Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Car Rental Programs/Partners > Avis | Preferred
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Oct 9, 09, 4:03 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: United kingdom
Programs: BA Blue, Virgin Flying Club, Hertz #1 Gold, Avis Preferred, Dollar Fast Lane, Dr. Oetker Speciale
Posts: 395
Avis preferred, What's the point?

Last month I rented a group H in ATL through the BA website, logged into the AVIS site and updated the booking with my preferred number. Arrived as planned and found no name on the board eventually ended up in a base model Chrysler 300 - poor experience but at least the return lady was very pleasant and efficient.

This month I again booked a group H in TPA - again I logged into the AVIS site and updated the booking with my preferred number.
Arrived on time and again like ATL, no name on board. I asked one of the two agents if there was a problem and was told (after a pause) that it was my fault for not adding the airline details and flight number, I offered the print out to show this not to be true and was ignored.
I asked what car they had for me and after a long pause she said the dreaded words ‘Town Car’. Haven’t you got a Caddy asks I, ‘No, that’s all we have’ she grunts as she slings the keys onto the desk, she also insisted on swiping a credit card despite this booking having been paid for in advance.

At this point I really felt that I was being some kind of irritation to the two agents on duty even though I was the only customer present and wasn't holding up a line of people.

I walk to the car and right next to it there’s a Cadillac CTS (in fact, there are CTSs liberally scattered all over the garage).
I went back to the rental counter and asked if I could take the CTS, after a pause the other lady in the booth piped up that it was a different class and would be significantly more expensive than the Town Car, the first agent looked relieved and joined in with this opinion and then said ‘If you’re not happy with the Lincoln, you can change it at any Avis office’ – no upsell attempt and no interest. I currently have a Town Car with a faulty parking brake.

I feel I need to point out in light of my poor experience of Hertz at TPA this time last year that I’m polite, friendly and deliberately non confrontational.

I don't want a discount or a voucher or compensation, I just want the service that is advertised on the website.

What is the point in Avis preferred and how do these two experiences fit with ‘We Try Harder!’?

Last edited by tony flynn; Oct 9, 09 at 4:25 am. Reason: Poor Punctuation.
tony flynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 9, 09, 5:11 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: United kingdom
Programs: BA Blue, Virgin Flying Club, Hertz #1 Gold, Avis Preferred, Dollar Fast Lane, Dr. Oetker Speciale
Posts: 395
Thumbs down

Well, I'll give them full points for responding quickly however, the generic reply below covers only one of my points, doesn't specify which location and ignores the main point which is that in my case, Avis Preferred doesn't work.
Are there any Avis lurkers here who could possibly comment?
Avis still isn't trying harder by the way.

-----------------

RA #: 434386256
Case#: 7590690

Dear Mr. Flynn,

Thank you for contacting us through the Avis Website.

I'm sorry for the troubles you experienced with your current and past rentals. When traveling we understand the importance of providing quick and efficient service; an expectation we strive to meet with each rental, whether you?re traveling on business or pleasure.

Avis takes seriously its commitment to have the confirmed car available when and where the customer has reserved it. While Avis strives to give you the best service possible, we want to take this opportunity to point out that although car sizes are guaranteed, specific makes or models, or optional features cannot be guaranteed. We do show that the vehicle you received is in the car class that you had reserved.

Any difficulties or problems encountered are a concern to us, and we apologize most sincerely for the inconvenience you were caused. This commitment to Avis customers is taken very seriously; therefore, a copy of your report has been forwarded to the responsible manager as well as Avis? Quality Assurance Department. You can be sure that your comments have been well-noted and appropriate action will be taken.

Although we realize we cannot make up for a disappointing experience such as this, we do appreciate your feedback. Only by being made aware of a problem can we fix it and offer the high quality of service that Avis customers expect and deserve.

Thank you for giving us this opportunity to address your issue. We sincerely appreciate the business you have given us and we look forward to serving you again soon.

