In late May, I flew with my daughter from California to Kennedy International Airport in New York, where I rented a car from Avis and headed to Connecticut for a three-day family visit. On day two, I parked the car in Waveny Park in New Canaan and when I returned, it was gone. The local police told me they had impounded the rental because Avis had reported it stolen to the New York Police Department. I had planned to spend the last day of my trip with my 80-something mother, whom I had not seen for three years because of the pandemic, but had to waste precious hours on hold with Avis’s customer service department. They eventually offered me a new car but I was unable to coordinate picking it up, so we ended up relying on my sisters to get around. I was only able to spend a few hours with my mom and had to take a $100 Uber back to the airport. I asked Avis not to charge me for the rental, but they did, $653, and when I disputed the charge with Capital One, Avis fought me. I can’t believe Avis is renting out cars they have reported stolen, and then charging its clients. Can you help?
It is very frustrating that Avis did not quickly issue you a refund or, even better, go out of its way to get you a new car. But my reporting shows that the real question is not whether Avis is “renting out cars they have reported stolen” — it’s whether they knew the previous renter had reported it stolen and still somehow gave it to you.
Through Edelman, a public relations firm, Avis sent me a statement from Beth Gibson, the company’s vice president for customer experience. In it, Ms. Gibson said Avis apologized to you and has now refunded the rental cost, and implied that the company had not known the rental was reported stolen.
“We regret that the refund did not occur more expeditiously. Avis only reports to authorities as a last resort and has comprehensive safeguards in place to prevent erroneous or premature theft notifications,” the statement continued, then it noted that the car rented to Lorraine “was reported stolen by a previous renter without our prior knowledge, which caused our customer’s rental car to be towed.”
What did the two police forces involved have to say? A statement I received from the New York Police Department at least partially backs up Avis’s story: On Friday, May 26, at 8:17 p.m., “a 42-year-old female” reported that she had earlier “parked her car in front of 277 Beach 87th Street” and later returned to find the vehicle was “missing.”
That Beach 87th Street address, in Queens, is cater-corner to Rockaway Beach’s Tacoway Beach, a food stand that serves “the taco that changed Rockaway,” according to a 2019 report in these very pages. So I suppose it is possible that this driver, on a Memorial
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Older adult drivers with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a significantly higher crash risk compared with their counterparts without it. Until now, research on ADHD and driving safety was largely limited to children and young adults, and few studies assessed the prevalence of and its association with crash risk among older adult drivers.
This Saturday, October 14, a solar eclipse will be seen across the Americas. From inside a 125 miles wide path stretching across the U.S. Southwest and on to Central and South America, a “ring of fire” will be glimpsed for a few minutes as a smaller-looking new moon covers only the middle 90% of the sun.
As a flock of noisy jet skiers circle the Statue of Liberty on a warm October evening, Matthew Rhys looks out at the horizon. “There’s a Welsh word, hiraeth, which is loosely translated to ‘a longing for home,’" he says. “But it's something slightly more than that. It's a longing for something that can never be again.”
A “ring of fire” annular solar eclipse is coming to Texas and you don’t have much time left to make a plan. On October 14, 2023, the 125 miles wide path of the “ring of fire” solar eclipse will surge across the Lone Star state between 11:41 a.m. CDT and 12:00 p.m. CDT, according to GreatAmericanEclipse.com, with a long partial solar eclipse either side.
In earlier eras, notables such as Theodore Roosevelt, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Thoreau, Emerson, Sinclair Lewis held court on the grounds of Troutbeck, a private estate since the 1700s in the eastern stretch of the Hudson Valley. These days, since reopening as a resort in 2017, the property is still a cultural gathering place on its 250 acre, Lower Berkshires spread but now the guests are mostly serenity seeking New Yorkers up from the city a two hour drive or train ride away. (Out of staters also fly into Stewart International Airport an hour away). And there are new additions and others in the works to attract them all.
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A recent visit to Governors Island came a few days after a conversation I’d had with my father in which he’d instructed me to act like a tourist in my own city. He’d started by asking simply how I was filling my summer weekends, and I answered honestly that most of my free time was spent reading in one park or another and going to bars in my Brooklyn neighborhood. “New York City,” he reminded me (with earnest intention to inspire, no righteousness detected), “has more things to do in it than you’ll be able to see in a lifetime.”
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