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Old 05-24-2002, 04:31 AM   #1
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Good experience; a real alternative to Hertz

I've been trying to get Avis to mail me my Avis Preferred card for about a year now and been dealing with pretty useless customer service, so I didn't have a great impression of them before now.

However, for an upcoming week-long trip, I was having trouble getting a reasonable rate with Hertz (Background info: I'm Hertz Club Gold, almost 5*, and have been quite pleased with them in the past). I went ahead and reserved a "Luxury" from Avis (Quoted $700/week on avis.com, I bid and got $380 on Priceline).

Luxury was defined as either a Towncar or a Cadillac. I hoped for a Cadillac and was pleased to receive a Deville at CHS. There was no "Avis Preferred" line at Avis, so there was about a 20 minute wait while I stared at the empty "Hertz Club Gold" check-in line about 50 feet to the right.

Once at the front of the line, the process was efficient and as excellent as could be expected. It was a bit of a walk to the car, but the Caddy was rolling in no time!

The car was immaculate and in perfect running shape with about 15,000mi on the clock.

I read about how to use the included Onstar system when I got into the car, but had to come up with a reason to use it. I finally had an idea, so I pressed the blue [On] button below the rear-view mirror. My CD stopped playing and the "Onstar sound"(?) played, followed by a female voice that greeted me with, "Now connecting you to the Onstar network." After a few moments of waiting, I was greeted with, "The Onstar system is currently experiencing technical difficulties." I pressed the button to end the request.

Not too impressive.

Regardless, my next few Onstar experiences were great and really redeemed the service. The staff was very friendly, useful, and really indicated a desire to be helpful. If you're asking for directions, they even offer to hang on while you drive for as long as you want while they guide you through their map. They even offered to walk me through the entire trip (sometimes 30+ miles), although I declined and really only needed help at first and then directions for the rest of the way. The only problem is that they don't see your vehicle as a blinking light on their map or anything of that sort. They only receive your location when you press the button and whenever they put you on hold to update your location. Kind of lame. You have to press the button and then go straight or they'll get confused unless you know where you are (I never did). If you're going completely in the wrong direction and there's lots of turnaround involved to get back on track, it can get a bit hairy. It's hard enough to spot a sign and decide if you want to turn there and even harder to have to ask someone else who's going to look at a map and respond. The Caddy had to zig a bit!

The car was like a dream all week long without a single glitch, which is something that I've come to expect from Hertz. Additionally, the stereo system was kickin' to say the least.

It was pouring rain for the return to CHS. Avis reps were standing by with umbrellas to great customers returning their car. Drop-off was as efficient as you could hope for. The Avis employees really did "try harder" as their slogan says.

Great experience and really opens my eyes to the potential of using Avis in the future over Hertz, which is really getting a bit too expensive while the product seems to decline.
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:17 AM   #2
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I never tried using Avis rental but a friend of mine already does.. He said that it was a great experience.. His statement and yours kinda connect with each other.. I've heard that they have a discount rate as well which is really great for travelers.
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