Unexpected car hire charge by Avis

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Old Sep 9, 17, 6:36 am
  #61  
 
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I'm in Greece at the moment on a flight plus car ba deal. Having been charged a huge amount at the airport last year when I did the same thing I phoned up Avis before I left to find out what I would be charged at the airport.
They told me categorically that the extra insurance would be 140 for the two weeks and I would be charged no more. I also enquired about the fuel because they had told me last year that I would have to bring the car back empty and be charged their rates for fuel. I was told if I brought the car back full I would not be charged and even if I brought it back 3/4 full i would only be charged for 1/4 of a tank.
Lo and behold at Athens they asked me for almost 400 for the insurance and I would be charged for a full tank if the tank was anything but full.
The guy at the desk just said that it was because I had phoned Avis in the UK and they didn't have the correct information.
This is the last time I'm going to use them. The deal through ba did seem decent enough and of course to Athens most of the competition have crap flight timings.
However, 400 is not a small amount of money and not declaring this up front is criminal. Avis have deliberately lied to me and I intend to take this further when I get home as I purchased this through ba. Any advice here would be appreciated. This malpractice needs to stop.

Last edited by ppp909; Sep 9, 17 at 6:38 am Reason: typos
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Old Sep 9, 17, 6:49 am
  #62  
 
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For insurance, just buy an excess refund policy from someone like carhireexcess.com - works out much, much cheaper than any Avis policy.

Moneymaxim is a good site to search for such policies and gives further discounts on carhireexcess.com.
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Old Sep 9, 17, 8:48 am
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post
For insurance, just buy an excess refund policy from someone like carhireexcess.com - works out much, much cheaper than any Avis policy.

Moneymaxim is a good site to search for such policies and gives further discounts on carhireexcess.com.
Another option is iCarhireinsurance.com, something like 89 for annual rental car hire insurance, worldwide (includes windscreen, tire damage). Purchasing rental insurance at rental desk is beyond robbery. I have been renting lots (inc. Avis, from Hawaii/US to Europe to Asia) always paid 0 for insurance with rental companies. If they tried to charge me sneakily, I'd do immediate charge-back.
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Old Sep 9, 17, 8:56 am
  #64  
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One issue with chargebacks is that BA charge so much to use credit cards that I tend to buy from BA with debit cards but they offer much less protection IIRC.
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Old Sep 9, 17, 9:03 am
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Originally Posted by snaxmuppet View Post
One issue with chargebacks is that BA charge so much to use credit cards that I tend to buy from BA with debit cards but they offer much less protection IIRC.
I recovered thousands of pounds in chargebacks - well beyond any potential savings by paying with a debit card.
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Old Sep 9, 17, 9:13 am
  #66  
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Originally Posted by johnspenceruk View Post
I recovered thousands of pounds in chargebacks - well beyond any potential savings by paying with a debit card.
That is good... perhaps then I will always use a credit card and pay the extra... a bit like an insurance premium

Thx
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Old Sep 9, 17, 10:27 am
  #67  
 
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You can still request a chargeback on a VISA debit card but you have nowhere near the same level of protection as section 75 on a purchase over 100 with a credit card.

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/sho...ard-chargeback
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Old Sep 9, 17, 11:45 am
  #68  
 
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I have to write with my own account of unexpected car hire charges by Avis, namely Avisba.com.

I made 2 bookings on Avisba.com earlier this year for Melbourne and Adelaide respectively. When booking through Avisba.com you get the free additional driver and the interface is quite basic - anyway the booking were made and off I went to Australia with my Avisba booking vouchers.

On picking up the first car at Melbourne airport I noted that 'Excess Reduction' had already been applied and I asked to have it removed. It wasn't booked on Avisba.com and I have insurance4carhire annual insurance anyway. The agent said "Well it's already included in your booking. I can take it off but it won't save you any money" so I left it as is. On returning the vehicle I asked for a receipt, put it away and didn't think anymore of it.

In Adelaide I again noted the Excess Reduction and was again told it was included in the voucher price, so thought nothing more of it. Again at the end of rental I asked for a receipt.

It was only when checking credit card statements on return did I note that excess reduction had been charged for. I queried this and lodged a customer service issue. They came back and said that in case of query they revert to the signed agreement document and this showed that I had accepted the excess reduction.

I was pretty fuming.

I thought something was really wrong here so did a booking on the Avis Australia website and note that Excess Reduction is a selectable option. I did a dummy booking on Avisba.com and then checked the booked details on the Avis Australia site..... surprise surprise it shows Excess Reduction as having been selected even though there is no option on Avisba.com to select/unselect this.

I did a booking on Avisba.com and recorded the screen for the booking actions, then called Avis Australia by phone and queried what the excess was. In all cases the agent statements were along the line of "Let me check that for you.... oh.... you've already selected the excess reduction in your booking"

Bingo.

Something in Avisba.com bookings does, at least for my Australia bookings, include excess reduction. Customer then turns up to counter, signs up and if they query the excess reduction are told (probably rightly by the agent) that it's already included in the booking. Poor customer only notes when they return the car. As it's already been agreed to the receipt is just printed out as normal and the credit card is charged.

