DON'T RISK YOUR LIFE WITH A BUDGET TRUCK!! Budget rents out un-maintained, unchecked vehicles, and doesn't care about the fact that their vehicles are risking lives. I rented a 24-foot truck and car-trailer to move from Vallejo, CA to Tucson, AZ.
I flew out my brother to help me drive back. The first thing he did was to check the brake fluid on the trailer (in case the trailer comes loose, it has its own automatic brakes), and OF COURSE it was empty. LIVES RISKED NUMBER ONE. If the trailer had come loose, it would not have stopped and would have seriously injured or killed other people on the freeway.
U-Haul advertises that they have the lowest decks. I thought that it wouldn't be that much of a difference - but it sure was. U-Haul's decks are lower than waist level. The Budget back deck was almost neck high. The ramp they provide has very little traction. We almost couldn't get the washer & dryer up the ramp. MASSIVE INCONVENIENCE NUMBER ONE.
After the truck was loaded, it had a HORRIBLE shudder between 45 and 65 mph. My brother said that there was clearly something very wrong with the front end. Given that the max speed when towing a trailer is supposed to be 55 mph, and there's no way I could go under 45 on the freeway... We shuddered along. By the time we got to Tucson (20 hours later), we were beyond sore. MASSIVE INCONVENIENCE NUMBER TWO. The AC vents had broken flaps. You couldn't turn them off of one person and on the other. MASSIVE INCONVENIENCE NUMBER THREE.
Now the good part. It got dark, we turned on the lights, and were shuddering merrily along. Suddenly my brother says, "What happened to the running lights?" We were completely dark on the sides & back of the truck & trailer. We checked the fuses (I happened to know exactly where they were, because the cover kept falling off onto my knees). It was clear which fuse was bad, because it was burning hot. Literally burned my fingers.
Of course, there was no fuse diagram, so we couldn't just pull one of the "extra" fuses and plug it in - even if we had, it probably would have burned out in a second, because there was obviously a short. Driving down the freeway in an invisible-dark truck? LIVES RISKED NUMBER TWO.
My brother asked me to be sure to find the fire extinguisher. I looked around the whole cab, and couldn't find it. The next day, in the bright sunlight, I found it, completely inaccessible, WAY behind and under the driver's seat. It's a law that there has to be a fire extinguisher in a truck like that, but, of course, it doesn't have to be ACCESSIBLE! What if the short had caused a fire in the dashboard? LIVES RISKED NUMBER THREE.
I tried to call Budget's Roadside Assist, but I was on hold for about 25 minutes. Finally, my cell phone ran out, and we couldn't risk using up my brother's cell, because there might be (and WAS) a real emergency. So, we went the rest of the way with the hazards on. Have you ever driven with hazards on? TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. For hours. And hours. And hours. MASSIVE INCONVENIENCE NUMBER FOUR.
Still, we continued. We had been averaging about 100 miles per quarter tank. We were approaching Phoenix, and I asked my brother (he was driving, thank goodness!) how much gas we had. Just over a quarter tank. We decided that we'd play it safe and get gas at some truck stops just the other side of Phoenix. About 10 miles later, we were just the teeniest amount under 1/4 tank. That should be enough to go another 12 to the truck stop, right?
WRONG. As we're driving along, my brother WATCHED the needle drop from 1/4 to zero. Then below zero. Then it ran out of gas. 1/4 tank in 10 miles. When a truck like this runs out of gas, it loses power steering & brakes. My brother is a big, strong, strapping guy, yet he was fighting with all his strength to stop this beast. I was TERRIFIED! We literally almost ran off the road. We would have flipped over, and been seriously injured or died. If I'd been driving, I wouldn't have been able to safely stop the truck. LIVES RISKED NUMBER FOUR.
There's more of a long story about how we unstrapped my car, got gas, but the truck wouldn't start due to a lack of a priming button, and then my brother sent me to Tucson while he waited for roadside assist. They did show up (after 90 minutes) and get him on the road again - that guy was great. Meanwhile, another semi almost ran him down (LIVES RISKED NUMBER FIVE) so he had to go sit outside of the truck, at 4:30am, in southern Arizona, in the dark desert, by himself. (Animals, illegals, and drug-runners...) LIVES RISKED NUMBER SIX.
The next day, when we called customer service, we were proudly told that they always do a 10-point inspection before renting the trucks. (Whee... so, the brake lights and blinkers work. What about the ALIGNMENT, the FUSES, and the GAS GAUGE???) Do you think Budget is offering me any sort of fair compensation for RISKING MY LIFE? Not a chance. Bottom line? RENT A U-HAUL, AND BOYCOTT BUDGET!
