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Traveler Says Avis Car Rental 'Repossessed' His Rental Without Reason
Update 8/21: Mr. Campbell wrote that Avis Car Rental reached out to him to discuss the issue, and to issue a refund for his trouble.
What was supposed to be a fun weekend visiting friends and family, turned into a game of Clue for traveler, Tarikh Campbell after Avis Car Rental allegedly took back his rental without reason. He took to Twitter to document the entire experience through a very detailed series of tweets.
Campbell recently flew home to New Jersey for a weekend visit, and like most, he decided to rent a car for his stay. According to his now viral Twitter thread, he parked the car on the street in front of his childhood home, since that’s what most of the neighborhood did.
The MIT grad says that he went outside to get ready to meet some friends out in the city. That’s when he noticed the rental car was gone.
“I was getting ready to drive out and meet some friends around 10:30PM when I noticed the car was no longer where I left it,” his thread reads. “On the quiet, safe, suburban, and free parking street in Teaneck, NJ that I literally grew up on. Freaked out, I called the local police.”
Despite being “freaked out,” Campbell quickly sprang into action to figure out what happened to the rental car.
He contacted the local authorities, who suggested he call Avis to see if they had a tracker on the vehicle. That way, they could possibly locate the vehicle, since it had not been registered as towed.
“After waiting on hold with their emergency assistance line for over an hour, I was told by a representative that they couldn’t track it and was instructed to file a stolen vehicle report with the police.”
He did as instructed, before going to bed, since he had to catch is flight home the next morning. Once at the airport— where he picked up the rental car— he went to the Avis Car Rental counter to explain everything that happened the night before. The rep said they would have to charge him, and that they had no way of tracking the car.
“The @Avis rep told me that because I hadn’t returned the car, I would continue to be charged for it and would be liable if it wasn’t returned,” he went on to write. “She said the car could maybe be tracked and gave me someone’s business card to follow up with. I gave back the keys. Got on my flight.”
Once he was back in Boston, things really got weird.
Campbell remembered that he had his EZPASS tag in the car, and the system could track wherever the car went. He checked his account and found that the rental car went from his childhood home to the airport— yes, the same one where the Avis counter was.
He then called his aunt back in New Jersey, because he also realized she had a camera system that picked up activity on the street. After reviewing the tape, they noticed a red tow truck come pick the rental car up from the street, and drive off around the time it went missing.
“The tow truck spent 12 minutes loading the car and then left with it, rejecting the theory it’d been stolen. But remember, the police hadn’t ordered it to be impounded. Also, I hadn’t given out my NJ address to anyone, not even @Avis. My driver’s license address is in Boston.”
After digging some more, the clues lined up. Campbell realized that there must have been a tracker on the car, and Avis had taken the car from the home. He tried several times to reach a direct representative, but was given the run around. Anytime he did reach someone, they said it wasn’t possible to track the car.
A few hours later, he received a notification that the car was returned to the Avis counter, but he would be charged a late fee.
It’s been nearly a week later, and Campbell still has not received any explanation or a refund for the fees. He says that he wanted to share his experience so that other travelers would be on notice, and in hopes that Avis would make right on the situation.