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Avis car rental charging dispute when renting via BAEC

Avis car rental charging dispute when renting via BAEC

Old Aug 11, 19, 11:59 am
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Edinburgh
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Avis car rental charging dispute when renting via BAEC

Sorry for the long post. I recently added a car to my flight booking through BA and Avis, picking up at Stuttgart airport. Despite being Avis Preferred the queue was lengthy and the wait was just under an hour before we got to speak to the CS rep at the counter. She was obviously quite flustered. I asked to add my husband as (free) additional driver and to take the full insurance to reduce the excess. Initially she said she could do neither as I had booked a corporate rate (which I hadn’t). When I pressed her on this she relented and gave me a quote for €30 per day for the full insurance which I was ok with as long that was the only additional costs which she confirmed it was. She said she had no cars left in the category we had booked so she was upgrading us to the next category. She did not ask me to sign anything and said she had emailed me the rental agreement. As we walked away with the keys, she said she’d sent the wrong agreement and had resent it again.

I did not get to look at the agreement until later that day after wrestling the kids and luggage and driving to our destination. I then noticed a mysterious €220 ‘location surcharge’ had been added in addition to the extra insurance and made a note to challenge this when I got home. We returned the car, full of fuel, two weeks later but then I was billed twice the amount I was expecting on my credit card. I’ve disputed the amount through Amex and with Avis directly, they say the extra costs relate to returning the car empty of fuel (untrue), extra surcharges (not agreed, I never signed to accept them and I though BA included surcharges anyway) and ‘other costs’ - whatever that is. This feels like a scam to me.

I can fight this as I have fuel receipts on my credit card and intend to argue that as I was not told about the surcharges and not asked to sign an agreement before getting the keys, I should not have to pay it. They have no proof. I’m happy to pay the extra insurance but that’s it, in any case if they didn’t make me sign the agreement can they hold me to any of it? I haven’t involved BA as not sure that can do anything. Anyone else had a similar scenario and what would be your advice? Usually find Avis ok to deal with but really do feel screwed over on this occasion. I hope Amex can help me resolve it otherwise I do feel annoyed enough to take it further anyway.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 1:40 pm
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Old Aug 11, 19, 1:44 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by mgiarc View Post
+1

Confidently say “no” to any extras now knowing I’m covered. And only £60 a year
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Old Aug 11, 19, 1:49 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2016
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Originally Posted by mikeyfly View Post


+1

Confidently say “no” to any extras now knowing I’m covered. And only £60 a year
25.25% cash back from Topcashback.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 1:51 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by mikeyfly View Post


+1

Confidently say “no” to any extras now knowing I’m covered. And only £60 a year
Agree, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

To the OP, fight it, I have had many issues with Avis overcharging on TA bookings after dropping the car off, including fuel.

I'm sure their CS are paid extra per sales at pick up ...stand to be corrected..
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Old Aug 11, 19, 2:01 pm
  #6  
 
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I had similar problems with Avis Catania earlier this year, booked through BA - just the unwanted insurance in this case, I have the Insurance4carhire (25% cashback through Quidco...) I got in touch with BA Holidays on their 24 hour helpline and they were very helpful in persuading Avis Sicily to cancel the insurance and the charge. Ironically I needed to pay for some damage on return and Insurance4carhire were very efficient about repaying the charge once they had the complete paperwork.
Have a go with BA Holidays - BA are after all a big client of Avis and they have some clout.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 2:04 pm
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Yeah be careful with Avis, they tried charging me much more than my online booking price at the counter, I now always go with a printout of my booking to make sure they don't suddenly change the rental price, and I have an AMEX plat so I say no to any extras.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 4:35 pm
  #8  
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Yes, isn’t hindsight wonderful? Should have taken separate insurance, should have got the full fuel gauge signed off on return, and taken a photo, should have looked in detail at the paperwork before leaving airport and not taken the CS agent on her word etc etc. However as I haven’t signed anything I’d like to see Avis argue their case in a a court. Biggest scam going, car hire. They take your card details and then can pretty much do what they like. Scumbags. I will phone BA tomorrow to see if they can help.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 4:51 pm
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Do you have the receipt, or a card statement to prove you bought Fuel close to the rental return location? This can be very useful when defending fuel issues. Added with a mapping timeline that shows you visiting a fuel station shortly before drop off is considerable evidence against the rental agency...
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Old Aug 11, 19, 5:03 pm
  #10  
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Document, document, document. And take pics of car before and after.

