Cleveland, Ohio
Not resolved

I have been renting from Avis for 15 years. That's got to be over 100 rentals. I got a letter that I was to be charged $250 for cleaning pet hair from the car I had recently returned at the Cleveland airport. This was obviously a mistake since it was impossible for me to have been the hair culprit. So I called customer service. They were nice, they sent me the pictures that were taken of the car, that did show some pet hair in several places in the car. Yep, that was the car I rented, and yep you can see a little pet hair. But I didn't have any critter in the car! I always locked it. I didn't lend it to anybody, for the 3 days I had it.

Funny thing is these pictures were taken 5 days after I returned the car. It was the right car, and the odometer showed only 1 mile since I turned it in. So here's what I think happened...

The car must have already had pet hair in it when I rented it. It wasn't a whole lot and I failed to notice it (and so did the guy who "cleaned" the car after I returned it.) The car was not soiled, had zero trash in when I turned it in, but it obviously didn't get vacuumed very thoroughly. OK, so the next person (more fastidious and more observant about pet hair than me) rejected the car due to pet hair. Bingo, they sock me with the charge.

The customer service manager did reduce the charge from $250 to $75, because he thought that that was a bit steep for cleaning involved, but he would not remove the charge based on my word. He said he has heard this complaint many times, and without proof from me, he would not remove the charge. He told me that he had the authority to remove the charge but that he would not do it. I was flabergasted, but with difficulty, I kept my cool. I told him I would dispute the charge with my credit card company. He said Avis would send the pictures and the credit card company would agree with Avis!

Well, this was a business trip for a client. So I will bill the client the $75 with a note to their travel department that they avoid using Avis.

What I failed to ask the customer service manager was whether the policy of "guilty until proven innocent" was his policy or a policy set by the higher ups. What a short-sighted policy! But I guess that is capitalism at it's finest.

Product or Service Mentioned: Avis Car Rental.

Monetary Loss: $75.

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We had the same experience at Denver Airport. Avis would not remove the pet cleaning charge even though we have a 40 year relationship with the company, are preferred members and travel a lot.

The car was always locked, the windows always closed and no one used the car besides my husband and me for our 4 rental days. Obviously, the hatchback trunk was not cleaned when we rented it. We were upgraded to a 7 passenger explorer, it was pouring rain and we never used the trunk, just put our one suitcase in the backseat. Our years of dedication to Avis obviously means nothing!

We are loyal customers and essentially Avis is calling us liars. Not the way to run a company!


just happened to me as well. I never had a dog in the car and the manager claims to have pictures of "excessive" dog hair.

they billed my credit card $181 a day after I returned the car, never notified me, nor did they inspect the car before or after my rental. I disputed it and my credit card company said that Avis violated the terms of their rental agreement and that the charge would be returned to Avis.

This was at the airport in Killeen, Texas. The person at the desk was terrible-rude, didn't know what she was doing, did not tell me that my insurance company would cover the car (fortunately, I knew that and told her so when she tied to sign me up for insurance).


I just received an Avis letter stating my credit card would be assessed $150 for pet hair after a rental out of Denver airport earlier this month. Denver never provided the jacket claimed to have this policy in writing, nor is it online that I could find, only the receipt.

The vehicle rented to me had a mechanical problem and had to be returned to the Boulder office (50 mi RT out of my way) to exchange it. The Boulder Avis even commented they didn't know why Denver had stopped providing full paperwork.

The vehicle they gave me in exchange was so dirty he gave me a $25 discount. I have opened a complaint case.


I too had the similar problem at the Cleveland Avis (but we actually had dogs. We rented a van, had 2 dogs who stayed in their dog beds the entire trip.

I vacuumed the van before we returned it. Avis sent us a letter with a $250 cleaning fee. When we asked for photos - they sent us photos of the entire van filled with dog hair, little white balls and something that looked like straw. No way we returned the van looking like that.

Avis asked if we had photos - who takes photos of a vacuumed out van that you are returning. We are fighting the changes. I recommend taking photos before you return the car.

Who knows what they might dream up to charge you next. I have been a faithful Avis driver for over 20 years for both business and pleasure trips - no more Avis for me.

@No More Avis!!

Your idea of clean probably didn't fit their idea. I am allergic to cats and dog hair irritates my senses and I get a reaction that lands me in the hospital.

Avis had to tow a car to me even when the SUV looked clean but I landed in the hospital with an allergic reaction. That's called service they sent a manager to make sure all we ok.

@Rent all the time

Yeh and the allergic reaction happens to me with excessive cologne, lotion, and cigarettes, which all rentals smell like. I once broke out in hives from someone's lotion or cologne - the smell was all over the car. So it goes for lots of things, not just pet hair.

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