Pregnant Women Drove 3 Hours to Avoid $1,000 Penalty After Avis Got the Drop-off Location Wrong

Driving a rental car can often be stressful, particularly driving late at night. Now imagine you found yourself having to drive for three hours in the middle of the night to return your rental car to an unexpected location before an 8 am deadline that would leave you facing a fine of $1,000. Now add being pregnant, and you have the situation a Tennessee woman recently found herself facing thanks to Avis. 

Avis is a well-known car rental company

A sign from Avis regarding their drop-offs.
Avis sign | Getty Images

Avis is a rental car companies operating in the United States. Together with Budget, it forms part of the Avis Budget Group . In recent years, Avis has made the news at least a few times for incidents involving customer complaints. 

In one such instance, a man named Tarikh Campbell was left stranded after Avis towed his rental car for no apparent reason. Campbell was only able to get an apology and an offer of a credit from the rental car company after he took his situation to Twitter. On another occasion, Avis charged a customer $6,000 for supposedly traveling 23,000 miles in three days.

Avis gets a couple’s drop-off location wrong, with significant consequences

According to Business Insider, in the most recent customer service snafu involving Avis to make the news, a Tennessee woman and her husband returned from a cruise. They drove their rental car 11 hours from Florida back to Tennessee, arriving at 11:30 at night.

They had intended to drop the car off in Knoxville, where they live. When they arrived at the Knoxville drop-off location, they were informed that Avis had listed their drop-off city as Nashville. The woman and her husband failed to notice Avis’s error on the paperwork when they rented the car. 

The situation was worse because the woman was early in her first pregnancy, and the couple was given almost no time to get the car to Nashville. Nor were they given flexibility with the drop-off location. They had until 8:00 the next morning to get the car three hours away to Nashville. Otherwise, they would face a fine of $1,000. When the couple protested, the Avis agent reportedly told them they should “learn to read” and should have noticed the error when signing the contract. 

Avis eventually made the situation right

The woman attempted to take the situation up with Avis directly through social media and by emailing customer service. Unfortunately, those avenues didn’t get her very far. It was only when the media began to contact Avis that the company had second thoughts about how it had handled the entire matter. 

Eventually, Avis offered the woman a full refund and a credit for future service. Whether she’ll be interested in dealing with them again is another question. An Avis spokesperson also issued an apology, which stated, “We are very sorry about this situation and have apologized directly to [the couple] for the poor customer experience. Unfortunately, due to miscommunication their drop-off location was recorded as Nashville, Tenn., which they only discovered at the Knoxville location after a long drive. We wish a better solution was offered to them right there and then, instead of having them drive an additional three hours to return the car the following morning.”

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