A woman who rented a car in Toronto said she was charged $8,000 after the company claimed she had driven almost the circumference of the Earth in three days.
Vancouver woman Giovanna Boniface said she rented a car from Avis for three days after driving to Toronto Pearson earlier this month to help her daughter settle into college.
She said she drove the GMC Yukon Denali between the airport, downtown Toronto and Kitchener, where she visited her mother-in-law.
In total, she said she had driven around 300 kilometers by the time she returned the car to the airport and checked in for a flight to Europe.
Boniface said she prepaid about $1,000 to rent the car. While waiting to board her flight, she said she checked her credit card statement online to make sure the charge had been processed correctly.
“That’s when I noticed this charge of over $8,000 from Avis,” Boniface told CTV News Toronto on Thursday.
She said she then looked at her receipt from Avis and noticed that the company charged her 36,482 kilometers for driving 36,482 kilometers at a rate of 25 cents per kilometer.
Boniface said she would have had to drive for 72 straight hours at around 500 km/h for this to be possible. It’s also about the same distance as driving three times from Toronto to South Africa.
“The first thing I wanted to do was actually go back through security and walk to the counter,” she said. “But I wouldn’t have had time to do that because the security lines were really long.”
Instead, she tried to call the Location Reviews at the airport, but no one answered the phone.
“It just rang and rang and no one answered,” she said. “It was really frustrating trying to reach someone.”
Boniface said she then called Avis through her general phone number, but was still having trouble resolving the issue.
“They didn’t seem to really understand what my problem was and I really needed them to remove that $8,000 charge,” she said.
She said she was disconnected twice while trying to speak with an Avis manager and eventually had to board her flight.
After arriving in Paris, Boniface said she called Visa to dispute the transaction, but they couldn’t do anything as the charge was still pending.
She said it wasn’t until a few days later, when the media got involved, that she received a call from Avis telling her that the extra fees would be refunded.
In a statement to CTV News Toronto, Avis said he apologized to Boniface for the error and issued a refund.
They didn’t say what caused the error.
She said she understands companies make mistakes, but she doesn’t like the way the ordeal was handled and how it took to go public to fix the issue.
“Overall, it wasn’t good customer service,” she said, adding that the ordeal caused her unnecessary stress while on the move.
“The most frustrating thing was not reaching customer service in a timely manner.”