AVIS Heathrow… after 11pm

Back to Forum
Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

  • Anonymous


    I thought I’d mention it here as when this incident occurred, I just get round to making a direct complaint to AVIS. December 2013, hired a car with AVIS for 10 days from Heathrow, via rentalcars.com

    The deal I got was good given the time of the year and I have hired through AVIS many times hassle free and pretty good customer service.

    I arrived at Heathrow fairly late, and with a delay it meant I arrived at 11:30pm. Noticed that the bus operating hours out to the car hire centre had already stopped. There was a phone at the car hire desk at Terminal 1 and had instructions to use the speed dial to request a pick up after the bus operating hours. I did as instructed and seemed to have got through the hotline, and took the recorded option to contact AVIS Heathrow office. The phone rang and rang. Endlessly trying to get through, but no one picked up.

    I tried calling the number on the instructions from my mobile, again same recorded message and chose to option to contact the office at Heathrow. it rang endlessly until it decided to cut off by itself.

    I had tried contacting the office by the only 2 ways possible, their courtesy phone, or ringing the number from my mobile. I had tried for 45 minutes, and gave up. I went to the taxi rank and asked to be taken to the AVIS car hire centre. Strangely the taxi driver wouldn’t take me. I’m sure he wanted a GBP100 fare into the city.

    Already very frustrated at this time, I looked on Google maps and found that the IBIS hotel was just behind the car hire centre. So back to the taxi rank (to a different taxi), and asked to be taken to the IBIS Heathrow. Success and off we went. We stopped at the IBIS and paid GBP14 for the 10 minute ride. It was then a 5 minute walk round to the AVIS office. By the time I reached the office it was getting close to 1am.

    As I was walking up the path to the office I could 4-5 staff members smoking outside and having a good chat. Someone spotted me walking up and looked surprised. As I reached the doors I was greeted with How can i help you sir? I replied I wanted to hire car, and slowly began to vent my frustrations of what I had just been through in the last hour.

    During the time in dealing with me, I could sense the other staff around were getting a little anxious as vented my anger on why no one answered the phone. I wanted to speak to the manager and found out he was actually dealing with me. i did get a few apologies but still no one could answer my question why no one picked up the phone. I even demonstrated this on my mobile, and when I was connected and ringing, I could not hear any phone ringing in the office.

    I did not get a refund for my taxi ride, but was given a tank of fuel which meant I could return it empty. An upgrade was offered (that i had to pay for), but I was in no mood listen to any offers. I took the car and was on my way.

    Have never had so much frustration with AVIS, and a previous hire to this I was treated so well from the AVIS office in Hull, in which I wrote to say the great customer service I got.

    Anybody else had similar problems arriving out of the bus operation hours?


    I have had problems and now I make sure I have a real number to call at the pickup location so I can inform them of any delays.

    I do recognise however that sometimes it’s impossible to alert them especially if on a plane and you have to circle for an hour before landing, but otherwise this has saved my bacon on several occasions.


    For two airports where I am a regular renter I have the mobile number of the branch manager. They will provide it if you ask and have some status with the company.


    I never use AVIS if I can help it. I always use independents who IMO seem to provide a much better service.


    SimonS1 – interesting comment. I used Avis a lot last year (UK & abroad) and had no issues with the service provided, the vehicles supplied or the cost of the rental.

    What sort of issues have you had with them?


    The last time I rented it was a 4WD in Cape Town. The aerial fell off before I left the car park and was clearly faulty. Reported immediately but they tried to stick me with some an insurance premium despite not having left the lot.

    Conversely I hired very recently in Spain from a family run business, they couldn’t help enough in terms of delivery to a local airport (ie I wasn’t forced to collect) and a free upgrade.

    Just a couple of examples.


    TBH, I would still use Avis over the other companies. I have used Avis over the past 3 years countless times, for work and leisure, and have always had a good experience. Never have had issues with the car.

    I used Hertz once over Avis in the past 3 years, as I seemed to have got a better deal. I was so wrong and in the space of a 8 days rental, I had to change the car twice due to faults.

    Sometimes its hard to take when the service you expect falls way below what you have been used to.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Business Traveller March 2023 cover
Business Traveller March 2023 cover
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below