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Avis balks at the free weekend rental deal

on 3-27-2013 in Deals, Rental Cars

There was plenty of discussion earlier this week as people scrambled to book free Avis weekend rentals using a coupon/AWD code of unknown provenance. That fun came to a screeching halt this evening when Avis addressed the situation via Twitter:

Yeah, that’s not going to work out so well after all.

Best I can figure, the fun started with a post on FlyerTalk. From there Mr. Pickles posted about it on his blog and then several others followed up with posts as well. The details made it over to Dan’s Deals and Slickdeals and then, not much later, died a rather unceremonious death.

Is anyone really surprised? I certainly am not. Pigs get fat; hogs get slaughtered. And yet people still appear unable to control themselves.

4 Comments

  1. Yup, it actually died sooner than I thought it would…
    I don’t usually rent cars, I’m big on public transportation when traveling, you get to know places better.

  2. Don’t disagree with you at all. My name was quoted quite a bit today on Twitter, but I never did say we should launch a campaign against Avis–just wondering out loud if rental car reservations should be held to the same standard as airlines (the difference being, of course, that airlines usually don’t have 900 different coupon codes and thousands more of questionable legitimacy that can be applied).

    According to one person on Twitter, the code was a coupon that was mailed out to Amex Plat cardholders. Although I’m an Amex Plat cardholder, I don’t recall getting one of these in the mail–but then again, I toss most mail that comes from my credit card companies (I get my bills electronically).

    But let’s say that I had received one and booked a reservation. Would Avis have canceled that reservation? And would I have been in the right to demand its reinstatement?

  3. The cancellation emails suggest that presenting the actual paper coupon will see it honored. I have no reason to believe that isn’t true. I think the company is doing just fine there.

    As for it being targeted to “AmEx Platinum cards” that doesn’t mean everyone with that AmEx card was targeted. There is a sizable and growing group convinced that any offer made to any one person should be extended to everyone else who knows about it. That’s not how business works.

    Pickles wrote an interesting update in the middle of his post including this bit:

    My personal feeling is that Avis should honor 1 booking per person who has booked as of today. They should not allow multiple bookings. Perhaps they need to look at their internal controls of their IT department. What has happened appears to be reactionary, and dealing with issues like this do not foster good will with the customers. Avis, you should try harder.

    It is this sort of entitlement and greed which makes the whole community look bad.

  4. I don’t see why Avis should try at all to amuse the vultures who swoop down on a targeted offer that wasn’t targeted to them. A standard rule is that when bloggers all go nuts at the same time over an offer that is obviously too good to be true it is a targeted offer or mistake that won’t be honored. Occasionally there may be an exception, but I almost always let these go. Let others deal with wasting their time and the frustration of dealing with the inevitable hassles and cancellations.