time, you are basically agreeing to the terms provided. It is very difficult to get rental companies to agree to any changes to these written agreements after the fact, so it is always best to review the agreement before taking possession of the vehicle to ensure it is accurate.

Based on the prepaid amount being different and the company has noted that it was likely an input error, you should write the company specifically addressing this and requesting a reimbursement of the balance of the $308 you prepaid.

 
Jun 2, 2019
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The problem is by accepting the vehicle and not questioning the charges provided on the rental agreement at the time, you are basically agreeing to the terms provided. It is very difficult to get rental companies to agree to any changes to these written agreements after the fact, so it is always best to review the agreement before taking possession of the vehicle to ensure it is accurate.

Based on the prepaid amount being different and the company has noted that it was likely an input error, you should write the company specifically addressing this and requesting a reimbursement of the balance of the $308 you prepaid.

Again, after filling out the survey about my rental, someone from Avis noticed this (I assume at the local office) and sent me their apologies and telling me they would fix it by refunding the charge (email is on my first message). And on the actual complaint I submitted, Mr. Caleb Manning is purposefully mixing up topics to justify extortion. (email also on the first message). Therefore, I don't know if this is actually getting fixed cos the Manning email is another instance.

I don't know how to proceed here. And I did notice this while getting the vehicle and called them out on it. But they were unable to fix it and there was a huge line behind me.


Why are errors like this always against the customer is what I wonder.

P.S: Email with the fix promise would have been from this gentleman I believe - https://www.linkedin.com/in/ka-imi-alfiche-204655a1/
 
Last edited:

Skippy

May 30, 2019
897
2,392
Ugh! Between this and your lodging situation on the Big Island, you are experiencing the downsides of travel. I hope you at least get the opportunity to take in some of Hawaii's natural beauty ... black sand beaches, waterfalls, and Volcano National Park.

Unless you are an Avis Preferred President's Club or similar frequent renter level, the likelihood of getting a upgrade to a convertible in Hawaii during a rental car shortage that was truly complementary is pretty low. (The only situation that might apply is if they were sold out of smaller cars.) Unfortunately, it appears that the burden is on you to substantiate that the upgrade was complimentary because it does not match the rental paperwork you shared in Post #3. The documents appear to indicate that you agreed to a paid upgrade.

I agree with Post #6. Follow the guidance to communicate in writing with Avis. Your communication should be polite and brief, and clearly communicate your desired outcome.
 
Last edited:

Comicman

Jul 13, 2020
857
1,796
The upgrade was COMPLIMENTARY and I never approved any increases to the base rate. A mustang would have been a LOT more than an extra $186 for a week... let's be logical here, please.
If these extra charges were on the paperwork that you signed to. Then in effect you agree to the extra charge.
The fact that the 1st time it happened they forgave you this additional charge has no effect on them doing it again. The 1st time they may have done a good will gesture.
It very well could just be miscommunication between the agent and you. This is why you need to address any extra charges on the paperwork before you sign it.
I am not saying that they will not necessarily give you this refund again. They very well might. But f the shot you posted is correct then they can hold you to this charge as they have your signature agreeing to this charge.
A convertible Mustang is one hell of an upgrade.
 
Jun 2, 2019
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A convertible Mustang is one hell of an upgrade.

I had it double checked before I left, and yes, they gave me a free upgrade cos I asked and they have too many mustangs at the moment.

If they had told me it would be $26/day extra for a mustang, I would probably have said yes. But this wasn't what happened and upgrades are NOT that cheap.

As per the local office message received:

Please allow 7 - 10 business days before you see the credit on your Visa credit card statement.

If this isn't the case, I will file a dispute under credit promised but not processed.

At no point during pick up did I agree to any extra charges. If that had been the case, this would be showing on the receipt. And it doesn't.
 

Alexander Pahany

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Jan 6, 2021
487
1,690
Houston, TX
I had it double checked before I left, and yes, they gave me a free upgrade cos I asked and they have too many mustangs at the moment.

If they had told me it would be $26/day extra for a mustang, I would probably have said yes. But this wasn't what happened and upgrades are NOT that cheap.

As per the local office message received:



If this isn't the case, I will file a dispute under credit promised but not processed.

At no point during pick up did I agree to any extra charges. If that had been the case, this would be showing on the receipt. And it doesn't.
This is one of those instances where the claim isn’t quite “ripe” yet. You’ll just want to wait and see. Even though they say 7-10 days, I’d give it a little extra time because all of the rental companies are understaffed.

File your disputes judiciously—remember, just like your issue with Booking.com, even if you’re successful, you may be banned from using Avis, Budget, Zipcar, and its numerous local subsidiaries in the future.
 
Jun 2, 2019
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This appears to have been resolved and Avis sent me a message with the refund confirmation.

Conclusion: never leave the rental pick-up desk with a provisional receipt mentioning an amount you disagree with. Getting it fixed will be a waste of time and there's no guarantees as you agreed to what was stated on the receipt.

I still got a complimentary upgrade out of this, and to their credit, Avis has always been phenomenal.

Thank you all for the assistance. Only one matter to go (booking.com) and hopefully it will be resolved soon.
 
Jun 2, 2019
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On my second rental, upon returning the car in Hilo, there wasn't anyone to check it out. The next day I see a charge for less than $8 from Avis. I decide to call the Hilo Avis location and much to my surprise, they agree to refund it right away without asking any questions. I still asked them to email me my invoice and upon checking it, they measure the exact amount of gas and there was an alleged mismatch of 1 gallon upon return.

This is resolved, but how do they know this? Is it BS? I filled the car right before returning the rental and drove it there. Tank showed more than full.
 

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
25,861
28,983
New York
www.promalvacations.com
On my second rental, upon returning the car in Hilo, there wasn't anyone to check it out. The next day I see a charge for less than $8 from Avis. I decide to call the Hilo Avis location and much to my surprise, they agree to refund it right away without asking any questions. I still asked them to email me my invoice and upon checking it, they measure the exact amount of gas and there was an alleged mismatch of 1 gallon upon return.

This is resolved, but how do they know this? Is it BS? I filled the car right before returning the rental and drove it there. Tank showed more than full.
All you need to do is keep your receipt when you fill the car and send them a copy if this happens. Never throw out those receipts!
 
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Sep 18, 2018
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Comicman

Jul 13, 2020
857
1,796
Not to mention that if you get your car full of gas. You drive 100 miles and the car averages 25 mpg. You fill it with 4.5 gallons of gas. I think it would be a good start proving the tank was full When returned.
 
Jun 2, 2019
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Not to mention that if you get your car full of gas. You drive 100 miles and the car averages 25 mpg. You fill it with 4.5 gallons of gas. I think it would be a good start proving the tank was full When returned.
The car was full of gas. But apparently, the traditional instruments displaying that are not as precise as electronic fuel metering.
I am glad this is the first time I encountered this and most rental agencies check for the fuel level in the traditional way.

Also, besides taking photos, what can I do if a rental agency refuses to inspect the vehicle in my presence?
 

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
25,861
28,983
New York
www.promalvacations.com
You should be taking pictures of the car when you pick it up and drop it off- the entire car and the gas gauge at return. If you ever get a false damage claim, that’s how to prove you brought the car back in the same condition you picked it up.

Read this: