Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The customer unfriendly Avis e-toll convenience fee

I rented a car for a week from Avis last month and drove to San Francisco after a few days in the Eastern Sierra. When I picked up the car, I asked about driving over the Golden Gate Bridge because I had not done that since they removed all of the toll booths and I wasn't sure how it was going to work with a rental car. The rental agent told me that it was automated and the box on the windshield would bill my credit card directly. No mention of any fees and no fees for that box were listed as options when I made the reservation.

So on the fourth day of my trip, I drove over the Golden Gate Bridge. I wasn't happy with the photos I got that evening, so I went back the next night and took some more pictures, then drove over the bridge, back into San Francisco again. Seven dollars for each trip seemed expensive, but at least I wasn't doing it every day. I got back home in a couple of days and returned the rental car. Everything seemed fine.

A month later, I got the receipt for my bridge toll charges. As expected, each trip over the bridge cost $7.00. Not expected was the $16.75 convenience fee added by Avis for the use of their transponder or whatever the box is that they have mounted on the windshield. I was shocked by the amount and also the way it is calculated. If you use the box on any day during your rental, you are charged $3.95 per day retroactively back to the start of your trip! That is some kind of money-making scheme that someone came up with. The maximum charge is $16.75. So if you rented a car for a week and on the last day, on your way to return it, you used their device to pay a toll, you would be billed $16.75 for the use of the device for that one time.

I contacted Avis and asked for a refund, but instead I was told that it was in the contract and there would be no refund. It may have been in the contract, but I didn't see it and no one mentioned it even though I asked about it at the time of the rental. My experiences with Avis had been good until this one, but this method of squeezing more money out of the customer and then pretending that the terms of use should have been clear is enough to end my business with Avis. I don't rent cars frequently, but when I do, they won't be from Avis. In fact, I had another Avis car reserved for today, but I have cancelled it and switched to Enterprise.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Lack of posts

I haven't been active on this blog for a couple of months. It seems neglected. Maybe I should turn it into a photoblog or do something to get it going again.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

UCLA -- too much defense for Xavier

I was hoping Xavier could hang in there with UCLA but it's not gonna happen. Too much talent and too much defense for UCLA is going to make it a blowout. Xavier just doesn't have the horses.