A woman who rented a car in Toronto was ordered to pay $8,000 after the rental car company claimed she had driven nearly the distance of the Earth’s circumference in three days. Spoiler alert: she didn’t; it would be virtually physically impossible. Unfortunately, when the customer called the car rental companies and her credit card company to report the error, she was hit with an epic detour. Read on to see how it all went.
CTV News items that Giovanna Boniface, a resident of Vancouver (which, for those of you not so quick with geography, is on the west coast of Canada), rented a car from Avis this month after a trip to Toronto (on the east coast) to help her daughter get used to university.
Boniface said she drove the GMC Yukon Denali between the airport, downtown Toronto, and to Kitchener, Ontario, where she visited her mother-in-law. Kitchener is about an hour outside of Toronto. (This would be like a Los Angeles native flying into New York City and renting a car to get around the city, then to a nearby commuter town in the state).
Boniface said she had driven about 286 miles when she returned the car at the airport and checked in for a flight to Europe. While waiting to board, she checked her credit card bill online.
“That’s when I notice this over $8,000 lawsuit from Avis,” Boniface told CTV News Toronto on Thursday.
Boniface looked at her receipt and saw that Avis had charged her for driving 36,482 kilometers (about 22,668 miles) at a rate of 25 cents per kilometer.
“Boniface said she would need to drive at about 500 km/h for 72 hours straight to make this happen,” CTV reported.
It would be the equivalent of driving eight times from New York to LA.
Initially, the shocked customer wanted to go back through security and to the Avis counter at the airport entrance. But the security lines were too long and she didn’t want to miss her flight. She tried to call Avis airport, but no one picked up the phone. Boniface then called Avis on their main number, but was disconnected twice before being forced to get in.
After her flight landed in Paris, Boniface called Visa to dispute the transaction, but the credit company said their hands were tied as the charges were still pending. Days later, after reporting the epic billing error to the media, Boniface got a call from Avis that she would get a refund for the overcharge.
Avis said it apologized to Boniface for the billing error, but did not explain how the error came about.
“Overall it wasn’t good customer service,” said a stressed Boniface. “The most frustrating thing was that customer service couldn’t be reached on time.”