• Report: #300243

Complaint Review: Budget/Avis Rent A Car System, Inc.

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  • Submitted: Tue, January 15, 2008
  • Updated: Sun, September 16, 2012

  • Reported By:Santa Cruz California
Budget/Avis Rent A Car System, Inc.
1 General Lyman Field Hilo, Hawaii United States of America

Budget/Avis Rent A Car System, Inc. Car Rentals Hilo Hawaii

*Consumer Suggestion: Avis Agrees To Halt Miami-Dade WeDriveU Operation

*Consumer Suggestion: Avis Agrees To Halt Miami-Dade WeDriveU Operation

*Consumer Suggestion: Avis Agrees To Halt Miami-Dade WeDriveU Operation

*Consumer Suggestion: Avis Agrees To Halt Miami-Dade WeDriveU Operation

*Consumer Comment: Wanted: A Level Playing Field

*Consumer Comment: Avis/WeDriveU Hurting Limo Ops

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: update response to original poster's update

*Author of original report: Response to "Odd. . . ." by Jw Parker

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: odd.....

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We were on vacation in Hawaii and rented a car from Budget on June 25th for eleven days. On June 26th, we returned the brand new Pontiac Grand Am because of a gravel guard/oil pan under the car that wasn't properly fastened. A stiff headwind that day caused the guard to bend down to the pavement or something, causing a weird, loud, abnormal sound. We discovered the problem upon inspection of the vehicle. We noticed that when we drove slowly, the noise would go away. The car was fully operational otherwise. We were told by Budget to drive slowly back to the airport--where we picked up the vehicle in the first place.

Upon arrival at the airport, Budget staff was very apologetic and promptly issued us another car. An Incident Report was filed.

The car that we left was spotless. The only thing wrong with it was a gravel guard/oil pan that was improperly fastened. (Two or three bolts were missing from the front end that would have otherwise adequately secured the guard to the car.)

In September, we received a bill from Budget for $4,518.27 for damage to their car. The damage that Budget claims that we did was substantial: damage to the radiator, front bumper, sub-frame, rocker molding, air conditioner condenser, insulators, paint, front wheel, front fender, etc. Numerous pictures were submitted to us that documented the damage. A picture showed a deep gash in the left, front wheel and fender.

There are some glaring inconsistencies with Budget's own information. Although the picture of the VIN matches the paperwork on our contract, the picture of the license number doesn't match the car that we rented. The damage estimate is for the right car.

The odometer reading of the car at the time that we dropped it off is different from the date of the accident.

According to Budget, the date of the accident was June 27, 2007. Elsewhere in their own paperwork states that the "Date of Loss" was July 3, 2007. Either way, we did not have possession of the car at the time.

We surmise that the car must have been in an accident after we dropped it off. Perhaps one of Budget's own employees hit a curb on the way back to the shop and is not admitting to their mistake.

Budget has since turned the matter over to their collection agency (United Collection Corp. of Oakland, CA) hoping to squeeze more money out of a former customer of theirs. We think this is fraud and dishonest business practice on the part of Budget/Avis to go after former customers who didn't do anything. Buyer beware! Do not patronize either Budget or Avis--they are two of the same. They "try harder" to extort more money out of the unsuspecting patrons of their business. What a rip off!

Paulk Santa Cruz, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/15/2008 12:50 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/BudgetAvis-Rent-A-Car-System-Inc/Hilo-Hawaii-96720/BudgetAvis-Rent-A-Car-System-Inc-Car-Rentals-Hilo-Hawaii-300243. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Avis Agrees To Halt Miami-Dade WeDriveU Operation

AUTHOR: Stewart - (U.S.A.)

BREAKTHROUGH! Avis Agrees To Halt Miami-Dade WeDriveU Operation
March 25, 2009
MIAMI The chauffeured transportation industry scored a major victory Monday with confirmation that Avis WeDriveU has ceased its operations in Miami-Dade County.

The county had become a national focal point for the controversial Avis chauffeured drive model which avoided the rules and regulations required of chauffeured transportation operators of luxury vehicles. By not playing on a level playing field, Avis WeDriveU had the potential to seriously undermine the longstanding business model of chauffeured transportation operators and thereby radically remake the industry. Avis also was not required to follow the consistent standards of safety, reliability, and quality that have become the hallmarks of law-abiding, license-paying chauffeured operators.

The Miami-Dade County Consumer Services Department ruled that Avis would have to follow country ordinances that require permits, fees, licenses, safety and background checks, and other regulations that apply to luxury chauffeured vehicles, said Ron Sorci, president of the NLA and CFO of Miami-based Aventura Worldwide Transportation. Avis had managed to avoid these rules by forming two separate companies one for its chauffeured rental vehicles, and another one for its chauffeur service.

The department told Avis they were not in compliance with the rules and regulations of the county's chauffeured transportation ordinance, Sorci said. Officials also determined that Avis was violating its concessions agreement with the Miami International Airport. As a result, the Consumer Services Department received a letter from an Avis attorney confirming that the car rental agency had ceased its chauffeured service in the county, Sorci said.

Sorci said the decision has national implications for the industry. The same arguments we made in Dade County are the same arguments you can make in other counties throughout the U.S.

Since Avis began operating, the NLA, the Florida Ground Transportation Association, the Florida Limousine Association, the West Florida Limousine Association, and other NLA-affiliated associations nationwide have been blowing the whistle on such regulatory inequities. The decision against Avis this week culminates many meetings between association leaders and county officials, industry awareness efforts, and a videotaped expose of Avis chauffeured practices that were given to the Miami-Dade department.

Miami now joins Phoenix and Atlanta as the cities were Avis chauffeured operations have been beaten back, Sorci said.

The Miami-Dade decision concludes this phase of a 15-month battle for Carla Boroday, president of the Florida Ground Transportation Association and owner of Associated Limousine in Miami. Boroday was instrumental in first alerting the department to the Avis problem in the first quarter of 2008. She and other operators then repeatedly met with the Consumer Services Department through its Limousine Advisory Board.

