Avis Frankfurt Airportavis frankfurt airport: unauthorized charges to credit card

B Review updated:

Dear all,

2 weeks ago I rented a car at AVIS Frankfurt airport; if you know that horrible airport, you will know you need to walk about 3 km's to get to the area where the rental cars can be picked up. After getting the administration sorted out and picking up the keys, we walked all the way to the car pickup for about 20mins. Upon arrrival we found the right car, but found no AVIS representative. We gave the car a quick (but incomplete) checkup by ourselves and found nothing wrong that was not already described in the contract (or so we thought).
Ater 3 days of work related travelling without incident, we returned the car to the same location, where the AVIS subcontractor (SAL service GmbH) found the following damages and missing items:
1. There was supposedly a dent in the side of the car that we mistakenly thought was described in the contract. Our misunderstanding of German made us believe this was described in the contract.
2. This person found that the jack and jack-fluid refill unit was missing. We had found the spare tyre on arrival and assumed the jack was underneath as with most cars of this make. How is one supposed to know where to find the jack and this never-seen-before refill fluid for every different car/make?

The resulting discussion nearly caused me to miss my flight. Despite my refusal to sign the authorization or approval, AVIS subsequently charged an additional 1130S$ to my credit card for up to now unspecified reasons. I am currently taking legal action based on some precendents and the credit card company is also preparing to take legal action against them as they charged unspecified items to my credit card without authorization.

One thing I have learnt; despite renting with AVIS for the last 10 years, this was the last time for me and anyone within my company. I hope that everyone will realise the unprofessional way AVIS handles their business and can spread the word about these practises.


  • Fr
    Frankfurt May 19, 2009

    Exactly the same happened to me last week, they already charged 1000 euros on my account! people at Avis make sure not to explain you what Selbstbeteiligung means, although they waste no time to charge 1000 euros on your account...very proffesional!

    1 Votes
  • Vs
    Vscott Aug 08, 2010

    Renting from avis was a nightmare. The branch that we rented the car from was at the orlando international airport. We specifically asked the representative was there a hold on the credit card.She assured me that there wasn't. I asked her four times to be clear that there wasn't a mistake. Of course, she was wrong and it held $600 the credit card. There site doesnt say anything about holds either. We didn't get our money from the hold until 3 weeks later. Battling to get a supervisor to return calls and someone at the front desk to answer.

    1 Votes
  • Hb
    H Braun Sep 22, 2010

    I believe this is systematic scam for the agency -
    Avis Complain, Avis scam:
    We rented a car from Avis (Frankfurt Airport, Germany). After checking in they gave us keys and off we went. When we returned the car after 2 weeks. Person from Avis checked the car with a microscope and claim there was a damage. There was a scratch no more than 2-inch long on the front bumper on the passenger side. Since no one accompany us to check the car before we took the car, there is no way of knowing if it was already there. My husband is a very careful driver, and I really don’t think this so call damage happened during our rental period.
    But Avis-car-rental-scam promptly charged our credit car for 449.00-Euro Even though the credit card we used for the car rental cover car rental insurance. This is a Avis-scam. They have done similar damage-scam-claim many times before. I just wish we knew before we rent car from Avis, never again.
    All car rental should be careful. If there’s no procedure for a walk-through on the rental car you should take pictures carefully before you drive off the parking lot -- to avoid this type of Avis-scam.

    -1 Votes
  • Am
    amlalone Sep 22, 2010

    Debit or credit? if you asked them credit and they said no it would be correct, debit cards do put a hold on however, usually an amount from 400-600 and credits will hold the amount of the rental

    0 Votes
  • 57
    575302 Oct 13, 2010

    Absolutely. I too was charged over 1000 Euros for totally phony "damage" to my rental car. There was nothing visible, but they said they had "found" dents in the hood of all places.

    This is obviously an add-on profit center for Avis. I doubt if taking pictures of the car before and after will help since the whole thing is a scam anyway. Many, if not all, cars that are rented from them without full insurance (which is astronomically expensive) are charged "damages." It's pure profit to Avis, and a dead loss to the renter. So your choices are: purchase super-expensive insurance, or get whacked with phony charges. Heads, they win; tails, you lose.

    0 Votes
  • Ca
    C. Axness Jan 12, 2011

    Avis offers to fill your tank with gas at approximately the going rate $3.20 (in sf) when you return their rentals. Sounds like a convenience, but beware! The contract states that you will be charged for a FULL tank of gas regardless of how much is in the tank when you return it! in my case with a chevy impala the cost was over $60, even though i returned it with more than 1/2 tank of gas in the car. Heavy taxes are also applied to the gas fee. Forego this one and fill up at a nearby gas station before returning the car.

    0 Votes
  • An
    Andrew P Feb 15, 2011

    I had a prepaid vehicle reserved on Avis, all seemed well, till I went up to the counter and the lady refused to give me a vehicle under claims that I have bad credit (I don't have bad credit). I promptly went to Hertz who didn't seem to have a problem giving me a vehicle.

