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“Avis Shepherd's Bush Westfield, London--Appalling”

Written on: 18/05/2013

Avis sent me incomplete location details, so it took us 45 minutes to find the branch in the vast underground car park of Westfield Shopping Centre. I tried to phone, but the branch never answered even after I waited for 15 minutes, constantly being told that I was "next in the queue." There was no outside signage, and the branch was only visible after I found it inside one of the many lift lobbies. The counter clerk told me a silly story about the mall not allowing signage, even though other businesses operating in the car park had large signs. I had asked for a petrol sedan, and I checked with the counter clerk who assured me the vehicle was a sedan. He even showed me a damage diagram for a sedan. Perhaps Avis staff don't know the difference. What we found in the car park was a diesel wagon. We were already an hour late, so we took it. The vehicle was badly maintained and had an automatic transmission problem that caused it to almost stall and then lurch forward after starting from stop (such as at traffic lights). I contacted Avis from our first stop and was told they were unable to replace the vehicle in our location. When I filled the vehicle for the first time, the needle on the gauge went about a quarter past its position at the time of pick-up. In fact, Avis had supplied the vehicle only 75% full. The needle was positioned over the little fuel pump icon, leading me to think that was the full mark. Avis reimbursed the difference when I returned the vehicle, but I wonder how many people haven't noticed that little "error."

Avis have acknowledged their shortcomings and sent me an upgrade voucher by way of apology. The only upgrade I'll take is to Hertz or Budget or a local rent-a-dent. Anything but Avis. And the same goes for Peugeot, who made the wretched wagon.

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