Kind Regards,

A***** D****
Avis Customer Service Representative
custserv@avis.com
FAX: 918-270-2920
tony flynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 9, 09, 9:33 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: ATL
Programs: DL SkyMiles, MR, HH, ICH/PC, Avis Pref., Hertz Gold
Posts: 2,784
Quote:
Originally Posted by tony flynn View Post
Last month I rented a group H in ATL through the BA website, logged into the AVIS site and updated the booking with my preferred number.
Why couldn't you enter your Wizard number when you initially made your reservation? Why didn't you simply use the Avis web site? Was an AWD used that was different from your profile? Perhaps the third party web site imposed restrictions on or even negated the Avis First benefits.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tony flynn View Post
I went back to the rental counter and asked if I could take the CTS, after a pause the other lady in the booth piped up that it was a different class and would be significantly more expensive than the Town Car...
This is true. The CTS is considered a "specialty" vehicle.
keeton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 9, 09, 11:16 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: YYJ
Programs: Aeroplan, Priority Club, National Exec Elite, Hertz #1 Gold, Avis First, Thrifty Bluechip
Posts: 1,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by keeton View Post
This is true. The CTS is considered a "specialty" vehicle.
And yet so is the Chrysler 300. If I were the OP I would've said "Why thank you for the free upgrade into a specialty car! However, I would like a different specialty car instead since you're upgrading me already."
Tuneman1984 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 10, 09, 12:27 am   #5
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: IAD
Programs: UA GS, Avis CHM, Marriott & SPG & PC Plat., Hyatt & Hilton Diamond
Posts: 4,475
... and if you cannot enter your Wizard number during booking, then you can always call in and have it added.
heffa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 10, 09, 7:19 am   #6
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: United kingdom
Programs: BA Blue, Virgin Flying Club, Hertz #1 Gold, Avis Preferred, Dollar Fast Lane, Dr. Oetker Speciale
Posts: 395
Thanks for the replies, the opinions are much appreciated.

I booked through the British Airways website because Avis are the approved car hire partner and thus I pick up miles on the booking.

The option to enter my Preferred number at the time of booking doesn't exist but when I log into the Avis site it's easy to update the booking and make sure it's attached to my profile.

I should have added to my previous post that I booked an Avis rental in Las Vegas in January and also in Orlando in June - in both cases my name was on the board on arrival and the whole operation was seamless, both of these booking were made the exact same way.

The point is that in both ATL and TPA it was clearly stated that no substitute would happen and very clearly implied that I was being a nuisance.

I struggle to understand how a base model Chrysler 300 is an upgrade from a Cadillac DTS or how a Town Car is in any way comparable.

My instinct tells me I met with lazy employees in both locations but the issue is then compounded by the lazy response from Avis customer services.

I realise that with only around six rentals a year, I'm not much of a gain or loss to a major rental company but I pay in advance, rent luxury every time and if you just give me what I pay for, you'll have my loyalty.

So come on Avis, tell me how you tried harder?
tony flynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 10, 09, 7:29 am   #7
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: United kingdom
Programs: BA Blue, Virgin Flying Club, Hertz #1 Gold, Avis Preferred, Dollar Fast Lane, Dr. Oetker Speciale
Posts: 395
I forgot to add that I tried to call the TPA location two days before travel but the lady that I spoke to in the call centre sounded disinterested in my request for a Cadillac, she said it wasn't possible to request a car type and also told me that it wasn't possible to talk direct to the location.
tony flynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 10, 09, 8:19 am   #8
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: home = LAX
Posts: 12,522
Quote:
Originally Posted by tony flynn View Post
I booked through the British Airways website because Avis are the approved car hire partner and thus I pick up miles on the booking.
There is no need to use the horrid BA-specific Avis site to do bookings to get BA miles on Avis rentals. I've been doing Avis Preferred for years directly on the Avis site, with BA miles earned flawlessly as long as I entered my BA FF number and used AWD N7441000 (or one fewer 0's? I dunno, I thought there were only 3 0's at end, but I just logged in and the saved AWD I have has 4 0's at the end). I don't know if that AWD is necessary any longer (it's no longer mentioned at the BA site), or if it's appled automatically when you use the avisba site. (Back when you had to use the AWD, there was a different one for each BA status level. My AWD is for Blue.)

As of a couple years ago, there was a lot of FT discussion about not getting BA miles if you used some other corporate AWD. But taht was before BA stopped saying you had to use specific AWDs on their site. So I don't really know for sure whether any AWDs work now or only certain kinds.

The elite level specfic AWDs were back when you only earned a fixed number of miles. Nowadays you earn a vairable number of miles with a minimum number of miles. My day-or-two rentals used to always post as 500 miles, but since this spring they're all posting as 501 miles!

