If You’re Blind Don’t Rent A Car From Avis!

Yes, I do realize how funny the title to this blog is, but hey, I am the Top Gaar Blind Drifting Champion, so if I can drift, why not rent a car. All kidding aside though, if you have a guide dog DO NOT rent a car from Avis. In December, Laugh For Sight expanded to South Beach, and my co-founder, Scott Wartham and I were down there for the month, so we needed to rent a car for a few days. We were very happy when Avis quoted us $149 for five days for a car that we could pick up at Miami International Airport, and return in South Beach without having to pay a drop off fee. Afterall, Laugh For Sight is a tiny not-for-profit, and we need to keep expenses to a minimum. We were in a hurry when we got to Miami International Airport, as we had to get up to my parents house quickly, as Nash and I were filming an interview for CBS Miami, so to speed things up, I waited outside with Nash. Hey, it wasn’t NYC, it was Miami in December so it was quite pleasant outside. Well, it ends up inside, the woman at the rental counter saw Nash and me, and kept asking Scott about the dog. He explained it was a guide dog. She kept going on and on about how cute he is, and how she has to pet him. Scott explained that we were in a hurry, and that you can’t pet a working dog. Well, we get the keys to the car, and I had to go inside to get to the elevator, and as we are headed to the car, the Avis employee comes out from behing the counter, stops us, and starts petting Nash. I explained we were in a hurry, and please don’t pet my guide dog. She didn’t listen. Great listening skills and professionalism your employees have Avis. Do they have to go through training to learn to ignore what customers are telling them, or do you just hire the most ignorant people you can find? Yeah, it is 2011, and the gloves are coming off. Time to tell the truth about certain things that have been happening. Believe it or not, but it is not all smiles and laughs for a blind comedian! Well, at least the car worked, and we had it for five days, no incidents, and most importantly Nash was very comfy in it. Scott cleaned out the Nash hair before we headed to South Beach to return the car. We pull into the Avis drop off, and the first words that come out of the employees mouth are, “you didn’t rent this car here, there is a drop off fee!” We explain that before we even rented the car we asked about dropping it off in a different location. Then the guy sees Nash, and starts laughing and without even looking at the car says, “oh, and you will have to pay the detail fee, or you can take it to be detailed!” He says this without even looking to see how clean the car was. The Avis employee then went over to another employee and started laughing with him and speaking in Spanish. Sidebar, the only good thing to come out of this, is I am now trying to finally learn Spanish. My first learned word? Perro dog. My first phrase I learned, estoy ciego, I am blind, and my first sentence Mi es perro un perro servicio, My dog is a service dog. I may be a little off on that last one, but I am just starting out. Anyway, back to our experience with Avis. Scott headed inside to turn in the keys and pay the bill, which was supposed to be $149, and of course with all the screwing of us by Avis came out to be $369! We didn’t have time to sit there and argue with the Avis employee who wasn’t accountable or helpful in the least. We again were in a hurry as we were producing a benefit, and two of our comedians were flying in, and we had to meet them at the hotel. After the benefit, we finally got a chance to contact someone at Avis Corporate about our experience, and how screwed over we were, and the treatment by the Avis employees. Corporate was outraged to hear about our experience, and we were told that they never like to hear about someone having a bad experience with Avis, and they would get to the bottom of this. So due to the holidays, I waited about two weeks before following up, and now writing anything. Well, I guess Avis was real concerned because we still haven’t heard back from Avis corporate. That’s a stellar company and policy you got there Avis, screw a blind guy with a service dog. I know people are going to tell me, you should contact the ADA, well amazingly, I am still waiting on some other things that we had issues with, and I can’t go crying to the ADA every time I have a problem with something. We shall see what happens with the other issue which I am still giving that company some time on to respond. Funny, until December, I didn’t really have a lot of complaints, and then all of the sudden it was one thing after the next. Moral of the story, I guess if you are blind, it is ok to rent a car from Avis, but if you are a guide dog handler, or someone who will be with someone who has a guide dog, in no way should you ever rent a car from Avis, or get into an Avis rental car unless you want to get screwed for a detail fee, and a bunch of other feees that you were told you would not have to pay. We are now dealing with our credit card to see if they can void the charge. If anyone who works for Avis should read this, you should be ashamed of your companies policies whether they are written in tiny print or I guess large print since I can’t see it to screw a blind guy, or if it is just standard corporate policy to screw a blind guy.

2 Responses to “If You’re Blind Don’t Rent A Car From Avis!”

  1. Lorraine Says:

    I’m sorry you are having so much trouble with the human race. Clearly we are not all brain surgeons. One thing I have learned, yes sighted people can get a good screwing from corporate America too, is get it in writing! Two words “fee waived” can go a long way. No charge for the unsolicited advice. Sorry.

    I’m with you and Nash – I HATE the Vick and I HATE even more that he came out of his dog torture life smelling like a rose. I know he “paid his debt to society” but he still has a long way to go to pay back his canine Vick-tims.

  2. blindgator Says:

    Lorraine, we do have our original quote from Avis in writing of course, Avis claims a quote isn’t a receipt. So how are you supposed to have a receipt then for what they originally quote you? I know that car rental agencies aren’t the classiest of places to begin with, but this is ridiculous. We are now dealing with the credit card we put it on. Absolutely awful experience.

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