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Beware Avis/Budget post hire charges

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just a warning for folk to keep an eye on their credit card bills if they rent with Avis or Budget. I've used them twice in the past few months and on both occasions discovered an additional debit made to my credit card.

With the first case involving Budget I ended up making two phone calls and they eventually agreed it was a mistake and refunded the money. I'm currently still trying to get a refund from Avis for snow chains and an additional driver that were clearly included in the booking I made through BA. I get the feeling that they think you will go away if they make it hard enough to resolve the dispute.

What I really object to is that the additional charges are not being discussed when the car is returned. The invoice is online and needs to be downloaded for you to have any idea of what the charge is for. A sharp practice in my mind, so I will simply not use them again. It may be worth checking your bill if you've rented from them recently.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Never had an issue
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
We had an issue with Buchesbind in Munich. We returned car on 8th they say 18th. Almost €700 later. 4 months later we are almost reaching resolution.
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we got hit for a new windscreen that was "cracked", there was a small chip in it from a stone flung up by a passing truck.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I always book through a broker . Usually autoeurope. I have had these charges several times from Geneva . Usually Avis. The broker gets it sorted in a few days.
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@dw832, how do you get to invoice online? We have had an additional charge which was a bit higher than I was expecting, so would like to check? Do you access it via the British Airways website?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
take photos & videos before & after hire.
arrange extra cover back home (its only a few £!)
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I've never had problems, but I do take photographs on pickup and on return, and I make sure they know I'm doing it.

One of the majors (Avis or Hertz, can't remember) tried the other month to try to get me to sign off on a vehicle without inspecting it. I laughed and noted defects on every panel for them. That looks a lot like preparation for fraud.

I once had a cracked windscreen. They tried to charge me $500 - the excess value. I pointed out that a replacement screen for a hire car costs way less than that... they backed off to the $200 it actually cost, backed up with a receipt upon which I insisted. If I ever scratch an already scratched panel, I would imagine some interesting negotiation as to cost sharing on the repair, and I'd demand the actual body shop repair receipt (that's what I'm paying for: not their fantasy numbers).

I've never had to do it, but I think charge back works for these purchases too, if the rental company isn't fair and reasonable.
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@dw832, I posted a few days ago about the Avis/snowchains thing.

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=136012

The Avis scam is that snowchains are included for free but you pay to use them (!) Either a) you prepay CHF 25 or so to have the right to use them, or b) if you actually open the packet and use them without pre-paying, you get charged CHF70. If you have them but don't use them, there shouldn't be a fee.

The suggestion I've made before, that I implement myself, is to go round the car with a fine toothcomb, deliberately looking for the slightest scratch so you can mark a panel as damaged. Clearly if you put a proper dent in the car this won't avoid that, but it will avoid the question of whether minor damage was present on pickup.
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AFTEr having similar battles with Avis, Budget and Sixt, I’ve booked enterprise for the last 10+ hire cars and they are excellent. Also second taking out a separate policy for excess/ damage cover. Costs us £45 a year.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowdave wrote:


The suggestion I've made before, that I implement myself, is to go round the car with a fine toothcomb, deliberately looking for the slightest scratch so you can mark a panel as damaged. Clearly if you put a proper dent in the car this won't avoid that, but it will avoid the question of whether minor damage was present on pickup.


Always try to do this but half the time I find ourselves picking up at late at night in some inadequatly lit car park, usually open to the elements and raining, compounded by a car that has not been cleaned well (is that a scratch or just dirt) with a phone rapidly running out of battery which declines to take flash photos plus kids already asking "are we there yet?".
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Ive had same with Budget, 400€ charge after hire and got it back but theyre shady.....said i'd not presented the hire voucher when I had so charged me list price.

I always take a video on collection (dark dingy car park) and on drop off (super lit car park).....wonder why that would be? They don't like you taking a video at off-hire.......I don't trust hire companies one bit.

Enterprise are marginally better but they try sting with the Germany/ Austria cross-border thing.

I'd like to hire from Sixt at MUC but they are mega-bucks so I guess you get what you pay for - swim with sharks and you'll get bitten etc.....
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
NickyJ wrote:
@dw832, how do you get to invoice online? We have had an additional charge which was a bit higher than I was expecting, so would like to check? Do you access it via the British Airways website?


You can find it on the Avis website. They didn’t give me a paper copy. My concern is that they know that many customers won’t check an online invoice and that an ‘extra’ charge of £30-£50 is going to get missed by some people. An easy way to increase your income if you are a dodgy business, but this is a world famous big brand. Why risk your reputation?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
[quote="snowdave"]@dw832, I posted a few days ago about the Avis/snowchains thing.

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=136012

The Avis scam is that snowchains are included for free but you pay to use them (!) Either a) you prepay CHF 25 or so to have the right to use them, or b) if you actually open the packet and use them without pre-paying, you get charged CHF70. If you have them but don't use them, there shouldn't be a fee.

