Disappointment in Santa Fe NM

Old Apr 10, 2023, 4:15 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP, Marriot Silver, National Executive Elite, SIXT Platinum
Posts: 26
Disappointment in Santa Fe NM

Hello All,

I am a frequent traveller, hence using this forum, and I recently went to Taos with my wife and our toddler for a very long overdue family trip for a week. I booked Avis because I sometimes use them when National and Sixt are not available. I don't have any status with Avis/Budget, but that shouldn't have even changed the outcome of my experience at SAF.

I booked a Toyota 4Runner (or similar, and yes I know what that means) because it had 4WD that I could control, which was such a relief to me in the approaching days to my trip as Taos had been getting hammered with snow, with about 24" falling in the six days we were there. Upon arrival into SAF everyone on our flight had lined up with Hertz, so I felt good about my decision to use Avis. There's construction at SAF so it is recommended to use the "shuttle" (a Chevy Tahoe with dedicated driver) to drive you about two hundred yards to the rental car parking lot.

After loading up the car with my luggage and toddler's car seat I began my inspection, as usual, and I found a lot wrong with the car. First, we were given a Ford Edge with AWD, not in my opinion a comparable vehicle to our original selection. Then I noticed immediately that the engine sounded terrible, so I popped the hood and saw that the coolant was completely empty, as was the windshield washer fluid (less important but still very important for a snowy destination). Then I noticed a huge crack in the windshield, and the tires were almost bald.

I immediately returned to the airport and spoke with the agent who did check the oil with his jacket, and then told me there are no other cars available. After about five or six attempts at calling customer service and road service there was nothing that Avis wanted to do about this.

I'm not expecting anything out of posting this, I'm just sharing my experiences. If I had ever been given such a poorly kept vehicle by any other company they would have swapped it out immediately.

I will not be using Avis in the future.
monius is offline  
Old Apr 10, 2023, 5:09 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: TOA
Programs: HH Diamond, Marriott LTPP/Platinum Premier, Hyatt Lame-ist, UA !K
Posts: 20,061
Originally Posted by monius
Hello All,

I am a frequent traveller, hence using this forum, and I recently went to Taos with my wife and our toddler for a very long overdue family trip for a week. I booked Avis because I sometimes use them when National and Sixt are not available. I don't have any status with Avis/Budget, but that shouldn't have even changed the outcome of my experience at SAF.

I booked a Toyota 4Runner (or similar, and yes I know what that means) because it had 4WD that I could control, which was such a relief to me in the approaching days to my trip as Taos had been getting hammered with snow, with about 24" falling in the six days we were there. Upon arrival into SAF everyone on our flight had lined up with Hertz, so I felt good about my decision to use Avis. There's construction at SAF so it is recommended to use the "shuttle" (a Chevy Tahoe with dedicated driver) to drive you about two hundred yards to the rental car parking lot.

After loading up the car with my luggage and toddler's car seat I began my inspection, as usual, and I found a lot wrong with the car. First, we were given a Ford Edge with AWD, not in my opinion a comparable vehicle to our original selection. Then I noticed immediately that the engine sounded terrible, so I popped the hood and saw that the coolant was completely empty, as was the windshield washer fluid (less important but still very important for a snowy destination). Then I noticed a huge crack in the windshield, and the tires were almost bald.

I immediately returned to the airport and spoke with the agent who did check the oil with his jacket, and then told me there are no other cars available. After about five or six attempts at calling customer service and road service there was nothing that Avis wanted to do about this.

I'm not expecting anything out of posting this, I'm just sharing my experiences. If I had ever been given such a poorly kept vehicle by any other company they would have swapped it out immediately.

I will not be using Avis in the future.
SAF is not a terribly large station so, yes, you got what they had. TBH, probably only ABQ Avis in the state of NM would have been able to serve your needs with multiple options to select from.

David
DELee is offline  
Old Apr 10, 2023, 6:30 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 3,639
It sounds like the vehicle was not road-worthy. I probably would have driven it 50 minutes to ABQ and demanded a swap.

If you're committed, you could file an arbitration case and demand damages, probably less than a grand.
IAHtraveler likes this.
m907 is offline  
Old Apr 10, 2023, 6:42 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: CPH
Programs: UAMP S, TK M&S E (*G), Marriott LTP, IHG P, SK EBG
Posts: 10,855
It's a problem for smaller places like SAF. I was given a crap at YVR as their President Club member after waiting for almost an hour, window switch at the back seats were broken (didn't realize until I cross the border from the US to Canada) and the car was stuck at 3000-4000 rpm when I was driving on Interstate and the tires were also almost bald. I didn't notice this until I got to the US so I didn't think I could swap a Canadian vehicle in the US.

We were at Avis IAH during Christmas and I was told that I could either have a Pick up or Mustang - after I told them that the Lexus had too little trunk space. I told the preferred desk we needed trunk space for 2 suitcases so after a few minutes she found a Lincoln corsair with a big dent at the side (I honestly don't care about cosmetic defect).
nacho is offline  
Old Apr 11, 2023, 4:52 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP, Marriot Silver, National Executive Elite, SIXT Platinum
Posts: 26
Originally Posted by DELee
SAF is not a terribly large station so, yes, you got what they had. TBH, probably only ABQ Avis in the state of NM would have been able to serve your needs with multiple options to select from.

David
There were dozens of other cars on the rental lot, but they were reserved so this station wouldn't let me swap.
monius is offline  
Old Apr 11, 2023, 4:56 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP, Marriot Silver, National Executive Elite, SIXT Platinum
Posts: 26
Originally Posted by m907
It sounds like the vehicle was not road-worthy. I probably would have driven it 50 minutes to ABQ and demanded a swap.
I was driving 80 miles in the opposite direction after flying across the country with my exhausted family. I usually fly into ABQ when heading to just Santa Fe as that's only about an hour drive, but this trip I wanted to limit the driving and try something new.