As far as we're concerned, Avis was like a gypsy operator, Boroday said. They didn't follow all the rules and regulations like everyone else did.

Boroday said issuance of the final decision took a long time because the department wanted to make sure Avis would cease chauffeured operations at all airports and venues throughout the county.

Avis also is supposed to pull any WeDriveU advertisments in the county, she said.

Boroday remains cautiously optimistic that the problem has been resolved. Avis can still retain WeDriveU as a separate company, and continues to advertise the services of chauffeurs for clients' personal cars, instead of rental cars.

I hoping that this is the end, Boroday said. But what's to stop WeDriveU from hooking up with someone else? Can they still be a personal chauffeur service? Is that a way of getting around it?

A recent letter to a client promoted a $36.80 per hour personal chauffeur, with the first hour free. Why waste thousands of dollars on limousine services? the letter stated.

Now, the FGTA and other associations need to tackle the Avis chauffeured operations in other counties, such as Broward and Palm Beach, where going after the company is a bit more difficult.

Miami-Dade was a logical focal point for the battle because of its heavy regulatory atmosphere, Boroday said. If ordinances were to be broken, that's where they'd be broken. Palm Beach is open entry where it's more difficult to stop.

Scott Solombrino, CEO of Dav El Chauffeured Transportation Network and an NLA board member, said the decision marks a strong beginning to the eventual end of Avis inroads into the chauffeured transportation market.

I think it starts to show that the regulators are now paying attention to operators trying to skirt the regulations and operate illegally, Solombrino said. This gives us huge credibility with other regulators, and gives us an example that says these people are breaking the rules and the laws.

In short order, this program will no longer be viable for Avis.

Solombrino said this decision is a very positive step in a long process. I'm very excited about it. People are finally listening to us.

The next fronts in the Avis battle will center on the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission. Solombrino predicted that the NY TLC's standards will set the benchmark for other municipal regulators nationwide.

During a recent Limousine Associations of New Jersey meeting, TLC Commissioner Matt Daus appeared favorably receptive to the industry's argument that Avis operates outside of the rules, Solombrino said. Matt Daus gave us hope that they would take a hard, aggressive look at this.

As to Avis still promoting personal chauffeurs, Solombrino said the correct concept of a personal chauffeur is essentially your housekeeper chauffeuring you to work and then going back to clean your house as a hired employee.

A rented Avis chauffeur still would need to be subject to the same regulations as any other chauffeur, he said.

Long term, we are going to win this. This will come out favorable to us.

Source: Martin Romjue, LCT Magazine
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Avis Agrees To Halt Miami-Dade WeDriveU Operation

AUTHOR: Stewart - (U.S.A.)

BREAKTHROUGH! Avis Agrees To Halt Miami-Dade WeDriveU Operation
March 25, 2009
MIAMI The chauffeured transportation industry scored a major victory Monday with confirmation that Avis WeDriveU has ceased its operations in Miami-Dade County.

The county had become a national focal point for the controversial Avis chauffeured drive model which avoided the rules and regulations required of chauffeured transportation operators of luxury vehicles. By not playing on a level playing field, Avis WeDriveU had the potential to seriously undermine the longstanding business model of chauffeured transportation operators and thereby radically remake the industry. Avis also was not required to follow the consistent standards of safety, reliability, and quality that have become the hallmarks of law-abiding, license-paying chauffeured operators.

The Miami-Dade County Consumer Services Department ruled that Avis would have to follow country ordinances that require permits, fees, licenses, safety and background checks, and other regulations that apply to luxury chauffeured vehicles, said Ron Sorci, president of the NLA and CFO of Miami-based Aventura Worldwide Transportation. Avis had managed to avoid these rules by forming two separate companies one for its chauffeured rental vehicles, and another one for its chauffeur service.

The department told Avis they were not in compliance with the rules and regulations of the county's chauffeured transportation ordinance, Sorci said. Officials also determined that Avis was violating its concessions agreement with the Miami International Airport. As a result, the Consumer Services Department received a letter from an Avis attorney confirming that the car rental agency had ceased its chauffeured service in the county, Sorci said.

Sorci said the decision has national implications for the industry. The same arguments we made in Dade County are the same arguments you can make in other counties throughout the U.S.

Since Avis began operating, the NLA, the Florida Ground Transportation Association, the Florida Limousine Association, the West Florida Limousine Association, and other NLA-affiliated associations nationwide have been blowing the whistle on such regulatory inequities. The decision against Avis this week culminates many meetings between association leaders and county officials, industry awareness efforts, and a videotaped expose of Avis chauffeured practices that were given to the Miami-Dade department.

Miami now joins Phoenix and Atlanta as the cities were Avis chauffeured operations have been beaten back, Sorci said.

The Miami-Dade decision concludes this phase of a 15-month battle for Carla Boroday, president of the Florida Ground Transportation Association and owner of Associated Limousine in Miami. Boroday was instrumental in first alerting the department to the Avis problem in the first quarter of 2008. She and other operators then repeatedly met with the Consumer Services Department through its Limousine Advisory Board.

As far as we're concerned, Avis was like a gypsy operator, Boroday said. They didn't follow all the rules and regulations like everyone else did.

Boroday said issuance of the final decision took a long time because the department wanted to make sure Avis would cease chauffeured operations at all airports and venues throughout the county.

Avis also is supposed to pull any WeDriveU advertisments in the county, she said.

Boroday remains cautiously optimistic that the problem has been resolved. Avis can still retain WeDriveU as a separate company, and continues to advertise the services of chauffeurs for clients' personal cars, instead of rental cars.

I hoping that this is the end, Boroday said. But what's to stop WeDriveU from hooking up with someone else? Can they still be a personal chauffeur service? Is that a way of getting around it?

A recent letter to a client promoted a $36.80 per hour personal chauffeur, with the first hour free. Why waste thousands of dollars on limousine services? the letter stated.

Now, the FGTA and other associations need to tackle the Avis chauffeured operations in other counties, such as Broward and Palm Beach, where going after the company is a bit more difficult.

