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Written by Aaron Brigatti  
Tuesday, 28 June 2011

When we went to see our good uni-mate in Tampa, Florida, we took the option of a Hire Car via Avis. All was good, and just prior to completing the rental request, I signed up to their "Avis Preferred" loyalty scheme, which allows you to 'set' some standard preferences. I didn't realise that by setting this booking settings, these become "activated" during a rental booking as extras.

Anyway, during the reservation, this wasn't clear, and actually was not picked up on the original booking. As I was a BA Executive Club member (their FFP) they supported a "free additional driver" application, which I duly accepted when I picked-up the keys in Tampa. However, this and the other "optional" (turn-default) extras became listed on my booking as firmed-up extras.

The rep giving me the keys didn't make this clear at all, so the only time I noticed it was when we deposited our keys and I was given a receipt confirming "pre-paid" charges and then the shock news that added charges were incurred.

Upon my return, I contacted Avis to question this, as they would have to contact Avis Tampa, they would respond within 15 days. I received a voicemail a couple of weeks latter which simply stated "all charges were correct, no refund was due". No contact number was left, nothing! WTF?

I therefore wrong a letter addressed to the Complaints department, demanding that a more effective review should be carried out and requested the £188 refund to be honoured in full. They finally responded, accepting that the 'preferences' should have been discussed by the rep at Tampa before allowing me to sign the declaration, as well as the erroneous "additional driver" charge. In conclusion, they would honour the full refund of £190.

Yes perservance does work!

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