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Avis Car Rental / lies about prices

CT, United States

I arrived in Jacksonville, FL for a wedding of a close friend on March 21st. I arrived at the Avis counter at JAX at approximately 11:35. I had pre-booked a midsize car, Dodge Avenger or similar according to the website, with my flight through Orbitz. Upon arrival, a young man at the counter looked up my reservation and said, "Let's see if we can find you a car." After typing something into to 2 computers, he said, "I have a Corolla and a Mustang both in your class." I then said, "Is the mustang automatic?" And he said yes. I told him, "I'll take that if it's in my class. I think Toyotas are rolling death traps." He laughed and started the processing. He asked me if I wanted to pay $27.99 for loss/damage waiver (making it sound as though it were a one time payment) and I said that was fine because I knew I would be doing a lot of driving and wanted to cover my bases.

While he had me signing the paperwork, he conveniently began chatting with me about why I was traveling and about my insurance carrier, USAA, and about how he has a classic car and has State Farm and the coverage is outrageous, blah blah. I signed admittedly without paying all that much attention because I had already paid for the car and because he told me I was simply saying I had insurance. I left and went on my way. On Sunday the 25th, I looked at my agreement for a phone number to see if I could have the car a few extra hours the next day because I was trying to get a later flight out the next day and saw that they were saying my total estimated charges were $275.74 for an upgrade, etc, and $139.95 for the loss/damage waiver! I had only paid $202 for the entire rental! I called and no one was at the counter in the airport so I got a national rep.

I explained that I was curious if they would charge me for a few extra hours and then mentioned the charges. He explained I had agreed to an upgrade and I stated I most certainly had not and told him the play by play of what transpired at the rental counter. I also said that what the agent did was illegal, a bait and switch, and that scamming young woman was disgusting and if he wanted to be part of it, he could get me someone else! He said he would take care of the charges. I then called my husband and told him what was going on and he stated he had noticed a charge for the total estimated charges listed on the rental agreement ($275.74) on our card and that he hadn't mentioned it because he thought it was a hold.

When I returned the car at 4 am on the 26th, I told the lot person what had gone on and that I also wanted a receipt stating that car was returned in the condition it had been rented since no one had inspected the car before I left and I did not wish to be held responsible for something that was already there. I was then given a receipt for $139.95. I asked what was going on and re-explained about the non upgrade. She gave me a $50 adjustment bringing total to $119.50, and said that the $50 would take care of the upgrade fee. The upgrade fee was $20/a day which would make it $100 not $50.

I was traveling all day so I called first thing this morning (27th) and spoke to Marilyn about the incident. She told me that since I had just returned the car, the information would not be available for at least 48 hours, but she was somehow able to see that I had already been given a $50 adjustment (half of the upgrade fee that I never agreed to)! I've been trying to reach the actual agents in the airport to no avail and of course, the agent didn't have a name tag. I intend to complain to every agency I can and pursue any legal action I can!

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