Miami-Dade was a logical focal point for the battle because of its heavy regulatory atmosphere, Boroday said. If ordinances were to be broken, that's where they'd be broken. Palm Beach is open entry where it's more difficult to stop.

Scott Solombrino, CEO of Dav El Chauffeured Transportation Network and an NLA board member, said the decision marks a strong beginning to the eventual end of Avis inroads into the chauffeured transportation market.

I think it starts to show that the regulators are now paying attention to operators trying to skirt the regulations and operate illegally, Solombrino said. This gives us huge credibility with other regulators, and gives us an example that says these people are breaking the rules and the laws.

In short order, this program will no longer be viable for Avis.

Solombrino said this decision is a very positive step in a long process. I'm very excited about it. People are finally listening to us.

The next fronts in the Avis battle will center on the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission. Solombrino predicted that the NY TLC's standards will set the benchmark for other municipal regulators nationwide.

During a recent Limousine Associations of New Jersey meeting, TLC Commissioner Matt Daus appeared favorably receptive to the industry's argument that Avis operates outside of the rules, Solombrino said. Matt Daus gave us hope that they would take a hard, aggressive look at this.

As to Avis still promoting personal chauffeurs, Solombrino said the correct concept of a personal chauffeur is essentially your housekeeper chauffeuring you to work and then going back to clean your house as a hired employee.

A rented Avis chauffeur still would need to be subject to the same regulations as any other chauffeur, he said.

Long term, we are going to win this. This will come out favorable to us.

Source: Martin Romjue, LCT Magazine
Respond to this report!
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Avis Agrees To Halt Miami-Dade WeDriveU Operation

AUTHOR: Stewart - (U.S.A.)

BREAKTHROUGH! Avis Agrees To Halt Miami-Dade WeDriveU Operation
March 25, 2009
MIAMI The chauffeured transportation industry scored a major victory Monday with confirmation that Avis WeDriveU has ceased its operations in Miami-Dade County.

The county had become a national focal point for the controversial Avis chauffeured drive model which avoided the rules and regulations required of chauffeured transportation operators of luxury vehicles. By not playing on a level playing field, Avis WeDriveU had the potential to seriously undermine the longstanding business model of chauffeured transportation operators and thereby radically remake the industry. Avis also was not required to follow the consistent standards of safety, reliability, and quality that have become the hallmarks of law-abiding, license-paying chauffeured operators.

The Miami-Dade County Consumer Services Department ruled that Avis would have to follow country ordinances that require permits, fees, licenses, safety and background checks, and other regulations that apply to luxury chauffeured vehicles, said Ron Sorci, president of the NLA and CFO of Miami-based Aventura Worldwide Transportation. Avis had managed to avoid these rules by forming two separate companies one for its chauffeured rental vehicles, and another one for its chauffeur service.

The department told Avis they were not in compliance with the rules and regulations of the county's chauffeured transportation ordinance, Sorci said. Officials also determined that Avis was violating its concessions agreement with the Miami International Airport. As a result, the Consumer Services Department received a letter from an Avis attorney confirming that the car rental agency had ceased its chauffeured service in the county, Sorci said.

Sorci said the decision has national implications for the industry. The same arguments we made in Dade County are the same arguments you can make in other counties throughout the U.S.

Since Avis began operating, the NLA, the Florida Ground Transportation Association, the Florida Limousine Association, the West Florida Limousine Association, and other NLA-affiliated associations nationwide have been blowing the whistle on such regulatory inequities. The decision against Avis this week culminates many meetings between association leaders and county officials, industry awareness efforts, and a videotaped expose of Avis chauffeured practices that were given to the Miami-Dade department.

Miami now joins Phoenix and Atlanta as the cities were Avis chauffeured operations have been beaten back, Sorci said.

The Miami-Dade decision concludes this phase of a 15-month battle for Carla Boroday, president of the Florida Ground Transportation Association and owner of Associated Limousine in Miami. Boroday was instrumental in first alerting the department to the Avis problem in the first quarter of 2008. She and other operators then repeatedly met with the Consumer Services Department through its Limousine Advisory Board.

As far as we're concerned, Avis was like a gypsy operator, Boroday said. They didn't follow all the rules and regulations like everyone else did.

Boroday said issuance of the final decision took a long time because the department wanted to make sure Avis would cease chauffeured operations at all airports and venues throughout the county.

Avis also is supposed to pull any WeDriveU advertisments in the county, she said.

Boroday remains cautiously optimistic that the problem has been resolved. Avis can still retain WeDriveU as a separate company, and continues to advertise the services of chauffeurs for clients' personal cars, instead of rental cars.

I hoping that this is the end, Boroday said. But what's to stop WeDriveU from hooking up with someone else? Can they still be a personal chauffeur service? Is that a way of getting around it?

A recent letter to a client promoted a $36.80 per hour personal chauffeur, with the first hour free. Why waste thousands of dollars on limousine services? the letter stated.

Now, the FGTA and other associations need to tackle the Avis chauffeured operations in other counties, such as Broward and Palm Beach, where going after the company is a bit more difficult.

Miami-Dade was a logical focal point for the battle because of its heavy regulatory atmosphere, Boroday said. If ordinances were to be broken, that's where they'd be broken. Palm Beach is open entry where it's more difficult to stop.

Scott Solombrino, CEO of Dav El Chauffeured Transportation Network and an NLA board member, said the decision marks a strong beginning to the eventual end of Avis inroads into the chauffeured transportation market.

I think it starts to show that the regulators are now paying attention to operators trying to skirt the regulations and operate illegally, Solombrino said. This gives us huge credibility with other regulators, and gives us an example that says these people are breaking the rules and the laws.

In short order, this program will no longer be viable for Avis.

Solombrino said this decision is a very positive step in a long process. I'm very excited about it. People are finally listening to us.

The next fronts in the Avis battle will center on the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission. Solombrino predicted that the NY TLC's standards will set the benchmark for other municipal regulators nationwide.

