Car hire company shenanigans… AvisBack to Forum
As a side……a survey for the Friday quiz.. Is a Skoda and BMW equal in status….?
20 years ago most definitely not.
However, in 2016 a Skoda is a VW in all but name and the chances are that the Skoda may well have come equipped with a few more extras than the BMW, which are traditionally basically equipped, but with a nice list in ‘upgrades’ which a hire company might not fit.
It basically badge snobbery, but something we are all probably a little guilty of, it would have been interesting if the hirer had been given the car but with a BMW badge on the bonnet and driven off in the dark, bearing in mind the quality in a Skoda these days, he might well have been perfectly happy until the morning!
I would probably put a well equipped, low mileage, new model Skoda Octavia on a par with a 3 series, perhaps not a top spec M3, but not sure Avis would ever supply this anyway.13 May 2016
Skoda…BMW……all the same tin cans full of plastic and faux leather…..all has beens……a real car with real history and reputation is a Jaguar. Even the name is sexy………13 May 2016
I must say, I am seriously considering a Skoda Superb estate as the next ToH Chariot. It’s fundamentally an Audi A8…..
Current wheels (four-wheels: the two-wheeler stable is, er, extensive) are a Subaru Legacy estate, which looks like a dull dark blue estate car but as the underpinnings are pretty much WRX (same permanent 4WD system and even a boxer engine), it can be given beans to hilarious effect.
The thing is, the Scoob is likely to outlast me. Apparently the damn things never break.
(I’ve just bought a sidecar outfit, if anyone is interested in truly wacky vehicles).16 May 2016
I’m just going through the same thing as Brother Jim. I booked a Group P executive car – VW Golf or similar – through Qantas to get their discount. Then at Heathrow, Avis said they could only offer a Citroen Cactus – “a what” I said? They described it as similar to a Golf and taking the agent at face value I took it after waiting in the queue for 30 minutes or more. After seeing my Cactus I sensed something wasn’t right but I had to get going and I left Heathrow.
The next day I looked the car up online and studied my rental agreement’s small print. Sure enough they’d given me a Group E car at the Group P price and from what I could see online there was quite a difference in price over an eight day rental.
I actually suspect they’d given me a Budget vehicle and a Cactus is a Group C vehicle with them, it doesn’t show as an Avis UK vehicle online. Avis and Budget cohabit at Heathrow being one and the same and the vehicle had no markings for either company, not even on the key fob. Anyway the Avis RA clearly indicated a Group E vehicle driven but a Group P charging rate.
I queried this with Avis during the rental and got politely fobbed off. I went to try again on returning the vehicle but again queues and I had to catch a plane. I’d already been charged the Group P price.
After the fact I’ve now just put in another complaint/query to Avis and to Qantas too. On principal if nothing else but somehow I don’t expect any change. Another life lesson learnt I guess and next time I’ll be more aware on pick up, with any company.
Funnily enough I was going to try Enterprise at Heathrow on this trip after they were recommended – but some reviews spooked me and I went back to Avis. I’ve tried Sixt in the past but went off them after the old tyre damage scam.
On my “Cactus” well not the best looking car – it looked like something out of the Paris-Dakar rally, but it was actually quite nice to drive. No problems with the vehicle at all, just the price charged.30 Jun 2016
AMTraveller – 30/06/2016 12:29 BST
My default is also a Golf and I’ve had Avis do exactly the same thing to me now twice. I actually liked the Cactus and thought it was a bit of fun to drive so the next time I booked Group E to save myself some money and have a car I liked.
I was given a Golf….30 Jun 2016
Avis admitted their agent in Malaga had overcharged me and promptly refunded. I eventually received a letter from BA Holidays advising that Avis had refunded the difference to me too. I responded advising them to look at clients’ complaints properly and not send me three stock replies before finding I was right all along. Apology accepted – oh wait, no apology from BA.30 Jun 2016
Latest email from Avis is that they are going to preauthorise £200 off your card in addition to any charges. There is no explanation for this and it’s not clear whether they will still preauthorise £200 if you take the zero excess insurance1 Jul 2016
NTarrant – I also received that email. Have to say, though, I’d always assumed every car-hire company put some sort of charge on the credit-card presented at the desk (or held on file)?
This sounds more like an increase in the amount they put a ‘temporary charge’ on.
