Whine Wednesdays: AVIS Prepaid Car Reservation Cancelled By Non-Corporate Location Five Days Prior To Rental

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Our Whine Wednesday topic this week is about AVIS cancelling a customers prepaid SUV reservation just a few days prior to pickup from a local station in Los Angeles.

The station informed the customer through email from a non-corporate email account and plainly told him to contact customer relations for a refund.

Sometimes these local stations have trouble actually providing the cars that customers have reserved, even well ahead of time. In these cases they then either give the good news to them when the customer arrives at the station or sometimes calls ahead of time.

In this case, a friend of mine reserved a large SUV such as a Chevy Tahoe at the AVIS station in Beverly Hills for the weekend – prepaid! AVIS apparently had second thoughts and sent out the following email:

There are several things inherently wrong with this email. For one it’s the tone in which the matter is phrased. It’s downright rude and totally unacceptable.

Then there is the total lack of any support or compensation offered in the matter. “Sorry, call and get a refund then bugger off!” Seriously?

And if that all wasn’t enough look at the weird email address they use. Avis.LA@live.com !? How old are these people, sixteen?

Honestly, I’m not surprised with the “customer service” level at the Beverly Hills station. I dropped a car there a couple years ago and the staff was absolutely impossible. They also tried to ding me with a damage I hasn’t caused, which I was able to prove.

After tweeting the matter to AVIS they replied:

I have also forwarded the matter to the AVIS press liaison to get in touch with the customer directly. Unfortunately, the email to the PR department of the AVIS Budget Group bounced.

Forwarding it to the email of the CEO brought about a result and their offices got in touch with the customer and offered him a car. He was less than amused about the entire matter though, and since I told him that there was no guarantee any response would be forthcoming in time he made another reservation at Sixt Los Angeles Airport.

Conclusion

This was a one way rental the customer planned to drop in Las Vegas at a massive premium. The price was pretty crazy to be honest. I bet the station never looked at the reservation before and suddenly they found themselves with a problem. As a non-corporate location, they really might not have any cars on hand that are suitable to be dropped off in Nevada.

However, this isn’t the customers problem. The station should have a local AVIS Corporate Liaison that will transfer them the reserved car class over from LAX. Especially at these prices, it shouldn’t be a problem to send some random employee or two down to Beverly Hills and drop off a car there.

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