During a recent Limousine Associations of New Jersey meeting, TLC Commissioner Matt Daus appeared favorably receptive to the industry's argument that Avis operates outside of the rules, Solombrino said. Matt Daus gave us hope that they would take a hard, aggressive look at this.

As to Avis still promoting personal chauffeurs, Solombrino said the correct concept of a personal chauffeur is essentially your housekeeper chauffeuring you to work and then going back to clean your house as a hired employee.

A rented Avis chauffeur still would need to be subject to the same regulations as any other chauffeur, he said.

Long term, we are going to win this. This will come out favorable to us.

Source: Martin Romjue, LCT Magazine
Respond to this report!
What's this?

#4 Consumer Suggestion

Avis Agrees To Halt Miami-Dade WeDriveU Operation

AUTHOR: Stewart - (U.S.A.)

BREAKTHROUGH! Avis Agrees To Halt Miami-Dade WeDriveU Operation
March 25, 2009
MIAMI The chauffeured transportation industry scored a major victory Monday with confirmation that Avis WeDriveU has ceased its operations in Miami-Dade County.

The county had become a national focal point for the controversial Avis chauffeured drive model which avoided the rules and regulations required of chauffeured transportation operators of luxury vehicles. By not playing on a level playing field, Avis WeDriveU had the potential to seriously undermine the longstanding business model of chauffeured transportation operators and thereby radically remake the industry. Avis also was not required to follow the consistent standards of safety, reliability, and quality that have become the hallmarks of law-abiding, license-paying chauffeured operators.

The Miami-Dade County Consumer Services Department ruled that Avis would have to follow country ordinances that require permits, fees, licenses, safety and background checks, and other regulations that apply to luxury chauffeured vehicles, said Ron Sorci, president of the NLA and CFO of Miami-based Aventura Worldwide Transportation. Avis had managed to avoid these rules by forming two separate companies one for its chauffeured rental vehicles, and another one for its chauffeur service.

The department told Avis they were not in compliance with the rules and regulations of the county's chauffeured transportation ordinance, Sorci said. Officials also determined that Avis was violating its concessions agreement with the Miami International Airport. As a result, the Consumer Services Department received a letter from an Avis attorney confirming that the car rental agency had ceased its chauffeured service in the county, Sorci said.

Sorci said the decision has national implications for the industry. The same arguments we made in Dade County are the same arguments you can make in other counties throughout the U.S.

Since Avis began operating, the NLA, the Florida Ground Transportation Association, the Florida Limousine Association, the West Florida Limousine Association, and other NLA-affiliated associations nationwide have been blowing the whistle on such regulatory inequities. The decision against Avis this week culminates many meetings between association leaders and county officials, industry awareness efforts, and a videotaped expose of Avis chauffeured practices that were given to the Miami-Dade department.

Miami now joins Phoenix and Atlanta as the cities were Avis chauffeured operations have been beaten back, Sorci said.

The Miami-Dade decision concludes this phase of a 15-month battle for Carla Boroday, president of the Florida Ground Transportation Association and owner of Associated Limousine in Miami. Boroday was instrumental in first alerting the department to the Avis problem in the first quarter of 2008. She and other operators then repeatedly met with the Consumer Services Department through its Limousine Advisory Board.

As far as we're concerned, Avis was like a gypsy operator, Boroday said. They didn't follow all the rules and regulations like everyone else did.

Boroday said issuance of the final decision took a long time because the department wanted to make sure Avis would cease chauffeured operations at all airports and venues throughout the county.

Avis also is supposed to pull any WeDriveU advertisments in the county, she said.

Boroday remains cautiously optimistic that the problem has been resolved. Avis can still retain WeDriveU as a separate company, and continues to advertise the services of chauffeurs for clients' personal cars, instead of rental cars.

I hoping that this is the end, Boroday said. But what's to stop WeDriveU from hooking up with someone else? Can they still be a personal chauffeur service? Is that a way of getting around it?

A recent letter to a client promoted a $36.80 per hour personal chauffeur, with the first hour free. Why waste thousands of dollars on limousine services? the letter stated.

Now, the FGTA and other associations need to tackle the Avis chauffeured operations in other counties, such as Broward and Palm Beach, where going after the company is a bit more difficult.

Miami-Dade was a logical focal point for the battle because of its heavy regulatory atmosphere, Boroday said. If ordinances were to be broken, that's where they'd be broken. Palm Beach is open entry where it's more difficult to stop.

Scott Solombrino, CEO of Dav El Chauffeured Transportation Network and an NLA board member, said the decision marks a strong beginning to the eventual end of Avis inroads into the chauffeured transportation market.

I think it starts to show that the regulators are now paying attention to operators trying to skirt the regulations and operate illegally, Solombrino said. This gives us huge credibility with other regulators, and gives us an example that says these people are breaking the rules and the laws.

In short order, this program will no longer be viable for Avis.

Solombrino said this decision is a very positive step in a long process. I'm very excited about it. People are finally listening to us.

The next fronts in the Avis battle will center on the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission. Solombrino predicted that the NY TLC's standards will set the benchmark for other municipal regulators nationwide.

During a recent Limousine Associations of New Jersey meeting, TLC Commissioner Matt Daus appeared favorably receptive to the industry's argument that Avis operates outside of the rules, Solombrino said. Matt Daus gave us hope that they would take a hard, aggressive look at this.

As to Avis still promoting personal chauffeurs, Solombrino said the correct concept of a personal chauffeur is essentially your housekeeper chauffeuring you to work and then going back to clean your house as a hired employee.

A rented Avis chauffeur still would need to be subject to the same regulations as any other chauffeur, he said.

Long term, we are going to win this. This will come out favorable to us.

Source: Martin Romjue, LCT Magazine
Respond to this report!
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#5 Consumer Comment

Wanted: A Level Playing Field

AUTHOR: Stewart - (U.S.A.)

