KAHULUI, HAWAII -- Beware and do not rent from this company. These sleazebags are trying to charge me $272 for a bald tire that blew out. Roadside service said this and one other tire was disintegrating and unsafe to drive on. Budget is actually trying to hold me responsible for this wear and tear item caused by their irresponsible maintenance of the vehicle. They expect me to pay for an existing item that occurred over thousands of miles which I did not cause.
My bank is reversing the charges and said Budget has no right to charge me. Budget states they will continue to aggressively pursue collection on it. It is interesting to note that Budget Rent A Car has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau, and this rating is reflective of worldwide corporate owned rental locations.
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- Two or three years ago I had very pleasant, courteous and professional experience with BUDGET in Sunnyvale, CA. And the price was right too. At that time, I decided to stay with BUDGET for my future needs. Disclaimer: I do need to rent a car once, sometimes twice a year. In other words, I am not a heavy user of the rent-a-car service(s).
My experience from Jan 14th, 2015: I needed a car for 5-7 days from Sunday Jan 11th, 2015 onwards. Called BUDGET's 800 number to make reservation. A lady on other side was very nice, polite, friendly and fast. Her name was Aisha, Usha or something similar - Japanese name. We agreed about the car (Ford Focus or similar). She gave me a quote for CCA $580, including full insurance, unlimited mileage and taxes. She said that cancellation of the reservation will cost me $10. If I do not pick up a car (or something similar) I have to pay $50. I agreed and gave her credit card number.
Unfortunately, my traveling plans changed before the pickup day. I needed to cancel or change the reservation. I was willing to pay $10 fee. Called 800 number. After many automated questions, I got on the phone a live person. I do not remember his name. His attitude, during the conversation was "I do not care about anything, I have to do what I am paid for." No friendliness, very annoying attitude.
On the bright side. He understood what I want to do. I wanted to change the reservation day from Sunday, Jan 11th. He said "No." He also said, "The full price is going to be $40 less than the original quote ($580)." I said, "Great, I like to Wednesday Jan 14th, 2015." He said, "No problem, I can do it for you." I asked him if I need to pay for the change outcome.
On Jan 14th 2015, I've showed up at the BUDGET office (San Jose International Airport) to pick up the car. The sales associate asked for the reservation number. I gave it to him. He checked his computer and said that I need to have another reservation number, because my reservation number was for the past Sunday Jan 11th 2015. I told him, I do not have any additional or new reservation number.
He said, in such a case, he will use the original reservation number to proceed with the process. The price is going to be $880 + $80 for GPS. Total of $960. I could not believe my ears. The price went $300 UP just because of the change of the pickup date. If I would have known that, when I changed the pickup date, I would cancel the reservation and go shopping elsewhere for the better price.
Reminder: the person, who made a change over the phone four days before, told me that the price is going to be $40 less than the original quote. I told sales associate that I am going to one of the competitors to get a better deal. Another reminder: I was at San Jose International airport where are CCA, 10 other Rent-a-Car offices in one row. He said, that I will not find a better deal, because today was a very busy day for all of them. Most of the cars in my category were gone. I said to myself... "Hmm this is a bummer."
Then I told him that I would like to talk to his manager. He said, "Ok...just wait, please, for a sec." Then I waited, 5 - 10 minutes. Nothing. I got bored and decided to talk to another car rental company (SIXT). The lady was very polite and friendly. She said, "Yes, we have car for rent, but not in Ford Focus price range. It is going to cost you $680 all included + GPS as a complimentary." So, I got 4-door BMW with GPS.
Went back to the BUDGET front desk. The manager did not show up yet. The initial sales representative was not there either. Few minutes later another gentleman came to the front desk. I thought... "Wow...great." This is the manager. I approached him and started to explain my case. He listened to for a minute, saying nothing. Then a lady next to him said, "No, he is not a manager. He is sales associate on training." Few minutes later the first sales associate came back (no manager yet) telling me that they cannot do anything to accommodate me. The price is $880.
I said to him "Ok, then please cancel my reservation." He answered, "No, I cannot do this. You have to talk to the company who gave you the reservation." I told him, "The company was the BUDGET and you work for BUDGET." He was firm. He said few times in a row, you have to call the company who gave you reservation. I wished him a nice day, left the BUDGET's desk and went to SIXT. Paid $680 to SIXT. Got a better car, paid $200 less than BUDGET and got GPS for free.
Came home, called BUDGET, one more time, to cancel the reservation. I explained to the gentleman the whole situation and asked for refund. He said, "Ok, I can cancel the reservation. It will cost you $50." Again, I could not believe what I heard. I told him that I was in the BUDGET's office to pick up the car on time. He still did want to waive the $50 fee. Then I asked him to transfer the call to his manager.
