REYNOLDSBURG, OHIO -- Upon returning my rental to the depot, the young lady working behind the counter went to gather all the information from the vehicle and gave me the completed receipt. I inquired if all was in order with everything and was told yes. Upon reviewing my receipt, inside the depot with the agent, I again inquired if all was in order and was told yes. My reason for inquiring twice is because upon my arrival to pick up the car the same agent had given me an incorrect rental agreement. Upon reviewing it I made mention and she fixed the error which almost cost us an additional $400.
Now I get back, return the car full of gasoline, as the receipt shows, and we identified prior to leaving the depot, that everything is good. I now find myself with a gas bill over a month later, for $89.67 and needing to provide a detailed gas receipt after I have provided the return receipt (checked over with the agent and myself prior to leaving) and my debit charges, from my bank, as I have been told by customer service. Three times now I have been asked to provide something different to prove we returned the car full, when the receipt from Budget/Avis identifies that is so.
Horrible customer service, lack of commitment for documentation provided to the customer by the business and lack of customer care from the four individuals I have had the opportunity to speak with and no return call from the individual that sent me the second notice.
WEST PALM FLORIDA -- I found a great price online. Yay! I got the confirmation emails stating my SUV would be available at the location. Everything was actually going right. I get to the location and just trying to get into the location, that was mislabeled, was a pain. No biggie tho. I got to the desk and they inform me that my SUV was "already reserved by other customers." I informed her that I had a reservation as well and she stated "I don't know."
She did state she could get me a really good discount tho on a full sized vehicle, since that was the biggest they had. I have at the time an infant which meant I had to put a stroller, pack 'n play, suitcases and coolers in this trunk. I own an SUV at home. Let's just say it was very inconvenient. I reserved the SUV for 23 a day, the "really good discount" she gave me was $19 a day for the full size. That special discount was the same price I could have booked it for online in the first place. I decided to just do it since we were in a pinch for time and I couldn't go elsewhere.
I get in the car, it's an older model, huge dirt and grass pile on the floor mat. When I had turned on the vehicle I got a notification that the windshield washer fluid was almost gone, mind you I haven't used it once yet. We decided to extend our hotel stay since it was so nice there, Diamond Resorts, and when I called customer service to extend my rental for 1 additional day the lady that answered the phone through the 1800 number and told me the only way I could extend it is if she made all the days $32 a day, bumping up the $19 a day that I was already being charged.
WHAT?? $13 upcharge per day for four days we had already booked and now an additional $32. They ended up rerouting me to the location I rented at and they got me the $19 a day price, but still, that was tacky to try that low blow. I will never rent from Budget as long as I live. I will not recommend my friends to Budget. Don't do it if you are considering going through them. We rented 5/20thish and I'm still getting random hidden fees, today is 7/4/16. Oh I will let the fireworks fly when I do end up calling them.
I have never in my entire life dealt with such horrible customer service. After driving their car for approximately 20 minutes it broke down in an extremely bad neighborhood. I called Roadside Assistance and was told a tow truck would be there in an hour to take me to the nearest airport to get a replacement car. I told them I had an extremely important work event, the reason I rented the car, that I could not miss. I was told there was nothing that could be done and they refused to send someone to get me.
After an hour passed and still no tow truck, I called back and was assured the truck was “around the corner.” Another hour passed. I called customer service management and was told I would be refunded for my trouble. I wasn't. I had to call them after I saw the charges appear on my card a few days later to have them removed.
After another hour passed I called Customer Service again and spoke to the rudest customer service manager I have ever dealt with. I told him it had now been close to 5 hours. Not only had I missed my meeting but I had to get home to get my children. He couldn't care less and quite rudely told me that “Budget doesn't have any type of service to pick up customers.”
After waiting for 5 HOURS there was no exception that they could make to help their customer, a single female, in a bad neighborhood who had waited 5 hours. I was basically told I should have gone with Enterprise. Throughout the whole experience no one from Customer Service ever called back to check on me or see how I was. If I hadn't called, no one would even have verified if I was ever picked up.
After waiting SEVEN HOURS I finally took a $200 Uber ride home, where I had to pay an extra $100 to my babysitter. I spoke with a customer service agent a few days later who after telling her my story, made NO attempt to apologize or offer any type of reimbursement for my ride home or discount on future cars to keep me as a customer.
No one throughout my entire Budget experience made any attempt to apologize or keep me as a customer. Oh, and the tow truck called me at 9 p.m. (my car broke down at 1 p.m.) to tell me he was there. Budget had zero problem with me, a female alone at night, broken down, waiting 8 hours for a tow.
