Fuel Up FrontAt Avis we’re all really excited by this blog launch. It is the logical outcome of the work we’ve been doing over the past couple of years. We want to understand what you expect and would like to see from a leading car rental company – and then, if it’s possible, give it to you. This was our thinking with Avis’s Inspired Change programme, which started in 2005. Over the summer we interviewed nearly 13,000 customers across Europe, and we must have read several novels-worth of feedback.

And the results?

You said you’d like more choice when you book, greater transparency (forms that are clear, and no hidden extras) and speed (I mean a quick and easy service, not necessarily faster cars). So various teams in Avis (from the UK and in Europe) started to draw up new services inspired by what you had told us.

You may have noticed some of the Inspired Changes launched last year (and we’ll probably be telling you more in future posts). We’ve had some very positive feedback about them, but that’s only the start. Now I want to listen to more of you!

Avis is trying to make a difference in our industry and I don’t believe we can do that without the help of our customers. We’ve always been a bit bolder and more pioneering than our competitors, and the fact we’re launching this blog is a reflection of that.

It opens up such opportunities for you and us to speak to each other in a different way. I’d like to be able to react to what you say, and interact too, so we can ask you about new services and ideas when we float them and discuss our car rental service with you. Up until now, it’s been difficult to have that kind of relationship between a large business and its customers. We value being in touch with you, and I look forward to hearing all that you have to say.

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62 Responses to “Help us change the way Avis works”

  1. Jessamy Says:

    I was wondering if Avis will start a Prestige Cars service across Europe? It would be nice to use them on our European holidays as well.

  2. Xavier Vallee- Head of Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Great question Jessamy. Yes, Avis offer such a service in most European countries. We’re aware that this information is not yet available on our website, except for the Avis Prestige service in the UK. Can I suggest that you contact our call centre on 0844 581 0147 for more information. You can check out the UK service at http://www.avisprestige.com.

    I’ve written a post today about Avis Prestige including information about some of the cars available in Europe. If you are interested, you can access the post at http://www.wetryharder.co.uk/?p=125.

  3. James May Says:

    I welcome Avis initiative in launching this blog as many major UK companies are very poor at listening to customers.

    My own Avis experience of hiring cars is very good. However I have been frustrated at resolving the non reward of BA miles for a hire in Australia in January.

    Unfortunately four emails to the Avis email address have not yielded a response. Does anyone have a contact at Avis to try to resolve this minor issue for me please?

  4. Eibhlin Payne- Head of Customer Support, Avis UK Says:

    James, I am concerned to hear that you have not had a response to your query as we have strict service standards in place. I apologise and will investigate the matter to understand why your query was not responded to. You can contact Avis via the ”Help & Contact Us” section on http://www.avis.co.uk and simply selecting the subject you need help with from the dropdown menu – you may even be able to find the answer to your question from our list of FAQs. If you don’t hear anything else within a few days, contact the customer care department directly on customer.service@avis.co.uk.

  5. James May Says:

    Thanks Eibhlin as your team has now sorted out my issue to my satisfaction

  6. Phil Gordon Says:

    All my experiences of hiring vehicles from Avis Pre and Post this incident have been faultless however in spite of addressing this issue in a recent Avis telephone survey, I’m some what surprised nothing as been done.
    May 24th 2007, I hired a vehicle from Avis Gatwick. On the 25th I was rear ended my another driver.
    As the vehicle on the surface did not look too badly I returned the vehicle on May 28th. I filled out the Incident report and faxed the paperwork to Avis Gatwick as I was in a hurry to get to the checking desk. According to Avis Gatwick an email was sent to AI and my details were sent the following day. According to AI they have just received notification of the incident. But have not received the full details. In the meantime I’m standing in the middle wandering who do I need to communicate with to get this issue resolved?

  7. Eibhlin Payne- Head of Customer Support, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Phil, we will contact you directly to give you an update on this. In normal circumstances, the best way to keep updated on the status of your damage claim is to contact our Avis Damage Team on 01253 842251.

