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Avis
Overall Satisfaction Rating
1.11/5
  • 5 stars
    1
  • 4 stars
    2
  • 3 stars
    1
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    6
  • 1 star
    153
Based on 163 ratings submitted in the last yearSHOW RATING DISTRIBUTION

Avis

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Last updated: Jan. 18, 2018

1106 Avis Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 18, 2018

The service I received at the Montreal Airport Avis was absolutely terrible. Not only did the woman working on 1/14 at 8:15 AM not provide the upgraded vehicle I was entitled to as an Avis Preferred customer (and had a nasty attitude and raised her voice and started waving her hands maniacally), but she gave me a car with many mechanical problems. When I first got in the car I saw that the brake and 4WD service lights were on + the tire pressure light, I went inside to insist I be switched to another vehicle - the same kind (Jeep) would be absolutely fine, and there were a bunch of other Jeeps in the Avis lot. She blamed it on the cold and said the car would be fine and waved me away. She refused to switch the car. Once I got on the road, after an hour or so the car began to beep every 5 minutes and the warning lights that were on from the start were still on.

No one was answering the phone via Avis, so I decided to try and swap the car at an Avis in my destination city (Quebec City). The rest of my drive continued to be a nightmare. The car skidded multiple times, the 4WD did not work (just like I had told her from the start) and the BRAKES FAILED 2X. The car also had very low quality snow tires, if any at all. This is completely unacceptable. Once I arrived in Quebec City, things got worse and I wasted hours trying to get someone on the phone. Roadside Assistance was going to take 4+ hours (according to the dispatcher) and at this point it was dark outside. My trip was only supposed to be a day trip, but I could not go back to Montreal with the seriously malfunctioning vehicle, it would not have been safe. Eventually, I was able to swap the car after many phone calls and dealing with Avis staff at a Quebec City location.

However, the car I received was a downgrade from the one I originally paid for and Avis was not willing to provide a refund for the price difference (which was substantial), never mind the fact that I had to swap my original car due to Avis' negligence. I spent the night in Quebec City, and drove back to Montreal in the morning. I was charged the full price of an SUV upon arrival, a late fee, and God knows what else once the multiple (questionable) transactions on my statement from them clear.

The Montreal Airport Avis Preferred stand had an incredibly long line so I could not sort this out in person since I had to catch a flight. I also noticed the same woman was working again that morning (1/15) so it would have been a lost cause. I have not been able to get in touch with anyone beyond call center agents that just say sorry and leave me on hold indefinitely. I will NEVER do business with them again, and I would advise you avoid them at all costs. I am going to continue to reach out to them in hopes of being connected to a professional, but judging from everyone else's experiences the chances of that are slim.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 12, 2018

Not deserving of 1 star. I had booked a reservation 2 weeks in advance... no issues until I go in to pick up the vehicle... denied. Maybe someone should have contacted me earlier in regards to my credit not being good enough but nooo. They definitely need to get their ** in order. Stay away from these knuckleheads.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 11, 2018

Well it seems like I'm not the only one as this site seems to have many similar stories like mine! On a recent trip to Canada, part of the package was a car supplied by Avis Rental Car. As with most packages everything should be included but arriving at the airport after a long flight the night before, to see heavy snow and more forecast, when the Avis Rep suggested I take out an offer of £10.00 a day all in to cover every extra including breakdown excess in the event of an accident etc. I didn't question it and said yes that sounds sensible and my wife who was with agreed the £10.00 a day was reasonable. Imagine my disgust when I get home two weeks later to receive a bill for almost double that amount.

I of course have been onto Avis back home only to be given the normal brush off of "you signed for it therefore you accepted it". Yes I did accept it and sign a document which I assumed (stupidly) would be the same as the amount I had just been quoted. I really thought Avis were above this type of shoddy practice but obviously not! What makes it worse even when you try and complain and get to at least a line manager, you keep getting some young thing in the call centre. The invoice itself is obviously designed not to be easily read, especially after a long flight. Never Again!