I've not had any problems with Avis not recognizing me as Preferred (having me on the board or at least behind the Preferred desk) when I've done this. But in the one case where I had done a booking differently (not through BA site, but not through the Avis site either) and tried to add my preferred number, I had problems. So I bet that the way you're adding the preferred number afterwards is the issue.

The issue of the dreaded "Town Car", that may be separate. Preferred works great for me because in most cases I don't mind a Compact, and I can reserve an Economy for a bit less and pretty much always get upgraded to a Compact or even next level up. But based on many reports here on FT, upgrades don't work as reliably from some car classes as others, depending on which car classes they tend to have lots vs few inventory of.

Last edited by sdsearch; Oct 10, 09 at 8:25 am.
sdsearch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 10, 09, 12:08 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: YYJ
Programs: Aeroplan, Priority Club, National Exec Elite, Hertz #1 Gold, Avis First, Thrifty Bluechip
Posts: 1,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by tony flynn View Post
I struggle to understand how a base model Chrysler 300 is an upgrade from a Cadillac DTS or how a Town Car is in any way comparable.
I think these days most car rental companies classify their cars by throwing darts at a spinning pie wheel of car classes in the back office...
Tuneman1984 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 10, 09, 12:15 pm   #10
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: United kingdom
Programs: BA Blue, Virgin Flying Club, Hertz #1 Gold, Avis Preferred, Dollar Fast Lane, Dr. Oetker Speciale
Posts: 395
sdsearch, many thanks for a really useful post, based on current performance however, I wonder if I'd bother with Avis again - I don't seem to fit their profile and they don't bother reading mine.

Last edited by tony flynn; Oct 10, 09 at 12:21 pm.
tony flynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 10, 09, 12:19 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: United kingdom
Programs: BA Blue, Virgin Flying Club, Hertz #1 Gold, Avis Preferred, Dollar Fast Lane, Dr. Oetker Speciale
Posts: 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuneman1984 View Post
And yet so is the Chrysler 300. If I were the OP I would've said "Why thank you for the free upgrade into a specialty car! However, I would like a different specialty car instead since you're upgrading me already."
I tried that but was firmly told 'that's all we got'!
tony flynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 10, 09, 12:21 pm   #12
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: United kingdom
Programs: BA Blue, Virgin Flying Club, Hertz #1 Gold, Avis Preferred, Dollar Fast Lane, Dr. Oetker Speciale
Posts: 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuneman1984 View Post
And yet so is the Chrysler 300. If I were the OP I would've said "Why thank you for the free upgrade into a specialty car! However, I would like a different specialty car instead since you're upgrading me already."
I tried that but was firmly told 'that's all we got' The tone used told me clearly that the conversation was at an end - the very same tone used at TPA as it happened, maybe it's some kind of new assertiveness training..........
tony flynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 10, 09, 12:22 pm   #13
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: United kingdom
Programs: BA Blue, Virgin Flying Club, Hertz #1 Gold, Avis Preferred, Dollar Fast Lane, Dr. Oetker Speciale
Posts: 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuneman1984 View Post
I think these days most car rental companies classify their cars by throwing darts at a spinning pie wheel of car classes in the back office...
Tuneman, that made me laugh until I realised it's true!
tony flynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 12, 09, 2:39 pm   #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: AVP, PA
Programs: UA 1P, AA G, Hil Loser, Marr PL
Posts: 57
I have come to the conclusion that Avis hates me. I am avis first, but scored only 1 upgrade all year (to a prius, which I like). I don't think they really care anymore, but I don't have a choice since my company has a rate with them.
avpman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 12, 09, 5:59 pm   #15
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: United kingdom
Programs: BA Blue, Virgin Flying Club, Hertz #1 Gold, Avis Preferred, Dollar Fast Lane, Dr. Oetker Speciale
Posts: 395
Quote:
Originally Posted by avpman View Post
I have come to the conclusion that Avis hates me. I am avis first, but scored only 1 upgrade all year (to a prius, which I like). I don't think they really care anymore, but I don't have a choice since my company has a rate with them.
I don't think they hate you, certainly the staff that I dealt with at ATL and TPA recently didn't run to that level of effort...........
tony flynn is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 3:41 pm.