A nice person (Daryl) answered the phone. He was very polite, he listen to me, and he apologized for all troubles I had with their sales representatives. He also told me that I will get a full refund in 2-3 days. Conclusion: Stay away from BUDGET. You can spend your time better.
NEW JERSEY -- I reserved a rental truck from Budget and even received a reminder email on 11/26/2015 verifying and reminding me of my reservation **. When we went to pick up the reserved truck located at (Budget of Federal Way) 34225 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way at 8:00 AM, the dealer was not open and was about 25 minutes late in doing so. Is this how you want Budget to be represented?
When they arrived at approximately 8:25 AM, we were told they did not have any trucks and could not help us. I was at the very least upset but it gets worse. I contacted your Corporate Customer Service at 800-455-1332 and I was literally told the same thing but they added, “Someone from Budget should have contacted you about not having a truck available.” These comments were made by a fleet manager, I believe his name was **. I did not get any phone call only the confirmation and reminder email. I was also reminded by ** to look at my rental contract.
Only a hint that Budget does not guarantee anything and it appears your contract is only downside for your customer. I trusted that I would get the service I expected. You should be ashamed!! I am a mid-level manager for a large corporation and if anyone that worked for me provided the same answers to our customers, I would at a minimum given them some sort of corrective action if not fired them.
While looking up the Budget Corporate office address, I noticed social media posts about Budget which I included in this envelope. Have you ever read these? You should be ashamed of the postings about Budget's poor service. I also realize that often time people do not share good experiences, only bad. I do share both bad and good. I have already signed up for a Twitter account so I can share my Budget experience with the world. I contacted Penske and they were very professional and found a truck for me.
I do not expect anything from Budget. You should be thankful that there are some people that share experiences with you so you can make things better, based on the social media postings that does appear it will happened. I will also contact my company's corporate Travel Manager about my Budget experience. I want to make sure others at our company do not, nor have the same experience while traveling as I did with a truck rental. I feel sorry for you, I am blessed to work for a company that cares for its customers. I do hope your admin gives this to you. My admin gives me the bad news too. I am still flabbergasted!!
WINDSOR LOCKS, FLORIDA -- I have NEVER interacted with such unknowledgeable staff or had such a difficult time retrieving information. When I placed my order online, I paid for the entire rental of the vehicle and was required to pay the "estimated taxes and fees" when I picked the vehicle up. When I arrived, the employee who was helping me informed me that my remaining charges were more than THREE times the "estimated taxes and fees."
When I asked how this could be, he simply said he didn't know. At this point, I asked to speak to a manager. Instead, he sent me to a different counter with another employee. This woman looked at my reservation and told me, "Can you read? It says estimate." I was irate. That is no way to speak to a customer. Again, I asked for a manager and was told that there was no manager on site.
I was appalled at the service I was receiving and wanted to cancel my order. However, they had already charged me before I signed for the payment. My card was charged, and there was "nothing we can do, ma'am." I became upset and asked for the keys so I could leave, deciding to worry about the situation later. After all, I was on vacation.
When I returned home, I received two more charges from Budget. I called the toll- free number to ask what they were for, and one woman told me that they were for tolls (which is understandable). Another woman told me I was incorrectly charged when I retrieved my vehicle so she refunded a little over $100. Each time I received a charge and called Budget, I asked to speak to a supervisor.
Each time, I was told that they were unavailable and would be called back. It has been two weeks, and I am still waiting. The service is unacceptable, and my entire experience was frustrating. I will never rent from Budget again, and I would certainly not recommend that anyone else does either.
MARRERO, LOUISIANA -- I rented a moving truck from Budget on Aug 15th, 2015. I was moving from Louisiana to Texas. About an hour into my drive, the truck started smoking. I pulled over only to notice transmission fluid leaking terribly. I called their roadside assistance at 5:30 pm. They told me the ETA for a mechanic to come out was 9:00p. Around 9:30p no mechanic, so I called back only for them to tell me that the mechanic said he'd come and I'd abandoned the truck.
Mind you I was on I-10 in the middle of NOWHERE! Why would I, a female by herself risk walking on a dark interstate? Anyway at 12:00 midnight a wrecker came to recover their truck only because they thought I'd abandoned the truck. Little to their surprise I was still inside of the truck.
The wrecker took the truck to the truck yard and then brings me to a hotel to get a room for the night. Meanwhile, I'm still trying to get a resolution from Budget. I was told that a mechanic will be there 7:00 am Sunday morning. Guess what? NO mechanic! I had to call my mom to come and find me on the highway to bring me to another moving truck company to rent another truck.
Once I got another truck, we had to unload the Budget truck onto the other truck (Very tiring by the way). I got a call from Budget around 11:00 am Sunday asking me what hotel am I at, just so they'll know, but she'll contact me later with an update on getting me another truck. By then I'd already purchased another truck from another company on my own.