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Jan. 8, 2018

Avis is the worst car rental company. After the merger with another company Avis is disappointing. Avis is of hidden fees. Because of snow in Washington my flight arrived very late in Miami. As I had my blood pressure low (and unable to drive) I went to get the car at the MIA after the hour I had appointed in the booking. I was greeted by an ignorant and rude woman who charged me a fee of around 96 dollars for not having picked up the car exactly the time I had booked on the website. I explained the problem of the super late flight and my health problem. She said that Avis had nothing to do with it. That was my problem and not from Avis and that the fine for having searched for the car in delay was maintained. Completely unfair.

I'm willing to put Avis in court if any lawyer is reading this. I come to Florida several times a year and I chose Avis because I had the lowest price. With the stupid fine it have been the most expensive option. I am very sorry to have rented with Avis. I'm going to return the car to MIA tomorrow. And I'm never renting on Avis again. Never more. As a formador of opinion in Brazil I will do a lot of "advertisement" of Avis in Brazil.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 6, 2018

On October 10, 2017 we reserved a Suburban for a 2 week vacation of some family from Europe. I prepaid for the rental in full. One week before they arrived I called Avis to confirm that they will in fact get a Suburban. The person on the phone assured me everything was in order. The morning of their arrival I came to LAX to meet with them and checked in at the rental center to make sure everything goes smoothly as they had a long trip ahead of them and did not want to waste time at the airport. The person at the counter at the Avis rental center checked the reservation and confirmed that the Suburban is ready to go.

When the family and I arrived at the counter to check in we were told they did not have a suburban. They only had a passenger van available. Needless to say I was embarrassed and appalled. After about an hour the agent told us the best he could do was a 7 seater Chevrolet Traverse and that it would be ready in another 2 hours. By this time we would have wasted 3 hours at the rental center. As it turned out one of the employees outside the rental center asked me why we were standing around so long. We told him what we were waiting for. He disappeared and returned within a few minutes with the car. This shows me a gross mismanagement at this location and maybe even the whole company. We have been told we will get a $288 refund on the rental. I am waiting to see if that materializes in the next few days. I am not holding my breath. We will avoid Avis like the plague.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 5, 2018

I rented a car from Avis in Bloomington, Illinois on December 28 to January 5. At the time of pick up, I upgraded for 10 dollars a day. The rep asked if I wanted a one time fee of 13.50 to cover my deductible. I agreed but later found out that I was charged that per day. I was told at drop off, that I didn't read the fine print on documents. I was also told that the rep that I had at pick up talks fast and that perhaps I heard incorrectly. Never ever again!

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Jan. 5, 2018

I got a rental through my insurance because I was in a car accident. I have full coverage on my insurance so I opted not to take their insurance for Avis car rental. Six months later they charge me for insurance in December just before Christmas. For the past week and a half I have been in touch with their customer service and an insurance service department. No one can get a hold of the store by email or by calling them. They decide to turn around and tell me that they're going to do an adjustment form.

They adjusted it so that they only gave me 50% of the money back when they should really have given me the whole $284 and change. And they gave me 50% because they couldn't reach out to their store to get a hold of them for them to confirm that I didn't get the insurance and if I was to go down there then it would be a personal problem so how else would I be able to handle it except going through corporate and corporate can't even deal with their own stores or get ahold of them. Never never never go to Avis!!! I will tell everyone I know to stay away. They steal your money.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 4, 2018

I rented a car for pick up on New Years Eve day at Ft. Lauderdale, FL airport for one day to drive to my home in Naples, FL. It was a busy travel day and there are probably 10-12 customer service stations at their main counter as well as 2 or 3 at the preferred counter. There were two agents at the preferred counter and only 2 at the regular counter where there were many more customers. The line was a constant 7-10 customers deep the whole time I was there, and I waited in line for at least 45 minutes before I was waited on, another 15 to complete the transaction.

The agent was pleasant enough, however both agents were moving at the pace of a sloth. I finally got my car only to realize that due to the availability online when reserving, I reserved a Standard SUV instead of a Premium SUV so a Tahoe instead of a Suburban, and I definitely needed the luggage room of the Suburban. My fault so I had to go back and upgrade. Ten or fifteen minutes for that then it took them about 25 minutes to bring the Suburban up. There was no one anywhere to be found in or near the booth, the driver pulled the car up, left it running and walked away without a word. I could only assume it was mine. Then at the garage exit gate the gatekeeper was rude about asking for my paperwork because he could not hear me reply that I was looking for it in my backpack. Finally after well over an hour and a half, we were on our way.