  8. Phil Gordon Says:

    Eibhlin Payne, re: my email above, I’ve still received no response from Avis or AI in regards to the incident.
    Secondly I don’t understand why I should need to chase Avis or AI for an update surely this is part of the service.

    I believe there is a distinct lack of understanding in regards to providing a service and as such my next rental will be with your competitor…

    Perhaps this will:

    ” Help us change the way Avis works”

  9. Eibhlin Payne Says:

    Hi Phil

    Apologies, I’ve just picked this comment up now, I was away when you posted it. You’re right of course , you should be kept updated and I’ll work with our Damage team to improve the customer focus of the processes.. I know this matter is still ongoing , but trust that you are being kept informed of progress now

  10. Marco Malaigia Says:

    I picked up an AVIS car in the evening at Stansted Airport UK.I was told that the car had no damages, but I was adviced to check and report if I found any damages.
    I checked the car and all seemed OK. When I returned the car the AVIS manager found a small scratch in the front bumper (4-5 mm long and 2-3 mm wide).This little scratch could have been there from the start(you could hardly noticed it in daylight let alone in a dark and rainy evening.Since the manager held me responsable, I was charged 167.31 UK pounds !!
    I had no choice but to pay as I was going to lose my flight. I think this is plain robbery !!!
    Marco Malaigia

  11. Eibhlin Payne- Head of Customer Support, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Marco, if you could send me your rental agreement number to comments@avis.co.uk, I will take a look at this for you.


  12. Mo. Says:

    Hi Avis team,

    I’ve recently swapped over from using various different car rental provider to Avis, (my company has an Avis account) and so far I have no complaints. The preferred system works really well and the express check-in system is a dream.

    I generally rent from Avis 2-4 times a week and usually opt for C/D cars in Europe and the if the Select series in the UK.

    It would be great if Avis customers’ could be rewarded for their commitment and loyalty to Avis and recieve some kind of rebate when renting for private use. I know nothings for free, but maybe theres still scope to try harder on this one.

    Keep up the great work.

  13. Xavier Vallee - Head of Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Thanks for your comments. We’re glad to hear that the Preferred service is working for you. Loyalty is something that we are constantly reviewing so this is something that we will be looking at in the future.

  14. Cheryl Turner Says:

    I have had a dreadful ordeal with my Avis car rental. I booked an automatic car from Edinburgh airport. We drove from Edinburgh to Fort Augustus on our way to Portree and the Outer Hebrides. In preparation to leave Ft Augustus, we noticed the passenger rear tire was flat. The local tire shop did not have the right size, so we phoned the Avis roadside assistance. They would not bring us a tire because we were 33 miles from the Inverness Airport, and their limit was 30 miles. We were sent to Inverness to get the tire replaced. It is an hour’s drive in the wrong direction for us. At the tire shop, we were told they could not replace the tire because the rim was damaged on the INSIDE of the rim. We had then to go to Inverness Airport, a further 10 miles out of town, to get a new vehicle. They only had standard cars available. They suggested we try our luck in Edinburgh, even though we were on our way to Portree that day! We stopped to take a picture of Loch Ness, 19 miles away from Inverness airport, and noticed the tire was flat. We were able to convince Avis to send a tire out to us, but it had to come from Dingwall, north of Inverness. The tire change was completed at 5:30. We had started the whole process at 9:30 that morning, so lost the whole day. We arrived in Portree at 9:00, by not stopping at all along the way. To get an automatic car, we had to return to Inverness Airport before heading south to our next stop in England. At that time we were informed that we were being charged for both tire repairs, amounting to 271 pounds. There is no way that we could have seen any damage to the INSIDE rim of the car before we hired it, and since it was the busiest day of the year in Edinburgh the day we got the car, it was given to us on the fly, and I doubt the Avis team saw it either. In Inverness, the car came from Oban, and was turned around in less than a hour. We are being accused of getting a nail in the tire in the 20 miles we drove on paved roads. The fellow who changed the tire could find no reason for the leak. Do you think we have been treated fairly??

