Around the World in Three Days? : Vancouver Woman Charged $8,000 in error for three-day rental car trip

Vancouver, British Columbia — With the price of gas and car insurance a perpetual thorn in the sides of drivers, those looking to travel by automobile have an affordable short-term option in the rental industry.

Except for one woman who was charged more than $8,000 after allegedly driving 36,000 kilometres over a three-day period.

The woman in question, Giovanna Boniface, rented a GMC Yukon Denali from Avis earlier this month to help her daughter move into university and visit her mother-in-law. Coming from Vancouver, Boniface drove approximately 300 km during her three-day stay, travelling to downtown Toronto, and then to Kitchener and back.

Having prepaid $1,000 to rent the car, Boniface was shocked to see that she was charged $8,000 by the rental company.

“That’s when I notice this charge for over $8,000 from Avis,” said Boniface.

The receipt from the company read that she had been charged for driving nearly 37,000 kilometres at a rate of 25 cents per km. This means she would have had to have driven nearly 500 km/hr for the full three-day period for this to have been possible. This represents a drive the distance from Toronto to South Africa three times or around the circumference of the earth.

Boniface attempted to call the Avis location at the airport, but her calls were left unanswered.

After this, Boniface was able to get through to a customer service agent through the general phone number, but the issue was still unable to be resolved.

“They didn’t seem to really get what my issue was and I really needed them to remove this $8,000 charge,” she said.

After arriving at her final destination, Boniface attempted to dispute the charge with her bank, but had no luck as the charge was still listed as pending.

It was only when the media got involved that Avis issued a refund and apologized to Boniface for the error. They did not have an explanation as to what caused the error, however.

While the issue did get resolved, Boniface was rightly frustrated with the ordeal.

“Overall, it was not good customer service,” she said,

“The most frustrating thing was not getting through to customer service in any kind of timely way.”

What do you think about this unique situation? Do you think Avis should do anything extra to rectify the situation? What would you do in this situation?


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