The sinking economy has put lots of squeeze and competitions in car rental companies thriving to survive.  My last trip to Boston, MA saw a signficant drop in car rental price.  Yet all these squeezes don’t always translate to lower rental price if one is not careful about all the fineprints.

This morning I was surprised to find the vendor, Avis, has charged me $16.90 on my Amex.  After spending almost half an hour of wait, an agent informed me the charge had to do with the fact that I drove the vehicle for less than 75 miles.  According to the policy, customer would be charged $13.99 plus tax if the vehicle was driven for less than 75 miles.  How rediculous!  So I stated the fact that I refueled the car in full before returning it, so he demanded a receipt.  I asked if credit card receipt would be sufficient.  He acknowledged so positively.  When he proceeded to provide me the fax number where I could submit the receipt to, he decided to remove the charge admist all the troubles ahead.

Avis has been a good company, and I have little doubt if they would not do what they should do.  But slapping such little unnoticed items without verbal warning may irk some customers with good faith in the company’s honorable business practice.

Yet lesson learnt that I should keep tracking my credit card charges, be aware of the fineprints, and be courteous yet assertive when it comes to disputing the charges.

Update:  Almost immediately, the amount has been refunded to my credit card account.  Business is really moving at the speed of the internet!