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Orbitz/Avis: Change Drive-Out to local rental -- Outcomes?

Orbitz/Avis: Change Drive-Out to local rental -- Outcomes?

Old May 3, 19, 9:07 am
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Orbitz/Avis: Change Drive-Out to local rental -- Outcomes?

Booked my wife & friend via Orbitz for a 3-day weekend rental from TPA. Unbelievable price from Avis -- $8 base/day for a total of $54 all-in for 3 days. Wow!!!!!!

Changing their pick up time I noticed that the "return location" was PDX. Before searching for TPA, I was considering sending her to Portland so I guess that still populated the return field. Changing return location to "same" or TPA raises the price by multiples. So they are going to let her drive a car across country for $8/day? I guess that qualifies as a "mistake fare," yes? Anyway I changed pick up time but left return location as PDX so reservation is still $54/all-in.

As a back up, in case they give her a hassle at pick up, I have reserved a separate car for her travel companion, via Orbitz from Alamo, for $154 all-in. They will just abandon the Avis rental and take the Alamo if they smell a problem. Neither are guaranteed with credit cards.

My question -- is there a risk, if they just pick up at TPA and return to TPA on the great rate, that my card will be charged a lot more because "you didn't return at PDX"? I have had this happen the opposite way -- higher rates and exorbitant drop fees for returning not to rental location. But if she returns to rental location, are they going to zing me?
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Old May 3, 19, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by Delta Hog View Post
Booked my wife & friend via Orbitz for a 3-day weekend rental from TPA. Unbelievable price from Avis -- $8 base/day for a total of $54 all-in for 3 days. Wow!!!!!!

Changing their pick up time I noticed that the "return location" was PDX. Before searching for TPA, I was considering sending her to Portland so I guess that still populated the return field. Changing return location to "same" or TPA raises the price by multiples. So they are going to let her drive a car across country for $8/day? I guess that qualifies as a "mistake fare," yes? Anyway I changed pick up time but left return location as PDX so reservation is still $54/all-in.

As a back up, in case they give her a hassle at pick up, I have reserved a separate car for her travel companion, via Orbitz from Alamo, for $154 all-in. They will just abandon the Avis rental and take the Alamo if they smell a problem. Neither are guaranteed with credit cards.

My question -- is there a risk, if they just pick up at TPA and return to TPA on the great rate, that my card will be charged a lot more because "you didn't return at PDX"? I have had this happen the opposite way -- higher rates and exorbitant drop fees for returning not to rental location. But if she returns to rental location, are they going to zing me?
Please withdraw your entire post: TPA->PDX is not error rate. It is a regular seasonal drive-out rate. AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY ROUNDTRIP RENTAL
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Old May 3, 19, 10:21 am
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Originally Posted by SinglePapa2 View Post
Please withdraw your entire post: TPA->PDX is not error rate. It is a regular seasonal drive-out rate. AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY ROUNDTRIP RENTAL
Thanks for your opinion, but I didn't mention roundtrip rentals.

The question still stands for anyone else reading: what's likely to happen to my cc if my wife picks up & returns at TPA on the above facts?
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Old May 3, 19, 10:44 am
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The rate will change to the highest walk-up round trip rate. You booked a one-way special rate, pick up in FL and return anywhere else in the continental US. Failure to comply with the rate terms means the price will not be honored.
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Old May 3, 19, 10:47 am
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Here are the pertinent parts of Avis' rental agreement to your question (bolding mine for emphasis): (found here: https://www.avis.com/en/legal-documents/rental-terms)

6. Return of the Car. You agree to return the car to us in the same condition you received it, ordinary wear and tear excepted, on the date, at the time and to the location specified in the Rental Contract. You must return it sooner on our demand. If you return it earlier or later, a different or higher rental rate may apply and, if returned later, you may also be charged a late return fee. You may not return the car outside of the return location's operating hours unless specifically allowed by that location. If you do, your responsibility for damage to or loss of the car will continue and all charges stated on the Rental Contract as a periodic rate will continue to accrue until the return location reopens and we process the return of the car. Operating hours vary by location. If we do not find the car when that location opens, your responsibility for all charges and for damage to or loss of the car will continue until the car is actually returned or recovered. If you wish to extend any rental you must contact us at 1-888-897-8448 or use a method we approve to request the extension before your return date. We may or may not grant an extension or decline to grant it for the entire period you request, in our sole discretion. If you do not return the car to the location specified in the Rental Agreement, as and when required under the Rental Agreement, you may be subject to criminal penalties. If we do grant an extension a different or higher rate may be applied to the extension period and a service fee may also apply.

7. Where Youíll Return the Car. The car must be returned to the agreed return location as specified on the Rental Contract. If return is indicated to a location other than the location where your rental commences, you may have to pay a one way service fee. If you return the car to a different location from the agreed return location without our permission, you agree to pay an unauthorized return location fee specified by us.

In other words - they can (and very likely will) charge you whatever they want for bringing it back to TPA instead of PDX. It could be nothing or it could be exorbitant, or anywhere in between.

I just wouldn't do it, honestly. It could cost way more than that $154 all-in price.
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Old May 3, 19, 11:31 am
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Thanks for the last 2 responses that were very helpful. I had no idea there could be such a thing as a legit $8/day rate, having never tried to rent a car one way out of Florida, seasonally or otherwise.