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

    Hi Cheryl, I am sorry to read that we did not deliver a satisfactory level of service for you. Would you be able to email me your rental agreement number to comments@avis.co.uk and we will investigate into what has happened.

    Many thanks,

  16. cheryl turner Says:

    Thank you for your concern. I will email you with the agreement number today. i apOlogise for the delay. as i aM on holiday, i have not always had internet access.

    Could I just add that i did contact your customer service people by phone. I was told not to call them until I had returned the car. since that would mean calling from the plane on the way home to Canada, i really did wonder what use customer service would be to me!

    as well, i should point ouT that the damage charge Avis intends to charge me changes every time i call. At one point, the Edinburgh office told me i owed more than 500 pounds for repairs. They could not tell me what these charges were for, assured me that it was not possible to supply the repair or parts invoices that my insurance company reqires, and were not certain at all that my final statement would incude this informarion. Needless to say, this has been a source Of worry for me on holiday.

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

    OK, thanks for the additional info Cheryl. As per our email correspondance I’ll get back to you on this.

  18. P. Valentin Says:

    Dear Sir
    After 1 month – I have no other choice than to start login to all places I can in order to share what has been for me the worst experience ever in renting a car.
    On Aug 25 2007 In Palma de Mallorca (Spain)(24 hours service) I did return the car at 11.00 pm, at the office there was 4 persons who were just leaving the office and they told me to just trow the keys within the box. For that reason the return of the car has been recorded as the following day 7:00 am. This lack of service ended up on me been charged 1 day too much.
    The worst comes when trying to get in touch with Spanish customer Service phone number…. many attempts my record is waiting 45 mn with no answer.
    When Finally I manage to get in touch with Avis offfice in the airport and get them confirmed this was a mistake – I have been confirmed I will get the relevant credit.
    After several mails and Faxes I am still waiting for the relevant credit nobody answers me. This is a disater
    Although the amount might not look huge Can you pls explain me why I need to suffer and incorrect billing and such humiliating treatment ?
    I feel I am being robbed !
    Can someone in Avis help and put back on track what should be a simple correction ?
    Thx & Rgds
    P. Valentin

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

    Hi P. Valentin, sorry we have not been able to deal with your query to your satisfaction. Could you email me your rental agreement number to comments@avis.co.uk and we’ll take a look at this for you.


  20. Xavier Vallee - Head of Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi P. Valentin,

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve forwarded your feedback to my counterpart in Spain. I’m sure that they will make sure that this type of simple mistakes don’t happen again.

    Our customer service in the UK are able to deal with all enquiries wherever your rental happened. Feel free to contact them directly next time.

  21. Mik Griffin Says:

    Hi. When I originally registered for an Online account, I made a spelling mistake with my email address. Therefore, I did not receive the welcome email containing my password. Now I can’t log in. If I try to reset my password, the new password still gets sent to the incorrect email address. I therefore contacted your support team who forwarded me to someone else, who in turn forwarded me to someone else. The only suggestion that anyone has come up with is that I should set a new account up with the correct email address. However, as soon as I enter my Avis Preferred number, the system informs me that I already have an online account and prompts me to log into that. However, I don’t know the password because when I originally registered for an online account, I made a spelling mistake with my email address. Therefore, I did not receive the welcome email containing my password. Now …… etc etc

    Can you help? How do I change my email address if I can’t log in?


    Mik Griffin

  22. Robert White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Mik, sorry we haven’t got back to you on this. I’ve just heard back from our IT Support team and they tell me that they have found a resolution for you and contacted you directly. Let me know if there is anything more I can do to help.