Now the return the following day at Naples FL airport. Clearly marked rental car return lot was full so I told the agent that I parked it in front of spaces 1 & 2 and handed her they keys, she asked for the mileage, I did not know, and her reply was "well, I have to have that". She handed me back they keys, asked me to get the mileage and while I was at it, to move the car.

I have rented several times from competitor and they never made me go out and retrieve the mileage myself, they do that and I presume check out the vehicle at the same time.The only reason I am giving them the generous 2 stars for customer service is because the original agent in Ft. Lauderdale, though in no hurry was pleasant and he did find me another vehicle that was suitable for my needs. The vehicle was not clean inside, there were multiple places on center console and Dolores that appeared to have something spilled or splattered on, whitish residue like milk or something. Very visible so obviously not wiped down at all.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Dec. 30, 2017

I booked an SUV on Oct 7 for my trip on Dec 21 to Managua, Nicaragua. On Dec 20, I received an email stating my car is waiting for me. However, when I went to pick up my car on Dec 22. I was told no car is available for me. Because of this mess up, I had to pay extra $80 for a front-drive sedan with no power, and we had to cancel our hotel reservation for 2 nights because we know the sedan will not get us there. I am so disappointed by Avis. I thought it is an American brand, but I cannot trust them anymore. Will never rent from them again.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 29, 2017

Contracts were not written clearly, before picking up the car I reserved, I saw I was being overcharged, so I spoke with the lady at the front desk who said she couldn't help me, and then proceeded to give me the Customer service line for BUDGET!?! Well they obviously couldn't help me so I had to search for Avis customer service number, who said everything would be refunded when I returned the car, so I took it. When I returned the car they told me that I would receive a check in the mail, and that they couldn't give me any kind of confirmation number or anything, so I called customer service again, at which point they said they had messed up and aren't supposed to refund me at all, but this supervisor was going to do it anyway, and he would email me a case number.

I never received the case number so I called AGAIN, and was finally told (in an extremely rude way), that they would not be refunding the difference and tried to bargain with me. At this point I'm frustrated and tell the CS rep that I'm either getting a full refund or disputing the charge, at which point she says there's no way I'm getting any money back now, and basically to go screw myself. Credit Card obviously got my money back, and Avis has banned me from using their service (like I ever would again anyway). I also know multiple colleagues who said Avis tried to charge them for not filling the tank upon return, which they actually had to provide a receipts to dispute. DO NOT USE AVIS!!!

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 21, 2017

Rented from Avis for the first time in my 50 years of driving and it was terrible. Budget, Hertz, Dollar, Alamo, Dollar, Enterprise have these guys beat hands down. Flew into Philadelphia and took the bus ride to the rental office. Groaned at the long line at the counter, finally got up to an agent after 45 minutes and continued to wait another 30 minutes for them to contact a body in the lot. When I asked what the confusion was I was told they have a school band they are locating two vans for.

So I guess that meant everything stops for everybody else. Then they offer a free upgrade because the car is available just outside. Finally thinking it’s all behind us, my wife and I stop in the restrooms before embarking on our journey to Cape May NJ. We were both disgusted at the cleanliness of the bathrooms, no soap, no towels and you can guess the rest. We get in the car and it just reeks of a cheap perfume, extremely strong but rolled the windows down in November because we didn’t want to get back in line at the counter and go through the BS. What is wrong with this company, well known, established and whoever is running it is driving into the ground, don’t expect them around much longer.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Dec. 20, 2017

The worst customer service I have ever experience. I called the Local Avis at Shoppingtown Mall Sears Auto Center in East Syracuse/DeWitt, NY and no one answered. Called again, and this time it went to an obvious call center where the girl on the phone assured me I could get a rental that day as my tire blew. I told her that the local store was not answering their phone and if she was sure she could get me a car because I would have to walk 2 miles in the snow in the opposite direction I had to go and they were closing in 20 minutes. "NO PROBLEM" she assured me. She gave me a price for the day and a half and a Chevy Malibu with 3 emails to pick it up at 2 PM even though they closed at 2 PM. I even called back to try to get the local person to pick up the phone to confirm - I called over 4 times and each time it went to the calling center.