If she'll do it (she's much less willing to do this kind of thing than I am), I will have wife do this when renting:

"Excuse me Avis.....the return mistakenly says Portland but I am just bringing it back here on Monday. It'll be the same rate if I just return it here, right?"

If yes --> rent car

If no --> compare new price to Alamo

If new price lower --> rent car

If new price higher --> "thank you but my friend has a car reserved at Alamo, we'll just go rent that one."
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Old May 3, 19, 11:57 am
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If your wife shows up and doesn't take the rental, you could very well be on the hook for the full non-discounted price of the rental plus a no-show fee. Way too risky in my opinion.

I think you're left with two choices here: 1) Cancel it now and just go with the Alamo booking, 2) Call Avis and explain the situation and find out what their round trip rate would be, then decide whether to go with it or cancel it.
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Old May 3, 19, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by lo2e View Post
If your wife shows up and doesn't take the rental, you could very well be on the hook for the full non-discounted price of the rental plus a no-show fee. Way too risky in my opinion.
I haven't given them a credit card so I'm not on the hook for anything -- as long as she doesn't either. It's just a standard reservation where there is a certain percentage of no-show rates.
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Old May 3, 19, 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Delta Hog View Post

"Excuse me Avis.....the return mistakenly says Portland but I am just bringing it back here on Monday. It'll be the same rate if I just return it here, right?"
Personally, I wouldn't lie - but you may have different ethical standard. You clearly know that it's not a mistake.

I just don't know why you would go out of your way to lie when you can go straight to Alamo.
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Old May 3, 19, 4:39 pm
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OP is correct, Avis won't have a CC on file so it can't simply process the charge. But, it will invoice OP and place him or perhaps the wife on its DNR for the fraud.

OP may not care about that or having an unpaid invoice reported to a credit agency, but many people do.
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Old May 3, 19, 5:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
OP is correct, Avis won't have a CC on file so it can't simply process the charge. But, it will invoice OP and place him or perhaps the wife on its DNR for the fraud.

OP may not care about that or having an unpaid invoice reported to a credit agency, but many people do.
lets not make outlandish speculations - noone gets on dnr list ot gets invoiced for reservations noshows

that being said i wouldnt waste time on showing up without correct reservation - the chances of having the same rate for tpa return on the spot are slim
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Old May 3, 19, 8:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
OP is correct, Avis won't have a CC on file so it can't simply process the charge. But, it will invoice OP and place him or perhaps the wife on its DNR for the fraud.

OP may not care about that or having an unpaid invoice reported to a credit agency, but many people do.
Huh? What on Earth are you talking about? I've no-showed dozens of car reservations over the years, without ever having anything like this happen.
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Old May 3, 19, 8:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Delta Hog View Post
Thanks for your opinion, but I didn't mention roundtrip rentals.

The question still stands for anyone else reading: what's likely to happen to my cc if my wife picks up & returns at TPA on the above facts?
Picking up and returning a car to the same location is the definition of a "roundtrip" rental.

Avis, Budget, and other car-rental companies offer the very low "drive-out" and "drive-in" rates seasonally because they have either too many or too few cars in Florida. For the drive-out, they want to move cars out of the state, so they offer an incentive to renters to move the cars North. There is no reason to offer an incentive to renters who wish to keep the cars in Florida.

Since there is no reason to expect the drive-out rate to be offered on a roundtrip rental that begins and ends in Florida, I would cancel the erroneous reservation, and book a new one. The good news is that you are looking at a three-day weekend rental; both Avis and Budget offer a free-third-weekend-day coupon on their respective websites, under the "Deals" or "Offers" tabs. That coupon is combinable with discount codes, such as those offered to members of AARP, Costco, USAA, etc. And it is also combinable with the non-refundable, prepaid rates that offer a further discount. If you are prepared to book a prepaid rate, you should be able to get your desired three-day weekend rental for somewhere in the neighborhood of $75, tax included.
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Old May 30, 19, 8:19 am
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Thanks for all the thoughts. The main thing I learned was that there could be legitimate extremely low one-way rates for relocation purposes. Having never done such a thing, it seemed highly implausible, but I guess it's a thing.

Another thing I learned was that many flyertalkers are extremely paranoid or naÔve. Criminal charges for returning a car to the wrong location? An invoice or credit ding for no-showing on a car reservation? LMFAO. These things don't happen. THAT, I know.

Wife is not "on the edge" as I am in trying travel-related things so she's just going with the Alamo res.
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Old May 31, 19, 9:45 pm
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Aren't you the know it all

Originally Posted by Delta Hog View Post
Thanks for all the thoughts. The main thing I learned was that there could be legitimate extremely low one-way rates for relocation purposes. Having never done such a thing, it seemed highly implausible, but I guess it's a thing.

Another thing I learned was that many flyertalkers are extremely paranoid or naÔve. Criminal charges for returning a car to the wrong location? An invoice or credit ding for no-showing on a car reservation? LMFAO. These things don't happen. THAT, I know.

Wife is not "on the edge" as I am in trying travel-related things so she's just going with the Alamo res.
They do happen, justified or not, just not often enough and publicly aired, for you to choose to give them any credibility, and based on that, you are rolling the dice. You choose to roll the dice, your wife does not. The low rates you reference are for a specific purpose, whether you're familiar with that or not. Your choice to push the envelope if you can take advantage of it but change it to a location of your choice, even if that is contra for the purpose for which the low rate is offered, is a reflection of your ethics as others have referenced. Here's hoping I ride in a different elevator than you.
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