Stop me if you’ve already heard this one.
So this guy rents a car from Avis in Canada, and …
That was fast. You’ve guessed the rest — the scratches discovered after his rental, the mysterious charge to his credit card, the intransigent claims department.
Well, seeing is believing.
A few interesting facts about John Lynch’s experience with Avis in Vancouver: It was a grab-and-go rental, which is common for tourists. Lynch is a Los Angeles county prosecutor. A trained lawyer.
If they can get him, they can get anyone.
We have just the thing for renters like Lynch who don’t have the power of an NBC affiliate in the number-two TV market behind them: these Avis customer service contacts.
Avis is an elusive one. I’ve updated this one personally at least a dozen times, as executives spun through the revolving door and managers changed their email addresses in an apparent effort to avoid their own customers, some of whom were in the same situation as Lynch.
For the record, our advocates and researchers believe customers should be held responsible for the damages they inflict on a rental, but we don’t think a renter should pay for someone else’s damage. We believe a claim must be filed promptly and with sufficient proof, and that your liability needs to be clearly disclosed, not buried in the fine print.
And arbitrarily charging a customer’s credit card for damage he may or may not have caused during his rental? Not cool.
Some of you will side with Avis and say that Lynch didn’t have to rent a car from the company if he didn’t want to agree to its terms. That’s such poppycock.
You don’t choose a rental car based on its contract — you select it based on price and car type. They slide the agreement under your nose long after you’ve made a purchasing decision, and at a time when you’re least likely to pay attention to it. And car rental companies know that.
If these shenanigans make you lose your cool, then you’re reading the right site. Take that righteous anger and turn it into something that will help our readers avoid becoming another John Lynch.
Contact our research director, Trent Bonsall, now and ask him about joining our crack research department. We’ll put you to work finding other companies and making a real difference for consumers.
Do it now, and we’ll all be driving down the right road.