AVIS refused to rent a car to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) SVP Dov Bergwerk and his wife Ruth because they are Israeli, the "New York Observer" reports.
The "New York Observer" recounts that the Bergwerks arrived on Saturday evening, at the Avis branch on West 76th Street and Broadway. They were planning to join friends for dinner in Westchester. "Bergwerk showed his driver’s license, reservation number and “Wizard” loyalty card - he’s rented from Avis dozens of times before - and anticipated the usual smooth transition into a nondescript mid-sized sedan."
However, the reservation agent Angelline and then her manager Shamoura Welch-Robinson refused to honor Bergwerk's reservation on the grounds that it is company policy not to recognize Israeli documents. After he phoned customer service who explained to Welch-Robinson that Israeli documents were acceptable, the AVIS representative changed course and argued that Bergwerk was being refused because he had argued about the way he was being treated in front of other customers.
Bergwerk felt he was being discriminated against for being Israeli. He said, "While no direct reference was made to being anti-Israel, that was my impression almost from the initial moment I presented my license and credit card as I have done over 15 years of business and leisure travel without ever being challenged. The agent stated that the Israeli license did not have the required info in English. I tried to demonstrate that the license had all the required info but she and the manager had no interest. Similarly, the fact that I have had many rentals at AVIS and at this location was dismissed as having been ‘done by new employees.”
AVIS told the "Observer," "A customer seeking to rent a car from AVIS Car Rental in Manhattan was not allowed to do so because he failed to provide the required documentation. Visitors to the US from other countries must provide both a valid drivers license from their country of residence as well as either a valid International Drivers License or passport in order to rent from AVIS. We are aggressively investigating the customer’s allegations regarding the handling of this matter, as we do not tolerate any form of discrimination. So far, our ongoing investigation suggests that this customer is unfairly maligning us with unfounded allegations.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 22, 2015
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