  23. Susan E. Masters Says:

    We have rented from Avis for the last four years at the Avis in the Sheraton on South Padre Island. I make my reservation over the phone at the national number. I confirm my reservation before we travel. All is OK.
    When we arrive to pick up the car each time I have a very upsetting conversation with with the employee on duty trying to tell me the total cost is more than my reservation.After 1/2 hour and his making calls he agrees that my reservation must be honored and prints out the necessary paper work.
    Two weeks later I arrive to return the car and go through the whole mess all over again because the now employee says I owe more money than my reservation states. 40 minutes later and she making calls and shaking her head even with the paper work that I show her from the pick-up fiasco , she finally says that is what I OWE.
    tHIS HAS HAPPENED FOR FOUR YEARS IN A ROW. Why is this confusion happening when I have a established rental agreement.
    I have no choice on the Island to go to another car agency because Avis is the only one. What is the problem?
    We have been going to South Padre for 20 years and use to rent a car in Harlingen and Never had one problem.
    How do we solve this an avoid such dislike to deal with this particular Avis site?

  24. Michael Bonte Says:

    I just would like to see that that Avis reps ask you in what kind of currency you want to be charged.
    One has the option to be charged in local currency or the currency in which your credit card is charged. This option is written in the rental agreement and even says: I was offered to be charged in local currency etc.
    If one opts for one’s home ( £ ) currency. The dynamic currency system kicks in which means a additional 3% commission on top of whole amount which is exchanged at the end of the rental abroad.
    It is much better to opt for local currency as there are no additional exchange charges.
    I have never been asked by Avis reps which currency I prefer.
    Ok I understand this is a nice additional money maker for Avis but……….

  25. Robert White - Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Susan

    Thank you for your comment, we are sorry to hear you did not receive the level of service you expect from us.
    Please could you email us at comments@avis.co.uk with your rental agreement details and we will look into this for you and pass on you comments to the relevant people.


  26. Xavier Vallée, Head of Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hello Michael,

    Our Spanish team has informed us that customers are offered the choice of billing currency. Many select to be billed in the currency of their country of residence, which is what 99% of our customers want. You can always ask to be charged in the local currency if you believe that you can get a better deal from your credit card company.


  27. Peter French Says:

    I was wondering when Avis will instigate a check of a vehicles brakes prior to hire. I just hired a vehicle and only travelled 114 miles before the rear brakes failed. The Avis manager informs me that it is not routine to check brakes and it is not documented either.

    Is this the case ?

  28. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Peter, of course the safety of our customers is absolutely paramount.

    In the UK our pre-rental preparation includes ensuring that brake fluid is kept to the max. Our cars are also moved around during preparation so the breaks will naturally be tested that way. Finally, most of our cars are less than 6 months old so there should not be a need to change the break pads/discs. Of course, even with the newest cars available they may occasionally suffer these kind of faults but hopefully, by operating as new fleet as possibe, these faults will be kept to a minimum.

    I’d be interested in any further thoughts you might have on this.

  29. Peter French Says:

    Dear Mr White, I have been thoroughly disappointed by the responses I have received from Avis who seem unsympathetic to a ruined vacation caused by Avis providing a vehicle in an unroadworthy condition which is contrary to your terms and conditions. I will send you copies of all correspondence if you would like to hear the sorry tale. The fact is that the car had worn out brakes and had only covered 14000miles. Without any suitable alternative transport offered, we had to drive it back from Belgium without proper functioning rear brakes. Not the sort of service I expect from Avis or any major hire company.

  30. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Peter, I understand your query has been referred to Peter Greenough (our Head of Customer Support) and the senior team. They will be in touch with you shortly to discuss the case in more detail

  31. Isabel Says:

    as a “freqent renter” I would like to see more personalized service from Avis. I have no objection with Avis not just collecting data about me but using it to provide a service suited to my preferences and needs. For example regarding car choice. I book the same car group since years but unless I make the booking over the phone to specify “no French car” I almost certainly have a Peugeot reserved for me ;-)

  32. Isabel Says:

    My experience with Avis is very good unless something goes wrong! In numerous cases I had the full damage charge applied straight away , and despite my asking for a real estimate on – usually small scratches – I never heard back! The same goes for when something is not correct on the bill, I find getting no response to my mailed enquiry, and the latest one is more than 4 weeks old without having had any reply. I understand it is easy to just charge the customer’s creditcard and move on. But you should be more supportive and responsive if something needs correction!

  33. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    This all great feedback Isabel!