I asked, "Are you sure I will be getting a car. I am almost there and they close in 5 minutes." "NO PROBLEM it will be there." I had to walk half on the sidewalk and half on a busy 3 lane street in snowboots. I get to the local Shoppingtown Center Sears place and not even noticing another lady complaining in front of me, I tell the girl behind the desk, "I am there for my RESERVATION at 1:58 PM on Sunday, December 20." She tells me she has already sent out and closed her drawers and "I don't know why they would make a reservation when they know we close at 2 PM." I told her I had the reservation number the car and the price. Your "don't give a ** employee" says, "On-top of it I don't even have any cars". So 20 minutes before closing she couldn't answer the ** phone to say, "Hey we don't have cars or anything. She just doesn't answer the phone???

Then I call the call center since I know your employee won't pick up and the same girl answers, "Ohhh I'll transfer you to "customer service" where he says I am breaking up -classic- and hangs up. Then you guys have the audacity to keep sending me reminders to pick up a car that day that was never there. Your employee tells me - "Go to the Syracuse Airport Avis." Ya well was she going to drive me over there because there are no buses to go there. So I had to walk 4 miles back home. I work for a very large company in Syracuse and I have never been treated with such disrespect and stupidity. I will be making sure that NO ONE uses your services. You people are liars, you have employees that completely do not care and have no knowledge of what they are doing. Thank you Avis for the shin splits, because that is all I got out of you!!! LIARS LIARS LIARS. NO CAR THERE!!!!

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Dec. 12, 2017

I've never been so ripped off by a car rental company. This was a classic bait and switch, complemented by a major lack of managerial support or zero customer support. It's frustrating because I've had good experiences with Avis in the past, but this experience inhibits me from ever using them again. I rented a premium SUV online for a week from the Avis in St George, Utah. When I arrived, a very sweet girl received us and told us they hadn't had the car we ordered online for months. That was very frustrating because I called the local office every other day for 2 weeks - left messages and called corporate asking them to transfer me. My calls were never returned. I did this because I was arriving late on a Sunday night with 2 young children and needed confidence that Someone would be at the desk to receive us. I rolled the dice with Avis and I was very surprised when this nice lady was there to greet us.

Needless to say, we were not taken care of. Instead of our premium SUV, we were given a standard SUV - which online, was about half the price. This nice lady told us there was nothing she could do - her managers would have to fix it. She gave me their cell phone number. I called them every day for the week that I had the car. Nobody answered and nobody called me back. When I returned the car, there was nobody at the dealership to help check the vehicle in or help with luggage. For reference, it's a walk to the terminal from rental car parking and a cart of some sort would be great! Luckily, Hertz was around and they let us use their dolly. When we were inside at the desk we were waiting with some other people who were equally confused as to how to return our vehicles. Considering we had to get to a plane, we were about to leave our keys on the desk.

At that moment, a young girl showed up and she was angry! I recognized her from the parking lot. Earlier, while getting our luggage, Instead of helping and welcoming us in, she stared at us and watched us struggle - I had no idea she worked for Avis. I was in total disbelief. At this point she was heated! How did we ruin her Sunday? I was the one who had been bait and switched with a sub-par SUV that hardly fit my kids, luggage and stroller. I had called to try and fix the situation about 20 times and not one reply call. Now she was furious with me?!? If you ever make a rental car reservation in St. George, Utah (SGU) and you use Avis, you will regret it.

