Update:17 June 2011
Return a car in Auckland, NZ, have it checked in by an Avis rep, get a printout of the bill.
Credit card gets hit with a refuelling charge. Query it, Avis acknowledges that the car was full, take 2 weeks to credit me.
Next time, I’m charging THEM for my time. At my consultancy rate of €3k a day
Update: 3 November 2010
Rent a car in Los Angeles and drive fewer than 75 miles and you’ll get whacked with a Fuel Service charge of $17.06.
Even if you’ve filled up.
And they refuse to consider adjustments under $50
The original post
It works like this.
You’ve booked a car, you pick up the keys and you get your car from the Avis lot at the airport.
It’s dark, it’s raining, you look quickly to make sure that everything’s OK (and far as you can see) and off you go.
Return it the next day and they’ll say “Oh, this (supermarket-parking-lot-car-door-ding) dent wasn’t there when you hired it. That’ll be £/€/$200″
Or you’re on the freeway before you notice a stone chip in the windscreen.
Call them up to report it and they’ll say “Well, it must have happened since you hired it”
Or you get whacked with a £70 charge on your credit card. Turns out that the radio antenna was missing. (You’ve picked the car up in the morning, driven to see the CEO of one of my customers, parked in their executive car park (where the security guard tore off the antenna in a fit of pique – yeah, right…) and dropped it back off in the evening. Find out later that one of their valet goons didn’t take the antenna off and put it on the passenger seat (which is what they’re meant to do) before putting it through the car wash. Don’t get your £70 back though)
But this last one was the best. By far
Marseille airport, brand new Opel Astra, perfect condition according to them.
RANT MODE ON
Half the fucking side of the car was missing.
OK, that’s an exaggeration, but there were
on the car.
Which was 1/4 empty.
Look at the damn pictures.
RANT MODE OFF
It’s almost as if the rental locations are given targets for this sort of stuff.
It’s the same old greasy number wherever you go
- You get to pick up a car in a dingy corner of a multistory carpark and return it to to their blindingly well-lit check-in area. (Manchester airport)
- Fill up the car 3km from the return lot and get charged €20 for refuelling. (Lyons)
- Get the car delivered to you double-parked in front of the terminal in the rain. You try and check it out thoroughly with an policeman with a sub-machine gun hurrying you along (Birmingham airport)
- Agree that they’ll reimburse you for 1/4 tank of gas and they either calculate the tank smaller or use a gas price that you’ll find nowhere but Saudi Arabia. (Marignane airport)
- Get a (supposedly fully-fuelled) car with the fuel warning lamp burning (Birmingham airport)
- Try and get someone to check out the car when you return it with a flight to catch and you get “Can’t do it now. It’ll be at least 30 minutes” (But I can ring up a charge for damage in milliseconds). Manchester and/or Birmingham.
- Get cars on 3 separate occasions within a month, each with windscreen chips or panel damage. Un-noted, of course. (Auckland)
- Try and draw these shortcomings (politely put) to their attention and your comments disappear into a central cesspit on the American corporate site. You’ll never hear from them. (New Zealand)
And you know what? Boris at Marseille was the only person with the courtesy and common sense to apologise
And if someone from Avis is reading this..