You may have seen the following viral Twitter thread last week. If you didn’t, be aware that it is long but worth it in a what-the-hell-did-I-just-read way.
Now, there are several questions raised by this sequence of events. Why would Avis so desperately need a 2020 Toyota Camry back? Did someone rent it to Campbell by mistake? Did Avis think the car was stolen and wanted it back? Were there, uh, important items in the car or something? What’s the deal with charging and ghosting the guy? Why did Avis tell him they couldn’t track it when they actually could?
None of it made much sense, and still didn’t when later Friday Campbell reported that he’d finally gotten a refund from Avis but still no explanation as to what happened.
Naturally, reporters, including this one, asked Avis what happened, but on Friday all Avis had to say about the matter was that it was investigating, and would know more Monday. Monday came and went, but this afternoon an Avis spokeswoman gave me the following explanation:
Following a review, we fully refunded and apologized to Mr. Campbell and offered a coupon for future use. Our internal findings indicate there was an incorrect tow triggered by an administrative error on a previous rental. Mistaken tows occur infrequently but we are taking steps to prevent situations like this from occurring at all in the future.
Mistakes were made, you see. There was an administrative error! We’re doing our best to make sure this won’t happen again!
This is an unsatisfyingly mundane response from Avis, which is how they probably prefer it. Anything to make this story come and go. The coupon for future use is a hilarious detail, though, as if anyone would rent a car from Avis again after going through an ordeal like this, free or not. Rental car companies: Still bad!