To follow my story up, I put in many calls to Avis corporate. I told them about my horrendous experience. They offered me a $100 credit. That still didn't cover the difference between the SUV I rented online and what was given to me when I arrived. They said it was my choice: $100 or nothing. So I took it. But I told them I would do everything I could to inform people of their poor business practices. If I could say one thing to Avis, SGU: answer your phone. Other companies do it and it's actually good for business.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Dec. 4, 2017

I picked the car up at midnight in a very dark lot. Unfortunately, I did not notice that the windshield was cracked. However, it seems I now have to pay for their poor vehicle inspections when the car is returned. I sincerely regret pointing it out to them when I returned the car when I noticed that they did not see it.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 2, 2017

Unbelievable Experience... NOT IN A GOOD WAY. 1-star only because it was required. Avis/Budget Truck Rental is a joke and they don't even care! Almost a week before, I reserved a 26' truck for a Christmas donation delivery project throughout Florida. They sent me a confirmation and charged my credit card. When I went at the reservation time I was told that they have NO trucks for me (even though there was 3 trucks sitting in the yard) and I would have to call customer service. Calling customer service made the situation even worse. This company doesn't care and they forgot what customer service is all about. Their incompetence has now inconvenienced and affected dozens of workers, a few companies and many children that will not receive Christmas gifts from this project. SHAME ON YOU Avis/Budget. Getting even by hitting them where it hurts... IN THE POCKET BOOK.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 30, 2017

I am 65 years old, have been renting cars for 45 years and can tell you with complete certainty that Avis is absolutely the worst, dysfunctional and dishonest rental company I have ever had the misfortune to deal with. They will never see another penny of my business, ever. My wife and I rented a car in Denver, CO. The rental was booked two weeks in advance of our P/U date and we received an e-mail confirmation that we were all set. When we arrived in Denver we were told by the agent that the vehicle size we rented was not available and was told by the agent (a young mid-eastern gentleman) that we could only rent an up-grade for $20.00 US more per day. I should have hit the ceiling right away, but I was tired and jet lagged from the flight so I acquiesced, bartering down to another $10.00 more a day for a "better car" in the words of the agent.

I can tell you that the agent was only interested in one thing, up-selling us. We asked to have all the charges transferred to another credit card, not used for the initial booking. The agent said this was done but lied to us, it was not done. On subsequent calls to straighten out some problems, we were again made several promises, NONE of which were done and again they lied to us several times. This is a very, very, very dishonest company that should be ashamed of the way they treat their customers. I hope they continue their dishonest ways, because eventually they'll not be around anymore, as people will become hip to their BS and not give them any business. In short, stay away from these jerks, you'll be a lot happier.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 26, 2017

The Agent from Avis Car Rental located at Intercontinental Hotel realized a nonauthorized transaction on 11/17/2017 for a rental car that wasn't on my name. I know closely the person who realized the rental, but either the person was authorized to use the information of my card that was on system, because the card of the other person declined. I received the information from the bank the next day, when I didn't recognized the transaction. Due to the years that I knew the Agent, Socorro, I decided to call her on Monday, and very respectful I told her that I didn't give any authorization to make that transaction. The Agent admitted her error, ended the called very aggressive and using bad language.

Today she writes to me and tell me that she doesn't want to see me ever again. Is that the behaviour that Avis offer as an experience. Unfortunately I can't continue promoting this agency for future customers. I have the past number order. The one from today is not in my power. Vehicle Plate ** Hyundai Elantra. The Agent got out of control saying that I was harassing her, because I told her that she was disrespectful.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 26, 2017

Arrived Ontario CA airport at 12:32 pm. Had reserved (online) a mid sized SUV and received a confirmation. Upon checking, Avis could not give a vehicle until 7:30 pm and they were NOT willing to help us secure a car from anyone else. Granted, there were no cars in the lot. Why did they confirm our reservation?? There were several other folks waiting for a car. We rented a very expensive BMW from National.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 20, 2017

I had an absolute horrible experience with this place. They are one big scam, especially this location. The front desk person Michael treated me horribly. It was my first time renting a car. I was quoted 185, and I paid that. When I went to turn the car back in, I was "15 minutes late" when we had never set a time to return to begin with. I told him I would get there BEFORE THEY CLOSE and he said OKAY. Long story short, my 185 turned into 267, all for being 15 minutes late. None of that was in my rental contract and when I asked him if there is any way he can help me he dismissed me. This is not even the worst part, I told him I had no more money on my credit card so I gave him my debit. He charged my credit card anyway and now I'm negative.

