Sunday, May 2, 2010

Because I told them I would: Why Not to use Avis Car Rental

A while back, some of you remember my troubles with AVIS. Here's the review in case you forgot (or never saw it :)

Before taking my trip from Cali to Orlando, I CALLED Avis to ask about renting a car. I needed to get from our cruise ship to the airport. I verified my trip with them to which I was told there was a free shuttle from Avis (at the airport) to my to my ship and back again.

Once we got off of the ship we were taken to the rental location in Port Canaveral. Here I was told that my car was reserved at the Orlando Airport (duh) and I'd need to pick it up there (with the free shuttle, right?). They told me that they'd change my reservation for me (which I had verified BEFORE my trip) but that they were out of cars and couldn't even provide cars for the people who HAD reservations. Really? There were a number of events in Orlando and they weren't prepared so people just weren't getting their reserved cars. I have 4 children... including a 2 year old and a less than one year old. So my family of 6 was stranded in Port Canaveral. They said they'd get us a shuttle to the airport which I was grateful for (since I'd been assured before my trip that there would be one, and it would be free). We all got on the shuttle when it arrived and only THEN were told that it would be $50/person PLUS a mandatory $30 tip. They even charged us for our 2 year old... so we had to pay $180 cash to get to our car (which again, I had verified would be there before I left for this trip).

When I returned home I contacted AVIS, explained the situation, and asked for some compensation, if not for an entire refund. After 2 1/2 months of faxing my receipts and getting past disconnected numbers, I was told they would only give me $75 in gift certificates. Seriously? I NEVER EVER EVER will use Avis again. They were rude, REALLY expensive, and wouldn't hold to their own mistakes of mis-verifying my information. I don't want gift certificates to use a rental Ill never use again... maybe Ill try to sell 'em. :( but certainly don't want to pass this problem company on to someone else.

I'm telling you this because in one of my letters to the supervisors of Avis, I explained that I would be using my various modes of social media to let people know how they handled the situation. They made their decision KNOWING that I'd be telling people about it. Unfortunately, as I'm reading the reviews now (so I can also leave one), I'm realizing many people find their service under par.

Of course make your own decision! But I wanted to share my story. Sometimes they come up as the less expensive option on expedia or orbitz... but really, they ended up WAY more expensive than any of the other options I could have used. Hertz made the same mistake on the way in and only charged me a $25 change in location fee. No big deal. They at least fixed it and gave me a car. Also, Hertz cars go through the tolls and Hertz pays them. NOT Avis! Guess what showed up on my credit card? TOLLS! I sincerely urge you to pay a couple dollars more to NOT use Avis.

That said, be on the look out for my next post: Hannah's Birthday Party, and LAPTOP LOVE!