This has been my first negative experience with Avis, having used them for a number of years but I shall never use them again. I wish I had read others' reviews on this page before deciding to hire with them, as it seems that what I experienced is common practice with this company.
I hired a car for our family holiday in Devon. We collected the car from the Plymouth depot, and the car handover was socially distanced. There was only 1 employee on duty who didn't leave the office. I was handed the key, told where to find the car and left to get on with it. I assumed at the time that the lack of car inspection, signing forms etc was because of COVID-19 but now I think it's part of a scam. Even if we had inspected the car I doubt any of us would have thought to open the centre glovebox.
On the next morning I noticed that the glovebox was open and the closure tab had come out so it couldn't be shut again. On looking at it, it was obvious that someone had previously glued it in place.
When we dropped the car back, there were this time 2 on duty, one of whom immediately asked if I wanted a taxi and the other inspected the vehicle and told me that I would be charged for damaging the glovebox. I explained and pointed out the glue, but was told that if the damage had been pre-existing it would have been logged. I asked to see the log as I hadn't been shown any vehicle condition forms, but was told that he would not discuss damage with me but would log that I disputed liability. At that point the taxi arrived to take us to the station.
On arrival at the station I opened emails to write to customer service and saw that Avis had charged £226 for the damage and that the employee who said he would log that I disputed liability had signed the form on my behalf saying that I accepted liability and agreed to the charge! This was within 20 minutes.
Since then, I have raised this issue twice with customer service and have only received an automated email each time saying that they will look into it and get back within 15 days. I have also asked for the check-out vehicle condition forms and received nothing. I am now escalating this. Avis did not follow any procedure other than to take my money and I feel as though I have been tricked and robbed.
At best, they have failed to notice and record previous damage and are now holding me liable; at worst they have taken the opportunity to take more money from me, when they have not followed procedure in checking the car previously or when I took it out.