Got run into a Welsh rock wall by a ‘white van man’* a couple of years ago. I pointedly declined all extra insurance at the counter and VISA covered the whole $1400 damages no questions asked, other than the paperwork.

*Next time I’m in Wales, or Cornwall, I’ll hire a much bigger vehicle so there’s no chance he can squeeze by.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 5:11 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by Travelling Inspector View Post
I had similar problems with Avis Catania earlier this year, booked through BA - just the unwanted insurance in this case, I have the Insurance4carhire (25% cashback through Quidco...) I got in touch with BA Holidays on their 24 hour helpline and they were very helpful in persuading Avis Sicily to cancel the insurance and the charge. Ironically I needed to pay for some damage on return and Insurance4carhire were very efficient about repaying the charge once they had the complete paperwork.
Have a go with BA Holidays - BA are after all a big client of Avis and they have some clout.
I also had issues with Avis in Catania....they charged me over Euro 300 for a tiny scratch on the bumper (which may or may not have already been there - pick up was in a dark garage with no staff around to check the car, drop off in the daylight with staff going over the car with a fine tooth comb). Negotiated it down to Euro 250, which was thankfully refunded in full by my excess insurance. Criminals, the lot of them.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 7:03 pm
  #12  
 
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A few years ago, I rented an Avis van at the Geneva airport, using my Amex card. Before I even left the airport, I did $4,000 damage to the van (yes, my fault). At the end of the rental period, the Avis airport staff put a $4,000 charge on my Amex card (with my permission).
Fortunately, I had purchased $25 Amex rental car insurance through Costco Travel (probably no longer available). When I got home, Amex removed the charge from my card, opened a claim file, and asked Avis to submit the standard documentation (photos, repair bills, etc.).
Avis never responded...never submitted a single document, and neither I nor Amex ever paid anything.

So, Avis’ incompetence can go both ways.......
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Old Aug 11, 19, 7:13 pm
  #13  
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When you have a problem with a TA booking, the place to start is with the TA. BA Holidays can get all of this taken care of in one central office email which you can't do.

Avis has a nasty habit of placing people who use credit card chargebacks on their DNR list for future rentals.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 7:18 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
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I had a similar experience with AVIS at Almeria airport in Spain. We landed, were told they didn't have a car in our category (quite common, we accepted that) and we had been upgraded. I rejected the Seat estate they gave us, so they substituted it with a Renault Kadjar, which was acceptable to me. I asked how much the full insurance was for the whole trip, and was encouraged to come round the counter and look at the figure on her screen of - an extraordinarily low - 42 euros for a long weekend (it was about 4-5 nights). Clearly I accepted and the documentation was emailed to me. When we dropped the car off (full of fuel) we were hurried into a minivan from the compound to the main terminal. I later checked my CC statement and we had been charged 260 euros. I then asked AVIS via social media to address this and eventually they admitted their error and a refund came through. Being an AVIS preferred customer and having used them countless times I was less than impressed.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 7:45 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2015
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I pretty much always get random "other charges" taken from my card afterwards (on pre-paid bookings). I always complain, they always apologise for the "mistake", they always refund me.

And this isn't all the same airport or even country! There's clearly more to it than the same "mistake" happening over and over...

Another story: I used my "free weekend" voucher recently and I ended up paying something like £150 instead of something like £190. Apparently it only makes the most basic fare element "free" but you still have to pay lots of random location charges, extra charges, other charges,...
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