I had a take it to small claims court to get Avis to refund the charges, however they still deny there's any problem. It's currently under investigation by Trading Standards.

Hopefully the above might help others in a similar situation in future.

Last edited by David_Doyle; Sep 9, 17 at 11:56 am
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Old Sep 9, 17, 1:10 pm
  #69  
 
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I find Avis very variable. Orlando are excellent - never an issue or unexpected charges. Malaga has form for extortionate excesses and waiver fees.

That said there are far worse hire car companies out there. We used Goldcar once. Never again.

Tge bottim line is the hire car industry is bent and systematically misleads and deceived customers. It's needs to be properly regulated.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 5:07 am
  #70  
 
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Originally Posted by ppp909 View Post
I'm in Greece at the moment on a flight plus car ba deal. Having been charged a huge amount at the airport last year when I did the same thing I phoned up Avis before I left to find out what I would be charged at the airport.
They told me categorically that the extra insurance would be 140 for the two weeks and I would be charged no more. I also enquired about the fuel because they had told me last year that I would have to bring the car back empty and be charged their rates for fuel. I was told if I brought the car back full I would not be charged and even if I brought it back 3/4 full i would only be charged for 1/4 of a tank.
Lo and behold at Athens they asked me for almost 400 for the insurance and I would be charged for a full tank if the tank was anything but full.
The guy at the desk just said that it was because I had phoned Avis in the UK and they didn't have the correct information.
This is the last time I'm going to use them. The deal through ba did seem decent enough and of course to Athens most of the competition have crap flight timings.
However, 400 is not a small amount of money and not declaring this up front is criminal. Avis have deliberately lied to me and I intend to take this further when I get home as I purchased this through ba. Any advice here would be appreciated. This malpractice needs to stop.
Buy third party excess cover (though this often means high amounts blocked on your card, to discourage you). Also returning full has long been the established practice. The alternatives are just a way to make more money. Return full and show them the receipt (and keep it)

And yes it sucks that franchises are almost in themselves deceiving...you basically get the same name, not the same standards, at all.

Did Athens invent a new kind of unneeded (super super duper) insurance to justify the difference?
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Old Sep 10, 17, 5:35 am
  #71  
 
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This thread raises a question in my head.

Can I, for example, book a car through Avis/BA and get a voucher for, let's say 300.

Can I then use this 300 voucher against another booking booked direct with Avis?
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Old Sep 10, 17, 5:54 am
  #72  
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I didn't think you could just get a voucher for a value. I thought the voucher was tied to the booking. The way I see it is that we book a car at a price... we get a voucher that covers the hire of the car whatever it actually is locally... isn't for a fixed price. There should be nothing more to pay unless you want options that are not included and then a signature/initials should be mandatory.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 6:18 am
  #73  
 
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I have a Avis BA booking coming up in October in Sicily, so this thread is of interest to me.

You are all referring to the use of vouchers, however when I booked I was given the option to pay at the time of rental. I will be watching out for extra charges in my rental agreement!
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Old Sep 10, 17, 7:59 am
  #74  
 
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Originally Posted by doctoravios View Post
I agree, this can be tricky but most credit card companies recognise the situaton that car hire customers are in (being asked to sign for the rental agreement without having a copy of the final settlement) and will pursue a claim and are, indeed, jointly liable with the retailer/provider and must respond to a claim you make (and I find it is usually easier to deal with the credit card company than the actual retailer in these cirumstances). The key is whether you were informed of the final price at the time you signed the form. If you weren't, then it would be reasonable to assume you were signing based on the price of the original offer.

...
I'm just not sure how good German credit cards are with this and the whole chargeback thing. Suppose I should use my UK ones, but with the Miles & More credit card I have full insurance. In my situation, othe station manager offered me $500 refund on the (I think it was, or thereabouts) $990 bill, I decided to accept it and suck up the rest. The rental itself was about $300 or so, so that meant I was still out of pocket in the region of $150-190. These things gobble a huge amount of time to resolve, so I felt that doing it this way was worth more to me than the value of the extra hours I would have spent on it.

I've had years of problem free rentals with Avis and others. Why has it suddenly become so bad? I've done less rentals in the last 2-3 years, so perhaps it has deteriorated during this time. I thought the rental companies were already regulated.

Second another poster, avoid Goldcar like the plague: utterly dreadful. By the way, wasn't Alex Cruz the manager of Goldcar at one point?
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Old Sep 10, 17, 9:00 am
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
I've had years of problem free rentals with Avis and others. Why has it suddenly become so bad? I've done less rentals in the last 2-3 years, so perhaps it has deteriorated during this time. I thought the rental companies were already regulated.
Like you I have had many years of trouble free renting and this is the first time I have had an issue on return. I have always had to fight off the hard sell on collection but this has calmed down recently. I wonder if the reduction in the hard sell on collection is connected to the over-charging on return... or am I just an old cynic?

PS on reflection... I am probably an old cynic anyway so nothing new there then
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