I had a TERRIBLE experience at the Glacier Airport counter. I was advised by Avis/Costco that I could pre-pay with my debit card.
I was then advised that I could use my credit card for a zero dollar hold. I went to the counter to get the car. I was advised that I HAD to present my major credit card. I did.
I also informed them that this was supposed to be a zero dollar hold. I also advised that I JUST paid the credit card bill and that it would take 2-3 days for my payment to clear on the card. They had issue upon issue running the card ( the major credit card). Eventually, they realized that it was declining because it was trying to charge a hold fee and my payment had not cleared on my credit card, so it was declining.
They then informed me that they would be unable to rent me a car because "they couldn't let it go out on a debit card." I advised them clearly that Avis/Costco assured me that I could pre-pay debit and have a zero dollar hold on my CC. I was told no. They would NOT rent to me. I calmly asked for a manager.
I was then advised that "the manager will tell me the exact same thing." I quietly insisted on seeing a manager ( attempting to avoid a scene). The manager ( Andrea) then came to the counter. She also advised that they "could not let the car go out on a debit card." I repeated what I was told by the Avis/Costco call center. She seemed very put out/annoyed.
She then advised that she would do a waiver, "only because my card was already charged for pre-pay AND deposit." She originally advised that on the 2nd day that they would charge my CC a deposit also. I advised her that was outrageous to have 2 deposits on 2 cards when I was returning the car the next day. She then decided to photocopy 1) My Montana driver's license 2) My Military I.D 3) My major CC 4) My debit card AND write down my Costco member number. I was very embarrassed.
I felt targeted for being a minority but I let it slide as I needed to hurry to get out of town. Upon return, the car was returned in a timely manner, full of gas, and clean. I was advised that my deposit was refunded ( This was Wednesday of last week). I continued to check my account and look for the refund and did not find it.
I decided on Monday to call Avis Customer Service Contact Center. I spoke with Zitta (?). She was EXTREMELY personable and professional. She de-escalated the situation and found that I was charged over $80 because the car "smelled like smoke." I advised her that while I was indeed a smoker, I bought a vape for the trip and that I smoked cigarettes OUTSIDE of the vehicle.
I acknowledged that the smell of smoke could have indeed clung to my clothes as I drove the car, explaining the smell. However, I adamantly denied smoking in the car. I advised that I have a receipt for the vape that I purchased. She kindly refunded me the money that was taken without my knowledge or consent, after the fact, after I left the building, with no informational email or phone call.
She provided an exemplary customer service experience. However, after dealing with the counter agents and manager, I would not recommend Avis ( To my friends, family, co-workers, community, or other military personnel that my family is acquainted with). I also do not foresee myself using Avis in the future. I leave and rent a car once a month so that I may go on a military base and shop.
This may be a small financial impact to Avis, but I will advise any and all individuals that this company treated me in this manner. It pains me to accuse or imply that any company condones racism.
However, the situation was very clear at the time. I also plan to leave negative reviews on Twitter, Yelp , Google, Trip Advisor, Avis's direct website, AND call Costco Travel about my Avis experience, and ANY OTHER travel review sites to share my horrible experience as a minority trying to rent from your company.
Product or Service Mentioned: Avis Manager.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
I liked: Car itself.
I didn't like: Evrything else.