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Contract # 179549 Vancouver Airport Billing Dispute
Posted by Bailsb on 01/05/2001
VANCOUVER INT. AIRPORT -- On Dec. 2nd 2000 I rented a Chevy Blazer from your franchise at Vancouver, BC International Airport. The weather was poor and upon inspection of the vehicle I found no damage to the exterior of the car. About 15 miles out of Vancouver, once the sun had broken through the clouds, I noticed 2 small pressure dings on the front windshield. Feeling that this was not a big deal and the fact that I was already far from the airport I proceeded to my destination. Upon returning the car to the airport the check-in clerk immediately sent the car to claims where I was accused of this damage. I told the gentleman at the desk that there was no way I caused this damage. He replied that it was not a big deal and most likely could be fixed. After filling out a report that I adamently denied doing this damage I went on my way. 3 days ago I receive a call from my credit card company telling me I have billed $325 by Budget Rent-a-Car. I promptly call the Airport Budget Rent-a-Car Ph# 604-668-7163 and am put directly into voice mail. After 2 days I finally get through to the customer relations manager, Jennifer Bojczuk. I explain the situation to her. I felt like I was speaking to a wall. She told me she was perfectly comfortable with this billing and that she had made this decision. There are a number of issues I have with this decision. First, I did not do this. Second, there has been no correspondence with me through mail or phone to get my side of the story. Third, your desk attendant was right in the fact that these so called pressure dings were not a big deal and could have been fixed for much less than $325. Now heres the situation. My credit card company is investigating this as an unauthorized billing. I have been a loyal customer of your company as with my father, who is a National Sales Manager for a large U.S. Corporation, as with my mother, who is an event planner for a major U.S. Corporation. I also have a friend who is a writer for the travel section of the Los Angeles Times. Bottom line is that if this is not rectified in some manner this will end up costing Budget Rent-a-Car a whole lot more than $325. Heck, I rent cars all the time. If there is damage that I caused then I have no problem accepting blame and having my company pay the bill. This is a matter of principle at this point. In this day of fast information exchange I am the last person you want as a disgruntled customer. The contract # is 179549 Brendan J. Bailey.I will look forward to a reply in the next 5 business days. After that time I will bring our corporate lawyers in. Thank you for your time.

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Posted by nathan on 2006-10-22:
Hi Brendan,

Just today I returned a car I rented for a few days to the SAME VANCOUVER AIRPORT BC Location
of Budget Rent a Car. The car had a miniture indentation very difficult to see on the windshield chip and a small almost unnoticable scratch on the underside of the back bumper.
Both of these either were not noticed by the inspectors or myself when first signing out the car, or else are very reasonably normal wear and tear expected for a vehicle. I was also told by one of their inspector employee's when taking out the car that I should not worry about any scratches on the bumpers and that they are bumpers after all.

OK - so, after inspecting the car upon its return a few days later they immediately prepared paper work for a claim for an amount of approx. $1200 including miscellaneous charges, basically everything in their book. The claim contains details to the effect that full replacement of the entire back bumper AND front windscreen is required.

I am now contacting my credit card company who provide me with rental vehicle insurance.
They offered me very little explanation, did not want to discuss or look at the marks together in any way, and again immediately had started drawing up a claim report.
I am left shocked and dismayed by this company, their treatment of people and will NEVER rent
a BUDGET rental car EVER again based on this event.

I was VERY interested to come across your report
on SAME VANCOUVER AIRPORT LOCATION and am not surprised by their treatment of you, like myself.

No doubt there will be many others that follow and I hope the appropriate actions are in the future taken by people to put this location/francise out of business.
Posted by japanan on 2008-07-05:
I also had trouble with this location - I would urgently recommend staying away from budget rent a car vancouver airport.