    I agree with your second comment. In the unfortunate circumstance when your car is damaged I believe our processes could be better. Peter, our Head of Customer Support and responsible for driving service excellence, tells me that there is a project tasked with addressing this so hopefully we’ll see an improvement going forward.

    With regards to your first comment, I agree it would fantastic to be able to provide this level of service. Unfortunately, providing the opportunity to guarantee a make/model is a very difficult promise to deliver on, even if it was offered to Preferred members only. The issue is trying to ensure that a booked car is in the right place at the right time for the right customer. That is a lot harder than it sounds! This promise is a little more manageable if you restrict it to select models at select locations… hence the Select Series!

  34. Alex Says:

    My experience with Avis has generally been good. However, as with Isabel’s experience it seems that Avis need to improve their service when something goes wrong. I sent a complaint to customer.service@avis.co.uk on 9th September 2007 and I have yet to receive a reply, not even an acknowledgement of receipt.

  35. Stephen Spiers - Customer Service, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Alex,

    Would you be able to email us your rental agreement number to comments@avis.co.uk and we will look into this for you so we can give you an update.


  36. Isabel Says:

    Could we (the customers) help Peter in his project to improve the process “when things go wrong”? I’d be happy to do so as (for frequent Avis renters) this should be of mutual interest anyway. let us know!

  37. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Isabel, thank you for such a fantastic offer! Having a closed “working group” of customers we can bounce ideas off and test concepts with, is something we’ve often thought about. If we are developing a product or service where we thought this kind of feedback would add value then we’ll definitely be in touch.

    In the meantime this blog is the perfect platform to keep us informed on what we’re doing well, where we are going wrong and what we could do to improve. All the feedback you’ve given on the blog so far has been invaluable so please keep in touch!

  38. Neville Says:

    Just tried a 22 day Medium booking from Edinburgh. Quote £998. Tried through special offer and got £452. That’s great, but seems to be an extreme discount or a too high normal? Will we always have to explore your site to get the best deal?

  39. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Neville, I got a quote for a 22 day rental at Edinburgh Airport and Edinburgh city location a Medium: Compact car came to between £484 and £521 depending on the engine size. It might be something to do with the dates you tried. Would you be able to email at comments@avis.co.uk with this information and I’ll take a look into it.


  40. larry falconer Says:

    I have just returned from a holday in Paphos,Cyprus.
    I had to exchange my car on the last day due to a wheel bearing failure.
    This was dealt with within an hour by your agent Jane Davies
    from your LATCHI OFFICE.
    At approx 10.am on the day of departure i realised i had left my reading glasses in the car now at Latchi.
    One telephone call and Jane was in her car to meet me as near to half way as possible.
    This we did and i was in time for my flight home.
    I can’t praise her enough as to the way she addressed my problem and all with a smile.
    I hope you are able to pass on my comments to Jane Davies please.

  41. Charles Hopkinson-Woolley Says:

    I sent the following email on 22nd January after an unhappy experience at Zurich airport:

    I have been an Avis Preferred member for about two and a half years and have been a pretty good customer for you. I recently reserved a Group D “Ford Mondeo” type car to be hired from Zurich airport last Thursday. When I got to the Avis desk I was told that I had been “upgraded” to a Touran. I was unhappy that having reserved a saloon I was being offered a people carrier, and worse, that this was being described as an upgrade. I asked if anything else was available, and was told that there was a BMW, but that I would have to pay more for it. I explained that I had reserved a saloon, and that I was not happy to drive a people carrier, and was told that I could have a saloon if I waited for “five minutes”. Fifteen minutes later there was still no sign of the car, so I rented from [a competitor] instead. I handed my Wizard card over to your staff in Zurich, who clearly were not at all interested in the fact that I was unhappy with my experience.

    I will be moving my business to [a competitor] in future. In the meantime may I suggest that you drop your slogan “We try harder” as your arrogant and unhelpful staff clearly have no idea what this means.

    8 days later i had the following reply from [one of your customer support agents]:
    From: [customer support agent]
    To: Hopkinson-Woolley, Charles
    Sent: Wed Jan 30 13:32:34 2008
    Subject: Case reference

    Dear Mr Hopkinson-Woolley,

    Thank you for your email.

