Written on: 07/07/2013
I hired a Budget/Avis rental car via Expedia for the period of 14.-17.6. to be picked up at Berlin Schoenefeld.
At Schoenefeld Budget is currently being managed by Avis car rental, who dealt with me.
On arrival, me and my two friends, who are witnesses to everything, had to wait at the counter for a while, because no car was immediately available. We were asked to take out extra insurance, but as I rarely ever have a problem we declined.
When we were finally asked to make our way to the car, a young man only briefly came out of his office to hand us the keys.
He never checked the state of the car with us. Even when I went back to ask for some explanation about the handbrake system, he only gave some explanations from the distance, but never bothered to come back to the car.
The three of us (me, Dr Caranza and Mr Foulk) looked at the car ourselves. We noted a small scratch at the back of the car, but assumed the company was aware of this. Having rented cars in other locations where the car hire companies were not worried about handing cars to me with far more damage, we assumed that this small mark was irrelevant.
As we already had waited a long time we went on to enjoy our weekend.
When we returned the car on Monday in exactly the same condition as we received it, the Avis man on receiving the car immediately went to the back, pointed to the small scratch and said that this was our fault and that he was charging us for a replacement bumper.
We all protested and assured him that we are all witness to the fact that this damage already had been present when we got the car, but he did not accept it.
I went into the main Avis office, but also got no help.
I filled in an "accident form" stating that we had NO accident and refused to sign his print out bill.
Nevertheless, when I phone Lloyds on Monday, I was told that the transaction already had been processed.
I guess, many people have already paid for this scratch...
My two friends are witness to that.
Me and Dr Caranza have both written to Budget Customer Service explaining the whole thing also. I have phone many times, but have not had any satisfactory answer as yet.
They took my money and ignore me!
Speaking to my plumber, who had the same experience with Avis in Amsterdam and another friend in the USA also! Looking at the internet, apparently this is common.