We love thank-you notes!

We love thank-you notes, particularly when a consumer has helped themselves with our help.

Pat Self is one such case. When your name is Self, maybe this is the outcome you can expect.

She recently contacted us about a problem with Avis. Using our company contacts and advice from our site, Self had the confidence and knowledge to persevere and resolve her problem on her own — even though Avis tried hard to rebuff her attempts.

“I received a quote on a rental car from Avis in August 2016,” she says. “The quote was given on the phone and was followed by an official Avis confirmation. In January 2017, I received a reminder with the same estimated total cost.”

Self was surprised when she later received an email confirmation with a much higher rate.


After wasting a fair amount of time before and during her trip trying to straighten out this inflated rate, Self received an email from Avis. That email explained that the original rate “was quoted to you incorrectly. We apologize for any misunderstanding and inconvenience. ”

Yes, Avis apologized; however, they expected Self to pay for its mistake. And she was not going to acquiesce to this request. She told us,

They had made a mistake on the quote, not me, the customer, and I asked if they had even read any of the previous communications, looked at the confirmations I had sent, or listened to the recorded call with the agent on 8/13/16. When I sent this email, however, I copied it to the four corporate office executives listed on your website.

As an aside, this is the only part of the story that deviates a bit from our self-advocating directions. We recommend sending your letter of complaint to just one executive at a time. Give that executive one week to respond. If no response is received, work your way up the chain of command.

Otherwise, if you write to all executives at once and no one answers, you have nowhere else to go with your complaint.

But in Self’s case this did the trick. She used our company contacts and reported to us that “within an hour,” a customer service supervisor called her.

This representative apologized and Self says, “She agreed that it was their error because they quoted me an incorrect price and they needed to make it right. She said we should see a reversal of the additional charges within four days.”

Self ended her letter to us by saying, “THANK YOU for providing the information and inspiration for travelers to stand up for themselves. You rock!”

Well, to Self we would like to say “Thank you!” Your letter is an inspiration to us. It lets us know that we are on the right track and that our efforts, direct and indirect, are making a difference — one consumer at a time.

Michelle Couch-Friedman

Michelle is a consumer advocate, writer and licensed clinical social worker who spends as much time as possible exploring the world with her family. As the managing director of Elliott.org, she leads the advocacy, editorial and production departments. Read more of Michelle's articles here.

  • Harvey-6-3.5

    Good to hear a successful self advocate. I suspect many, if not everyone, who comments has had the same successful experience based on information they’ve learned at this website.

  • PsyGuy

    YAY. sunshine and rainbows ending.

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