CAPE COD, MASSACHUSETTS -- I called Budget for an estimate on a 10 foot truck rental. The customer representative gave a reasonable price and I made a reservation. When I went to the pick-up location to get the truck I was told that they did not have a ten foot truck available and that they would then give me a sixteen foot for the same price. However, my move was small, I didn't have enough to fill up a 16' truck and, more importantly, I did not want to pay for gas for such a big truck. (About $130 to fill the tank).
The representative at the location said "This [not having the reserved truck] happens all the time" and that "the phone reservation representatives do this on purpose to rent the bigger trucks." I asked him to check on other close locations for a truck with the description I reserved. He checked and said none of the locations within 50 miles had one. Therefore, I told him to cancel everything and that I was very upset because I had my move all planned and packed. He then tells me that he will cancel but that I would lose the deposit money.
Unbelievable, right? I know! I told him I would not pay one cent to this terrible, dishonest company. He kept saying that the computer system simply would charge my card and there was nothing he could do. I called and complained until the phone representative told me she would remove the charges.
Budget is UNRELIABLE and has a terrible customer service. Do not count on them for a rental. They are likely to leave you hanging and you are likely to have to change all your plans. Also, after not meeting your expectations, they might charge you for a service they failed to provide.
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY -- At 8.30 AM I arrived to pick up a moving truck, which I rented more than a week prior, as I was moving some personal belongings to AZ. As soon as I walked out to the vehicle I noted that it had a flat tire. The attendant told me that the truck I rented (and he had saved for me all week) was the only truck they had of that size, which was good enough for a cross country trip. He spent 45 minutes on hold with the customer service line as he didn't have a clue what to do about the problem.
When customer service finally answered, the representative told him that because the truck hadn't left the lot yet, it was the responsibility of the dealership to fix the tire. The attendant called his boss/the franchise owner at home and asked what he should do. The owner told the attendant to instruct me to drive the truck across the street and then I should call for road-side assistance.
In utter disbelief I commented that he had just spent 45 minutes on hold, so I probably would be subjected to the same. I asked, if I drove the truck across the street, how long it would take to get someone out to replace the tire? He responded "Some time this afternoon". As I was planning to start my trip that morning, I had no intention of wasting the day in the hot sun waiting for that truck to be repaired. He offered an older truck which already had 80,000 miles on it, and was not an optimal truck for the trip. I felt I had no choice but to take the truck.
Before hitting the above 100 degree temps in Oklahoma the air conditioning stopped performing. A little later the truck started to overheat. The truck wasn't capable of speeds over 55 MPH, so I slowed to around 35 MPH to bring down the temp. I drove in these conditions for the next two days. I called customer service and spoke with a very indifferent chap named **.
** didn't seemed appalled that the customer was asked to drive a truck in disrepair out of the lot then spend his days taking care of repairs that should have been addressed prior to the customer arriving to pick up the truck. ** also felt that because I took the other truck I was responsible for the overheating on that truck and I should have called for roadside assistance in the middle of my move. This is an example of the customer being held responsible for the lack of maintenance and other issues that should have been addressed by the originating rental center before renting trucks.
The loss of time and aggravation of the customer being expected to wait around for repairs on Budget vehicles is unacceptable! If I had rented a wagon train, I could have expected to suffer in a poorly air conditioned vehicle traveling across the desert at 35 MPH. However, I paid over $700 expecting a properly working vehicle, suitable for the trip.
PARSIPANNY, NEW JERSEY -- As many other reviewers have said, Budget truck rental is horrible. Here is my experience: I rented a 10' truck for 5 days for a move from Denver to Chicago with pickup and dropoff times at 3pm. On the day of pickup, I called the dealer and asked if it would be possible to pick up the truck early. They said "sure, come on in." When I got there they only had a 16' truck and failed to mention that until I brought it up.
Their response was, "The two trucks have the same gas mileage. You can call around for a 10' truck if you want." They claim that a 16' and 10' truck have the same gas mileage is BS. I did not need all that space and the extra hassle of driving a larger truck so I called around for a 10'. In the end, I got stuck with the 16' truck because no other locations had a 10' truck. What use is a reservation if it reserves nothing?
On the day of the return, we show up to the return dealer at 2pm to find that they are closed. There was another person there trying to drop off a truck as well as someone trying to PICK UP a truck they had RESERVED! I called the store and they tell me that I would have to drop off the truck at another location that was open and had parking space. Frustrated, but wanting to leave the truck in a safe spot, I drove to the next location and found that it too was closed. At this point I left the truck there and dropped the keys through the key return.
