Avis Preferred desk with 3 minute promise kioskBeing a member of Avis Preferred has always been the quickest way to pick up a car with Avis. Last year our colleagues in France wanted to show just how quick this can be. They decided to put a little bit of pressure on themselves and launch a “3 minute promise” for Avis Preferred members. It is essentially a “speed of service” guarantee.

This is how it works…
1. The Avis Preferred member picks up a “time ticket” from the dedicated 3 minute promise kiosk before joining the line at the Avis Preferred desk to collect the keys for their rental car.
2. The ticket will show the time it was printed as well as a special barcode. The rental agent will scan this barcode along with their printed rental agreement before handing the customer their keys.
3. Having scanned the ticket, the time it took from originally printing the ticket to handing over the keys will be displayed on an LCD screen on the rental desk. This time should be less than 3 minutes!
4. If we have not fulfilled our 3 minute promise then we will provide the customer with a money-off voucher for use at high street stores.

So what do you think? Should we be doing the same in the UK? If you are a Preferred member, have you rented in France recently and seen the 3 minute promise in action? Does it work? Is it great? Do you even care?! As always I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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29 Responses to “3 minute promise for Avis Preferred members”

  1. Robert Says:

    Nice idea…
    Question is how would you measure the time here in the UK? It would have to work differently, because preferred members don’t have to pick up the keys.
    All they have to do is look on the screen to see which bay the car is parked in, and go and collect it.
    Keys are in the ignition.

  2. Peter Greenough- Head of Customer Support, Avis UK Says:

    Hi, glad you like the idea. Details on how we measure and how to apply are being worked on as we speak. We want to offer a consistent service adding real value to our Preferred service but we also recognise that each location has a slightly different layout. Watch this space for more detail! Peter

  3. Michael Bonte Says:

    I think it is a great idea as long as we still have contact with a rep. I do not like automated kiosks as they have at certain locations in the US.

  4. Rob White - Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Michael. Long time! It’s great to hear from you.

    Thanks for the feedback. No this would not take away the contact with our rental agents. It is more of a service guarantee on the time it takes for our rental agents to serve our Preferred members.

    Your perspective on automated kiosks is interesting. Out of interest do you use self check-in kiosks for flights or are you not keen on this type of service all together? If you do use self check-in for flights does this mean that you value the contact with a person more with car rental than perhaps you would with flying? I would love to hear what our other customers think as well!

    With regards to your other comments Michael, I am just waiting for feedback from Spain before I give you a response.

    Rob

  5. John Says:

    Just a comment on a recent experience at Pisa – it would be a good idea to have the Avis Preferred sign more clearly defined or explained. As a weary and irate and rather long queue was understandably agrieved that we looked like queue jumpers when we picked up our keys etc and told us to wait our turn, which was a bit embarrassing for everyone.

  6. Michael Bonte Says:

    That is exactly what I wondered about John on my AGP comments and question about Preferred desk etiqette. I certainly would feel the same ( but of course this is also cultural as the English are the best in forming and staying in a queue ) as you did a touch embarrassed and seen as queue jumpers.

  7. Michael Bonte Says:

    Hi Rob
    yes it has been about 5 months Rob!
    Well I have to be honest about the personal contact with airline/car rental and hotel reps. It is a touch easier to get an upgrade ( oh dear ). Please do not think I ask for it straight forward but I always chat with a check in person to get a feel of the situation. For example when I fly I do a online c/i but I still have a chance at the gate desk to get an emergency door seat or even premium cabin.
    Airlines are really the only time I try to get a better seat.
    Avis reps and hotel reps I never ask for upgrades.Especially in the hotel industry ( I know as I was a hotel manager years ago ) the first thing they ask you is can you upgrade me. It can be quite off putting if people do it in such a straight forward manner.

  8. Michael Bonte Says:

    Sorry Rob but another question.
    Loyalty……In the states they have President’s circle elite status. They also rolled out the Avis First programm.
    I feel a touch neglected. So far I have rented approximately 15 times from Avis but unlike in the States I do not get discount coupons or 1 or 2 car group upgrades.
    In my days [renting with another competitor] I certainly received a touch more from them.
    This all is maybe something to consider. I also recall reading about a year ago in a mag called Buying Business Travel that an Avis management type said they were looking into rolling out a loyalty programme??

  9. Robert White - Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi John, Michael, I take on board your feedback. I can assure you that our intention is not to embarrass anyone! I’ll pass this on to the team in Italy (Michael, I’ve already passed this on to Spain). I’ll also pass this on to the UK team to see whether this is an issue that is likely to occur at any of our UK airport.