    Firstly, I would like to assure you that your comments have been taken very seriously. It is important to Avis to constantly review our customer’s satisfaction to ensure that high standards of performance are met by our staff.

    I am extremely sorry that you felt our members of staff did not provide the levels of professionalism and customer care that you would expect when renting from us and hope that you will accept my most sincere apologies.
    With reference to the vehicle reserved for this occasion, I regret to inform you that without more information I was unable to trace your booking. However, please kindly note that the fast movement of our fleet of cars, and the last minute changes many customers make to their plans, mean we can never be absolutely certain a specific make /model will be available when you arrive.
    Driving a particular car, can be a great pleasure, we know, and we certainly try to provide each and every one of our customers with the type of car that they want, but we can never guarantee it.
    I appreciate the inconvenience and frustration caused, and would like to offer my most sincere apologies. I do hope that we soon will have the opportunity to restore your faith in Avis.
    Yours sincerely,
    Customer Service Advisor
    Avis Rent a Car

    I replied as follows:
    Dear [customer support agent],
    Thank you for your mail.
    1) I didn’t want a specific model – I just wanted a group D saloon, and instead was offered a van. When it was clear that I was unhappy I think more should have been done by your staff to remedy the situation. Asking me to pay more for another vehicle was not a sensible idea – that suggested some sort of con trick. After all, if a hotel has overbooked standard rooms some lucky customers get upgraded to a suite, and they are not asked to pay for the privilege. On the last 5 or 6 occasions that I have rented a car, not once have I been given the group of car that I requested. For example in November I specified a Group C, but was given a Dodge Nitro instead. I don’t like driving SUVs, but was told no other vehicle was available. If the business I work for behaved in this way we would lose all our customers in days.
    2) It doesn’t say much for Avis that despite the fact that you have my name you can’t track down my booking. Surely you could have looked up my Wizard number and then traced it that way, or maybe you couldn’t be bothered……
    3) You will not have the opportunity to restore my faith in Avis – I will be using [a competitor] instead, and will advise my colleagues to do the same.
    Charles HW

    Perhaps I should not be surprised that I have heard nothing further from [customer support agent]. I have since made three hires from other companies, and in each case have been given the type of vehicle that I reserved, which makes my experience with Avis even more hard to accept. I have just received an email from you which reminded me that I had heard nothing more from [customer support agent]. Given that you clearly no longer have any interest in my business please could you remove me from your mailing list.

  42. Charles Hopkinson-Woolley Says:

    Sorry – as I pushed submit for my comment a minute ago I realised that I had originally been plannning to submit this under my home email address (charleshwoolley@btinternet.com), but then when I added the comment about deletion from the mailing list I remembered that you have my office email on your list. My office email address (and the one I would like deleted from your databse) is chwoolley@deephavenfunds.com.

    Many thanks, and apologies for the confusion.

  43. Stephen Spiers - Customer Service, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Charles,

    I’m sorry to hear about your experience at Zurich airport. I hope you will allow me to investigate and contact you directly with my findings to try and restore your faith in Avis.



  44. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Larry, thanks for the positive feedback. I’ll pass it on to the team in Cyprus!


  45. Jon Lambert Says:

    Over the past week I have been trying to pre-book/pre-pay via your website. Everytime I try to checkout I get informed that you are having “Technical difficulties”…..for a WEEK!!!!

    Maybe it is time for me to rent from one of your competitors.


  46. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Jon, I apologise for any frustration you’ve experienced with the website. We really don’t want you to go to one of our competitors! Any additional information you can provide to help us investigate this would be helpful (e.g. where in the booking did this occur, details of the booking you were trying to make, etc)? If you are able to provide this then please email me at comments@avis.co.uk.

    In the meantime I’ve asked our reservation team to get in touch and assist you with this booking.