A week later, I find an extra $150 charge on my credit card. I called Budget and was informed that this charge was for an extra day's rental. Apparently, by picking up the truck early, I had moved my RESERVED return time to the earlier time. Had I known this would happen, I would have waited to pick up the truck. But I'll accept that as my fault for not reading the fine print of the new contract that was printed. Apparently, the word RESERVED means nothing to Budget.
**, the woman I spoke to at Budget customer service informed me that there was nothing that they could do because, "The rentals are on a 24 hour cycle." When I asked if there was a manager I could speak to about it, she said, "There's nobody else you can talk to" and HUNG UP on me. Even allowing for my mistake of not reading the changed contract, the customer service of Budget is unacceptable. Failing to uphold reservations and treating customers like a chore. NEVER RENT FROM BUDGET! Save some time, money, and hassle and go with another company.
COLORADO -- It appears to me that Budget Truck Rentals have a policy of providing inadequate customer care in order to force renters to find a way to cope. I rented a 16' truck for a move from one end of Colorado to the other (Fort Collins to Durango). If you know Colorado, you know this means climbing over a couple of mountain passes.
As soon as the truck started to climb outside of Denver, it overheated. I figured something was wrong with the cooling system, so I called the roadside assistance. After being on hold for 10 minutes, I got through to an operator, who couldn't locate me on a map, and so couldn't send anyone up to help. Why not just send them up the highway? How many 14' Budget trucks could there be by the side of highway 285, 10 to 15 miles out of Denver?
So I walked along the highway until I found an intersection. In the meantime, we were disconnected, so I had to call back, and sit on hold, with music fading in and out, interrupted by "All our operators are busy" every 30 seconds, for another 15 minutes. When I get through, the second agent asks if I can drive the truck back into Denver. Thinking that they could actually provide roadside assistance, I declined, as the engine temperature was barely below redline.
But when the mechanic finally called, he also wanted me to drive back down into Denver. By this time, nearly two hours had passed, and the engine had cooled down, so I did drive back to the city. When I finally met the mechanic, 3 hours after I first called for Roadside assistance, he inspected the truck and concluded that there was nothing wrong with the cooling system. The truck just couldn't handle the climb.
So they rented me a truck that can't climb a hill without overheating, for a drive with multiple passes over 10,000 ft. The mechanic offered a different truck from his Budget fleet, but it would take a full day for me to unload the whole truck and repack a new one, assuming that I could even fit it all back in, as it had been professionally packed. Budget certainly wasn't offering to help move my belonging, or ever offering to warrant that the new truck would be any better.
So I altered my route to go over passes that were less steep, and I drove off into the mountains, hoping the cool night air at high elevation would keep it from overheating again. The truck, thankfully, had a gauge for temperature, not just an idiot light. So at the first pass, I kept slowing down as the temperature climbed. As I crested the pass at 15 miles per hour, the temperature had just started to redline at 260 degrees. It was midnight, and the next pass (Wolf creek) was steeper.
I debated a 4 hour detour into remote northern New Mexico, but I didn't want to risk a breakdown where cell phone coverage is limited, so I kept going. This time I slowed down to 15 mph as soon as it got steep. It took some time, but we crested the pass (at 10 mph) without overheating.
I asked the Budget office in Durango not to rent the truck to anyone heading to the mountains. I'm trying to imagine the perils of going up Vail Pass or up to Eisenhower tunnel on I-70 at 10 mph, or worse yet, trying to merge back into traffic at 5 mph after pulling over to let the engine cool.
I suspect that this type of adventure is not what most people have in mind when they rent a truck. I also believe that Budget deliberately understaffed their help lines, deliberately have limited mechanics on call, and so deliberately provide inadequate roadside assistance, in the expectation that exasperated customers will find some way to cope.
Everyone at Budget was helpful - they just kept repeating that there was nothing they could do to help. Even when the truck wouldn't start after I got to Durango, the guy at the local Budget shop told me that, by policy, he couldn't come out to jump the truck until I'd contracted the 1-800 number. Instead I found a new neighbor who could give the battery a jump.
At the end of all this, I called customer service. They offered a 15% rebate for my trouble. I asked the customer service fellow if he thought a $47 rebate was reasonable compensation for this hassle. He just kept repeating that it was their policy. I have to agree with him.
I recently rented a 10' truck from Budget and had a horrible experience with the drop-off. They have few if any 24-hour drop-off facilities, and their after-hours drop off arrangements can be horrible. The pickup was friendly and convenient. I had previously used U-Haul, but decided to try them because the pickup location was closer. However, when it came time to drop off the truck, that is when the nightmare began.
