AvisIn a world where relationships are king, where connection is critical, how is it that AVIS gets to send letters of demand to their clients like the one below. I’m just a little irritated because I think the tone is one in which I’m written to as a stranger who is being warned to pay or be pursued. Maybe I’m being a little sensitive? But I’d find it difficult to write a letter like this to one of our clients, especially this being the first piece of correspondence on an issue that may be really simple to resolve.
HISTORY
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* I’m a client of AVIS
* This happened in March
* It was my fault and I’ve paid (sent the cheque)
QUESTIONS
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1) Did they know I was a customer of theirs before they sent this letter?
2) Assuming they didn’t, and found out I was, would that have changed the tone of the letter.
3) If AVIS was their own customer and received a letter like this, would they continue to use them to rent cars?
4) How come they get from March to June to write to me, but I get only 14 days to write to them?
ADVICE
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* Use your databse. You’ve paid someone a lot of money to develop it. In theory it can be useful.
* It’s OK to abandon the ‘form letter’ and actually write to your real human clients in a real human manner.
* If you’re going to be so anal about collecting money, you should probably send some payment options to people as well (internet transfer is always a good option). The cheque therefore, is in the mail.
CORRECTION
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* Sorry if I’m sounding a little anal now, but the date of accident was 08 March 2005, not May. Does your date error mean I don’t have to pay? You’d be hard pressed to prove I was in Cape Town on or even generously around 08 May 2005. (still, the cheque is in the mail)
The letter…..

AVIS letter to Barrie Bramley
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15 JUNE 2005
FIRST LETTER OF DEMAND
B BRAMLEY
PER E-MAIL: BARRIE@TOMORROWTODAY.BIZ
Dear Sir/Madam,
OUR CLAIM NUMBER : R3/05/16190
OUR INSURED VEHICLE : VW GOLF — NYN342GP
DATE OF ACCIDENT : 08 MAY 2005
PLACE OF ACCIDENT : CAMPS BAY
We are writing to you in our capacity as the owner/bona fide possessor who carries the risk of loss or damage to a motor vehicle bearing the registration number NYN342GP, and driven by our client, [name left out].
On or about 08/05/2005 a collision occurred between our motor vehicle and your motor vehicle.
As a result of the aforesaid collision we suffered damages in the amount of R548-80 being the necessary and reasonable cost to repair our vehicle to its pre-collision condition. We enclose under cover hereof documentation substantiating the loss.
In the circumstances we wish to advise that should payment of the aforesaid amount not be made to our offices within 14 days from the date hereof, legal action will immediately be instituted against yourself without any further notice or delay.
Should you be insured against incidents of this nature you are requested to hand this letter to your insurers who should attend to this matter on your behalf.
Your attention is drawn to the provisions of the Prescribed Rate of Interest Act No. 7 of 1997, in terms of which the above amount shall attract interest at the prescribed rate of 15.5% from the date of receipt hereof until date of final settlement.
Yours faithfully
Janine Keizerwaard
Recoveries Assistant
Tel : (011) 923 3572
Fax: (011) 971 2328
E-Mail: jkeizerwaard@avis.co.za

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