I called the call center and they were only able to give me half the money back. Then, I asked if I would get charged tolls additional Michael said no. My credit card then gets charged AGAIN 52.70... I could not fight that either. I paid more than 400 DOLLARS to rent a car for less than 2 days. This company is unreasonable, unreliable, and a complete sham. I will never rent a car here again. They made my experience horrible and left me in debt. That employee of yours Michael should really get fired for completely ruining my services, he can be doing it to someone else. My advice is DON'T TRUST AVIS. Rip off of a company I swear. Take a bus, you'll be better off than renting a car at this awful company.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 16, 2017

Our company has been in business for 17 years and we have had a corporate account with AVIS for those 17 years. We have experienced MULTIPLE incidences with a couple locations that have left a very bad taste in our mouth with them. One of my employees was returning a car to the South Bend, Indiana airport AVIS and he had to drop his keys and contract in the drop box. We later received a call saying the car was never returned. My employee personally went back to that location, had an airport policeman ask to see the security footage which DID IN FACT show that he had dropped his key in the box. Turns out many cars were being stolen from that location once people dropped their cars off.

Another location, Philadelphia Airport, which by far is the WORST location to rent from added extra charges to our contract that, according to our corporate account, should NOT be added. And the most recent incident at that location is they charged our credit card a $250 cleaning fee 18 days AFTER the car was returned!!! We only saw that charge because we decided to look at our account. So, just a few words of advice ALWAYS check your credit card account. If you run into a problem saying you didn't return your car, ASK to see the surveillance video!

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 15, 2017

The staff were unprofessional, discerning, inappropriate behavior, and all out rude! When asked to speak with the manager, whom wasn't on the property, via phone. I received the same treatment from the manager as I did from the staff. They will never get any of my business again!!

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 15, 2017

BEWARE OF THE RSN CHARGE of $7.99 per day - Who's heard of RSN??? The rep ask me if I wanted insurance and I said NO, and that I'm covered. He said ok and added this charge without my knowledge. I had no idea until I checked out so I called them and after 2 calls they said they would refund 1/2 of my charge as I DID SIGN FOR IT. Customer service is full of ** for sure. STAY AWAY.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 13, 2017

I have been renting from Avis for over 20 years. Made the reservation online, paid in advance on my husband's c.c. And put him as the driver. We were leaving at 2 am... He went to pick up the car Thursday at 4 pm and they refused because it was my login and his name and c.c. I had to rush from work to get there then we had to sit on the phone for over 2 hours for a supervisor that hung up on us. They closed and locked their doors at 6 and the best we could get was a credit back but minus a $150 cancellation fee!!! I will never rent with Avis again!!!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 11, 2017

Avis Car Rental. Location: 11033 Carolina Place Park, Charlotte, NC 28202. If I could only give this scummy place a ZERO I would. I rented a car for only two days for $125. This was all that I should have been charged and all that was on my receipt and all that was showing in Avis' national billing dept. Nonetheless, my charge card was debited $260 once I returned the car in perfect condition and with a full tank.

I called the location and spoke to ** who said he had no idea why he charged me $260 and could not care less. I asked for his supervisor's phone number. He gave me a fake number. After I realized he had given me a fake phone number I called back. At that point ** YELLED AT ME and told me never to call back. I still haven't resolved this issue because no one cares in their national billing department either. Will I have to sue now? THESE PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE IN BUSINESS!

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 8, 2017

We rented a Chevy in Toronto; We've rented many cars before especially in California, so we've tried them all: Fox Rent A Car, Europcar, Dollar, Budget, Payless Car. What bothers me is that the agent usually try to scare you off and sell you a crazy expensive insurance coverage. We rented a car at Avis Bay St in Toronto and for once everything was clear, no hidden fees, no pressure, and a friendly & professional service. Only downside is the price but I guess you get what you paid for.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 1, 2017

Summary: Avis sales desk agents / signup process locations tricked me and a colleague into hundreds of dollars of unexpected extra fees. This happened on two separate occasions and Avis locations. Details: On 9/24, I paid $142 to Avis through Orbitz to rent an economy car for 4 days at their advertised rate. After the trip was complete, I noticed an additional charge on my credit card bill directly from Avis for about $160. My colleague had a similar experience at another Avis branch in Southern California the next day. In his case, the unexpected add-on raised his bill from $141 to $643.

