NBC10 Boston Responds: Rental Reversal

A letter recently arrived that had Michael Hand thinking about his trip to Florida last year.

“Delightful trip,” said Hand. “Wonderful time with both my sister and my old friend and the car worked fine.”

The car was a rental from Avis. Michael picked it up in Orlando last November. He says it performed nicely during his trip and he returned it in what he considered to be good condition before flying home. He says he didn’t think about it again, until he got the letter.

“The letter arrived about seven weeks after I had gotten home and said that Avis had discovered that I had broken the windshield of the car and that they had decided to charge me $159 for a windshield replacement, plus an administrative service fee for $25,” said Hand.

A $184 charge had been made to his credit card that Avis had on file, but Michael says the windshield wasn’t cracked when he used the car.

“I called Avis and was told they didn’t have any photos of the damage before or after,” said Hand. “Their evidence that the window was broken was that they had taken the car out of service for a couple of days to have the window repaired.”

Michael tried to get an Avis supervisor on the phone to help him sort this out.

“I was told that would take a few days,” said Hand. “A few days passed and then a few weeks, and no word from the supervisor.”

Michael contacted NBC10 Boston Responds for help. We reached out to Avis and within a day, a representative called to tell Michael he was refunding his money.

Avis tells NBC10 Boston: “We pride ourselves on delivering an excellent level of customer service, and regret that on this occasion there was a breakdown in the handling of this matter. We apologize to Mr. Hand and we refunded the damage charge in full.”

Michael got a $184 credit.

“I’m fairly sure nothing would have happened without you. I appreciate it greatly,” said Hand. “I hope I won’t need to call again, but I know who to call if anything goes wrong.”

When picking up and returning a rental car, ask an employee to inspect the vehicle, and insist on written confirmation that there is no damage. Always take pictures - inside and out - to document the condition of the car before and after your rental, and get a picture of the license plate as well.

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