Twice in a row within 3 months I rented cars on weekends from Avis in Buffalo NY and experienced really lousy service. I belong to Avis preferred which enables a member to avoid the lines to pick up a car.
The first time in August 2018 ona Saturday I proceeded to the Avis Preferred Booth located where cars were parked and the booth was being remodeled. A sign said to go back upstairs to th counter. Unfortunately there was a computer outage and the lack of any accommodation for Avis Preferred customers caused me to wait in line 90 minutes and miss a family birthday party.
The second incident on Nov 17 was similar. Again I proceeded to the Avis Preferred booth only to find it unoccupied. A sign directed customers to go upstairs. I waited in line 20 minutes until my turn and a nice Avis agent explained that in Buffalo Avis Preferred is closed on Weekends! So about 30 minutes after arriving at Avis I hopped into my car to learn that it smelled badly of cigarette smoke. It took nearly 30 more minutes to get another car because the very nice agent could "get access" to a car, whatever that meant.
This situation reflects poorly on Avis locally and company wide. Understood, Buffalo is not a major city market but it is second largest in NY State. Avis Preferred should be staffed 7 days a week. Additionally, when making a reservation on the website one is flagged as Avis Preferred so you should be notified that Preferred service will not be available, providing you the option to choose another company.
I'm going to definitely choose another company next Buffalo trip and possibly across the board. Avis quality of vehicles has gone down.
Product or Service Mentioned: Avis Budget Group Car Rental.