Posted by DigitalCommando on 2008-07-05:
I would not be suprised if the rental records for that vehicle were obtained through a court order, it would be discovered that several of the renters prior to you were hit up with this same charge on their CC's as well. Report this to the attorney general or its canadian equivalent and ask them to investigate.
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Terrible Service
Posted by Alexandritegemini on 01/18/2013
CLEVELAND, OHIO -- My sister rented a car from this company and I went with her. We were lied to about the price and the time to return the car. Budget took more than double out of my sister's account than what the total price that the desk clerk said out of her own mouth. The desk clerk also gave us the wrong time my sister was to return the car. This resulted in her being charged an extra day and double fee. When confronted, the same desk clerk kept apologizing because she knew she was wrong for lying to us. But my sister insisted that something must be done. After speaking to the manager once the clerk did what she can do, they only refunded a quarter of what they were suppose to give back.

Plus, it takes a long time before your money is put back into your account. Well isn't that a [snip]!!! It sure didn't take them long to take the money out! She will never rent from them again and I would never even consider to rent from them either.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2013-01-19:
The TOS prohibits certain language: "...defamatory, vulgar, obscene, profane, sexually oriented..." Disguising such references isn't really going to carry the day.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2013-01-19:
Thanks 8er, 8er, my 8er...message received, loud and clear. ;)
Posted by leet60 on 2013-01-19:
The average person today knows (or should) that the cost of a car rental will rarely be as advertised - it amazes me that anyone would sign a rental agreement without reading it thoroughly and ensuring ANYTHING said by the agent was clearly documented. It really comes down to the fact "if it is not in writing, we didn't say it".
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Posted by on 05/19/2003
COLUMBUS, OHIO -- Budget Rent a Car is the worst company I ever had to deal with. First of all when I rented the car they were very rude to me. Taking other customers in front of me stating that they rent there all the time and that they would be quicker. Then they over charged me. I ended up getting charged $1,209.64 for a rental that should of cost me $159 a week. Budget reasons for charging me this much was that I signed up for all this insurance. The insurance that I was told I had to sign up for until they could verify my insurance. Even though I showed them an insurance card and gave them the telephone number of my insurance agent since it was an insurance rental in the first place. I have done everything to resolve this dispute with this company but they refused. They are rude and they have very bad customer service. I have been refused names of managers I spoke with and I have even been ignored when trying to deal with them in person.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2003-07-08:
Budget Rent a Car is the worst. The worst customer service and they gouge their customers. I rented a car from them and they charged me $50 to clean dog hair out of the backseat. I can understand them charging for this but $50 give me a break. If you try to talk to them they bite your head off, way to treat your customers!!
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Reservations Mean Nothing and Neither Do You to Budget Rental Car
Posted by Ukcat2 on 01/07/2012
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- On June 11, 2011 my wife and I made four future reservations for cars in Las Vegas, Nevada for trips from January 2012 through April 2012. The average number of days for each of the four rentals was five days. We used Travelocity to book but we also called Budget's 800 number to confirm and printed each reservation from the Budget Company Web Site. All seemed to be well but I must say that I was relatively new to dealing with Budget so I did not expect either their lack of concern or their lack of honesty.

On January 2, 2012 (approximately 7 months after our booking) we received emails (2) from a representative of the Las Vegas branch of Budget Car Rental stating that unless we were willing to pay approximately $1000 (yes, one thousand dollars) more than the confirmed price that they had no intention of honoring our reservations. We called immediately and the person who sent the emails refused to come to the phone although we had been informed that she was there. So we filed complaints with both Travelocity and with Budget customer service (now there is a misnomer) and neither of them felt like that a confirmed reservation meant anything as far as I could tell. In fact a Travelocity supervisor promised to call us back either way in two days and he, of course, did not keep his promise.

So apparently someone at Budget got the word and the supposed manager from Las Vegas did give us a call. She contends that Budget has the right to refuse service to anyone they choose and that she was choosing to refuse service to us because our rate was too low. They did not desire to have customers like us who sought out a bargain. Plus, she was sure the whole affair was simply a computer error and they couldn't be responsible for that, could they? Well, just to clarify this part of it we checked Hotwire.com, Travelocity, and Budget.com and all of them had the same rates that we booked. So to say that it was simply a one time computer was a blatant lie and Ms. T-------- certainly knows that.