    Rob

  10. Robert White - Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Actually you make an interesting point Michael. I would imagine that self check-in was originally designed based on the needs of frequent traveller, who are looking to make travel as quick and stress free as possible. But in reality it is the frequent traveller who will probably most want to maintain contact with the airline/hotel/car rental reps as, given their frequent patronage, you would expect these customers to be most likely to hoping for this kind of perk.

    With regards to loyalty, I take on board your points and it is something we are keen to address. I would be interested in your thoughts about what benefits you would most like to see in a loyalty programme.

    Rob

  11. Michael Bonte Says:

    Well a loyalty programme starts with consistency. For example the Preferred desk at some stations is not manned/womanned.Make sure that for example a sign is displayed. saying that Preferred members can proceed to P desk even when no staff member seen.
    Anyway with the loyalty programme you can go several ways of course. Points based or amenity based. I prefer amenity based like the InterContinental hotels Ambassador programme.
    So try to upgrade them, or throw in a TomTom. A newspaper or bottled beverage. pamper them a bit.

  12. Xavier Vallee Says:

    Hi Michael,

    I 100% agree on consistency and it should already be the case in most of our european airports (50 or so). We’re usually very good at it. Feel free to let us know when this is not the case and I’ll engage with my colleagues in other countries to explain what happened and have it fixed.

    Good comments on amenities. This looks very sensible. What would be the key ones that you’d like to see?

  13. Sophy Says:

    I think it would need to be a 2-minute promise at Croydon – they are a super-quick team there on pick ups. Plus, even though I only hire a car once a month or so, they alays recognise me – impressive. I would miss that familiarity with a kiosk – keep the people!

    Sophy

  14. Michael Bonte Says:

    Well the key one for me is a nice car :). For example I tend to rent fairly regularly at the The Hague, Netherlands station. One day they gave me a Caddy DTS, a great car unfortunately they only have 1 or 2 the rep told me. Gee get more of those please instead of the boring VW Jetta or Vauxhall ( Opel ) Vectra.
    Oh by the way HAG is a great station all staff very friendly and it does not surprise me they won the station of the year award.

  15. Michael Bonte Says:

    While we are on the subject of Preferred. I have acomment on the Pref account. When i go into my account it would even be more helpful when one can see one’s past rentals of say the whole calendar year. Now one only can see the last’month’s rentals. Would be a nice additional tool. Thanks Rob.

  16. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Sophy, Michael,

    Thanks for your great comments. I have forwarded them on to the relevant rental stations.

    I take on board your comments about automated kiosks. It’s opened an interesting debate. However, I must stress that the specific case of “3 minute promise” in France does not take away the contact with our staff. It is simply an Avis Preferred service guarantee that our staff will serve you within a specific time frame. It’s great to hear that our customers value the importance of people still though!

    Michael, thanks for the feedback on the online account. I’ll forward this on to the Web Development team.

    All the feedback on this post has been brilliant by the way. Thank you everyone, particularly Michael!

  17. Gavin Says:

    Hi,

    I really like the idea of a 3 minute service – I would settle for 5 minutes.

    Why when booking online and using the “pay now” is it not possible to use the preferred service? I was not aware of this (my fault) for my previous 2 bookings, and just realised after booking another rental online today…. so, for me, so far none of my preferred bookings will be preferred :)

    Anymore news on the T5 ba / avis quick puck up service?

    Thanks,

  18. Michael Fernando Says:

    A three minute promise would be good. It is great to see that people are taking feedback seriously at Avis.

  19. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Michael, Gavin, thank you for the feedback.

    Gavin, unfortunately still no news on the T5 kerbside pick-up. I will keep you posted though on any new developments.

    You are right about the pre-pay. It’s due to a ‘bug’ in the system. However, the ‘pay later’ price for Avis Preferred members is actually the same price as the pre-pay price for non-Avis Preferred members. This means that you get the cheaper pre-pay price with the flexibility of ‘pay later’ (i.e. flexibility of no cancellation charges). :)

    Let me know if you have any more questions / feedback.

    Rob

  20. Gavin Says:

    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for the reply. My first experience with the Avis Preferred service was great!

    One quick question regarding the pricing though – I have just booked my next car hire for later this week, via the Avis website, providing my preferred details where required and the price quoted for “Pay now” was £25 cheaper than the “Pay later” price – based on your previous comment, am I correct in thinking that when I actually pay, I will be charged the cheaper rate?

    Thanks,
    Gavin

  21. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Gavin, thank you for the feedback on Avis Preferred and great to hear from you again!

    Pre-pay will almost always be the cheaper rate. They offer the same conclusions, it’s just that there is a little bit more flexibility with pay later prices as full payment isn’t taken until you complete the rental.

    Does this answer your question?

    Rob

  22. Gavin Says:

    Hi Rob,

    Many thanks for your reply. I am a little confused now!