Wanted: A Level Playing Field
The Limousine Industry Calls Avis Chauffeur
Drive to the Carpet
by Liz Hunter

Not all of us saw it coming. Not all of us took the threat seriously. But now, in the middle of a recession where price means almost everything, the Avis Chauffeur Drive program is capitalizing on the industry's weaknesses with a mass hiring
wave in some of the nation's largest markets. Advertisements
for chauffeur positions have been posted in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia, D.C., and more. Twenty-eight in all. For those not familiar with this program, it's time to get educated because it could be coming to your city soon. Avis is a rental
car company that also happens to own a 45 percent stake in Carey International. WeDriveU is a chauffeur rental service. Combine the two and you can have a rented vehicle driven by
a rented chauffeur. Sounds a lot like the model for the livery industry, doesn't it? But Avis isn't really operating up to the same standards as our luxury ground transportation industry. As we've reported previously, members of Florida Limousine Association (FLA) decided to use the service, and videotaped the entire trip for educational purposes. The vehicle provided to them was a Hyundai Sonatanot exactly classified as luxury. On top of that, there is nothing that shows Avis Chauffeur Drive licensing or background checking its chauffeurs, nor are the vehicles being outfitted with the proper permitting stickers. Yet everyday groups, corporate executives, and other travelers use Avis to get around, unaware of the potential danger and liabilitiesinsurance and otherwisethey risk when getting into one of these vehicles. As Chauffeur Drive gains momentum across the country, operators are taking up the fighta large majority of them using power in numbers. Associations are leading the charge fighting the cancer that is spreading and further weakening our industry. Florida is ground zero. It is literally destroying Florida, says Barry Lefkowitz, executive director of Limousine Associations of New Jersey (LANJ). This is a crisis of major proportions. The industry cannot roll over and play dead and just let somebody put us out of business. Operators from Florida to San Francisco are asking Avis for one thing: a level playing field. It's a free country. If you want to go into business that's fine, but you need to be operating on the same playing field as the rest of us, says Carla Boroday, president of Florida Ground Transportation Association (FGTA) and owner of Associated Limousine Services in Hallandale, Fla. The fact that Avis is operating without having to jump through the hoops we have to jump through just to be in business is ridiculous. We want to see them stop, cease and desist otherwise. Boroday gives several examples of the ways Avis is violating local and state regulations in Florida. For one, there is no universal county license; her chauffeurs must have licensing in all counties. Her vehicles must also be licensed in each individual county. We have a lot of vehicles, and let's say for instance one of my chauffeurs takes the wrong car, arrives at Miami's airport, but doesn't have his Miami identification, even though he is licensed, she says. He will be fined $1,000. On the other hand, the Avis drivers don't need any certifications and they don't even have AVI transponders on their vehicles. AVIs are required on all for-hire vehicles coming in and out of Miami International. Disregard for the industry's regulations on Avis' behalf has been something that operators in the New York City area have pointed out for nearly a year. There have been several meetings between National Limousine Association (NLA), Black Car Assistance Corp (BCAC), LANJ, WeDriveU, Avis, and NYC Taxicab & Limousine Commission (TLC). Victor Dizengoff, BCAC executive director, has attended these meetings and says it is all a work in progress. It's an issue in flux right now, he says. Our thoughts are that if we all have to be regulated, then there's no reason Avis can't play the game the same way. At press time, BCAC had lawyers involved to draft regulatory language and to urge TLC to take some action. Lefkowitz sat in on some of these meetings as well. We've made it most clear that if TLC allows WeDriveU to do what it is doing, then limousine companies are going to adopt the same template and TLC would end up with no one to regulate, Lefkowitz says. It puts TLC between a rock and a hard place because Avis could sue for restraint of trade, but then our industry could sue if this went forward without the service meeting the same responsibilities required of limousine and black car operators. Drivers with unknown backgrounds frightens Mike Ballard, chairman of Maryland Limousine Association (MLA). As the country's most historic inauguration is upon us, Avis Chauffeur Drive is of course advertising in the nation's capital to provide service during inauguration week. There are at least 5 million people coming into D.C. on inauguration day, says Ballard, co-owner of Hire Quality Limousine in Bel Air, Maryland. Unknown drivers will be working this event, possibly driving politicians, and it's our duty to say something to the regulating authority about this. Ballard has been in contact with Maryland's Public Service Commission (PSC). He sent his contact at the agency the Chauffeur Drive recruiting information and explained his fears. Like Lefkowitz, Ballard has mentioned the possibility of the limousine industry adopting the Chauffeur Drive template. I told PSC if it cannot control Avis, I will write a letter to operators in Maryland saying, You are now a vehicle leasing company and people can rent your chauffeurs. Scrape off your permit stickers and get regular vehicle tags.' PSC could no longer regulate us and no longer take money from us. Ballard has alerted local news media about this issue as well. Joanna Fridinger, MLA president, says, This isn't getting attention from anybody except for within our industry. The only way the public is going to be aware is through the media. The limousine industry has high standards for its chauffeurs: intensive training, stringent insurance requirements, background checks, drug tests, and various licensing. If one can't make it through this process, what would stop him from going to Chauffeur Drive where he doesn't have to go through half of that and still make decent money? The chauffeur advertisements offer $15 per hour, which is appealing considering the economy. Boroday has had chauffeurs leave her company to work at Avis. We put our chauffeurs through a two-day class, fingerprinting, background checks, and without their chauffeur ID they can't drive, so it's easier for them to just go to Avis, says Boroday. Clients are also looking for a better deal. Avis is charging about $35 an hour for its Chauffeur Drive service. We have a legislative minimum in Florida and that is way below, says Boroday. Businesspeople or destination management companies (DMC) are going to look at the difference between $35 and our $55 per hour and say the limousine is too much, especially once our gratuity, surcharges, and airport fees get tacked on. While associations in the New York area and Florida have some lawyers involved, some other options can be explored to help prevent Avis from operating, says Lefkowitz. It really has to be looked at on a state-by-state basis, he says. In New York, the industry will need help from surrounding states to get legislative language passed. The Limousine Association of Houston acted fast and stopped Avis from operating there. Airports may also be of help, an unusual ally considering the industry's relationship with them. San Francisco International, Sky Harbor in Phoenix, and Denver International have all come out and said the Chauffeur Drive program cannot be done there, and Atlanta Hartsville made it clear that it could not operate there. Philip Devlin, VP national operations for Cooper-Atlanta Transportation Services, says the airport has not formally gone on the record with its position, however. The airport says it doesn't see the value of Avis becoming involved in Chauffeur Drive because it would be a detriment to the rest of the livery industry, Devlin says. If we're driven out of business it's no good for the clients the airport is servicing. Devlin is aware of Avis advertising for chauffeur positions in Atlanta, but says none of the jobs the program has done have been at the airport. The airports can be our ally in this situation, says Devlin. There is revenue on both sides. Airports get money from rental car services and limousines, so why would they want to cut one out of that equation? Avis Chauffeur Drive is a local problem various markets are facing, but one that will soon become a national epidemic if nothing is done. Lefkowitz says operators should not only contact state legislators to raise awareness, but also their state associations because that is who is going to pick up the ball and run with it. If this continues, says Lefkowitz, the industry is on the brink of becoming obsolete. LD
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#6 Consumer Comment

