Fun with rental cars

The family and I had an awesome trip to Chicago this summer. Atypically, we decided that renting a car for the trip to the airport would be better than taking our car and paying for it to sit in the airport parking lot for a week. So, I rented a car from Avis.

That did not go well. I picked up the vehicle the day of our trip. I had reserved a full-sized car, but when I got to the local Avis counter, I was told that they didn’t have the vehicle that I had reserved. They would substitute an SUV. The man behind the desk acknowledged that gas would be more expensive in this vehicle versus the one that I had reserved, so he was going to indicate in the system that the vehicle was three-fourths full, though it was actually totally full. So, when I returned it, I wouldn’t need to gas it all the way up to full. Such a deal!

That was the high point of my experience with Avis regarding this rental.

See my letter to Avis below to learn more:

To whom it may concern,

I write in response to your letter of July 16, 2019

The facts of my rental experience that you reference in the letter are these:
1) I reserved a vehicle of a different class than that which was assigned to me. Why this substitution was made, I do not know.
2) While I was invited to expect the exterior of the vehicle prior to accepting it, no mention was made of investigating the state of the tires, nor am I an expert who could likely identify a failing tire
3) The vehicle experienced a blow-out on Highway 99. There was no contact with other vehicles or items on the road. The tire simply failed. No other vehicles in front of me or behind me experienced any road-related issues.
4) When I spoke to the individual at the Avis counter over the phone once I had managed to pull safely off the road, he indicated that the vehicle had just come back from an extended rental, implying that it might have experienced issues or had some existing issue that they had not taken the time to investigate before handing it over to me.
5) The vehicle had no spare tire. Had there been a spare, I might have changed the tire and been able to deliver the vehicle as planned.
6) During my emergency phone call with Avis’ “Roadside Assistance” agent, I was informed that I had to get the vehicle off of the highway before they would send any assistance. This required me, on your failed tire, to navigate across a merging highway, endangering the lives of my family and a family friend, as well as those merging, since the safest speed I could attain was approximately 10 miles per hour.
7) Avis’ “Roadside Assistance” was much more concerned about whether I had paid for your insurance than in actually resolving the issue and providing actual assistance.
8) Ultimately I was told that someone could be there in “2-3 hours.” This was on a day where temperatures were in excess of 100 degrees.
9) Your vehicle, which I had hired for a short drive to the Sacramento airport, failed. I had to seek my own transport to the airport, barely able to make it prior to my flights’ departure.

As a result, I will not be paying for any costs you incurred from the failure of your vehicle.
Furthermore, since your vehicle failed and was unable to deliver me to my destination, I demand that you refund all charges.
Additionally, I incurred $64.00 in Uber costs for picking up myself, my family and our family friend by the roadside where we left stranded by your failed vehicle and your “Roadside Assistance.” Please also reimburse me for that cost that I only incurred due to your failed vehicle.

If you do attempt to process the charge as stated in your letter, I will instruct my credit card company to reverse the charge.
I await your apology and a check covering the outrageous costs I incurred due to your inability to provide a safe, functioning vehicle.

Sincerely,
et cetera

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