Avis Issue is Finally Resolved After 17 Months. Here is What Happened…
“T his is an old one!” Dana — who is a customer service agent of Avis Rent A Car System — exclaimed when I gave my Avis case number; and I almost burst out laughing.
Avis Issue is Finally Resolved After 17 Months — But First…
I finally decided to call the customer service telephone number of Avis at 2:30 earlier this afternoon after I received no resolution to the string of e-mail messages initiated since September of 2015 pertaining to my renting two cars in the United Arab Emirates and one car in Egypt over a period of three weeks starting in May of 2015 and concluding in June. For additional details, please read this article pertaining to what you need to know about renting a car from Avis at Abu Dhabi International Airport — which I understand is now different; but please read about my experience anyway — and this article about my experience renting a car from Avis in Cairo.
In this article — which I wrote on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — Avis offered this promotion where you can earn 1,000 bonus Gold Passport points, upgrade your rental one vehicle class; and save up to 25 percent on your car rental. “As a member of Avis Preferred, I was glad to receive an e-mail message from the Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program which could not have been more timely,” I wrote — but none of the rentals were without issues.
I followed all of the terms and conditions with the aforementioned three car rentals; so I was looking forward to benefiting from this promotion by earning 1,500 total points per car rental — as the offer reflects 1,000 bonus points plus 500 base points earned.
Here is What Happened..
“After 15 months, the proper amount of Hyatt Gold Passport points which I rightfully earned still have not been credited to my account”, I wrote in the most recent e-mail message which I sent to Avis on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. “How much longer will I need to endure this legendary customer service of Avis before this issue is resolved in my favor?”
Frustrated, I ended the e-mail message with “By the way, absolutely no one has kept me updated since the last e-mail message you sent to me on August 10, 2016.”
I never did get a response — even to the most recent message. The last time I had heard anything from Avis was an e-mail message on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 2:19 in the afternoon:
Dear Brian Cohen,
Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this issue may have caused.
I have reviewed your file and i do show our Frequent Flyer Specialist has been corresponding with our Headquarter Specialist Team. The last correspondence was on 04AUG16. Once she has the final resolution, she will keep you updated.
Again, we apologize for any inconvenience you have been caused and should you require additional assistance, please do not hesitate to let us know.
Representative | Email Customer Service
Avis Rent A Car System, LLC
That was the most recent e-mail message which I sent to the customer service department at Avis. You can read much of the remainder of the string of e-mail messages between Avis and I in this article — as well as what else I was required to do to have this issue resolved.
Time to Call
Actually, the time for me to call Avis was probably long overdue; but after not hearing from anyone in the customer service department in approximately 97 days — or greater than three months — despite my attempt to continue the communication, I had to speak to a live person.
I braced myself, expecting to go up the chain of command of customer service representatives — to managers and their managers — for a long period of time, repeating my dilemma over and over again and being placed on hold multiple times for an indefinite period of time…
…but that is not what happened at all.
When Dana answered the telephone, she was warm, cheerful and ready to help. Without explaining my entire story, all I did was give her my Avis case number; and the entire sordid tale unfolded right before her eyes on the computer screen. That was when she said “This is an old one!”, which was followed by several utterances of “oh” and “oh, my” in an obvious tone of honest disbelief while she scrolled down the seemingly endless exchange of records.
“This has been escalated to Virginia Beach headquarters multiple times”, she said — and the corporate offices of Avis in Oklahoma were also contacted about it; as well as representatives of the Hyatt Gold Passport frequent guest loyalty program.
The “ball” had apparently been “dropped” several times along the way; and Dana proactively said that there was no excuse for this to have happened in the first place.
Was this really going to be easy? Actually, it turned out to be much easier than I had even thought, as here is the funny part: as late as Friday of last week, the points were still not deposited in my Gold Passport account, which is when I decided to call customer service at Avis via telephone; but when I logged into my Gold Passport account during the telephone call earlier today, there they were — all of them — which posted within the past few days, to my surprise. I did not even realize they were already there. Dana sounded like she was happy for me.
It Never Hurts to Ask
“No one should have to go through all of this time and effort for a few thousand points,” I said to Dana, to which she readily agreed. “Is there any way I can please have a few extra points or something as compensation for what I went through?”
Dana replied, “Well, I cannot give you more points; but I can give to you a certificate good for $50.00 off of your next rental from Avis. Would that work for you?”
I thought that was fair. “Yes, please,” I replied. “Thank you.”
The certificate was already sent to my e-mail account almost instantly; and before the telephone call had concluded.
I suggested to Dana that in order to prevent a similar situation like this from happening to other customers in what otherwise should have been a simple transaction if she could use this experience to have others within Avis be aware and fix what went wrong. She thought that was an excellent idea.
“May I use your name and contact information when I pass this case on to management at Avis?” she asked.
“Not only do you have my permission to use my contact information,” I replied, “but please have anyone at Avis to feel free to contact me if they need my assistance.”
Dana seemed very appreciative by my offer — and after some more pleasantries and a few bits of humor, the telephone call ended on a positive note.
As a simple disclaimer, at no time during the entire process did I mention that I am a “blogger” at BoardingArea. I usually do not disclose that when dealing with airlines, lodging companies, rental car companies, and other travel companies.
Dana assured me that no aspect of the customer service department at Avis is located overseas — all of it is within the United States.
I was beginning to think that if I would be credited the proper amount of Gold Passport points, the frequent guest loyalty program of Hyatt would have become World of Hyatt by then — but the customer service I experienced earlier today from Dana made up for all of the inconvenience which I experienced…
…but this experience reaffirmed to never give up on receiving what was rightfully earned; how excellent customer service can go a long way towards resolving an issue — and it never hurts to ask for anything extra for compensation for inconvenience, as the worst that can happen is being told “no.”
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.