    Meanwhile Avis wants to charge me a $50 cancellation fee for this claiming it was my fault for not passing their crappy credit check system. Small claims here I come. I'm sure they'll enjoy the $5000 bill they have to charge for their lawyer to fly into my crappy small town court.

    My advise, stay away from Avis, they seem to have mood swings where they'll either give you a car or not as this is not the first time this has happened to me with Avis.

    0 Votes
  • Ed
    edsealing May 24, 2011

    Count me in for getting scammed by AVIS at the Frankfurt Airport. These guys are unbelievable. I posted on this board.
    I've got some digital pictures of the "damage" to see if anyone wants to compare. I've got a sneaky suspicion they are using the same pictures...

    0 Votes
  • St
    Stumble May 29, 2011

    I made a reservation online for a vehicle to be picked up on Monday, 3/23/09. I had confirmation with a base rate of $198.54 per day, with a total rental charge of 255.38 per day, including taxes and fees. When I got to the Milwaukee airport, Pam, at the rental counter, informed me that the car that I rented was not available, but that they did have a grand marquis available for $255.38. Since that was the same price I was quoted, I agreed. I circled the price on the rental agreement and initialed that price. I made clear to Pam that was the only amount I was agreeing to pay, and I would pay no more than I was originally quoted. She assured me that was the case, and that my original price would be honored. When I got to the Toledo airport to return the vehicle, my total bill was $331.11, which is significantly higher than my original quote. I contacted the customer service number, and they were unwilling or unable to resolve this issue. While the car I reserved was not available, the quote should have been honored, regardless of the vehicle provided, as the vehicle reserved was not available. The same thing happened to the woman ahead of me in line. This smells of a bait-and-switch scheme. I have never had a car rental company not honor the original quote in good faith when the vehicle that was reserved was not available. This is the first time I have used Avis, and it will be my last.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    mara savic Jul 20, 2011

    It has happened to me with "DOLLAR" Car Rwental at Frankfurt

    0 Votes
  • Se
    seth3esq Aug 30, 2011

    Rental Agreement #: 131476531.

    2 Day Unlimited Miles SUV Rental returned with a full tank and 1 hour late.

    I was charged $1, 196.02 ... that's unconscionable enough.

    There has also been a "Hold" on my bank account for the amounts of $429.12 and $430.00 since March 27th.

    That brings the total charge to $2, 055.14; for a 2 day car rental.

    Rest assured, not only will this will pursued to the fullest extent allowable by law, but I will post this information on every message board I can find on the Internet.

    0 Votes
  • They are doing the same thing to me!!! I cancled my debit card and they where still able to get $2074 off causing me to go into a negative. AVIS Rental car are robbers and thieves and im making a police report in the morning!!

    0 Votes
  • Tr
    tr334 Nov 18, 2011

    I rented a car from them last week and am now being charged an additional 550 euro for an apparent scratch on the back passenger side of the vehicle. I am positive there was no damage, this is the 3rd occurence of the exact same thing that has happened to other co-workers with this company. Everyone needs to watch out!

    0 Votes
  • St
    steve dunstan Dec 22, 2011

    Rented a car from Indianapolis Airport. I later went to return in there but their GPS gave me directions to the old airport that hasn't existed in 4 0r 5 years. I missed my flight, had to spend another night on the road, drive 6 hours to Cleveland and than return the car. They twice told me that they were going to remove the the added charge of returning car to different airport. I finally called a 3rd time and they said the removal of charges was overruled. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Anytime I've had an issue with Avis, this is the kind of treatment I get.
    I travel all the time, even though my company wants me to rent through Avis, no more, EVER!

    0 Votes
  • Hc
    hcmetz Jan 05, 2012

    Hey, yes, this is exactly what happened to me - I picked up the car at Frankfurt Airport, had no problems - no accidents, no incidents, no nothing - driving around in Germany for two weeks, then when I returned, they stated the rims and the side of the car had a damage... Since especially the rims damage cannot have happened without the car moving, I am 100% sure this was already there before I picked up the car - I simply did not inspect the car well enough (but who does, after an 11 hour flight? and who expects this kind of rip-off???). In other words: It's a trap - and I am sure they make customers pay multiple times for the same damage that way (and then get possibly also multiple times, insurance money for it). I will dispute the charge with Amexco. I had opted out of the Budget insurance, taking my own insurance, so I will see how that goes, if I can't push back on the charge. But it's good to see that I'm not alone. Thanks. HC

    0 Votes
  • Mp
    mplenty Apr 29, 2012

    I have joined the club after renting a car from AVIS Frankfurt Airport on business a couple weeks ago - although no one from AVIS checked the car prior to me collecting it, I had a look around myself and didn't see any obvious damage - however when I returned the car the guy at the desk performed a very extensive check, and pointed out a 'dent' underneath one of the doors that was barely visible without looking at a certain angle. I am certain this so-called damage was there before I picked up the car as at no point did I hit or scrape anything with the car throughout my hire.