In conclusion, add this complaint to the hundreds of others on the internet at this very momemt and you can find about a 1,000 reasons why Budget Car Rental Corporation is headed for bankruptcy. People will put up with a lot but dishonesty will eventually put you out of business.

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Posted by griffin21 on 2012-01-08:
I have seen many complaints about retailers not honoring confirmed orders due to pricing errors. I understand your frustration, but pricing errors do happen.

One time I went to Budget Truck at the confirmed time, and the truck was already gone. The guy there showed me that multiple reservations were made against the same truck. I was lucky that they had one larger truck to offer, but the point is reservations are far from ironclad as we would expect.
Posted by Jeff on 2012-01-08:
You know, I have used enterprise in the past, hertz, alamo, and national.....Budget needs to rename to Expensive rental car because they always see to be just that.
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Watch out for what you are signing for!
Posted by Leethai888 on 10/21/2009
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA -- On 10/03/09 I was late to pick up the rental car because I did not know the Budget Rent a Car at Oakland International Airport closed early. So, I ran back the next morning and the sales lady said the contract expired and changed with a new contract. That was fine, but she did not ask if I do not need any Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) and circled couple of items together and asked me to initial for it. I did question about her practice why I had to initial for something that I do not need. (It is not mandatory and normally the LDW is covered by the customer's auto insurance and / or covered by the credit card used by the customer.) She said not to worry and that was for items that I declined. Sure enough the LDW was charged on my way to return the rental.

I think this is a Class Action case for such an illegal practice.
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Posted by saj80 on 2009-10-21:
How about a class-action lawsuit against consumers who fail to take the time to read and/or understand what they are signing.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-21:
Saj: That'll teach'em!
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-21:
You initialed to accept the LDW. They make commissions on selling the insurance so naturally many of them are sneaky about getting you to accept it. Of course they operate under the assumption that most people sign without even reading the paperwork.
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Bait & Switch Tactics!
Posted by Brussell76 on 03/03/2011
I've been a loyal customer of Budget for years, but this past experience will forever sour my opinion of the company. Flight landed just after midnight at ORF. Went to the counter with my confirmed rate of $35.99/day. There were no issues until I returned the car and was shocked to find that they had charged me $75.99/day FOR A COMPACT CAR! Numerous conversations with their customer service agents were met with the proverbial shrugging of the shoulders. They were unwilling to honor my rate...even though they confirmed that they DID quote me that rate. It's a shame that a company with such a strong brand name would rather have $80 NOW than the thousands of dollars I will be spending on rental cars in the coming years. I travel for work and have already booked two other cars with another company. Never thought I'd say it, but steer clear of Budget.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2011-03-03:
I assume that when you picked the car up, the CSR went over the contract, and there was a rate stated. Was it the rate you were quoted when you booked? Have you challenged Budget with this signed contract, that shows the rate you agreed to while at the airport rental counter?
Posted by getoverit on 2011-03-03:
trmn8r makes a reasonable assumption. But I envision another scenario - hypothetical, of course...

Customer arrives at airport - possibly in a bit of a hurry or just tired, due to the late hour and a long flight. Having received a rate quote from Budget and trusting in a company the customer has done business with before, s/he signs the contract and drives away.

Only after bringing the car back and seeing the charges, the customer realizes that Budget charged a different rate than originally quoted.

I'm a big believer in reading contracts, checking numbers, and generally looking out for number one. But, sometimes things reach a point where you just feel like people ought to live up to their commitments. They quoted a rate and they should honor it.