Thanks for the link. It’s disappointing that such a big company is playing games with what is essential safety equipment when the conditions call for it.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I had a load of crap involving overcharging in subsequent charge on credit card from AVIS /Budget at Glasgow in December

Took me 2 months, and a whole load of calls, emails, threats etc. Basically they charged me >£50 for an all inclusive £22 quote !

Eventually I found the name and email address of 2 board directors in their HO in Bracknell

Firm, but very polite email, but pointing out their fraudulent theft of my money, was reimbursed within a day.
I would like to think their customer services dept were then given a severe bollocking for the amount of crap I had by then shared on Facebook and other locations, after giving them several chances to address the issue.

If anyone wants the email addresses/names, then PM me and I will let you have them
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
sev112 wrote:
fraudulent theft


Puzzled

Is that when someone pretends it was theft but it wasn't really?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

a fine toothcomb

prefer a brush for teeth, not a comb Wink

seen quite a bit of hassle with people in the queue in front of me that seem to find out the hard way that when you pre-pay rentals it's often on the rental that's prepaid, and not the extras (kiddie seats, etc.) which are pay at the desk. but they would mostly be easyjet rentals which are actually europcar.

last budget rental I had had so much damage at collection that the guy even said it'd be easier to mark what was not damaged. more scuffs and missing hubcaps than a standard Italian rental.
still checked that, and double checked the one quarter and one wheel that didn't have an X on the rental paperwork.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Our last rental, we were told that the car was new and unmarked, sure enough there was a dent in it!
How many rental cars get deliberately damaged by the rental co so they can charge numerous drivers for the same damage?
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@tangowaggon, I'm sure there's a lot of double charging for the same damage. My one and only damage bill included £100 for a lost day's hire from taking the car out of service to fix it. The damage was a wheel trim... I pointed out to them that they never fix the wheel trims, and it was a 5 min job, but they insisted this was the deal. Clearly the next person to add a scratch to that wheel trim (or another one) would also get the £100 charge...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
We once hired a car in Iceland from a Used rental car agency...much cheaper.

It was VERY used!

"So long as you bring it back with the same parts it started out with, that's all we care about" the bloke said when I said we should do a damage report pre-hire (where to start...so many scratches and dents!).

He was good to his word and all was good
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I've had a few issues over the years and now quickly whip round taking photos - most camera phones are sufficient to at least defend yourself. Anything marked on form I photograph and anything else I notice i photograph and report.
Best one I ever had was a Eurolease - when we are NZ based you could effectively 'lease' a car for > 4 weeks. We were in the Alps for 8 weeks so did this - brand new Peugeot estate, 16kms on the clock. Worked out about $35NZ a day all in - no excess on insurance etc. It was crashed into 3 times on this trip - twice when we were in it and once when it was parked ! Both sides a mess and the fr and rr bumpers duct taped on ! Everytime I rang to report it they were fine. I turned up a Geneva to hand it back wondering what sort of reception i would get. The guy just laughed and signed the form saying ' This is my problem not yours !'
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Car Hire feels like Wild West sometimes......... I often get spurious charges to my credit card after the event, and almost every time, when I ring to complain, I get the money refunded. I just don't know how these firms are allowed to get away with it Evil or Very Mad
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I think the business model for car hire cos, is to rent cheap, some of the prices are so cheap , they possibly not making a huge profit

To maximise profits the car hire co

will try to take money from you

for many things

car hire excess insur
dints/damage etc
cross border etc

The onus is on the rentee to be vigilant clued in. If you are not, expect unexpected bills

for a full list of scams Google : Firefly or Goldcar
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red 27 wrote:
sev112 wrote:
fraudulent theft


Puzzled

Is that when someone pretends it was theft but it wasn't really?


Ha Smile

Double emphasis- ie it was more than just direct theft, they were stealing And at the same time pretending I had agreed to them
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dublin2 wrote:

To maximise profits the car hire co

will try to take money from you

for many things

car hire excess insur
dints/damage etc
cross border etc

The onus is on the rentee to be vigilant clued in. If you are not, expect unexpected bills

for a full list of scams Google : Firefly or Goldcar


I've heard of problems with Firefly and Goldcar and so don't use them. Avis are typically much more expensive and so you would hope that you were paying for a more honest business practice. Sadly, not the case.

