On June 24, 2010, I rented a vehicle in Baltimore, MD for one day. At the time that I picked up the rental vehicle, the computer system at the rental location was not working and so the person at the Avis counter filled out the rental agreement by hand.
The booking was for $53.99 as shown on the reservation that I made. I was very surprised therefore when I received my credit card statement which showed a charge from Avis of $135.48. I contacted Avis customer service to inquire about the charge. Customer service claimed that I had not returned the car to the Sheraton Hotel in Baltimore, but had instead driven it to JFK airport where I returned it at 9AM on June 25.
I disputed the claim that I had taken the car to JFK. As proof, I faxed to Avis customer service my boarding pass for a JetBlue flight from Baltimore to Boston at 11:30 AM on 25 June, a bus ticket from Boston to Portland, ME as well as other credit card charges which indicated that I could not have physically driven the car to JFK. I also followed up with Avis customer service on multiple occasions by telephone. I have asked for a copy of the modification to the reservation which should have been processed if I had actually taken the car to JFK instead of returning it to the Sheraton in Baltimore, but I was told that such a document does not exist. Although the representatives told me that they would look into the matter, the charges were never reversed. Finally, I got my credit card company, Chase involved and they agreed that I could not have taken the car to JFK and refunded the charges.
Just recently, I received a letter and a message from Avis. The charge which were refunded to me by Chase have now been sent to Avis collections. Avis collections claims that I owe Avis $80 after Avis "adjusted" the charge to $108. However, this does not make sense. If my original rental was for $53.99 and I owe $80, then how was my account adjusted to $108 as collection claims? Clearly, there is a lot of confusion over this reservation on the part of Avis. Avis collections has told me to contact customer service. However, customer service so far has refused to help me saying that this is now a collections issue.
Avis customer service can only claim that I took the car to JFK instead of returning it to the Sheraton in Baltimore. Customer service can neither provide a return receipt nor proof that the original contract was changed to allow me to return the car to a new destination. On the other hand, I can provide a signed return receipt to show that I returned the car to Baltimore and I can provide my boarding pass and credit card statement to prove that I purchased a flight from Baltimore to Boston. What I believe happened was that due to the problems with the computers at the rental location in Baltimore, the Avis representative made a mistake. After I returned the vehicle to the Sheraton in Baltimore, she rented it to another customer who took it to JFK. Since the computer was not working, the paperwork was confused and I was accused of taking the car to JFK. I did wait in line for almost 45 minutes to pick up the rental and about 20 minutes to return it since the Sheraton location is short staffed and the representative at the desk must also run to retrieve the cars. Due to all of the work being done by one person, it would be easy for the mistake to be made without the computer to keep track of the rentals. But, rather than to admit a mistake and despite the overwhelming proof that I provided that I could not have driven the car to JFK, Avis customer service has continued to aggressively and falsely claim that I owe Avis money.
Product or Service Mentioned: Avis Car Rental Booking.