I was unloading the truck at one location and was planning the drop off the truck nearby and then drive home in our car (another 120 miles). Our unloading took longer than expected, and I needed to make an after-hours drop off. I called the drop-off location as required and the person answering the phone told me to park the truck in their lot and leave the keys and rental agreement in their box. He said the guy who handled the trucks wasn't available just then, but agreed to have him call me back.
I never did get a call back, and when I called before their closing time, their phone line seemed to be out of order. Anyway, I went on over to their address with the truck with my wife following behind me in our car. When we got there, it was in a seedy part of town with a locked gate all around the property. There was absolutely no place to drop off the truck.
I called Budget customer service and they directed me to a different address. This one turned out to be located in an even seedier part of town (hard to believe) and when I got to the address, there was nothing there. Finally, I gave up and just drove all the way home with the empty truck and my wife following behind me.
The next day I return the truck to a place local to my home only to find out that the extra charges totaled up to be two times the original cost of the rental. The man at this location called to my original drop-off location and this time the person answering said they didn't have an after-hours drop off, but that you could leave the truck there and come back in the morning. What good is that?
Having used U-Haul before, I doubt something like this would have happened with another company. At least other companies have drop off locations with longer business hours (some are 24-hour locations) and in better parts of town. I will never go with Budget for a truck rental again.
GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA -- I reserved a truck online... Got a good price for a one way reservation. The reservations dept via the 800 # were super sweet. I then went to the pick up location in Greensboro NC (321 N. Chimney Rock Rd. to be exact) to get the truck and my car tow. I was advised that I had to upgrade to a 16' truck since I was getting the car tow. So, I upgraded. When I went to get the 16' truck, they didn't have the car tow attached and I was advised that I'd have to attach it myself for legal purposes. WELL... my sister and I couldn't figure it out so the Public Storage lady hooked it up for us.
I took the truck home and began to put my truck on the car tow. The car tow was broken and wouldn't go down at an angle so my truck could get on it without damaging the bottom of my truck so I called back to the Public Storage/Budget Rental location. I called 13 times and got NO answer. I had to call another Budget location in that city and they called back to 321 N. Chimney Rock Rd. and told that representative to call me back.
When she finally called, I told her my issue and she said, well, bring it back. ** will be here to assist you and hitch it up for you. Well, when I brought the rental and my Jeep back (I had to have someone drive my brand new truck back to the Budget office for me), as I was driving... the hitch came undone!!!
Keep in mind that this is still the setup that the Budget Rental sales lady had hooked up for me although they "legally" can't. The car tow was swinging in and out of my lane into the next lane ALL DURING 5 O'clock TRAFFIC!!! People were swerving trying not to collide with the tow. When I FINALLY made it to the rental office I was so pissed. ** came out to fix it (he didn't speak, say kiss my foot or anything). I told ** and the sales lady that I didn't want their truck tow and they'd have to get me a car dolly. They said they didn't have one and basically said "screw you"!
I rented the truck for a one way, but it looked like I'd have to leave my truck behind and take the rental and then COME BACK (400 miles) and get my truck!! They removed the car tow charge (I still haven't seen that credit on my credit card statement) and I had to change my drop off location to something closer (still haven't seen that credit either). I finally get to my old residence to pack up the truck. They told me that I had a 16' truck, but I couldn't get my 12' solid oak entertainment center in the truck! Guess what...YUP!!! I had to leave that behind too!!! $3000 entertainment center gone down the drain!!!
So, after this fiasco, I told the rental company and they advised me to tell customer service after I drop the truck off. So I called customer service after I dropped the truck off and began to tell the lady on the other end ALL of my problems. She transferred me to some Customer Satisfaction Dept. or something like that. I spoke with a guy named ** (operator # **) and he showed NO empathy for what I had gone through. He raised his voice at me and even yelled at me. He talked over me, clearly at this point I was livid!!!
I asked for his Supervisor and he said "they're" busy right now. I asked for the Corporate # to Budget and he yelled "This is Corporate Ma'am!" Needless to say, I got nowhere and still haven't seen my credits or even a freaking apology. I was told that his supervisor by the name of Nicole would be calling me back and that they're in the Texas call center. Still waiting...
Hopefully this blog gets the attention of consumers and management at Budget alike. If I could save anyone else the time, frustration and finances I'd tell them to pay the extra money from U-Haul and go with them. DO NOT RENT FROM BUDGET!!!