I have actually now had a full refund from Avis, but it took a phone call and a series of emails. Unimpressed with BA too who I had bought the flight/car hire package from. Any hope of a refund from them seemed to require a letter.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Had to phone them up to get our booking reference number. Turns out the extra amount was for a ski rack which we were never given or offered! That is being refunded now.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I was recently looking for car hire for a trip to Italy. Reading all the stuff online the phrase "wild west" is very apt. In the end went with Europcar (via Easyjet). Firefly or Goldcar were much cheaper but it doesn't take much research to realise that is a hook you don't want to bite on.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I went with Auto Via in BGY recently, one of the cheapest, and there snow chain hire was reasonable

I found them surprisingly good


fuel policy explained and fair

they mentioned taking out their car hire excess , I declined

One thing I wasn't keen on was their cleaning fee, if you dont return the car spotless, would be a charge 40 to 60e
I elected to pay 10E so so I was indemnified from any cleaning charges. This is clearly a sharp practice on their part, but I felt I had little choice

Having said that after a week in the mountains , they car was pretty dirty from the grit salt on the roads

I found it interesting they when one of their staff inspected the car on drop back for damage , they were using the torch from their mobile phone to do so, and not a company issued proper hand held torch
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Read this thread with interest during the week, were jus sitting in Malpensa waiting for your return flight now.
Returned our hire car to Avis at T2, return clerk, claimed car wasn't full of fuel, I'd filled up less than 5km away, tried to charge me more for 2nd driver than was stated on my contract, and finally tried to charge me €80 for not hiring the car in the city centre!
I challenged all attempts by her to make any charges, she eventually spat out her dummy and said I needed to go inside to the main desk.
Went straight to the desk, all charges sorted within 5mins, nothing for fuel, correct amount for 2nd driver and nothing for the non city centre pick up. Agent on the desk claimed they were having issues with the return staff as they are outsourced. Can't help feeling that they do similar tricks on all and only if they are challenged retract the charges.
I'll certainly be sending emails when we get home to senior people at Avis and Rentalcars.com who we booked through, if we had been tight for time I'd have probably paid rather than risk missing our departure, which I think the play upon.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Been there done that - almost 2 years ago with SIXT. We picked and returned the car to the same place 2 weeks after - Barcelona airport, refueled it to the last drop on the highway just before entering the airport zone. Got an invoice by email charging for incomplete fuel tank - sent them by mail my photocopied fuel receipt and another pic of my mobile with the car keys on at their desk - showing the return time of a few minutes after.
I always take those pictures, it was worth it - wrote me back that after another check indeed some fuel was missing but they will cancel my CC charge. Schmuks! Twisted Evil
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I think we are coming to the stage , where when we drop and pick up a car, that we need to video everything on phone

Interaction with staff
inspection of car
etc
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Or pay 40 quid for annual excess insurance and dont sweat it
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
rungsp wrote:
We once hired a car in Iceland from a Used rental car agency...much cheaper.

It was VERY used!

"So long as you bring it back with the same parts it started out with, that's all we care about" the bloke said when I said we should do a damage report pre-hire (where to start...so many scratches and dents!).

He was good to his word and all was good


I used one called rent-a-wreck to hire a mini bus type thing and same as above, perfect as we were two families with three 2 year old kids making a horrific mess
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holidayloverxx wrote:
Or pay 40 quid for annual excess insurance and dont sweat it


How does this resolve these issues?
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@dw832, you get charged and you claim on the insurance...i have been reimbursed within 48 hours. Once definitely my fault the second wasnt and when i got reimbursed by the car hire company i paid the insurance back.
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Another scam to watch out for is door locks, it is important to check that you can manually (key) lock unlock doors

its not always apparent , when you press the remote central locking button, that there is a broken lock
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
dublin2 wrote:
Another scam to watch out for is door locks, it is important to check that you can manually (key) lock unlock doors

its not always apparent , when you press the remote central locking button, that there is a broken lock



Do you mean when you first pick up the car?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@dw832, we have had several problems with Avis in Munich. Several times the car shows no scratches on the hire doc. When you check the car it’s not true. In fact one time the car was so covered in scratches the attendant couldn’t even mark them all in the doc. I ended up filming the attendant agreeing that the car was trashed and he could mark it in the doc.

We had an issue last year on delivering back the car with a scratch, probably about a thumb nail in length. Not deep. Ended up costing Eur1,800 for respraying....I doubt they did the work but certainly took the payment. We fortunately had icarinsurance cover so our cost was 30 quid but I have seen the guys at a Munich on drop off become more and more careful looking for scratches. I expect they are on commission as the whole thing seems like a scam.

Biggest issue is the very dark multi story car park at pick up. Customers beware!

I now film and photo the whole car.

It’s a scam.
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I haven’t had the same problem at Innsbruck with the scratch scam.

Other issue mentioned above is the second driver charges which BA card holders don’t have to pay. Avis refuse to honour this at the desk every time in all locations I have used. I complained to BA and got reimbursed for the costs and was given a years gold card membership. Top job from BA ! but again Avis taking the wee wee. I want to use my Avios to book car hire but to be honest I may just book with another firm going forward. Too many bad experiences with Avis.
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@Bennyboy1, avis at Geneva are great with the second driver thing - never a problem and often multiple other drivers as well.
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