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September 24, 2012

Avis: $30 Off Your Next Rental?

Filed under: Autos,Internet — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:19 am

Mouse Print* reader Marc D. recently got a mail offer promising $30 off his next Avis rental if he would give them his email address.

Avis $30 offer

What he didn’t realize until after he received his $30 coupon was the offer was really $30 off a weekly rental.


Avis coupon

Since Marc’s “next rental” was not going to be a weekly one, he felt hoodwinked.

Mouse Print* wrote to Avis, asking what happened, and whether they would honor the no-strings-attached $30 offer for those who received the original offer.

“As a result of a printing error, the promotional insert did not specify that the offer was for a “weekly” rental. However, “weekly” is mentioned in several other places, including the outer envelope (see attached), the website/page where the customer provides his/her information to redeem the offer (www.avis.com/email) and the subsequent email offer. The erroneous promotional inserts have been discarded. New inserts have been printed and are currently being used.” — Avis spokesperson.

Fair enough, the disclosure WAS on the webpage where consumers had to sign-up, but was not on the offer sheet they received by mail. Some consumer protection advertising rules, however, state that the subsequent disclosure of the actual terms of an offer does not diminish the deceptive nature of the original offer that did not disclose those terms.

And what will Avis do for consumers who felt mislead about this offer?

“The $30 offer is being accepted on weekly rentals.” — Avis spokesperson.

In other words, nothing.

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  1. Hmmm … the offer I received was in an Avis Preferred statement mailing. There was not a mention of ‘up to’ on the envelope. The landing page actually stated “up to $30” off an Avid rental without mention of the requirement of being a weekly rental. Naturally, I unsubscribed from the email list and am now focusing my rental business with a competitor.

    Comment by Marc D. — September 24, 2012 @ 8:05 am
  2. Not sure what to think here. Since it was disclosed at the actual place you sign up, they sort of did cover it. But having misleading ads, be it in the mail, email, flyers, etc… to see the terms different when you actually sign up, that is not right.

    Then again, every single headline I see in papers or on the internet are the same. They mislead you with a headline to get you to “click” only to see the article either isn’t about the headline or is exactly the opposite of the headline. It’s all a form of sensationalism.

    Comment by Cindy — September 24, 2012 @ 8:09 am
  3. It would be very bad if advertisers were able to add restrictions as the customer got deeper into a deal. I think this offer was a legitimate mistake of communication within the company, but I can certainly see this happening on purpose.

    Comment by Wayne R — September 24, 2012 @ 9:21 am
  4. Avis promised me a free day at check out. However I turned in my car one day earlr (21 days not 22 days) they said that this changed the rental amount per day so they only refunded me $30 but charged over 40 per day.

    Comment by jim milford — September 24, 2012 @ 9:27 am
  5. I always use a disposable email address when responding to offers like this one. $2/month for Sneakemail.com is one of the better deals on the web.

    Comment by Russ — September 24, 2012 @ 12:29 pm
  6. …car rentals. Almost as bad as cellphone companies sometimes…

    Comment by Xterra — September 24, 2012 @ 4:54 pm
  7. Russ, are you trying to plug on a website that exposes advertising?

    How about this, go to the HUNDREDS of websites that offer FREE email for a disposable? Here, let me show you one, it is called gmail.com.

    Comment by Cindy — September 24, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

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