  47. Gareth Holroyd Says:

    I have just received a damage bill for £202 for a car hired in Mahon. I am furious.
    The car had lots of unmarked damage and I pointed out 6 scratches / marks before taking it. On return the checker got down on his hands and knees and found a small 2p sized dent on the underside of the sill, which you cannot see when standing up. I did not cause this dent, and the fact it was not marked does not mean it was not there as there was so much other unmarked damage. But then to get a £200 bill is unbelievable, that is more than the rental. What can I do about this?

  48. Stephen Spiers - Customer Service, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Gareth,

    Could you send me details of your rental to comments@avis.co.uk and I will investigate for you.



  49. Ian Ambrose Says:

    The following is a copy of a message that I sent to your customer services on 13 Oct 08.

    “On 21 Sep 08, the AA hired a car from Dover to my home near Aylesbury on my behalf as part of an emergency assistance. During the pick up at Dover, your assistant was unable to clear a residual charge on the invoice. He eventually decided that as the AA were operating on behalf of Ford for a vehicle warranty claim, that the amount would be settled by them.

    When I received your invoice, I found that a total of ₤69.27 for a prepaid fuel option had been debited to my credit card account. I rang your customer services number on 3 Oct 08 and explained that it was unlikely that the AA would have ordered this on my behalf and that I would not have asked for it as I was only going 120 miles and paying nearly ₤70 would not have made sense when the actual refill cost was ₤18.32.

    Your telephone assistant was not able to find any refuel record for the car, but said that she would have to check with the collecting office in Luton to check if any fuel had been added and would come back to me. There has been no return contact.

    Whilst not surprised by what seems to be a universal erosion in customer service, I continue to be disappointed. So, for attempt number 2, I would be obliged if you would correct your error and reimburse the full amount to my credit card without further delay.”

    Avis customer services have now failed to provide a promised response on 2 occasions. Here is your third opportunity. I do not know whether the incorrect charge is due to some hidden policy or administrative error. In any case, I will continue to escalate the complaint without delay as far as necessary to reach a satisfactory resolution. No apologies please, action only.

    Ian Ambrose

  50. Stephen Spiers - Avis UK Customer Services Says:


    I am currently checking your case with Customer Services and will respond to you directly.



  51. Alan Hill Says:

    I have been trying for the last week to sign my company up as an Avis corporate account.First off I tried phoning.Not a good start ,the telephone number on the website is wrong.Phoned the correct number and got through to someone who couldn’t help me but said that he would ask someone to phone back.Received no call.Submitted an Avis Business Solutions Enquiry form,twice and received no call.Phoned again.No reply from option 3 for New Business.Left message,no response.At the fifth time of trying got through to someone by phone.I find all this unbelievable.By contrast got straight through to Hertz and they respond within an hour. Then found that you don’t offer what I want – an agreement which can be used by both UK and US based staff.
    I’d appreciate your comments.

    Re submit as appears to have disappaered

  52. Stephen Spiers - Avis UK Customer Support Says:

    Hi Alan,

    I’m sorry about the service you’ve received so far and I’ll address these issues with the sales department. I’d love to be able to answer your questions but not being a salesperson, I can’t.

    However, if you want to send your details through to comments@avis.co.uk including your contact details and requirements, I can pass your information to a sales manager, so they can contact you and see if we can arrange something.


  53. kelvin whitfield Says:

    I’ve just had a 15 minute wait/conversation with your customer services department. I had to call as you ‘mistakenly’ sent me a corrected invoice on a hire agreement from two years ago!!!!! Apart from that what really hacked me off is that calls your customer service number are charged at premium rate….so YOUR mistake has cost ME money. How can a so called ‘customer service department’ therefore Avis, justify charging their customers a premium rate to contact them……it’s not rocket science…’customer service’ and premium rate charges do not go hand in hand. Love to hear your justification and it would be nice for me to be reimbursed for the call I had to make because of your foul-up. I will not us Avis again unless this matter is resolved….and I’ll let everyone else I know about this disgusting element of your so called customer service. So you can check this out the agreement in question was [RA number] and my call started on 0870 6086363 at about 10.25am today. I look forward to hearing from you with your explanantion ASAP.