I hired a vehicle with Enterprise a while back, in the UK. They actually billed GBP500 to my card and it took over a week to get refunded at the end of the hire.1 Jul 2016
I rented an AVIS car for a week in the USA earlier this year. All prepaid.
During the week of the rental, the car had a fault and it was returned and switched. I explained the rental was prepaid and was assured there would be no additional or new charges. The petrol tank was only 75% full and I was assured, I would not be billed for any extra fuel, after all, I had to make a round trip of 50 miles to switch the car.
A month later, a charge of $120 appeared on my AMEX bill. I challenged this payment with AMEX, (which in itself to took 3 phone calls) who put a hold on the charge. After 2 weeks I had a letter confirming Amex had contacted Avis, and they were satisfied the charge was correct.
I had no choice other than to accept this – a lesson learnt, Avis goes onto the black list.
In the USA currently and went to the airport Avis office where I rented the vehicle, sowed them the paper work and within a few minutes, an apology and refund along with one of those “please contact me next time and we will look after you”.
Without me having been in the USA and able to go back to the Avis office, I wonder how many times the hire firms in general get away with these unwarranted extra charges. If Amex are not able to help, then I wonder who is…??
(FYI – Avis split the rental agreement into 2, thereby causing the first one to cease and billed me an additional amount for the second. As the car was switched due to a fault, this should not have happened.).26 Jul 2016
Rented a Europcar last month, one way rental LGW to LHR. Arrived at desks, I go to the clerk who tells me that I can’t be served unless I have a ticket, I have to get a ticket so she can press the button and then serve me. There are no other customers! Apparently they are judged on the number of people served.
No problems with the car, but the guy when I took it back made a big thing about it being late. I picked up at 1022 and it was 1115. He became confused when I told him I wasn’t late back, check the booking and you will see I picked it up early. He then had difficulty with his arithmetic in trying to tell me that the additional amount, I upgraded the car at Gatwick , £48 plus the £71 I’d already paid was £101!
However the annoying thing was with taking the additional amount. I have a Visa card which is set for four currencies, which you can change the currency as primary currency if you visit countries which are not one of your currencies. I had it set on USD, so they decided to take the additional payment in USD and not GBP. Rate was 5 cents less and a 3.25% charge. I have complained to Europcar, but not holding my breath!13 Oct 2016
As some of you know I was recently back in the UK with family issues and it turned out to be a longer stay than I had planned for! When I am in the UK I always use Avis for car hire, I do not own a vehicle anymore in the UK and they are quite reasonable.
The service that Avis gave me was superb, the initial car they gave me was an upgrade to what I had ordered and as a cross over SUV it was very useful for ferrying my frail father around.
I called Avis (T5) to tell them I was staying longer and the reasons why and wanted to extend the contract, they were super helpful and asked me if the current vehicle was ok? I told them there was a niggle with stop/start on standstill (dont know what it is called) and he told me to get the car back to them and they would change immediately.. I asked whether I needed to fill with fuel he assured me no and as I was heading around the M25 I dropped the car back to T5.
On arrival they knew of the issue and upgraded me again to my original booking, and upon returning to T5 when leaving also had had a refund on the fuel option that I had taken out…
This is not the first time Avis has impressed me, so I wanted to counter the thread with good news also…
Seasons greetings to one and all7 Dec 2017
My Avis story – prepaid rental, was billed a second time on returning car, so disputed this with Credit Card, then immediately saw a credit, so told CC all Ok, so another credit and rebill from them. Total of 3 charges and 2 credits for the same rental. Then I get snotty letter from Avis saying that I have not paid (for my prepaid rental).
Was away when that cane so did not reply immediately, then another letter saying I can no longer rent from them due to not paying for my prepaid rental.
Much toing and froing with Customer Service who had American name, but was DEFINITELY not either American or in America! Sent all C Card statements to about 4 different places and received a short e-mail saying all OK – no apology of any kind for all the aggravation. Hard to imagine a company of that size has no idea if someone has paid
them without seeing customer’s credit card statements…..7 Dec 2017
If you paid the price of a Group P vehicle and did so with a credit card, and the rental was for £100+, then a word in the ear of your credit card company with the words “Section 75” would likely get you somewhere as Avis were after all, by giving you a car class below that you paid for, in breach of contract.8 Dec 2017