DENVER, COLORADO -- I made a reservation with Budget rental car. In my confirmation email the price was going to be $110 for three days because of my military discount. I served in the Marine Corps. When I arrived in Denver they said they did not have the same car that I reserved so they were going to upgrade me for free. I said I would not like to upgrade if it would be more money and I showed them the email for my reservation. They said, "No it will not be any more money. You will still be charged $110."
After I dropped the car off and got home I saw that on my credit card I was charged $240. When I called Budget they were very rude and told me I should've read the fine print for an upgrade. So when you are at Budget and they tell you they're upgrading you for free do not listen to them because they are lying just to make money. I will never rent from them again. And I see how Budget rental car treats the military. Please to all my military friends out there do not ever rent from Budget rental car again.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- Rental for three days returned in two. Was charged for three because they stated I missed the drop off by 29 mins.
Everybody needs to look at how they start charging, it's when you sign the paperwork while standing at the counter.
Then the car was not in the location to be picked up at, we asked a porter the location of the parking area the car should be located and we had been pointed in the wrong direction. This after being on the wrong floor in which we had been told to go to.
So, my point is this we lost time in the beginning of the rental with screwed up directions, start time while standing at the desk, being directed to the wrong floor, wrong location for the car and then the car was not in its spot. So this 29 minutes of being late is a bunch of crap. Rent from somebody else. What a bunch of thieves.
SAN JOSE, VIRGINIA -- Had to come to CA for surgery and chose car company that claimed to allow additional drivers (as I wouldn't be able to drive). Was directly lied to about the rental car being able to do this. They refused to allow the additional drivers as they had promised. I tried to resolve this via the phone and was first hung up on 5 times from the San Jose office. Then it was 2 hours of phone time trying to resolve this, being passed from person to person, and being hung up on multiple times. Total nightmare.
I arrived at an airport and they said they did not have a car. Later I contacted Budget and they pointed out that I had made the reservation less than 48 hours in advance. They do not have to honor reservations made less than 48 hours in advance. It is their policy - be aware.
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 into 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 gauge?
Well, that did explain why the gas gauge 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 may be 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.
NEW YORK, WASHINGTON -- Today I received yet another $8.95 charge on my credit card from Budget rental cars. Here is the original experience: I rented a car yesterday at the 304 W 49 St. facility in Manhattan yesterday. I can honestly say it was the worst experience in my rental car world. ** was the initial rental agent. I have to say, her customer relations skills are nonexistent. The previous customer was in tears because ** was so unhelpful. While waiting on me she continuously repeated, “Jesus Christ.” But, that is just her customer relation skills. Her agent skills are worse.
I asked the ** if I could add the E-Z Pass to my contract as I am from out of state and as I was going to be using the Henry Hudson Bridge, which is a toll bridge. She assured me I could pay cash. WRONG. Now I know, from a previous experience with Budget in Denver, that I will receive not only a bill for the toll, but also a fee for this “service” from Budget, which (4 years ago) was $10 and I predict the “service fee” will be nearer to $25 now, for EACH time I used the bridge. I am beginning to think this is a money-making racket Budget uses to increase their revenues. When I rented the car, I was told the gas tank was full, when I checked, I saw it was only a quarter full.
I returned to ** who snapped, “Tell the security guard.” I replied, “I did, and he told me to tell you.” After she cursed, she scribbled on my contract and gave it back to me. As I could not read what she wrote, I took a photo of the dashboard. Good thing. When I returned the car that evening and told **, the rental agent, she asked, “Did you take a picture?” I replied, “Yes I did. Now, tell me why you are EXPECTING ME to do the job of the rental agent?” When I told ** about the no cash lane on the bridge, she said, “Most of our cars don't have the EZ-Pass, but the car you rented does. Did you open the box?”
I asked, “What box? And if that is so, don't you think the rental agent should have told me that when I asked about paying for the EZ-Pass?” She began to give me another song and dance until I walked over and pointed to a sign on the wall about EZ-PAss. (This sign was so unhelpful, it did not explain anything, which was probably the point.) Now, most people rent cars to get out of Manhattan and unless you swim, the only way to do that is via a toll bridge or tunnel. Do not tell me the rental agents at Budget do not know this. When I get my “Service fee” letter I am reporting this to the Better Business Bureau.
And if Budget insists I pay this “service fee” I will charge them with fraud in Small Claims Court. I will NOT be taken advantage of again. So, Mr. **, here's the thing. You can help straighten this out, meaning, NOT CHARGE me for that “service fee,” or I will post this letter everywhere in the social media world that exists. Let me mention that I write about travel for newspapers and websites. And before I write about this adventure, I'll give you the opportunity to do something about it.