Avis/WeDriveU Hurting Limo Ops

AUTHOR: Stewart - (U.S.A.)

Avis/WeDriveU Hurting Limo Ops
Here is a message that was forwarded to me by a colleague:

Hello Everyone:

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH:

It's time for all of us to get together and stop Avis once and for all otherwise we can all say goodbye. Art Basel is currently in full swing in Miami Beach and every year 85% of our fleet is booked. This year our numbers are way down. Miami Beach has multiple unlicensed vehicles doing chauffeur transportation. The vehicles are not permitted to do for hire work. The drivers do not need any drivers certifications. They go in and out of the airport without any AVIs (transponders).

There are other noncompliance issues but I only mentioned 3. Two weeks ago I forwarded an ad from Avis WeDriveU to Allan Shanedling and Jonna Sabroff, the President and VP of the California Limousine Association. Avis was asking for drivers in LA because they had an event in LA and needed additional drivers. My good friend Joe Jordon, President of the Houston Limousine Association also keeps me posted on current Avis issues.

The Florida Limousine Association has met with county regulators but somehow Avis is still operating. My company and my colleagues are loosing our drivers to Avis. The county will not license certain drivers and as a result they now driver for Avis. What does that tell you. As President of the Florida Ground Transportation Association, I can assure you that we in the State of Florida will take action. Please keep me posted on what you all want to do and I will certainly keep you posted on what we will do. Remember the old saying "strength in unity".

Carla ****
Associated Limousine Services
Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Palm Beach Florida
Telephone: (((redacted)))
Fax: (((redacted)))
(((email redacted)))

Subject: Avis WeDriveU Targets 28 cities for takeover from Limo companies

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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

update response to original poster's update

AUTHOR: Jw Parker - (U.S.A.)

1> Avis Budget Group is incorporated out of Delaware and is located in Parsippany, NJ. The Orlando address you refer to is the internal collections department which is the first level of correspondence. We try harder is avis, not budget. It doesn't make sense to use a Taco Bell jingle to describe KFC even though they are the same company. Thats simply an attempt to "pile on." It shows every bit as much bias as you levy against my report.


here is the corporate address

International Headquarters
Avis Budget Group, Inc.
6 Sylvan Way
Parsippany, New Jersey 07054
Tel: (973) 496-0900
Web: www.avisbudgetgroup.com

2> You are once again assuming they are doing something illegal. In fleet cars, plates are assigned in lots of 100,200,300 at times, with stickers, and registrations. in any fleet nationwide, there are inconsistencies, esp within the rental car industry. Once they are spotted, they are reported to vehicle registration and it often takes (depending upon bureaucracy of the locality) weeks and sometimes months to correct them electronically. This is a NATIONWIDE ISSUE, not limited to Avis, budget, or the state of hawaii. Even when fixed electronically, the paperwork isn't updated as police will on VIN check verify ownership to verify corrections. It doesn't mean they are doing something illegal, its actually how the state of HI wants it. once the plate goes on the car in error, they can't change it to another car which would be illegal, the paperwork needs to be chased down and changed electronically with the state. Once plated, the plates stay on the car.

Since you've been to the big island, you know how sleepy the island is. its not uncommon to find records not updated due to poor record keeping on the state's part or backlogs due to worker shortage. Rental cars are often only owned by the company for six months, so many times the corrections finally catch up to the car just as its leaving fleet. Budget and avis keep track of cars through the Vehicle number bar code on the window. They zap the bar code (or key it in) which looks something like this 456768-3, and the vehicles history is brought up, so license plate issues are sometimes overlooked. Whent hey give you the keys, they tell you a stall number, and the key tags often are made without the license plate and the license plate is hand written in.

3> your original report was pure speculation stating that "the employees did it", when in fact, you have zero evidence to prove that as well. I say this from a totally neutral standpoint. The wording you use is "surmise". You blast my comments as the words of an employee who thinks "you can do no wrong" when in fact I was let by the company over a whistle blower incident and I am no friend of them. I have always been a straight up guy, and if you show me evidence contrary to my stance, I will retract, but your original post was full of inconsistencies, of which I responded to and offered up my evaluation of something is a-mis, "fishy" as I put it. I have zero incentive to "tote the company line" here. Bashing me as a company man isn't going to get you anywhere because I could care less if they win/lose/draw your case. But I know the area and the processes and it doesn't match with what I know, having worked intimately with the process your describing.

I would love to know where the car "suddenly" started making some weird noise. If it was volcano national park, as an area expert, I would be very suspicious because a good 40% of the damaged cars are damaged in that park and the damage fits that to a "t" . Also, many cars end up down in waipio valley, against contract, or down south point to the green sand beach, also against contract and go off roading. Counting VNP, Valley and green sands, thats almost 70% of all the damaged car cases on island. Many people who rent cars from hilo take them to off grid rentals south of Hilo, and they are off road driveways. The damage described ALL point to very typical damage attributable to those three areas, or the typical 70% of damage caused.

