Screwed by Avis and CarRentals.com

After spending a lovely 2 days in Dubrovnik it was time for Jason and myself to leave, and head north. Our plan was to drive up the coast of Croatia in a rental car as far north as Zadar. We would then travel east to visit the Plitvice Lakes, before heading back north one again to reach our final destination of Rijeka, where we planned to spend a few days with our friend Sid.

Leaving Dubrovnik proved more difficult than anticipated. We had rented our car at the airport, as Jason found a ‘too good to be true’ rate on carrentals.com (it really was too good to be true). We tried to find a bus back to the airport, but in the end settled for a taxi. We arrived at the airport around 10:30am and made our way to the Avis pickup desk. Inside the pickup kiosk we found an aging Croatian rental agent sitting behind a desk looking a bit destitute. Beside him stood his young ridiculously tall helper (probably stood a good 6’6). After Jason gave his details to the rental agent, the agent frowned and told us he had given away our car. Since he had no flight no for us, and we hadn’t arrived when we said we would (we said we would arrive at 10am), he gave our car away.

Working in the car rental industry I know agencies often overbook their vehicles. So already I knew he had just given our car away at a higher rate to someone else. He did say if we waited he would have a smaller car for us. At least we were getting a car, as it appeared the entire airport was sold out.

As I waited in the now glaring heat, Jason finished up the contract. As he was going over the rate with the agent I noticed Jason getting a little upset. I checked in to see what was the problem. It appeared that the rate Avis had was dramatically different than the rate we were quoted.

Avis We Try Harder

Jason had booked the reservation at carrentals.com. Initially when we had been looking for a car the best rates I could find were around $60-80 a day. However a few times while searching, Jason had found rates on carrentals.com for roughly $18 a day. I told him to book that rate if he saw it again, as it was an excellent price. So when the rate showed up again, Jason booked it.

Now back to the story. So here we are standing in the blaring heat, with a rental confirmation in hand stating our rental rate of $18 a day, confirmed. The agent looking in his computer sees a rate of 80 Euros per day for our reservation. We argue that we have a confirmed rate, and we show him the confirmation. He looks to his giant of a partner and laughs saying, “Maybe where you are from you can get rental for $18 a day, here in Croatia, not possible.”

It was obvious this guy couldn’t do anything for us. He has the rate in his computer, and that is what he is going by. So I suck it up, and swallow the $5 a minute charge for calling on my cell in Europe and call up Avis. After bouncing around their call tree, I finally get a person on the line. I tell him our details and that the agent isn’t honoring our rate. He looks up the reservation details, and confirms, the rate they have for us is 80 Euros a day, for a total of 332 Euros.

I hang up after realizing I was going nowhere on the phone. Then look down at our confirmation email again. Confirmed rate of $66.94 USD or 332 Croatian Kunas. Then it dawned on me. Obviously somewhere in the connection between CarRentals.com and Avis there was a mistake in currencies. Either Avis sent the wrong currency, or CarRentals.com translated the wrong currency. Regardless the rate that CarRentals.com showed on their website should have been in Euros instead of in Kunas.

Having wasted enough time, and feeling a bit handcuffed we decided to take the car. It was clear this sales agent had no power, and was unwilling to honor our confirmed rate. So we decided we would deal with the issue when we got back to Canada.

As we were leaving the rental kiosk I noticed on the wall a poster from Avis with the last line saying, “we can’t afford to take you for granted….” oh the irony.

Avis Poster

Followup

As it stands right now Jason has been in contact with Avis. They claim the issue has nothing to do with them, and that responsibility lies 100% with CarRentals.com. However they will not provide any contact details for their partner. CarRentals.com has been completely silent and have not answered any form of contact. Jason has in the meantime canceled the charge on his Visa, however it is very likely that it will be put back, as he accepted the charges at the rental counter (with no other alternative we were basically forced to take the car).

So as it seems Avis really doesn’t try harder, and carrentals.com doesn’t respect their customers. Keep this in mind next time you are booking a car.

Written by stefan klopp

8 Comments

Kyle

Looks like Avis inserted those two fingers right up your ass. Doesn’t it feel nice to know that at least you work for the good guys?

Robert

It is disappointing when things don’t go as promised. I guess by your description of the rest of the trip that this was only a minor annoyance.

$66 USD seems to be a reasonable daily price for a mid sized car for the high season. $66 USD is the same as 332 HRK. $18 USD seems way, way too low and 80 Euros ($118 USD) – for a smaller car- seems like they ripped you off. You should get about 1/2 your money back.

Love your Italy photos – Verona is beautiful.

Burt Myers

Re: CarRentals.com Re: Customer Support Assistance in response to your survey feedback

From:
CarRentals Support

View Contact
To: Burton myers
Please contact Budget’s Customer Service Department directly about this problem.

Customer Service- 1-800-621-2844, 3 M-F 7:30 a-7:30p CST good from Canada and Mexico, or go to Budget.com and click on “Customer Care” in the upper right-hand corner.

