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.