Forced to return his Avis car to another location — what’s with this extra charge?

Car rental companies love their surcharges.

The one Dan Liftman encountered when he rented a vehicle from Avis recently had a good reason — and also, paradoxically, didn’t have a good reason.
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How was she supposed to know her car would spontaneously combust?

Jo Ann Good had no idea.

No idea that her Avis rental would burst into flames on the road to Montpellier, France. No idea that Avis would try to charge her for an incident report with the French police. And no idea that she’d be on the hook for the damage to her personal belongings.
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Do I really have to pay this “congestion” charge in London?

It’s been almost a year since Terry Bienstock rented a Peugeot 3008 Hybrid in London, and for almost as long, he’s been fighting Avis over a pesky $162 traffic ticket.
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Why are we being charged an extra $277 for our rental car?

After returning from their Hawaiian vacation, Jessica Gennaoui and her husband discover an unpleasant surprise on their credit card: a $277 charge from Avis. Can this bill be fixed?
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Maybe the travel industry’s one-sided cancellation policies are due for cancellation

Change your mind when you’re traveling, and the consequences can be costly.
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Dinged for using a “fraudulent” discount code on my Avis rental

Anand Iyer recently rented a Hyundai from Avis in Westfield, NJ. He’d found the car online through a site called AutoSlash.com, and booked the rental through Travelocity.
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Look out! Here comes electronic fuel metering

Ensuper/Shutterstock
Ensuper/Shutterstock
Karen Freeman thought that she’d returned her Chrysler 200 Sedan to the Richmond airport with a full tank. She thought wrong.

“An agent noted that the tank was full,” says Freeman, an architect from Atlanta. The gauge also registered that the tank was at capacity, she says.

But a few days later, when she reviewed her credit card bill, she discovered that Avis had charged her an extra $7.43 for 0.8 gallons of gas, or about $9.29 per gallon. She called the company to complain.

“A representative told me that according to a satellite, when I picked up my car, it had 16.9 gallons in it,” she says. “And when I returned it, it had 16.1 gallons. I checked the ticket from pickup and there’s no mention of the fuel quantity other than ‘G8’ — which means full.”
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Charged for insurance I never wanted — or needed

hyxl/Shutterstock
hyxl/Shutterstock
Jenny Tran discovers a mysterious $260 charge on her credit card and discovers she’s been charged for optional car rental insurance she never wanted, or needed. Can she get a refund?

Question: I recently rented a car from Avis in Houston with a friend. A few weeks after we returned the car, I discovered a $260 charge for optional insurance that we never asked for. I need your help getting a refund.

Here are the details. We had pre-paid for the car using Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price” service, which covers the entire cost of the rental. When we got to the counter, my friend offered them his debit card — it’s all he was carrying — and an agent said they needed a credit card.

So I gave them my card. Before I handed it over, I asked if it’d be charged. The agent said “no.”

After coming home from the trip, I found out I was charged $260 and wonder where this amount was coming from. We looked at the paperwork from Avis, and that’s when I saw his signature to accept the optional insurance. I asked him if he knew he signed for it and he said “no.”
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“What should I have done in this situation?”

Patryk/Shutterstock
Patryk/Shutterstock
The car rental insurance scam is a fairly well-known “gotcha” for international renters, and it’s a trap Doreen Murphy believes she walked right into when she rented a car from Budget in Northern Ireland recently.

Murphy wants my help in sorting out a surprise upcharge from Budget, but I’m not sure if I can — or should — try to unravel this for her.

Northern Ireland has its own pecular car rental insurance requirements, and apparently only one brand of MasterCard coverage meets its strict criteria. In other words, if you’re not renting with a MasterCard, you have to buy extra insurance.
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Who’s to blame for an “invalid” reservation number?

winding road 2Question: I recently pre-paid for a rental car using Priceline’s “name your own price” option. I was given a car through Avis — or at least that’s what I thought.

When we landed in Raleigh-Durham International Airport, I went to the Avis counter and showed them my reservation. But the agent said my number was “invalid.” He said it had already been used in Chicago in 2007, and that the reservation number couldn’t be used again.
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