Monday morning comes around 10:00 am, Budget called me again about an ETA on an mechanic coming for 3:00 pm. Are you kidding me?! Good thing I'd already gotten a new truck from another company or I'd probably still be sitting on the side of the road today which is Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. Budget is the worst company I have ever dealt with!
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- In May of this year, my wife and I rented a Jeep Grand Cherokee from Budget. It had less than 200 miles on it when we picked it up at SFO. After five days and about 800 miles, we returned it to the same lot at SFO. It was full of gas, that they initially tried to charge me for, but we got that straightened out before we headed to the terminal. After an inspection by the attendant, found no damages, we unloaded our luggage and went inside.
Now it's August. I received a call from the Claims Department telling me that I owed another $206 for damage to the windshield. I was never notified that the windshield was damaged, but they tried to tell me that in the summer heat, the windshield cracked because of damage that was done while I was driving. I asked if they had rented the car in the last three months to anyone else. I was told that they did rent it out, but it was my fault, even though the damage was never pointed out to me at the time I returned the call. I asked for **'s manager and he was conveniently at lunch at 3:00 in the afternoon, and he couldn't afford me the courtesy of a return call. What a joke.
I can't believe they are even in business if this is the way that they treat customers. I called the Budget office at SFO to get a copy of the damage report and the lady that I spoke to on the phone had no clue what I was talking about. She did send me another copy of my receipt, which showed no mention of damages, but she couldn't find any notes about damages. Like I said above, they are absolute crooks. They wait until 90 days after the rental and then try to steal from a customer.
AKRON/CANTON, OHIO -- I reserved & prepaid for a rental out of the Akron Canton airport. Because my flight arrived after the closing time I called before reserving the vehicle to inquire as to whether they would stay to give me the rental; I was assured they would and they put my flight information into the system. I know this was done because when I called on the day of the reservation to again confirm someone would be at the counter to assist me my flight information was repeated to me.
Upon my arrival at the airport, at midnight, there was a sign on the Budget counter saying go to the Avis counter. There was no one at the Avis counter & the girl at the neighboring desk said "He left". When she messaged him he said there was no flight information in the system. When I called the next day to lodge a complaint I was told someone from corporate would contact me. With it being the holiday I didn't realize no one did until the following Tuesday.
When I spoke to a customer representative I was told that she wasn't sure why someone would tell me they would follow up because the counter closed prior to my flight arrival time. I replied maybe because they thought Budget cared about such a poor show of customer service & would be interested in attempting to right the wrong. Clearly I was wrong. Don't rent from Budget if you have a late flight or you'll be stranded at the airport!!
FRANKFURT AIRPORT -- We rented a Skoda car for 6 days from the Budget Agency at the Frankfurt Airport. We had no problems or accidents with the car and returned it October 23rd full of diesel. When we checked it in, there was no damage to the car according to the check-in person.
Two weeks later we received a letter that we were being charged 220 euros for damage to the car. The corporate Budget Customer Service person justified the charge by saying they probably found damage we didn't notice. After seeing all the other complaints about Avis and Budget, it is a common problem at the Frankfurt Airport to get ripped off by Avis and Budget for damage after you're gone. Avoid Avis and Budget at Frankfurt Airport!
PORTLAND, WISCONSIN -- I inadvertently left my camera and case in the car I rented upon returning it to fly home. I immediately called Budget Lost and Found to lodge a report but had to do so after the department had closed. I left a message with the information I thought to be correct and was going to call the minute Lost and Found opened the next business day. I didn't have to as the staff beat me to it. They found my camera and were excited they could help out. It was shipped back to me that day.
I was beyond thrilled with the honesty of the staff and their desire to get my camera back to me as quickly as possible. The gentleman that called me was pleased he could make my day. I had absolutely no issues with my vehicle during the time I had it. Very clean, comfortable and was just what I needed. I will definitely be working with Budget in the future when I need to rent a car.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- Worst car rental experience ever!! Got to MCO at close to midnight with tired kids and the line at Budget was over an hour long. Finally made it to the counter and agent refused to rent a car to me based on last name difference between pre-divorce last name and maiden name. Took another hour to straighten out. Exhausted and screaming kids at this point. Online reservation from third party quoted $578.04; Budget slapped on "upgrade" and "liability insurance" after I told the agent I don't need anything and looked away to calm the kids. Ended up being charged $853.82 ($275.78 and 48% more than online reservation).
DON'T use Budget just because they are the cheapest you can find. You get what you paid for. In this case, I did pay for my lesson. Worst experience and customer service just built more frustrations. Ground agent Adil was especially rude amongst them all.