Watch out for Avis/Budget Fuel charges [Crazy customer support call experience]

I thought I’d post this here after having the most unbelievable customer No Service call of my life.
I just called Avis after being frustrated by the most recent event of this type. I’ve had to call them at least quarterly about their EZ FUEL “Service”. On the most recent call I was looking for instructions to lodge a formal complain or procedural review for a permanent solution to this annoying charge that Avis sneaks into their bills that my company will not reimburse (this call experience described at the bottom).

Due to the nature of my job, I often have to rent cars. I have about 110 trips on my Avis profile according to the representative who angrily pulled that number up with me. While I rent from many others as well, AvisBudget is unique in this singular fee described below. This basic grift below relies on the premise that not many people will look at their associated fees on their rental bill.

Fee Structure
Rental Car Fuel Plans & Fuel Service Options | Avis Rent a Car
Other reports on this Fee
TLDR: Avis “offers” an automatically enrolled plan where if you drive less than 75miles on return mileage, the agents will not ask for a gas receipt. They customer facing return agents to this day still say, “that’s not necessary if you offer to show them”. Then your bill is hit with at least a 15.99 fuel charge.

Previous phone support agents have only offered that you should present your fuel receipt to the agent to avoid this fee, but after experiences of them adding the fee anyway on full tanks of gas I decided to share with the community. To make matters worse --At major airports like O’Hare and MSP, the gate agents no longer print the receipt either, so they can hit you with it and you won’t know until you check the email. To reverse it you would then have to wait in line at the preferred rental counter or call customer service. It’s not a great solution! So over the last year I have been trying the above method and still have had to call at least 4 times.

Context of most recent call experience:
I initially submitted a normal request to have this familiar fee reversed, as I have done countless times before. No problems with the nice female representative. However, after the call was over I figured I would take a moment into lodging a formal complaint with Avis in hopes I could avoid future time sink.

So, I renavigated the phone menu and described my problem to the most recent phone representative with this Fuel service and described how much time is wasted by all parties involved with this process. I described that I just want to know how to avoid this fee for good. I will admit I’m miffed right now, but I was cool at the beginning of the call just a little exasperated by having to do this all the time.

The male Avis customer representative proceeded to argue with me about how many times I’ve called regarding this Fuel service in the past. He told me over the last 110 rentals I’ve only called 3 times, -this is 100% false. He told me I was exaggerated the number of times I have had this problem and was trying to tell me I was being deceptive. I have had this happen to me at least 10 times and probably 4 times in the last year even though I make it an emphasis to try and look out for these charges. To make matters worse I had this complaint linked to the most recent event on my rental number, he even admitted it was not an aberration. So after a few mintues of him daring to scold me over the phone, I told him that the only solution I think we have here is to longer waste my time with Avis/Budget and we ended the call. We got absolutely nowhere.

I was so taken aback, that I had to share with you guys. Even if they made changes to this practice, I feel like I’m done with them at this point.

You are paying for their EZ Fuel service which charges you $15.99 if you drive less than 75 miles. The point of this service is that you don’t have to stop at a gas station if you haven’t driven a whole lot. Seems like a reasonable deal. BUT if I’m reading your post correctly you are filing the vehicle up anyway and then requesting they remove the charge for the EZ Fuel?

I agree the charge should be dropped automatically if you present a gas receipt as proof of buying gas, but you are also subverting the point of the EZ Fuel service.

They advertise it as an option (ex. their website), but they actually auto-enroll all drivers in it. They do not inform you of this at any point either. To clarify, my employer doesn’t compensate us for these charges.

Thanks for letting me verify that.

Got it. The automatic enrollment into their EZ Fuel program is the problem. Yes, it should be something you chose to enroll in. It seems like a great option as stopping to fill up before dropping a vehicle off is a pain. If your employer doesn’t allow it then having to fight to get the charge removed every time isn’t good.

Lots of employers won’t pay for any pre-paid fuel because people would pre-pay for a full tank of gas and then only drive 20 miles.

I guess I would avoid Avis/Budget if I’m traveling on business.

The full tank is a scam… since they are selling what the previous renter put in the tank.

It’s a scam, but that isn’t the reason. The reason is that you can’t return the car empty (unless you want to risk running out of gas), and so you will always pay for fuel you won’t use.

Pre-paying for a full tank of gas can save money and time. Rental car company might charge $6 for a gallon if you simply return the vehicle without filling it up. BUT they may charge $4 a gallon for a full tank pre-pay. So will you use enough fuel to make up that difference? It also saves time by not having to search for a gas station when you are returning your vehicle.

It can’t save you money unless you would otherwise not have filled the tank before dropping it off, and you use most of the tank. It can save you time, of course. I suspect the car rental companies have these ridiculous fuel options because they don’t want to pay someone to go fill gas tanks (which is entirely reasonable).