Monday, March 17, 2008

Watch Out for Avis' Fuel Charge

I've been renting cars from Avis for years now, on an almost weekly basis, and have never seen something like this before.

Beginning last September, Avis started charging $10.5 from anyone who drives less than 75 miles.
That is, if you drive a short distance, you don’t have to refuel your car before returning it.

However, as I found out today, if you do refuel it (as I almost always do), THEY STILL CHARGE the $10.5, unless you specifically walk into the office, ask back for it and present a refueling receipt!

This arrangement is NOT optional - you "get it for free" with every rental. You are not warned about it verbally. And although an Avis attendant marks your car's fuel level when you return it, and sees that it's full - he won't alert you to the fact you're being double-charged.

When I asked about it, I was told there’s a sticker on my contract explaining the situation:

So yes, it's my fault for never reading my contract and my stickers. Now I'm afraid of what else I would find in there if I do.

But I wonder how many people like me refuel the car, return it, pick up their bill, never bothering to read they were charged again for the fuel. And how much money is Avis making from this misinformation?

So learn from my mistake: if you refuel the car, save the receipt and ask for your money back.
If you drive less than 75 miles and don’t feel like refueling – return it as is.

Avis - we try harder® to separate you from your money. evil


Ariel Tetro said...

Did a search on "Avis" and "gas" and found this:

Art Sindlinger said...

I had a crap experience with Avis today in Fort Lauderdale. They charged me $10.85 for what I calculated to be maybe 0.14 gallons of gas (or $74.99 per gallon). I describe the whole incident here on my blog if you're interested.