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I called on 5/29 in regards to renting a 24' truck. An employee at the 2000 South Western location in Chicago said that he had one and I could come get it. I was relieved because I had tried 3 location before that one. I showed up with my father and we walked into the office and ** had me complete all the paperwork in his office trailer except the damage inspection report. He informed me that all vehicles are on a full tank of gas and that they must be returned on a full tank or I will be charged for filling it up.
After completing the paperwork, he then took me outside to the lot behind the trailer and unlocked the gate where the truck was kept. This was the only truck in the lot. We walked around the vehicle and he pointed on the dents and notated it on the paper. He had me sign the damage form and handed me the keys and asked if I needed to be guided out. I said yes, because this is the first time I've driven a truck this big.
I got in and was really nervous but he guided me out and after pulling off the lot. I seen that the gas tank was just a little over a 1/4 of a tank. I called ** from my cell phone immediately and informed him that he had me sign for a full tank but there was only a 1/4 tank in there. He said "Really?... I'm sorry I don't know how that happened. Don't worry about it, just let them know when you turn it in." I was leery of the situation and I asked was he sure. He said "You'll be fine... Have them call me if you have any problems. I'm always here." I hung-up then called back again because I remembered that he forgot the hand truck.
He was really apologetic and instructed me to come on back. My father and I came back and ** met us on the side with the hand truck. I asked if he could give me any paperwork to make sure I would be cool with the gas and he said, "Don't worry, you'll be okay. If they give you a hard time, just call me."
We packed the truck and hit the road at about 4:30am the next morning. The ride was long but we made it to Atlanta at about 7:30pm on 5/30/08. We unloaded the truck the next day but we didn't finish until after close of business at the Destination Dealer. I wanted to just drop the truck off at the location but my intuition made me want to make sure we wouldn't have any issues with the gas. Therefore, I waited until Monday at 2:45 (EST) to drop it off.
I informed the dealer of the gas situation and they shook their head and said that they'll call the Dispatching Dealer but once you sign for it you're stuck. This let me know this is not an abnormal thing that happens. He said he would call back to Chicago. When he did, they said they didn't remember anything but they would check the paperwork.
The guy on the phone also said that may be it was his brother who rented it out. However, it sounded like ** because I was on the line. He came back and said he remembers the hand truck but nothing about the gas. I became furious and still am. I called Customer Service and they weren't very helpful. They said if the Dispatching Dealer denies it, there's nothing they can do. (I was speaking with **.) I was really upset and I asked to speak to a manager.
She said she was transferring me, however, I was on hold so long that I ran out of minutes on my phone. To make a long story short, they still charged me more than $100 in gas plus a $25 fee and they were not motivated at all about talking to their dishonest employee about it.
MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- I rented a Budget rental truck in Maine to move my belongings to New Hampshire. When I picked up the truck rental in Maine I put a cash deposit of $150.00. I was told by an employee of Budget in Maine to make sure I received that back In cash when dropping the truck off.
A couple of days later I dropped the vehicle off In New Hampshire, told the man I would like my deposit In cash since that is the way I had paid it. He said he did not have any cash In his draw to pay me my deposit. He then said he would send a check. I asked If could speak to someone above him because I could not understand how it was that this man did not have the cash in his draw to give me when he was also running an auto mobile repair shop, gas station, moving company and Budget Truck Rental services.
His mother then got up out of the chair she was sitting in, got In my face and said she was the owner. The son then said that he in fact was the owner. I told the son fine just send me my check In the mail. I then told a friend of mine what had just happened because I found It odd that the mother and son both said they were owners then the sons correcting the mother saying he the owner.
At this point I did not care who was the owner. I just wanted my deposit back, so my friend then entered the business to try to get my deposit refunded. I was watching from inside the car and I could see this woman In my friends face. I then tried to contact local police and was unsuccessful in reaching an operator because It turns out this woman had tried pushing my friend out of the store and then slammed the door in her face.
I then called Budget Truck Rentals customer service line and was told an investigation would be established. I have not heard anything back from them, so I took It upon myself to call Budget's customer service to find out what was going on with this investigation and they said "it's he said", "she said" - that there's nothing they can do.
I have been calling Budget's Customer service line every week now to find out where my deposit is and their response is that on their records it shows the check was sent out to me and is on it's way. I live less than a mile from where I dropped off the truck. I find It really hard to believe that it can take longer than two weeks for a check to arrive to my location.
Budget truck told me that I have to wait another two weeks before they can do anything, meaning I have to wait an entire month before they can do anything about the matter. I just want my $150.00 this whole thing is ridiculous. I will never rent from Budget again and their Customer service does not service. I find them to be very rude and unhelpful.