When I picked up the car, the sales agent had been very friendly and engaging. She asked me if I wanted to waive various insurance, etc... I had answered "no" to all the optional insurances and services she asked me about. I knew that my credit card provided necessary coverage, I could self-insure for any additional liability, and I wasn't planning to drive the car much. We breezed through the signup process as she guided me through it. I literally left the desk thinking what a nice, genuine, kind human being she was.

When later I inquired with Avis customer service about the bill, they promptly emailed me a copy of what I signed. Reading it carefully now, I see that the document did indeed indicate the extra charges. I overlooked these charges because the total on that document was approximately what I expected to pay in total for the car rental. I didn't realize they were charges in ADDITION to what I had already paid for the car through Orbitz. It was late, I was tired and just wanted to get to my room, and I barely skimmed the document before signing.

There is no way I would have knowingly agreed for the additional insurance or other add-ons. I suspect that the agent purposefully misled me and slipped authorizations for unwanted insurance onto the bill. Perhaps the trick is to verbally ask you if you want to decline certain add-ons but to be silent about others, or to simply put "Accept" where you had explicitly said "Decline", prepared to call it an "honest misunderstanding" if you happen to read the invoice carefully and catch it. They're very kind and friendly, building a nice rapport in conversation, so you trust that you can just sign on the line and the agreement will be what you expect from the conversation.

This happened to me in John Wayne (Orange county) airport on 9/24/2017. My colleague traveling into LAX on the next day also had a similar experience with the Avis location there. In his case, he was made to believe by the sales agent that upgrading to a Mercedes wouldn't cost much more than economy, and he was billed "1 hr @ $90" for being 20 minutes late. Instead of paying $161, he had to pay $643! I have a strong suspicion that what happened to my colleague and me at separate Avis locations is an intentional, methodical, part of their informal (if not formal) training and company culture. I'd be surprised if the agents do not make some kind of commission on such add-ons.

Needless to say, this is the last time either of us use Avis, and I'll be on guard for similar practices by other rental car companies. This is about principle, not money. The extra bills from Avis will be explained and probably expensed to our client at no personal cost to us. In the time I've spent on this complaint, I could have made the money in question as a consultant. I just want to help fellow innocent humans avoid being taken by such practices. It seems that the war between honorable and dishonorable people is greater than ever these days, and good guys need to fight the bad harder than ever. Update: After my complaint, Avis refunded $30 of the $110 unexpected fees to me, and $92 of the unexpected $500 to my colleague. We are not satisfied but will not spend time to pursue the matter further.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 29, 2017

I was a part of Avis PREFERRED CUSTOMER program and rentals totally no less than $16,000 yearly. I contacted my local office to extend my rental and was granted extension throughout the weekend being the local office would be close during weekend. I return car on 830am Monday Sept 4, 2017. I was charged an additional $250 for a rental that was only $235 for the week. The local office tried to change the rate knowing they had approved me bring in vehicle after weekend but AVIS Recovery department was the only people that could remove fee and they refused to do it even after local office was on call with me. They hung up on me once they heard the local rep on phone.

This is number 8002376693. TONY was the rep I was speaking with. I called back next day to try and speak with a supervisor and I was directed back to TONY and he told me that "We don't care what your local office says, we don't need to talk to them, once we send letter out to you we consider it REPOSSESSION so charge will remain." I called AVIS CUSTOMER and they said CUSTOMER SERVICE had no control nor could they help.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 24, 2017

My partner booked a car from Avis through Rentalcars.com for us to pick up when we arrived at Birmingham Airport on 26th September 2017. We were due to collect the car at 11.30pm. Unfortunately our flight was delayed and we landed 25 minutes late. My partner went to complete the paperwork at the Avis desk inside the airport terminal while I collected our suitcase from the carousel. When my partner arrived at Avis, it was shut. The time was 11:50pm, only 20 minutes late. He made a phone call to Avis, but a recorded message said that it was outside office hours, and they were closed. We were lucky that we were able to hire a car from Europcar to continue our journey.

