Monday, December 24, 2018

Avis Leaves Passenger Stranded on Christmas Eve with Unknown Debit Card Policy

Update 12/28/2018: Avis executive team has reached out and apologized and will work with addressing the concerns/costs regarding this whole ordeal.  

Update 1/5/2019: Florida Attorney General Pam Brodi's office has sent an inquiry to Avis to follow-up, thanks to Crystal Fukushima for taking care of the follow through on investigating this issue with the Avis Budget Group.

Update 1/10/2019: Avis executive team has investigated with the Avis Tampa location. They found the deficiency to be their policy updates to show up on an online travel agency (OTA) - Pcln. They promised Stacey that they will reimburse all expenses including the cost of the Lyft expense to Ft Myers. 

Update 1/14/2019: Avis refund confirmed.

Case closed.


As I write this, my sister Stacey is frantically looking for a ride home to be with her family on Christmas Eve.

She arrived in Tampa, Florida, with a debit card in hand with a confirmed booking with Avis. The day prior they confirmed with her on the phone that a debit card was acceptable for a one way reservation to Fort Myers, a city two hours south of Tampa. However, when she arrived, an Avis associate by the name of Ibrahim, at Avis Tampa Airport, stated this was not possible. In a convoluted way, he explained this is policy. When asked for a supervisor, he said this was policy and could not help.

Instead of calling for assistance from a superior or escalating to see how this could be resolved to help a customer on Christmas Eve, he commented that because her return flight was on the 31st, she would need to rent the car from the Dec 24th to 31st, even though she only needed it on the 24th.

He also stated they would not refund the $110 booking they charged her debit card.

This type of treatment by Avis / Budget is unacceptable. When Stacey asked Ibrahim where this policy is on their web site, he simply kept responding this was their policy. They now are keeping $110 for no services rendered. They are claiming a policy that isn't listed on any booking page or terms of service is their policy.

Avis. Budget. Tampa. Ibrahim. Shameful and greedy, on Christmas Eve. Santa's giving you coal today.

Please share with your friends and avoid this shameful company. Recordings are available to share, for media inquiries please inquire from

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Remembering Marilyn Dee Parker, 1939 - 2013 on this Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day 2018: I look back at the individuals that have had a profound influence in my life. One of them, is Marilyn Dee Parker.  According to an online obituary, Marilyn passed away a day after Thanksgiving Day in 2013, about five years ago.

Mrs. Parker was the principal at the now closed Fort Myers Junior Academy, previously located at 13235 Palm Beach Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33905. The school was a small K-8 school funded by my church (Fort Myers Seventh-Day Adventist Church), and a ministry supported by Pastor Marvin Williams.

After roofing problems and budget issues, the property was sold and eventually became the Millennium Christian Academy. It was also around this time Mrs. Parker moved on to another state.

While I was sad to see the school go, I was blessed to have been one of the last students there and blessed to have been under Mrs. Parker' tenure.

She made a significant difference in the lives of her students, as she was a very experienced educator and you could see how much she cared for her work. She was strict when we were out of line but focused on ensuring we were exposed to science, math, music, and the arts.

She took over the school when I was in my sixth grade and I was blessed enough to be able to learn from her until I graduated in the 8th grade..

When she arrived, it was my second school year in the United States. I was still adjusting and learning all that is about Southwest Florida and America.

Our middle school was small, and she was the main teacher for multiple grades covering many subjects from geography to creative writing. I remember my first geography report I've ever had to do was over a country called Liechtenstein and I was shaking nervously having to explain up front in class what this country was about. But she encouraged me and others to deliver those reports, to present in front of class, and time after time she pushed her students to be deliver presentations. As stressful as it was, it really helped challenge us and allowed us to learn public speaking.

I also remember her lessons and assignments on metaphors, haikus, general poetry and art. Her husband, David Parker, also setup a small computer science lab where I first learned how to type with Typing Tutor and enjoyed games like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. I still remember Mr. Parker talking about naming conventions of files and folders in the new tech back then: Windows 3.1.

Teachers like Mrs. Parker helped instill confidence in her students and was a strong educator that made the best out of small schools. We didn't have a plethora of PCs back then, but we had one very modern one. We didn't have huge stadiums, but we did have a decent field to run in and a large gym. Her teaching methods strict, but were strategic. She didn't prepare us for high school, or even college, she prepared us for the real world.

How lucky, and thankful I am to have had such a great teacher.


Memorial services for Marilyn Parker, 74, will be at 11:00 a.m. Sunday, December 8, 2013 at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church of Ardmore.

Viewing and a time of visitation and support for family and friends will be Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Harvey-Douglas Funeral Home.

Marilyn Dee Parker died November 30 at approximately 9:25 AM local time in her home in Ardmore OK. She was preceded in death by her daughter Dawn Gallo, and survived by her husband David and son Kenneth. She devoted her life to teaching, specializing in the late grade school years (e.g., 5th and 6th grades).

Marilyn was born Marilyn Garrison to Walter and Medline Garrison in Flint Michigan in 1939. The Garrisons were German farmer who came to America during the revolutionary war. She attended high school at Adelphian Academy in Holly MI and Southern Missionary College in Eastern Tennessee, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in elementary education and met her husband of 51 years, David Wallace Parker. 

After graduation David and Marilyn taught together at Atholton Adventist Academy (in Colombia MD). After a couple of years, they moved back to MI where she supported David through his master’s degree at Wayne State University and they had their first child, Kenneth. After David graduated they resumed teaching together at Platt Valley Academy in Shelton, NE, where they had their second child, Dawn. After the birth of their second child, she stayed home to raise her children. During this time they moved to Keene TX, Greenville NC, and Richmond VA. During this time she earned a Master’s of Arts (MA) in elementary education from East Carolina University and a second master’s in special education from Virginal Commonwealth University. After returning to work she taught in Pitt County Public School (in NC), Blackwell (in Richmond), and Richmond Junior Academy (in VA). In 1980 she was invited to return to her alma mater (now called Southern College) as a professor of education. She often described this as the best years of her life. Latter to support her family she moved away, returning to school herself, working on a doctorate at University of VA, completing all but a Dissertation. Latter she returned to Richmond, and moved to Wilmington DE. Even after retiring and moving to Fort Myers, FL, she returned to teaching. 

Later she moved to Jefferson TX where her and her husband taught together for the last time. In order to support her daughter (who lived in Ardmore) she moved to Ardmore, but couldn’t resist the urge to teach one more time at Beaver Academy.

She was especially known for her ability of turning around failing schools. She once took over as classroom where the previous teacher had been stabbed, in less than a year she not only restored order, but even more importantly raised the achievement level by 2 grade levels. Scores of parents have written to the family with stories about how she “saved” their child academically.

At the time of her death she had been fighting pancreatic cancer for a year. She had an active, happy thanksgiving with friends and family, but could not be roused from her sleep the following day. She woke briefly to say a few words before her death.
She made a difference in the world, quietly, by improving the minds of countless school children.

She will be missed.