The truth is, if you drove your wheels off paved roads at any time during the rental, and budget can prove that (in this case via damage), you were in violation of contract and your insurance will not pay for the damage. If you could, your insurance would pay the whole thing, minus deductible, or American Express if you used that card. There are so many ways to get out of paying for most if not all.

Your insurance is your advocate, have them fight the inconsistencies on your behalf. If you don't have personal car insurance, then it was a bad idea to rent a car without some sort of insurance from some company (travel or using credit card car rental insurances) in the first place. now thats an opinion, but having rented cars to over 75 people per day for several years, ive seen it all and firmly believe that if you take possession of 20,000 dollars worth of someone else's property you should take steps to ensure that a backup plan is in place. Question, is Budget's report preventing you from making a claim with your own insurance company?


4> There is absolutely no incentive for an employee to not report an accident. They don't get in trouble for reporting accidents they cause. I, myself, have dented/scraped 5 cars in one year for various reasons and I fill out accident report and thats it. No reprisals. They accept that as part of doing business. They move cars all over the place all the time and accidents happen. To do the type of damage caused in this case, they would have had to run over at least 1 rock (outside of the car wheel damage and fender damage), and another rock/curb on the undercarriage in 1 mile without another driver or airport employee noticing from Avis or Budget. As I said before, I know that airport like the back of my hand, its impossible to cause the damage described within the airport. There is NO getting around that. Also, there is no way a "stiff wind" can cause that as well.

As far as "why didn't the agent notice it?" Well here I have a question for you. Did the agent even look? At the ITO airport, there is a counter with one agent. You self park the car and bring the keys to the counter. If you came into the airport and drove to the driveway behind the kiosk, the agent is on the right side (since its one way) and would peek out the door at the right front fender and wheel, so if the damage is to the left front fender(which by your report it is), they wouldn't see it. From there, they would have called for a driver to come down and pick up the car, either immediately or asap. Did the driver walk around the car?. Not likely, and if they saw the damage, they wouldnt think anything of it because they wouldnt assume that it was on the report. Was the driver in overalls or shorts and a gray shirt? There is ABG drivers and mechanics/service agents who may come to pick it up, likely it was service agents or mechanics. Were you there when they came up to pick up the car? your argument of "why didn't they notice it when they gave you a new car" would only hold if the agent DID walk around the car entirely before signing off on the incident report, which in that airport is a very rare thing.

Often, you park, walk up to the front of the counter, fill out the report and get a new car assigned to you (which by the way happens even if you total the car. Its company policy to give someone a new car even if they damage the old one) and then send you on their way. That happens more often than not so id really like to hear exactly what happened. Even if you did pull up to the driveway, and the agent bent over to look under the car, they wouldn't necessarily know what to look for or care. Their job in that instance is to get your report from you, verify facts in your report, then let the mechanics with report in hand make a full assessment, in that case on the rack. On the rack, damage was found and they stopped there to await damage assessment.

5> My comments didn't assume you were young, only that there were inconsistencies in your story and I offered possibilities based on what I saw. The fact that you have never had an accident, nor a citation is meaningless because anyone at any time can have an accident. The fact of the matter is that all the damage can be caused by hitting one rock on the road (or off it) that is at least 8 inches tall at 15 mph or greater, and fact of the matter is that it would be your responsibility even if you saw a rock fall off the truck in front of you and you ran over it, and the truck driver stopped and said "my fault." Budget would always bill you, not the other guy.

The fact of the matter is that its completely impossible within the Hilo airport to cause the damage you describe. A fender and wheel may be dented, yeah, that can happen, but from the budget damage report and pictures you describe, damage to the radiator, front bumper, sub-frame, rocker molding, air conditioner condenser, insulators. the key for me is the rocker molding damage. for the rocker molding damage to occur in the presence of all that other damage, the curb that would need to be hit would need to be shorter than the wheelbase. The only way that could happen is if the driver it an island or a rock. The only islands that exist that could cause this damage are: Right around the rental ENTRY way and within the rental parking area in plain sight of managers, security, and video cameras. The exit drive from the parking lot is too long, it would cause damage to the front, to the rims, sub frame etc etc but not the rocker molding. In my experience that damage is almost 90% of the time caused by rocks.

The left side curbs fronting the terminal are in a spot where no rental car driver need drive since the flow of the airport takes their paths away from those areas. Also in entry into the car rental area, and the aforementioned islands. Aside from those areas, there are NO curbs capable of causing the damage indicated. Zero, nada , zilch. Only three HUGE rocks that are so big that if you hit them, the car would stop right there ( the smallest one is over 18" tall, 2-300 pounds) and would need a tow. Id love to agree with you that maybe it happened when the driver was going back to the yard, they hit something but I have an extremely hard time believing that based on what I know.

My question is what was the mileage when you got the car, because if it was under 100 miles, then you were the first renter and the person who took those photos had to inspect the car prior to its first rental, and if you were the first and only renter, this is going to be a very hard case to beat. If the car was rented at least 3 times and the last renter is disputing the charges, they could in theory dispute the damage with a "previous driver" claim. Then Budget would look at the damage and see if it was possible for the damage to have occurred prior to your pickup of the car and go unnoticed. In this case, your own description states that it happened "suddenly" and you brought the car in almost immediately upon noticing something going wrong, so any reasonable person would naturally assume that the damage incident would have occurred while the car was in your possession.

Now for a switch, here is what I would do if I was in your situation.

1> ask them for the full incident report log of the vehicle in question. Birth to death. See if the vehicle was in previous accidents. If this is a brand new car with no history, this would not apply.

2> Argue the amount. Part of the reason the damage est is so high is that each vehicle has a dollar damage limit before the company sells the car "as is" instead of repairing it. I am guessing but I believe the damage eclipsed that dollar amount so the reason why your at 4k is because the car is sold "as is" if the damage is over a certain amount. The amount they recover from the sale is subtracted from the replacement cost of a car and the difference is billed to you. I hit a rock back in 2000 with my personal car and the damage was 2,800. If I recall correctly the GM cars damage threshold is 2400. If the damage is greater than 2400, they sell the car and trigger this process.

this process is outlined in the BRAC rental agreement.