  54. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Kelvin, I am disappointed to read about this and I apologise for your frustrations so far. I have been in touch with the Customer Service Manager about this and someone will be in touch soon.


  55. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Kelvin, I have an update for you regarding the customer service number. The number has now been changed to 0844 544 6666 and this will be promoted on avis.co.uk. This is a national rate number.


  56. David Reid Says:

    I’m not at all surprised at seeing frequent references to emails being ignored by Avis. I too find this is a recurring problem with them, and indeed last week emailed the reservations team with no sucess!

    I have just emailed customer services, but I don’t hold out much hope of getting a response!

  57. David Reid Says:

    I eat my words, despite the fact that the reservations team didn’t respond, once I emailed customer service I received a reply by return!

  58. Chris Cox- Reservations, Avis Says:

    Hi David,

    I’m sorry that you feel that Avis ignores emails but I can assure you that this is not the case.

    I have passed your comments on to the Team managers for feedback so they can review and identify where we might be able to improve the turnaround time in responding.

    In the meantime, I have your original query and will follow up with the team to ensure this is responded to as quickly as possible.


  59. Nina Says:


    We rented a car from Avis Switzerland in September.

    During our trip one of the tires burst while we were driving slowly in a pumpy road. We had our one month old baby in the car, and I found it extremely distressing that the tire could burst under such conditions. However, that was only the beginning of the distress caused by our car rental from Avis. When we returned the car, we were told that there was unlikely to be any extra cost, which we were stupid enough to believe. Now I know that we should have taken pictures of the car from all sides and of the burst tire, however since we took all the additional insurances to avoid any unexpected costs we thought the burst tire would not cost much anyway. We also requested Avis personel to check the car with us when we took the car and when we returned it, however they did not take the time to do it with us, which we thought was very strange but of course we could not force them to it.

    When our next visa bill came we noticed that Avis had taken over double the amount we had signed for from our account. When we contacted them we were told that they would possibly return some of the money after they prepare the car. We find Avis Switzerland’s way of dealing with customers is totally arbitrary and we consider that the extra money Avis took from our account was unlawful. We have not received any explanation where Avis Switzerland derived the right to take undefined amounts of money from our bank account. We have informed our bank about this and are planning to make a police report.

    Thank you for any comments!

  60. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Nina, I am very sorry to read that you are disappointed with your experience with us. I will forward this feedback to the team in Switzerland (if you could email your rental agreement number to comments@avis.co.uk that would help so they can see what rental we are referring to).


  61. Richard Lightfoot Says:

    As an ex Avis employee it does not come as any surprise about the bad feedback about Avis.
    Managers who did not care about their staff,only concern was about charging for the damage to cars even a minor scratch,and telling sales staff to sell insurance at all costs,so they could receive large bonuses.No one cared about the garage staff who had to deal with the hundred or so cars returning with only four staff to turn the cars around and get them back on the ready line.No bonus for us And now those of who did the job are told the pension situation is in trouble.I would bet my pension that the likes of [Ex Managing Director] and [Ex Regional Mangager] pensions are set in clay!!)
    Get with it AVIS your share price must be teling you something!!.Doubt if this will be get onto your website

    Richard Lightfoot

  62. Vicki Wilson - Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Richard,

    I am sorry to hear that you reflect on your time at Avis unfavourably.

    While I can appreciate that you had misgivings about your own manager (I can empathise with that – we’ve all been there at some point in your career!), I do not think this is a fair reflection of the managers I know in the business. Yes our station staff are targeted on selling products at the rental counter (e.g. excess waivers and GPS) but they are measured on their customer satisfaction rating as well. In fact, I’ve always had a lot of respect for just how passionate our people are about taking care of their customers and their staff. Yes the comments on the blog do prove that we don’t get it right every time but we will always endeavour to put it right when we don’t and look at how we can make things better going forward.

    It would not be appropriate for me to comment on your pension situation and this is not the forum to do so but if you contact our Payroll team at our head office (the telephone number here is 01344 42644) I am sure someone would be happy to discuss this with you.


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