OP: I hope you have that original rate quote in writing. With that documentation, you should be able to file a dispute with your credit card company. Do it in writing, provide documentation, and make it clear that you have made reasonable efforts to resolve the matter directly with Budget. Good Luck.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-03-03:
You ALWAYS read a rental car contract, even if you are tired. I don't trust people, and I certainly don't trust people wielding a list of charges and optional charges I may be liable to pay. I would never assume they are charging the agreed upon rate - same with hotels and motels.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-03-04:
I always read the contract. The last time I rented a vehicle I was in the process of reading the contract the agent said she was in a hurry and didn't have time for me to read the contract. To which I responded "Give me a shorter contract. That will speed things up considerably." She then shut up and waited.
Posted by Whiteduck on 2011-03-04:
tnchuck, that is ingenious. I'll have to remember that one...
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Beware the Fuel Purchase Option
Posted by Jeffster on 01/18/2011
I recently rented a car from Budget Rent-A-Car. At the Budget counter when I picked up my rental car, the agent told me about the fuel purchase option. In fact, she encouraged me to get it because the price per gallon was less than what local gas stations were charging. It made sense, so I got it, at a cost of $35.62. What the agent did not disclose was that there were a variety of taxes and surcharges that go with the fuel purchase option. When I returned the rental car, I was hit with $10.40 in additional (undisclosed) charges for the $35.62 fuel purchase. That's 29% of additional charges! So I ended up paying $46.02 for a tank of gas for a little Toyota Matrix! Beware!!!
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Posted by trmn8r on 2011-01-18:
"You don't get anything for nothing" is what mom always said. Think about it - HOW can they sell you gas for less than the gas station? You say "It made sense" but I don't believe it does. That was your cue to ask more questions.

The last time I faced this, there was some kind of minimum purchase involved or a surcharge of $0.75 a gallon applied over the teaser rate. I did some quick math and figured it would not benefit me.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-18:
That's a hefty fee. I never pre-pay the gas because they don't give you credit for what's left in the tank when you bring the car back. And the dirty scoundrals won't let you siphon the remaining gas to take with you. They call it a safety issue or something or another.

Yeah it sounds pretty when they tell you're buying gas below market price. What they don't tell you is that's only true though if you return the car totally empty. If on the other hand you are like most renters and return the car with five gallons (or more) then that so called below market price per gallon shoots up drastically which is pure profit for the rental company. See they always gotta gotcha. Always.

Excellent review and warning!
Posted by trp2hevn on 2011-01-18:
As far as the whole prepaid gas option, I think it is more for convenience than actual price savings. If you're running late for a flight and have to stop for gas, it could mean the difference between getting on the plane or not. How much would it cost to rebook your flight versus how much you paid for gas? Of course, not everyone is chronically late.
Posted by Obsfucation on 2011-01-18:
It's interesting to note that they always charge for an entire tank of gas. In other words, if the car has a sixteen gallon tank, they hit you for sixteen gallons of gas. But how could you return the car if you used all the gas you purchased? In every case, they get back a car with gas that was paid for by someone else.
Posted by PepperElf on 2011-01-18:
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Empty Gas Tank!
Posted by Darmetsb on 04/11/2014
LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, CALIFORNIA -- On Monday, April 7, 2014, I had a terrible experience with a Budget car rental.

I had been awake for 18 hours, flying across the country after a week away from home. Aircraft mechanical problems had caused me to miss my connection to Santa Barbara in Phoenix, and the two remaining flights were full. After failing to get a seat on standby, I decided to change my plans. I would fly in to LAX, rent a car, and drive home instead. I called Budget from Phoenix, and arranged to pick up a car at LAX after I’d landed.

The plan seemed to be working. By 11:30 that night, I was half an hour from home. It was then, on an empty stretch of freeway at least ten miles from the nearest service station in either direction, that the engine shuddered and died.

Luckily, there was no traffic nearby. I was able to coast from the center lane to the shoulder of the freeway and come to a stop next to a huge erosion abatement wall. I don’t think I would have made it if I’d been boxed in by other traffic. If I’d been stranded on the freeway itself, I would almost certainly have been rear-ended eventually. What had happened?

I tried re-starting the engine, but it wouldn’t run. The fuel tank warning light had also come on. I had, apparently, run out of gas.