"If you do not accept LDW, or if the car is lost or damaged as a direct or indirect result of a violation of paragraph 9[off road clause], you are responsible and will pay us for all loss of or damage to the car regardless of cause, or who, or what caused it. If the car is damaged, you will pay our estimated repair cost, or if, in our sole discretion, we determine to sell the car in its damaged condition, you will pay the difference between the car's retail fair market value before it was damaged and the sale proceeds, except in California, New York, Illinois and Canada. In California, New York and Illinois you will pay the lesser of the difference between the car's retail fair market value before it was damaged and the sale proceeds, or our estimated repair cost."


3> Argue when the damage was found. If the incident report filled out by the rental car mechanic, it wont make a difference, but if it was found by another customer who did their pre-trip inspection at car pickup and taken out of service then, you would have a strong case.

4> Never, EVER pay loss of use. American express NEVER pays loss of use when they settle claims. If your personal car insuranecompany is working as your advocate (which they should in this matter if your policy covers rental cars), they would NEVER pay loss of use. The argument is that Budget would have to prove that EVERY LAST CAR in their fleet was rented and because your car was damaged, they lost business while it was bieng repaired. This is a VERY high threshold to prove and even though they have modified the car rental agreement to say "As part of our loss, you'll also pay for loss of use of the car, without regard to our fleet utilization, plus an administrative fee, plus towing and storage charges, if any (Incidental Loss).", the rental agreement you signed when you picked up the car is the terms and conditions that you are bound by, and they may not have updated that clause until after you rental ended. The TNC I got this statement from is dated "These Terms and Conditions are effective June 07, 2007" but its from the fastbreak which often is updated before the main contracts are updated, so get a copy of the TNC from your rental period and read section 9 and 11.

until more info is provided, this is the best advice i can offer up. good luck.
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#8 Author of original report

Response to "Odd. . . ." by Jw Parker

AUTHOR: Paulk - (U.S.A.)

Thank you for your comment.

We stand corrected about the model of the car that we drove. Thanks for pointing that out. You're right; it was a Pontiac Grand Prix. In our haste to file the report, we overlooked the exact model name of the vehicle.

The rest of your comments are pure speculation on your part since you were not there and didn't see the car when we dropped it off. We were there and we can vouch for the fact that the damage was not there; it occurred after we dropped it off--after our rental period.

Your comments do bring to light some interesting possibilities and questions: 1) That one's responsibility when renting a car from Budget really doesn't end when they get out of a car; it ends after the car arrives back at the shop and put up on a rack and inspected from below. How could the staff have missed the big gash in the right-front wheel and the dents in the fender and bumper? Why? Because the damage was not there when we dropped it off in the first place.

2) Your statement that "license plates are often misplaced in the system . . ." seems to indicate that Budget is involved in some illegal activity. Isn't the law that once placed on the vehicle, a license plate stays with that car unless it is totaled for scrap (not likely in this case), or a special plate affixed to the car? Why then is it standard procedure for Budget to change plates? There is no reason why any license plates should be "misplaced in the system." Don't you agree that this is a little odd?

3) Your comments seemed to assume that we are a couple of young people who are refusing to live up to our responsibilities as a rental car patron. We are not young and I have never been in an accident or even received a traffic citation in my entire life. We are extremely responsible people and would readily report anything that we were responsible for--if we did it. Your comments seem to indicate a bias that the company is always right and their customers are always at fault. That may be true in your world; it is not in ours. Simply put: we were not responsible for the damage to Budget's car and we therefore refuse to pay the $4,518.27 that they claim we owe. We are being falsely accused and charged for something we did not do.

Our "we try harder" comment was in reference to Avis' motto because Avis and Budget are owned by the same company, i.e. Avis budget Group out of Orlando, Florida.
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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

odd.....

AUTHOR: Jw Parker - (U.S.A.)

I am a former employee of the company you reported on, and while you seem to point out inconsistencies about Budget's claim of damage, I want to point out one very specific inconsistency on your part.

GM stopped making the Pontiac Grand Am in 2005 and by the time of my leaving the company in 2006, there wasn't a single Pontiac Grand Am in the entire state of Hawaii for rent by budget/avis rent a car. Having a "brand new pontiac grand am" in june 2007 would be quite the feat.

Second, the date of loss is in all likelyhood the date of the vehicle inspection date/damage estimate date. The damage estimator for the big island of Hawaii is in Kona and makes it out to Hilo once a week. I am pretty sure I know the name of the person who took those pictures on the car. For small damage, pics are emailed to him. Large damage (as described), the estimator makes the trip himself to the hilo baseyard.

Third, license plates often are misplaced in the system. Big island of Hawaii had a fleet of around 1500 cars every summer, it doesn't surprise me of that fact. The vin numbers will identify the proper car. And you, yourself dont seem to deny that it is the car that you returned that day. That can be "surmised" from your guess as to what happened AFTER you returned the car.

fourth, Avis is "we try harder." Not budget.

Fifth, the mileage discrepancy is easily explainable, depending on the mileage difference(lack of info makes it hard to comment). If the mileage was 1-2 miles different, it is because the "budget baseyard" is on a different part of the airport property. The vehicle had to get driven to that location. Between The rental counter and the rental repair facility, there is absolutely no curbs that would cause the damage you claim. The gouges and ripped pans and support arms sounds suspiciously like an "off roading" onto lava rock scenario that I am all too familar with in my days working for this company.

Hilo (lyman field), in fact, has no curbs outside of the main airport area to strike. The only curbs are at the airport itself and the exit from the rental area to the non curb section is literally 200 feet, straight line.

the repair facility is on airport. The car would have been tagged and put in line for repair. The team would have put it up on the rack and seen the damage, and given your own description, its likely that the car would not have been "accidentaly" rented out.

I dont want to "point fingers" here, but Budget's story isnt the only one that sounds "fishy".
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