We hope this matter is resolved to your satisfaction.

Support@CarRentals.com

On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 5:23 PM, Burton myers wrote:

Why is it up to me? You were the facilitator. Why, when you and they failed to fulfill your commitment am I am being asked to waste any more of my time? I charge $300. an hour for my advice. Should I bill you?

Burt Myers
Timberwolf Marketing Inc.
42 Catalina Drive
Toronto, Ontario
M1M 1K6
Cell: 416-727-0212
Home: 416-267-9093

From: CarRentals Support
To: Burton myers
Sent: Sun, January 30, 2011 5:05:45 PM
Subject: Re: CarRentals.com Re: Customer Support Assistance in response to your survey feedback

We fully understand what happened to you. We do not know what CarRentals.com can possibly do to help you further. We wrote the following to you three days ago:

Your request for a refund has been forwarded to Travel Guard. The amount will be verified and debited from Travel Guard within 48-72 business hours. Upon completion, this amount will be sent electronically to your credit card company to post to your account. The time frame for posting credits varies per account. Please contact your credit card company directly should you have questions on this time frame.

We suggest that you contact Budget directly about your negative experience.

Please contact Budget’s Customer Service Department directly about this problem.

Customer Service- 1-800-621-2844, 3 M-F 7:30 a-7:30p CST good from Canada and Mexico, or go to Budget.com and click on “Customer Care” in the upper right-hand corner.

We hope this matter is resolved to your satisfaction, and we hope that you come back to our site next time to allow another one of our vendors give you the excellent service that you deserve.

On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 4:56 PM, Burton myers wrote:

I’m certain that I am dealing with multiple people, none of whom understands any of the previous e-mails.

Burt Myers
Timberwolf Marketing Inc.
42 Catalina Drive
Toronto, Ontario
M1M 1K6
Cell: 416-727-0212
Home: 416-267-9093

From: CarRentals Support
To: bjmyers@rogers.com
Sent: Sun, January 30, 2011 8:14:41 AM
Subject: CarRentals.com Re: Customer Support Assistance in response to your survey feedback

Your survey comments:

When I arrived at Salt Lake City at 2:am because of a delayed flight I was told that they had canceled my reservation at 8 the previous evening. When I said I had called Budget from Las Vegas the previous day to make certain that this would not be a problem I was told that it would be O.K. because reservations are held for 15 hours. The girl at the Budget counter informed me that they were a franchise and would not honor that commitment. She informed me that there were no cars available. I then phoned the Budget 1-800 number on the reservation to be told by a young man that they did have a 15-hour policy. He then proceeded to tell me that he could get me a car at that outlet, since according to his computer they did have cars available however not at the agreed price. I could have a Mustang convertible at about twice the agreed price.The problem with that besides the fact that it cost me more and Budget was failing to honor their commitment was that the basic $25,000 in insurance which

Our response:

CarRentals.com would like to thank you for completing our survey. We continue to strive to meet or exceed our customers travel expectations and if one of our affiliates does not fulfill their obligation to you, then we appreciate being made aware of their shortcomings.

Your comments were cut off but we think you were trying to say Budget would not honor your Travel Guard policy. If that is the case, we would be willing to issue a refund if you would attach a copy of your final invoice from Budget which shows you also purchased Collision Coverage from them.

We hope this good-will gesture will keep you as a loyal CarRentals.com customer.

Support@CarRentals.com

Budget and car rentals are both part of the bigger picture.

Dana

Avis promised us a Cadillac and then said they didn’t have them. So the agent rented us a “lower end” camaro. It was $670 for FIVE days. But since we only wanted it for FOUR, we stupidly assumed our bill would be LOWER. Nope….it was almost $300 HIGHER. The agent laughed and said we should have kept it longer so it would have been cheaper! So when we complained, I was sent a blow off, dismissive email saying “Your charges were correct”. They failed to address the rude agents and the ridiculous outrageous price and the contract that was deceitful and intentionally tricky.
All of this was done to my husband and I as we were saying goodbye because he was deploying for one year. THANKS AVIS FOR MESSING UP THE LAST FEW MOMENTS WE SPENT TOGETHER.
I will never rent with these crooks again!

Charles Hood

What a big misunderstanding. Both companies should’ve helped you all throughout the process and they should be concerned when you were having problems. Instead, they just washed their hands and pretend that they had nothing to do with it. What a shame. I’ll make sure to remember not to make deals with those companies ever.

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Written by stefan klopp

8 Comments

Kyle

Looks like Avis inserted those two fingers right up your ass. Doesn’t it feel nice to know that at least you work for the good guys?

Robert

It is disappointing when things don’t go as promised. I guess by your description of the rest of the trip that this was only a minor annoyance.

$66 USD seems to be a reasonable daily price for a mid sized car for the high season. $66 USD is the same as 332 HRK. $18 USD seems way, way too low and 80 Euros ($118 USD) – for a smaller car- seems like they ripped you off. You should get about 1/2 your money back.