I was shocked. Budget had charged me $400 for a 1-way, 1-day car rental, and then had given me a car that didn’t even have enough gas in the tank to register on the guage?

Well, that did explain why the gas gage display didn’t seem right. I had looked at it when I started the car, and I wondered why there was only a single, thin line connecting the Empty and Full marks. I guessed that maybe the line itself might disappear as the tank emptied. It didn’t even occur to me, especially in my travel-weary state, that the tank might be too empty to even register. Of all the times that I’ve rented cars, and I’ve rented a lot of them, I have never been given one that had less than a quarter tank of fuel.

I was lucky in one regard: I’m a AAA member, and I had a cell phone signal. AAA sent a service vehicle with two gallons of gasoline, enough to get me to the next service station. Forty-five minutes later, I was on my way again. The Highway Patrol dispatcher told me that if I’d been another mile or two further up the road, I would not have had a cell phone signal at all, and I might have been stranded for hours.

I called Budget’s customer service number the next morning. The man who answered seemed unperturbed by my complaint. “I’m sorry this happened to you,” he said without much real concern in his voice, “but there’s not much I can do. I just changed the initial fuel level to a quarter tank, but that’s the only adjustment I can make.”

Steve, the desk agent at the Santa Barbara Airport Budget desk, was much more helpful and empathetic when I returned the car. He gave me a significant discount on the rental, under the category of “on-the-road expenses,” and said he was very sorry that I’d been put in such a potentially dangerous situation.

I wasn’t so concerned about the money. I knew the car was going to be expensive when I rented it, and I was desperate enough to get home that I agreed to the rate. What mattered more to me was having a feeling that someone at Budget actually regretted what had happened to me. I appreciated Steve’s obvious concern, and his sincere desire to make amends for the situation.

As it stands, despite Steve’s good efforts, I doubt that I will ever rent from Budget again. You can bet, too, that whenever I rent a car from now on, regardless of how late it is or how tired I am, I’m going to make sure that the tank is full before I drive it anywhere.

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License plates out of date
Posted by Olneyjulie on 03/31/2014
SAVANNAH, SOUTH CAROLINA -- We picked up a Nissan Versa at Savannah airport, took pictures but didn't notice the license plates were expiring the next day (there were temporary plates on the car). We noticed the plates once we got to our resort on Hilton Head, and since we were going to Charleston the next day I called Budget to see what we should do. Budget said the closest place we could go was the Hilton Head Island Airport, which was great - only 2 miles away. They said nothing else. I drove the car to Hilton Head's airport, and the woman there was short, rude and downright insulting. She made it clear (or tried to, I didn't really care) that the Budget at Savannah's airport was Corporate and this location was "private" and she was doing ME a favor by accommodating me. She said I would need to fill the car up with gas if it wasn't full when I returned it. She refused to call corporate or anyone for that matter so I did and made it clear I was NOT paying for any $9/gallon charge. I'm still not sure why I was on the hook for Budget's mistake. She was so snide and condescending afterwards - if this is how they treat customers, it will be worth it to pay extra to not have to deal with Budget ever again.
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We Will Never Rent From Budget Rent A Car Again
Posted by Agcarrier1 on 03/07/2014
BROKEFIELD, WISCONSIN -- Renters beware....I was charged 3 times out of my account without my knowledge or CONSENT! I have tried to get my money back 3 times with this bogus company to no avail. They have now charged my account 3 times my total amount to the total of almost $1000! I was also quoted one price and then they took out more money then the original quote!

I have now made a 4th call and they still have not put any money back in my account...now if this does not get resolved in a timely manner I will have to file a small claims with the court due to fraudulent activity on my account!
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Posted by Ralph on 2014-03-08:
Stop the charges with your credit card company.
Posted by Paul on 2014-03-08:
What was the explanation for the multiple charges, and the fact you were charged more than you were quoted?

When did Budget say they were refunding funds? It can take 1 to 2 weeks for an electronic refund to be processed.

With 2700 locations worldwide, personally I would not call Budget a "bogus" company.
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