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Manhattan, NY - UPDATE: Avis Apologizes, Says Documentation Policies Had Been Applied Inconsistently

Published on: November 23, 2015 04:14 PM
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New York, NY - One day after news broke that an Israeli customer had been refused service by Avis on the grounds that his identification was inadequate, the company’s corporate offices have confirmed that an apology has been issued and accepted.

As previously reported on VIN News, Dov Bergwerks, a long time customer of the national car rental chain, arrived at an Upper West Side Avis location on Saturday night to pick up a vehicle he had previously returned.  Both the rental agent and an on-site manager told Bergwerks that his Israeli driver’s license was not an acceptable form of identification.

Public outcry regarding the incident, which made the rounds on news sites as well as social media, has been loud and vehement, with many posts and comments on the company’s Facebook page expressing disbelief at the incident and vowing to boycott the company.  An online petition calling for the firing of the two employees garnered over 1,300 signatures in less than one day.

In a written statement emailed to Vos Iz Neias, Avis said that it had concluded its internal investigation and that an apology had been issued to Bergwerks, noting that its employees should have asked for a second form of identification in addition to his driver’s license.

“ We have found that we have been inconsistent in applying our policies with respect to documentation requirements with this customer, who has rented from us in the past without providing a second form of identification.  We are committed to providing an outstanding car rental experience to our customers and believe that we should have done better here.  We have spoken with the customer and apologized for the misunderstanding that occurred as a result of this inconsistency in applying our documentation policy, and the customer has accepted our apology.”

Avis said that it has never denied service to any customers based on religion or nationality and that it would take measures to ensure that all employees are better acquainted with the company’s standards regarding customer identification.

“We reiterate our policy that we do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.  We intend to take steps, including additional training, to improve the consistency in our application of documentation policies.”

No mention was made of whether any reprimands were issued to the two employees at the 79th Street location or whether any punitive actions had been taken in regard to the incident.


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Read Comments (13)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 23, 2015 at 04:58 PM Reb Yid Says:

When I go to Israel I'm asked for my US license as well as passport. You mean this guy was never asked for his passport before, and not even this time?

2

 Nov 23, 2015 at 05:08 PM thymely1 Says:

It is time to have AVIS experience a boycott it they don't fire those two racists!

3

 Nov 23, 2015 at 05:51 PM Anonymous Says:

they must fire their employees will never rent from them again

4

 Nov 23, 2015 at 06:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Come on guys these workers are not the most highly educated fellows. When a guy walks in and only shows some foreign license then becomes agitated and provocative what do you want. Give them a break. This had little to do with racisim and has more to with ignorance.

5

 Nov 23, 2015 at 06:36 PM my understanding is Says:

Reply to #1  
Reb Yid Says:

When I go to Israel I'm asked for my US license as well as passport. You mean this guy was never asked for his passport before, and not even this time?

The issue was not asking for his passport. The issue is that even after seeing his passport (based on phone advice from an Avis manager) the Moslem named employee then claimed he was being now denied service for being abusive. You have to get into the mindset of this employee who seems to have an employment policy of working and suing her employers.

6

 Nov 23, 2015 at 07:17 PM REALIST Says:

They should've at least offered him free-rental-for-life!

7

 Nov 23, 2015 at 08:03 PM puppydogs Says:

Hope he sues for $15m like that terrorist clock kid did.

8

 Nov 23, 2015 at 08:56 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
my understanding is Says:

The issue was not asking for his passport. The issue is that even after seeing his passport (based on phone advice from an Avis manager) the Moslem named employee then claimed he was being now denied service for being abusive. You have to get into the mindset of this employee who seems to have an employment policy of working and suing her employers.

Maybe the guy was being abusive.

9

 Nov 23, 2015 at 09:34 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

I am shocked, shocked I say that the people who work at a rental counter in New York are rude to tourists. This goes against New Yorkers' well-earned reputation for civility and kindness to out-of-towners.

10

 Nov 23, 2015 at 11:25 PM BLONDI Says:

Don't they have video tape in the rental place??? The customer used to be always right.

11

 Nov 24, 2015 at 03:11 AM Charles from London Says:

So "No mention was made of whether any reprimands were issued to the two employees at the 79th Street location or whether any punitive actions had been taken in regard to the incident." Exactly as I said in a comment in a previous article about this: Avis will issue an apology and do nothing else. And Mr Teva will continue to act like an Israeli only now he has another flag to wave "I'm the heroic brave soldier who forced Avis to publicly apologize."

12

 Nov 24, 2015 at 11:22 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
PaulinSaudi Says:

I am shocked, shocked I say that the people who work at a rental counter in New York are rude to tourists. This goes against New Yorkers' well-earned reputation for civility and kindness to out-of-towners.

Huh New Yorkers have a reputation of being kind??????

13

 Nov 24, 2015 at 01:09 PM Vozizalt Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Come on guys these workers are not the most highly educated fellows. When a guy walks in and only shows some foreign license then becomes agitated and provocative what do you want. Give them a break. This had little to do with racisim and has more to with ignorance.

Dear Anonymous,

I understand you hiding behind a Blank name, since you don't want the public to know how ignorant you are.
The customer specifically told the agent he was a regular customer and had an Avis profile. Additionally he said he had rented from that location just a few days earlier. Any decent worker at that point could have and should have called the main office to verify and defuse the situation. Instead they acted with impunity, callousness and have caused major damage to the National Brand. If this was a Black man from Africa we would hear cries of racism.

Avis should absolutely penalize these employees, but refuse to do so since they do have a sensitivity issue all the way up the ladder.

Rule # 1 in business is to KEEP the customer, it's hard enough to get them in the door. Obviously you have many employees and are a person of great importance in the business world.

That is why banks and financial institutions have COMPLIANCE officers watching and dictating how to interact and respond to the general public.

GROW UP !!!

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