    Upon my return from Frankfurt, I discovered I had been charged for €600 on the exact same day I returned the car. How they have charged me so much, so soon after returning the car, is beyond me. I have written to AVIS requesting a full investigation and also spoken to my credit card company to see if they can assist me. In the meantime, I have been sent a letter by AVIS which includes a few photos of the car, one which supposedly shows the dent but is too unclear to really show anything and doesn't look like it can have come from the part of the car they showed me.

    I hope I can make some progress on this with AVIS as there's clearly something wrong with this particular location.

    0 Votes
  • Ji
    Jim Jonas Jun 25, 2012

    This also happened to me, ordered the car a week before our trip, we live in Wyoming and flew to LAX, went to get our car, which by the way we used our debit/credit card that was used a week before, they took the money out right away, when i got there they said they don't use debt/credit and we did not pass the credit check!!! But we could use our debit/credit to rent another car from them for twice the price!!! When we said no thanks they were so rude to me and my wife that it took us over an hour to let them agree to ride the shuttle bus back to LAX so we could wait 4hrs. for family member to come get us. We were there for my wife's nephew graduation UCSB and my wife was his surprise. So thank you Avis for all the trouble never will we rent from you again. P.S fire your rude PEOPLE!!!

    0 Votes
  • Pf
    Pf Tang Aug 25, 2012

    Almost 6 weeks ago I rented a car at AVIS Frankfurt, Central railway station for my holiday trip with my family; I was instructed to walk all the way to the car pickup area. The staff had informed me of the scratches originally on the surface of the car (a 10-year old Mercedes Benz C180). However there was no AVIS representative accompanying with us to verify them. We had no choice but picked up the key and walked all the way to the pickup area for about 20 mins.
    After identifying the right car, we gave the car a quick, if not complete, checkup by ourselves. After 9 days of vacation travelling without incident, we returned the car to the AVIS Frankfurt airport Returning area, where the AVIS representative (or subcontractor?) found two scratches not originally stated on the contract, which were barely visible to us from various angles.
    There was supposedly 3 scratches originally on the right front alloy wheel but AVIS person found another ONE small scratch on the left rear wheel. This person also found a scar on the trim of the left rear tyre. I was so surprised that the person attributed all these to me and I fully understood that during these days of driving, we have no incidental happenings to the car in the course of driving and parking. Despite this, my observation of these scars could conclude it as something related to natural wear & tear, bear in my mind that the car was with no doubt an aged vehicle and we also found the condition of the four wheels & tyres were on the edge of refurbishment or replacement.
    More importantly the car’s meter on the control panel always glittered a warning signal saying that the vehicle is overdue for service by exceeding 1900km when I picked up the car & started our journey in Frankfurt. It seems to me that AVIS was not only looking for opportunity to rip off customers in order to finance their renewal the parts of its aging vehicles but also evincing an intention to risk customer’s precious life by renting vehicle with overdue service.
    AVIS should not put the blame on us, as a first-time visitor & guest of the country. The astounding thing is the final billing of this claim cost us EUR530!! It is a rip off behavior which would damage the total good will of the company, a global organization with branches spreading around the world.

    0 Votes
  • St
    stxman Dec 17, 2013

    I got ripped off by AVIS Frankfurt, Germany. Charging me $668, the same day I dropped off the car, which was a Sunday, for a scratch on the rim. What a rip off! I cannot remember ever hitting a curb. The pictures sent also looks suspicious. They sent a close-up of a scratched rim. Couldn't tell if it came from the car I was driving. The picture taken showing the car fender and rim does not have any evidence of scratches. This is how they make their money. Not from the cost to rent, but from charging extra for so-called damages. Next time I rent in Germany, I'm marking every little scuff mark. They will not make me pay extra again.

    0 Votes
  • Da
    Dan Crowls Dec 02, 2016

    The same happene to me. They claimed the car had a scratch. Basically robbery.

    0 Votes
  • 11
    111prince Jul 08, 2017

    very bad employees of lufthansa on frankfurt airport i think airport custumer help department must take legal action against them because they not coperative with those who remain their due to fault in aeroplane

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    Chuck Hector Oct 05, 2018

    Rented an Audi A6 from Avis in Frankfurt for 3 days. Mostly Auto Bahn driving, totally eventless in terms of accidents, crashes etc. Upon return they had an inspection guy whose job it is to find damage. We were very concerned about this of course. He immediately put is hand under the front air dam and identify some scratched in the plastic on both sides. It had to happen on earlier rental but they didn't care. At this lousy location there is nobody to evaluate the vehicle with you as you just drive away after waiting an hour for the slow counter people to process your rental. He then found smudges in the back trunk. Honestly this car was perfect but they engineered $1000 Euro of damage and place on my bill. Thankfully I bought the insurance so mitigated the risk. I don't know what the German version of a class action law suit is but it is coming their way. This is a total scam and I feel sorry for people who are victimized and have to pay out of pocket for this money scam.

    0 Votes

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