Love your Italy photos – Verona is beautiful.

Burt Myers

Re: CarRentals.com Re: Customer Support Assistance in response to your survey feedback

From:
CarRentals Support

View Contact
To: Burton myers
Please contact Budget’s Customer Service Department directly about this problem.

Customer Service- 1-800-621-2844, 3 M-F 7:30 a-7:30p CST good from Canada and Mexico, or go to Budget.com and click on “Customer Care” in the upper right-hand corner.

We hope this matter is resolved to your satisfaction.

Support@CarRentals.com

On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 5:23 PM, Burton myers wrote:

Why is it up to me? You were the facilitator. Why, when you and they failed to fulfill your commitment am I am being asked to waste any more of my time? I charge $300. an hour for my advice. Should I bill you?

Burt Myers
Timberwolf Marketing Inc.
42 Catalina Drive
Toronto, Ontario
M1M 1K6
Cell: 416-727-0212
Home: 416-267-9093

From: CarRentals Support
To: Burton myers
Sent: Sun, January 30, 2011 5:05:45 PM
Subject: Re: CarRentals.com Re: Customer Support Assistance in response to your survey feedback

We fully understand what happened to you. We do not know what CarRentals.com can possibly do to help you further. We wrote the following to you three days ago:

Your request for a refund has been forwarded to Travel Guard. The amount will be verified and debited from Travel Guard within 48-72 business hours. Upon completion, this amount will be sent electronically to your credit card company to post to your account. The time frame for posting credits varies per account. Please contact your credit card company directly should you have questions on this time frame.

We suggest that you contact Budget directly about your negative experience.

Please contact Budget’s Customer Service Department directly about this problem.

Customer Service- 1-800-621-2844, 3 M-F 7:30 a-7:30p CST good from Canada and Mexico, or go to Budget.com and click on “Customer Care” in the upper right-hand corner.

We hope this matter is resolved to your satisfaction, and we hope that you come back to our site next time to allow another one of our vendors give you the excellent service that you deserve.

On Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 4:56 PM, Burton myers wrote:

I’m certain that I am dealing with multiple people, none of whom understands any of the previous e-mails.

Burt Myers
Timberwolf Marketing Inc.
42 Catalina Drive
Toronto, Ontario
M1M 1K6
Cell: 416-727-0212
Home: 416-267-9093

From: CarRentals Support
To: bjmyers@rogers.com
Sent: Sun, January 30, 2011 8:14:41 AM
Subject: CarRentals.com Re: Customer Support Assistance in response to your survey feedback

Your survey comments:

When I arrived at Salt Lake City at 2:am because of a delayed flight I was told that they had canceled my reservation at 8 the previous evening. When I said I had called Budget from Las Vegas the previous day to make certain that this would not be a problem I was told that it would be O.K. because reservations are held for 15 hours. The girl at the Budget counter informed me that they were a franchise and would not honor that commitment. She informed me that there were no cars available. I then phoned the Budget 1-800 number on the reservation to be told by a young man that they did have a 15-hour policy. He then proceeded to tell me that he could get me a car at that outlet, since according to his computer they did have cars available however not at the agreed price. I could have a Mustang convertible at about twice the agreed price.The problem with that besides the fact that it cost me more and Budget was failing to honor their commitment was that the basic $25,000 in insurance which

Our response:

CarRentals.com would like to thank you for completing our survey. We continue to strive to meet or exceed our customers travel expectations and if one of our affiliates does not fulfill their obligation to you, then we appreciate being made aware of their shortcomings.

Your comments were cut off but we think you were trying to say Budget would not honor your Travel Guard policy. If that is the case, we would be willing to issue a refund if you would attach a copy of your final invoice from Budget which shows you also purchased Collision Coverage from them.

We hope this good-will gesture will keep you as a loyal CarRentals.com customer.

Support@CarRentals.com

Budget and car rentals are both part of the bigger picture.

Dana

Avis promised us a Cadillac and then said they didn’t have them. So the agent rented us a “lower end” camaro. It was $670 for FIVE days. But since we only wanted it for FOUR, we stupidly assumed our bill would be LOWER. Nope….it was almost $300 HIGHER. The agent laughed and said we should have kept it longer so it would have been cheaper! So when we complained, I was sent a blow off, dismissive email saying “Your charges were correct”. They failed to address the rude agents and the ridiculous outrageous price and the contract that was deceitful and intentionally tricky.
All of this was done to my husband and I as we were saying goodbye because he was deploying for one year. THANKS AVIS FOR MESSING UP THE LAST FEW MOMENTS WE SPENT TOGETHER.
I will never rent with these crooks again!

Charles Hood

What a big misunderstanding. Both companies should’ve helped you all throughout the process and they should be concerned when you were having problems. Instead, they just washed their hands and pretend that they had nothing to do with it. What a shame. I’ll make sure to remember not to make deals with those companies ever.

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