Archive for February, 2010

Avis Rent-A-Car Scam Rip-Off at LAX

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Avis Rent A Car is running a scam, a rip-off, actually, charging $13.99 for Fuel Service, refunding the fee only if you complain.

I was in Los Angeles for business yesterday and needed a car for the day, and I reserved a car online for about $50.00, including taxes and fees.

After dropping off the car, I took the shuttle back to LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), and looked at my receipt.  Much to my surprise, there was a $13.99 charge for Fuel Service.

I was asked when at the counter if I wanted the “Fuel Option” where they charge you a full tank’s price regardless of how many miles you drove prior to taking possession of the car, but I declined, and said I would fill the tank, which I did at the gas station down the block from the return lot.

I called the 1-800 number on the back of the receipt and asked why I was charged $13.99.  The semi-cordial customer service representative told me it was “a standard charge.”  I asked why is it standard when I declined the fuel option and filled up the tank on own.  She said it “just was,” without elaborating further.  She then told me she would remove the $13.99 from my credit card bill “because I was unhappy with the charge.”

Please re-read the reason, “Because I was unhappy with the charge!”  It was not because of an error, but because I complained.  I am wondering just how many people actually check and complain and how many $13.99’s they have banked.

I am smelling a class-action lawsuit against Avis, unless I really missed something here.

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Google look alike site Goojjle launches in China

Monday, February 8th, 2010

China once is again showing why patents and copyrights are meaningless, and why companies who hold such intellectual property cannot trust the Chinese government.  A Google look-alike site called Goojjle has launched in China, yes, China allows a fake Google.

Goojjle a Chinese Google Look Alike

Goojjle a Chinese Google Look Alike

Google has had a well-publicized spat with the Chinese government regarding its alleged hacking of gmail accounts, and threatened to leave the country.  This bodes well for Baidu, the Chinese-run search engine, and the rip-off artists who take others’ ideas and copy them for their own profit, without risk of backlash from the lawless Chinese government.

A similar site in a country with enforceable laws would have been taken down almost immediately, with cease and desist letters sent within minutes of Google’s legal department becoming aware of the site.

It is pretty clear that China’s government is no friend of the United States legal system, and has no interest in enforcing laws within its borders so long as it can benefit monetarily.  Our government seems to turn the blind eye when it comes to foreign relations with China, not wanting to upset them for fear of something, of which I am not certain.

While I am a huge proponent of using their limitless labor pool which helps us monetize the Chinese market from sales of McDonalds, Coke and eBay, any company that decides to use this labor to build a patented product should do so at their own risk.

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