avisThere is nothing worse than dealing with a company that has absolutely no interest in providing a great customer service experience. That is the least any establishment should offer its patrons. Speaking from a consumer’s perspective: If I give you my business, please have your customer service on point and honor what you say. I rented my first car ever from Avis this past holiday weekend and the experience was horrible. The weekend was projected to be filled with family, traveling, church, and work; it made sense to rent a car. The horror started after my fiance and I reserved a car online with Avis. The reservation was taken with no problem. However, when we get to Avis on Saturday, March 26th; there was an issue. We ended up leaving only to get my Mother-in-Law assist us with getting a vehicle. In an hour the car that we reserved was gone. My Mother-in-law handled the situation with Avis while I stayed home with the children. Keep in mind, it was also a rainy day.

My Mother-in-law finally comes through with the vehicle and takes me back to Avis to sign the requisite paperwork. After I assisted my children with getting into the car, I got in, instantly smelled Marijuana, and said “WTF”. I went back and signed the paperwork while annoyed.

The reason why I accepted the car was because I have things to do, I have children, and I’m running on a tight deadline. However, I was not comfortable with the fact that the car smelled the way that it smelled and I made up my mind that I would say something upon our return. Saturday was too busy of a day; I had way too much going on.  On Sunday, this Avis was closed. So, in my mind, all I had was Monday when we return the car to really say something. I returned the car to Avis I let the attendant know that the Ford Focus smelled like a “pound of weed” and I was not happy with it. Mr. Employee On Duty honestly seemed very nonchalant. He really did not care about my issue. However, I did not give him a bunch of attitude or anything. I let him finish doing what he needed to do which was check the mileage and make sure that the car was straight. Upon leaving I requested the contact info for corporate to call someone and speak with them about our experience. He gave me the card, I made it back home, and then I made the customer service call.

Reaching out about my disdain for the car that smelled like a pound of herbage, actually only increased the problem. That day I spoke to a representative and informed him what the car smelled like when we received it. I also told him that my weekend was not as enjoyable because of the fact that I’m riding around Atlanta and South Georgia with a car that smells quite incriminating. Keep in mind I have children in the backseat. What was going through my mind was “Oh my God what if I’m stopped by somebody.” The police are killing people. As a woman of color, I personally do not feel safe after Sandra Bland.  There is no need to give the cops any additional ammunition while traveling.  I could have been stopped for a minor traffic violation exposing my children to a horrific run-in with the patrolling authorities. As alluded to previously, black lives do not matter. America has shown us that repeatedly.

Upon speaking with the attendant on Monday morning, he informed me that the best thing he could do was credit us back a day and a half for our troubles.  Running around in a car that is infused with the scent of ganja when you have children, the youngest being two years old, is not a great feeling. We were literally riding around with probable cause. Not to mention, I didn’t even hit on the fact of a contact high. That’s not good at all. I was instructed to call back in 2 days which was Wednesday (March 30). They said to call and the adjustments will be made to my card. This is when I realized that Avis has a bigger problem; and their problem is communication amongst employees. When I spoke to a different agent on this day he informed me that the refund is only  for a half a day. I felt like I was being hustled by Avis. What I don’t understand is that if these companies usually record every phone call for “quality assurance” that would be the time that you need to go and listen to your recording that was made between that agent and I. The customer service rep then told me that the best that he could do was credit a day.  To be honest I still was not happy with this ‘agreement’ because Avis did not honor what they just told me 2 days prior. Out of frustration, I said “Okay fine I’ll take that.” But I still was not pleased with the situation. I honestly said to myself that I would never ever rent a car from Avis or budget again (I found out that they were pretty much the same company)  My trust in the company had been violated. You do not do that to people.

As a consumer, when you feel as though your trust has been violated by a service provider, or whoever, it leaves an extremely bad taste in your mouth. The attendant also informed me that a receipt of the credit will be emailed to me. This was another issue. I was informed that I will be credited back $46 and some change. I was extremely pissed, when I received the invoice for the amount of only $31.98. According to my paperwork this wasn’t even a day rate, this was an hourly rate. The day rate is 39.99. The hourly rate is $30.00. Once again Avis said one thing and commenced to doing another. By the way, it has been past 24-hours and I STILL haven’t received this refund…. Wowzers.

One thing that I have come to realize being a blogger is that the written word is extremely powerful. I did what I knew to do best. I hit up Avis’ Twitter account and informed them of the situation. I also gave them the address where I was serviced.  Avis’ Twitter account told me to go to my nearest Avis (the one I just left) to rectify the situation. To be honest, after that exchange and being given a car from that location in the state that it was in and just dealing with the employees there, I decided it would be smarter to call first. When I called, I just so happened to the get the attendant who gave us the car originally.  Instead of rectifying the situation the only thing that he did was irritate it even further.  This showed once again that Avis corporate office does not know how to communicate. I made this move after they tweeted back about the situation… I gave them the addresses thinking that someone from corporate would have called the store. This man had no idea of my issue with the situation. I basically felt like I was instructed by corporate to call the same store that I had an issue with as a dummy mission. The attendant only agitated the situation further and got a little snippy. After this, I ended up saying “Thank you for not helping” and hung up the phone. Now I feel “had”, “used”, and “abused” by the whole situation. It’s funny because a few people actually saw my tweets to the company and started re-tweeting and started sharing their experience of dissatisfaction with Avis Rent – a – Car. I will never ever patronize Avis or Budget again. I hope this article will make the corporate offices realize the flaws within the company, and train their people better.

 

**update**

a refund of $46.64 posted to my account today. 48 hours after customer service conversation.