On arrival back home in Greece the following week, I contacted Rentalcars to claim my money back. Actually they paid in full quite promptly and without any quibble, but kept back £45.00 'cancellation fee'. I queried this as I didn't cancel. The office was shut!! They refused to budge. I then e-mailed Avis and said that I felt that as the office was closed they should, as a matter of goodwill, refund the £45.00. Today I received a reply. They are adamant that the office was closed at midnight! This is untrue, as it was 11:50 when my partner got to the office. My recommendation is that people do not use Avis Car Hire. Their customer service is abysmal.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 23, 2017

Filled up to the max on first car that got puncture, they then gave me smart car at LEJ Airport, filled that to the max on return and guess what, they stole the money from me for the returned fuel. Avis / Avis Dresden Airport.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 21, 2017

My main concern was two fold. Your Terminal 3 customer care service representative (Momo) who as soon as I told him I had booked through Hotwire was condescending, dismissive and outright rude. After figuring out Hotwire had me booked at the Avis City Airport, which I contacted from terminal 3, the Avis representative there (City Airport) informed me there was no way to make it Toronto city airport as they closed at 4 pm. He also suggested that Avis Terminal 3 simply transfer the reservation to the Terminal 3 office. Your Avis (Toronto City Airport asked to talk to the Avis Terminal 3 representative (Momo) who told the TC Airport Avis representative he had no cars and hung up. Another one of your representatives at Terminal 3 listening to the conversation suggested we try Pearson Airport Avis Terminal 1.

Avis Terminal 1 rental also refused to even consider the Hotwire booking but agreed to rent me another vehicle at approximately $150.00 more than if I had booked directly through Avis or the two other rental agencies next to the Avis at terminal one. Summary: I was put on the spot at the end of a hectic day feeling I had no other option. I am also disappointed you feel putting all the onus on Hotwire is your way of dealing with my concerns. When I get home on the 30th I will be sharing my Avis experience with Toronto tourism and social media sites.

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Avis expert review by Lauren Fix

Avis was the first car rental company to offer airport locations for traveling convenience. It is one of the world's largest rental car companies with more than 5,450 locations worldwide.

  • Find the right rental: Using the Avis Car Guide on its website, customers can find the vehicles with the right combination of space, fuel efficiency and features for their trip.

  • Business-class travel: Avis offers its Signature Series to business travelers who need to make a good impression. These vehicles are luxury models from brands like Lincoln, BMW and Mercedes.

  • Tiered loyalty program: Any customer can join the first tier of the Avis Preferred loyalty program, but higher tiers come with more benefits. For example, Avis Preferred Plus members get between 25 and 50 percent more rewards points on every rental.

  • Airline loyalty program: Avis partners with airline rewards programs to offer miles or points for every rental.

  • Business programs: Avis has a complete line of business products, ranging from discount offers to small and medium-sized businesses to production planning for those in the entertainment industry.

  • Travel partners: Avis works with a variety of hotels and airlines to let you earn rewards points for travel, including top-name hotels like Hilton, The Venetian and the MGM Grand.

  • Discounts: Partner organizations get discounts like AARP members can enjoy savings of up to 30 percent off Avis base rates.

  • Best for: Those who like a variety of options, vacationers, business travelers, event planners, temporary workers, those with cars in repair and those who want a wide selection of vehicles.

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Lauren Fix

Auto & Finance Contributing Editor

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Lauren Fix, also called The Car Coach, is an automotive and auto finance expert. Her understanding of vehicles has made her the “go to” person on TV, radio, print media and the Internet. She has authored multiple books and writes a column for several outlets, including Parade Magazine, NewsMax and Car Coach Reports. She is a regular guest on major news and morning shows, discussing the latest updates on cars and car financing that will help drivers make smart decisions when buying, maintaining and financing cars.

Avis Company Information

Company Name:
Avis
Year Founded:
1946
Address:
6 Sylvan Way
City:
Parsippany
State/Province:
NJ
Postal Code:
07054
Country:
United States
Phone:
(800) 352-7900
Website:
www.avis.com

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