Originally Posted by m907
If you're committed, you could file an arbitration case and demand damages, probably less than a grand.
I was committed that day, but it was deflating how terrible Avis's customer service was so I just made up my mind. I think I was given some money off of my final bill, but the original price was nearly $1,200 for a week.
Auto Enthusiast likes this.
monius is offline  
Old Apr 11, 2023, 4:59 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP, Marriot Silver, National Executive Elite, SIXT Platinum
Posts: 26
Originally Posted by nacho
We were at Avis IAH during Christmas and I was told that I could either have a Pick up or Mustang - after I told them that the Lexus had too little trunk space. I told the preferred desk we needed trunk space for 2 suitcases so after a few minutes she found a Lincoln corsair with a big dent at the side (I honestly don't care about cosmetic defect).
Agreed, cosmetic defects aren't a big deal. In fact, the car referred in this thread had dents all over. I only care about safety and expectation. Especially when it's more than just me driving.
IAHtraveler likes this.
monius is offline  
Old Apr 11, 2023, 9:13 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: PDX
Programs: DL Plat, UA Plat 1MM, AS MVP, Hyatt Discoverist, Avis Presidents Club, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 3,934
Your experience is not unique to Avis. This could have happened with any rental agency. It sucks, but when they don't have vehicles they don't have vehicles and thats the risk one takes. You can swear off Avis, but this could have been hertz, National, Sixt or Enterprise...
kxc262 likes this.
noah is offline  
Old Apr 11, 2023, 9:48 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Posts: 29
SAF is a tiny airport and just doesn't offer much in general. I always prefer flying into ABQ and driving
Auto Enthusiast likes this.
rsha is offline  
Old Apr 11, 2023, 10:29 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: CPH
Programs: UAMP S, TK M&S E (*G), Marriott LTP, IHG P, SK EBG
Posts: 10,855
Originally Posted by monius
There were dozens of other cars on the rental lot, but they were reserved so this station wouldn't let me swap.
Yeah, I don't believe they were reserved. When I was in YVR and YYZ, there were rows of Audi Q3 and BMW X1 and they told me they have no cars. I guess they are all reserved...
nacho is offline  
Old Apr 11, 2023, 1:04 pm
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP, Marriot Silver, National Executive Elite, SIXT Platinum
Posts: 26
Originally Posted by noah
Your experience is not unique to Avis. This could have happened with any rental agency. It sucks, but when they don't have vehicles they don't have vehicles and thats the risk one takes. You can swear off Avis, but this could have been hertz, National, Sixt or Enterprise...
It may have been more understandable if there weren't any vehicles on their lot. My argument with the agent was that if they're willing to allow me to drive this vehicle, then why not give it to someone else?

I have never even been given a car in such condition by any other company so I can't compare experiences beyond that.
monius is offline  
Old Apr 12, 2023, 2:50 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 3,639
Originally Posted by noah
Your experience is not unique to Avis. This could have happened with any rental agency. It sucks, but when they don't have vehicles they don't have vehicles and thats the risk one takes. You can swear off Avis, but this could have been hertz, National, Sixt or Enterprise...
Hertz would rent out a car in that condition, but National/Enterprise wouldn't.
Auto Enthusiast and bemis like this.
m907 is offline  
Old Apr 12, 2023, 4:29 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: PDX
Programs: DL Plat, UA Plat 1MM, AS MVP, Hyatt Discoverist, Avis Presidents Club, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 3,934
Originally Posted by m907
Hertz would rent out a car in that condition, but National/Enterprise wouldn't.
I'm willing to admit that national seems to have a higher standard but... Enterprise maybe so maybe not, my mileage varies. But the fact remains that rental car inventory is a challenge that they all have. We've all had the problem where we've been on a lot that HAS CARS ON IT and are told there is nothing for us and nothing to swap to. I don't know how they manage their fleets, but there are times when cars are put into service that should not be, that people drive cars that are a far departure from what they reserved, and none of the car rental firms are immune from it. Some do a much, much better job of managing it but ...... cars and nothing to swap to can happen anywhere, anytime.
Auto Enthusiast likes this.
noah is offline  
Old Apr 14, 2023, 12:06 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 3,639
Originally Posted by noah
I'm willing to admit that national seems to have a higher standard but... Enterprise maybe so maybe not, my mileage varies. But the fact remains that rental car inventory is a challenge that they all have. We've all had the problem where we've been on a lot that HAS CARS ON IT and are told there is nothing for us and nothing to swap to. I don't know how they manage their fleets, but there are times when cars are put into service that should not be, that people drive cars that are a far departure from what they reserved, and none of the car rental firms are immune from it. Some do a much, much better job of managing it but ...... cars and nothing to swap to can happen anywhere, anytime.
On second thought - you're right. Enterprise would, National wouldn't.
m907 is offline  
Old May 4, 2023, 11:03 am
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP, Marriot Silver, National Executive Elite, SIXT Platinum
Posts: 26
Follow-up to this: To add insult to injury I received a second notice (never received the first) letter stating that my credit card would be charged almost $1,000 to repair the broken windshield on my rental vehicle. I called the day after receiving the letter and it was noted on my account that I had reported the damage, so the phone agent removed the charge and sent a confirmation email.

What a terrible experience. I can't believe this service is still happening in 2023.
Auto Enthusiast likes this.
monius is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.