    As an Avis Preferred member I can not select Pay Now, due to a “bug” in the system, so I must select “Pay Later”. This means Avis preferred members, who wish to use the Preferred service, must pay the higher price… why?

    Your previous commet (May 28th) indicated:
    You are right about the pre-pay. It’s due to a ‘bug’ in the system. However, the ‘pay later’ price for Avis Preferred members is actually the same price as the pre-pay price for non-Avis Preferred members.

    Why have a “Pre Pay” price shown on the Preferred members checkout page – if the service can not be used?

    Thanks & Regards,
    (Confused) Gavin

  23. Gavin Says:

    Hi,

    Not sure, but there may be another “bug”.

    I have just searched Avis UK, putting in the same dates, times & car group as my current rental booking, but WITHOUT the Preferred membership details and the price shown is:
    Pay Later – £162.00
    Pay Now – £137.01

    Using Avis UK, same dates, times and car group WITH Avis Preferred, the price quoted is:
    £137.01 (Only 1 option)

    For the booking I used Avisba website, same dates, times & car group, but the price shown is:
    Pay Later – £162.00
    Pay Now – £137.01

    So it appears the Avisba Preferred member deal is the same as a non avis preferred member…. is this a “bug”, or will I always pay more, when booking via Avisba?

    Thanks,

  24. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Gavin, sorry about the confusion! Right I think I get what you are asking for now! I presume you got to the prices on Avisba.com using your Avis Preferred membership number. Firstly, let me be clear that Avis Preferred members do not get a discount as standard. Therefore, they should be getting quoted the standard pay now and pay later prices. So if you got quoted pay later at £162 and pay now at £137 on both avis.co.uk (without Preferred) and Avisba.com (with Preferred) then this sounds about right.

    The one issue is with using Avis Preferred on the main avis.co.uk website (which is set up differently on the avisba.com website). When we launched it the pay now prices using Avis Preferred membership login was not pulling correctly. So, to ensure that Avis Preferred members continued to get this competitive price, a quick fix was to provide Avis Preferred members the pay now price but in fact offer it as ‘pay later’. Therefore, while it technically a ‘bug’, for now our Avis Preferred members are benefitting from getting the better pay now price with the flexibility of pay later (i.e. no cancellation fees, etc) if they book on avis.co.uk. That is why you only get one pay later option with Avis Preferred on avis.co.uk.

    Gavin please forgive me if, once again, I have misunderstood or not actually answered the question you’re asking. If I’m still way off the mark then it might be easier if I give you a call. If so, would you be able to let me know your contact info at comments@avis.co.uk.

    Rob

  25. Gavin Says:

    Hi Rob,

    Again, many thanks for the quick reply and taking the time to explain in detail. You have answered my question.

    I look forward to picking the car up tomorrow.

    Cheers,
    Gavin

  26. Neil Says:

    Our recent experience of the ’3-minute’ promice at Glasgow airport is not great. we didnt get our car in under three minutes because, we were told, that we were first time ‘preferred’ customers! So the promise didnt count as we had to sign an agreement. Admittedly, I also wanted my free upgrade (using a voucher) but despite the fact that we were a family of four with a good deal of luggage, the upgrade was simply from a 1.4 to 1.6 higher spec medium car. Not ideal for our needs.

  27. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Neil, I appreciate your feedback on the 3 minute promise. Clearly we could have done a better job in managing your expectations in this instance.

    You are correct that the 3 minute promise does not apply on the first rental as a master rental agreement needs to be signed. I have asked my colleague to make this information clear on our website so that our new Avis Preferred members know what to expect from their first rental.

    I appreciate any further feedback you might have.

    Rob

  28. Ben Says:

    I think that it would also be helpful (and I don’t know whether this is the correct place to raise this comment) to have a more “joined-up” approach internationally between Avis. As a Pref. member based in the UK I do the majority of my rental in the US. On the last 4 occasions (through LAX) it has taken a minimum of 1hr from arriving at the depot to getting the keys / driving away. They always apologise – but don’t seem able to fix the problem (European Pref customers don’t link in – apparently – to the LAX system). The last time (June), after getting off an 11hr flight, we queued at the Avis office for nearly 1hr45 mins – so were nearly 2hrs late leaving the airport (and had booked the car). There doesn’t seem to be any system to refund / apologise to Avis customers…it is a shame because in the UK (Mayfair Avis esp.) the system seems to work very well.

  29. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Ben, sorry for the belated response! I’ve been asking around trying to figure out why you have been experiencing problems with Avis Preferred at LAX but not yet had any luck. Would you be able to email me your Avis Preferred number to comments@avis.co.uk? That should help with our investigation.

    Rob

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