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Avis Frankfurt Airport / avis frankfurt - rental damages scam!!

1 United States Review updated:

**Links to all docs and pictures are at the end of the message**

Had to go to Germany for a business trip. Since AVIS/Budget is a trusted U.S. company name, and my company has a contract with them, I went with them. The guy at the counter was not particularly friendly and, although I had reserved an automatic, he told me they only had one car left and that it was a manual. It was an "upgrade" so I didn't complain. The car was a black Renault Megane. I rented a car from the 4/25/2011 - 5/5/2011. When I did the initial inspection, I couldn't find anything wrong with the car.

I turned the car in on the morning of May 5th, as the contract stated. I thought it seemed extremely strange that the attendant who I turned the car in to walked straight to the back left of the car and pointed to a tiny ding on the wheel well. It was so small I couldn't see it. I actually thought he was messing with me, until he handed me a paper and asked to sign it acknowledging the "dent". I told him I don't see a dent. He pulled me over to where he was and said "You have to look at how the light reflects from this spot". There was a tiny flaw, no bigger than a 10 font letter "o". I mean SO SMALL that you need to get 2 inches from it to see the distortion of the light reflecting. He said he was writing it down, but not to worry about it, wasn't going to get charged for anything. He never gave me a receipt or anything. I will admit that there were a lot of things I could have done to better protect myself in this situation, but I trusted AVIS and their reps... that was a HUGE mistake.

When I got back to the U.S. I saw a charge of over $1700 on my credit card. I called AVIS and they informed me that since it's a franchise in Europe, there was nothing they could do about it but send an email. They couldn't even get me a receipt or tell me what had been charged!! AVIS stated that I should get a call back in 24 hours. 3 days later I called them: "Still investigating". 4 more days: "No new information, still investigating". I finally got a letter in the mail from AVIS that said something about over 1050 EUR of damage and that I didn't have to do anything, as they simply charged my card. Gee, thanks for taking care of that for me AVIS... with NO AUTHORIZATION. he back of the letter had 4 pictures on it. One of which was a huge scratch and dent on a zebra striped background that was NOT what they tried to show me when I returned it. What they showed me was a pin-sized dimple in the paint, what they put on the picture was a scratch that wasn't on the car... I've read on this site another person that got a "photo with a scratch on a zebra striped background". If you are reading this and have the same photo, reply immediately so we can fry these guys for fraud and extortion.

I'm currently in the process of disputing it with AMEX and AVIS, but haven't heard anything in a week or so.
Pic of Scratch: http://legendarywou.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/scratch.jpeg
Letter (Personal info Blacked out) - http://legendarywou.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Letter-Front-anon.jpeg

Avis Frankfurt Airport

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Comments

  • Ta
      20th of Aug, 2011
    0 Votes

    I also rented a car from Avis Frankfurt and they are trying to say that I caused damage to the back rear bumper of a Volvo V60. The pick up spot was dim and spacing tight. The drop off point was very bright. 3 Avis agents inspected the car with one going directly to the rear pax bumper. You had to put your face right up to it to see the so called damage. The pictures that were 1st sent to me they had to outline in chalk so you could see the bumper was slightly pulled away. No dents or creases were on the picture. They also supplied another picture of the car from the back but looking at the drivers side, not the damage side. A few days later I got an email from the Avis International desk with the cost break down and additional pictures. This was all in German and the additional pictures now showed the bumper to be really pulled away from the car to exaggerate the damage. They want 1050 EUROS to fix. What a scam!!! they got going. I think a nice Class Action lawsuit is in order, anyone else agree? I this the people at Avis Germany are lining their pockets with the money of people who they know will be too far away to fight. Avis Headquarters should look into and audit the books of these sites. I'm sure they will find the same car getting "FIXED" over and over again. I think the stockholders should sit up and take a good look at the scam that is happening

  • Ed
      30th of Aug, 2011
    0 Votes

    Ironically, they wanted exactly 1050 euro for my damage as well. I think the figure has something to do with credit cards and insurance. The problem is, when you convert it to dollars, it comes out to >$1500. Even if you did have a tiny scratch on the bumper, $1500 is outrageous. You can replace both bumpers, the windshield, and the hood for that much. This is assuming you aren't the 10th person they have attempted to charge for the same microscopic damage.
    Make sure you fight them on it. If just one person lets it happen, then it makes it worth their time!

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