ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I called Budget to be sure I could pick up a car at the airport and I would go directly to the car. I was instructed to create an account on the Budget website which I did. I created the account and ordered the car including my flight info, driver license information and I prepaid for the rental. We flew into Orlando and went to get the car. The nastiest person I have encountered in car rentals basically told me she didn't care what anyone at Budget told me. In Orlando you go to the desk and get the envelop with the car info if you want a car and if we didn't like it go someplace else. Oh yeah we will still charge you for the car.
I had to go back into the airport and wait for 1.5 hr online to get my car. Budget was the only car rental service with a line of more than 5 people in the airport. Budget had 30 to 40 people. As I stood waiting on the line another woman came out who seemed to be a supervisor or something like that. Not only did she not help but she started flirting with a younger guy that was helping customers. So now the line slowed while this woman was trying to get a date to phrase it politely.
Finally got to the car. It was not a Mustang as ordered. The driver side of the car we got was covered in bird crap. There was a part of the car missing. I had trouble seeing out of the windows. They were so dirty. The person before us must of used a suction cups on the front window and it left marks all over the windshield. There was dirt and dust everywhere inside of the car. I frequently travel for work and have used every car rental there is and have never encountered anything like this.
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.
DENVER, COLORADO -- We flew into Denver to see a concert in Boulder, I had a reservation with Budget. When we got to the car when we got to the rental agency the line was out the door. We waited an hour and 1/2 they only had 4-6 agents to help which kept changing. I realize it's not the location's fault. I just got off the phone with customer service it was basically too bad too sad. I will never use Budget again.
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.
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.
LOS ANGELES, NORTH CAROLINA -- Never again! My 9 year old son & I were traveling to Simi Valley, CA to see fam. to celebrate my son's 10th birthday, Spring Break, & Easter. Very special trip. We were traveling from CLT, NC where we live. We left at 11:40 ET, connected @ Cincinnati airport in KY for almost 3 hours. We finally arrived in LA, it was around 6:10pm, was on-time, & had been a long day for my son. I am more than familiar w/ the LAX airport & the area as I have been traveling to California for over 30 years back & forth from Charlotte.
My husband & I did book our rental car through Priceline which we don't usually do (we are Enterprise customers... to save a little since it was Easter weekend/Spring Break--I Fully regret now). Our reservation was for 6:30pm PT (like it mattered). We weren't able to catch the first 2 shuttles to the LAX Budget location due to both shuttles being full, so that was a 30-45 min wait at the airport. When we were able to "Squeeze" onto the 3rd shuttle, it was a 15 min ride to the Budget Rental Car destination.
As we were on the way over, I thought to myself, dang, there were two FULL shuttles before us, we are going to have to wait behind all of those people. I accepted that, but thinking that maybe 30ish people.... Boy was I wrong when we arrived! When we got off the shuttle, it felt like we were at Disneyland walking up to a brand new ride! At least 50 people in line outside & kids wandering around bored and complaining..... parents cursing & complaining... I'm excited about this since we'd already Pre-Paid for this rental car!
As I'm standing in line outside, I'm texting my husband who is on a different flight due to scheduling issues. I am pissed and my son is beyond tired from the East Coast/West Coast time change. Every 15-20 min someone would come out the front doors (Where I thought this HELL line ended) saying they were either going to AVIS or elsewhere, this place is BS, or this place wasn't worth the wait, or I waited 2 hours for this crap. That's just great! Look what I have to look forward to! We waited in the line outside the door for at least one hour and 15 min, maybe a few min more, just to see that the line wrapped all around half the area inside the doors!!!!! REALLY?
I'm beyond pissed and just over this place already! There was not ONE person in this place w/ a smile on their face, customers, workers, no one! As I watch all of the customers and the 3 employees working, this was just a bad situation all around! The employees didn't look the least bit friendly, they didn't want to be there, looked like they could give a damn less about how busy they were, all the pissed off people, etc! Why the hell do you only have 3 people working on EASTER/SPRING BREAK WEEKEND? Either they weren't prepared or didn't care!
After we finally got through the front doors, I saw that there were some seats over in the corner so my 9 yr old could go sit down. I felt so bad, my son was one of like 6 kids over there sitting down bored & tired beyond belief! Kudos to the little boy dressed as Batman walking around asking if he could save us lol, if not for him, most of us would have cracked! I am about 10 back in line, & a 4th employee decides to join the madness at the counter. It seemed as if he actually gave a damn and was trying to speed the line up. So that was a tad comforting.
When it was my turn to go to the counter After over two hours! I was helped by the one I didn't want to help me, the girl that looked like she was the least caring, worst attitude, rolled her eyes, bad customer service!! Just my luck! I was already pre-paid, so I had to give my CC for the $100 hold, fine, I knew that. Unlike Enterprise, you have to purchase their insurance at an $11 a day minimum. So I agreed to that, totaled $55 so I was fine with that, like I had a choice. I would've taken a moped at that point I had been waiting so long!!!
So I finally get my car, get my paperwork & tell me where to go... B37, so I walk all the way back there w/ my son & our luggage. They DON'T walk around the car to check damage, check fuel, etc, which really bothered me. When we got to the car, the keys were already in the car. So I start getting my son & I settled in & our luggage inside, a guy walks up behind us and asks us if we were assigned B37... yes we were!! (This guy was behind me in line.) We were assigned the same car! How does that happen?
I told him he needed to go back inside and check them on that! I had waited over two hours w/ a child. I was done. He was behind me in line anyway, so I said you can go get another car! Screw that! The next morning (4/06/15) I noticed damage on both sides of the front-end & had transmission issues not noted on the paperwork, so my husband drove the POS back not trusting it w/ my son & I on 4/8 to return. The guy questioned my hubby about the damage! It was already there along w/ bad transmission! BS charges, disputes if needed. Never rent from these jokers again. You get what you pay for!
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.
GURNEE, ILLINOIS -- The rear driver side tire of our rental car kept going flat, and I had to keep stopping to fill it; probably since it was 4 below zero. I called Budget to ask if they wanted me to change the tire, or keep driving on it. The representative told me to do nothing and that they would bring a new car. I had to wait 5 hours for them to bring a new vehicle, greatly delaying our plans.
A month and a half later, I received a notice that they were going to charge me an additional $281.60 for roadside assistance. I at no time requested or needed roadside assistance. I could have easily changed the tire or kept driving and stop frequently to fill it.
I tried to call customer service to dispute the charges, but was told that department does not take phone calls and I had to e-mail them. Two days later ** e-mailed me that they were going to charge me the full $281.60 since I “needed” it, even though I did not request it. I escalated it to ** in the Executive Office of Budget. He said the most he could do is charge me half, claiming I could have refused to listen to Budget's instructions that they were going to switch out the car.
Then I asked for a receipt, so I could submit it to my insurance, which covers roadside assistance. Over a week and a half, I asked daily, and each time I received a receipt (from **) it either was for the incorrect amount or did not list roadside assistance at all. I called ** to complain, and asked if I could speak to his supervisor. He told me that there was not one higher than him in Budget, and refused to allow me to speak to anyone else. When I finally posted a complaint on the Budget Facebook I got the receipt.
Even though Budget is often cheaper, I'm going back to Enterprise (www.Enterprise.com). Their customer service is excellent, and they end up being less expensive in the long run, since they don't surprise their customers with unsubstantiated charges.