NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK -- The brakes on a Budget vehicle failed on route 95 approximately 11:00 pm in the rain. I managed to maneuver and stopped the vehicle without injury and without running into a WAWA convenience store. I contacted the roadside assistance and because of the late hour they suggested I get a hotel while I waited for my replacement vehicle. Three hours later I had a new vehicle. I took pictures of the vehicle and conferred with a mechanic regarding the identity of the liquid leaking profusely from the vehicle. We bother confirmed it was probably brake fluid.
THIS IS WHERE BUDGET MANAGED TO BREACH MOST OF THEIR SO CALLED MISSION STATEMENT. The following experience was wrought with stress. I was not treated with integrity. There was no quality in the vehicle provided or the customer service. I was not treated with any compassion or respect. Nor did Budget display any team work to coordinate this effort. (Please see Budget? Avis Mission statement - hysterical)
The next morning I contact customer services and the rental location to discuss the incident and to inform them as a result of the vehicle failure that I would be late returning the vehicle. Customer service said to contact the Manager at the rental location. The Manager stated that she would allow me to retain the vehicle for an additional day without charge. She would update the record so when I returned the vehicle all would be aware of the contingencies.
The next day when I returned the vehicle to the location I was told by the Supervisor that the Manager did not update the record to reflect the earlier discussion. She also advised me that the Manager no longer worked at that location and in the Managers' absence she was not authorized to remove any charges from the invoice. But, she did manage to remove the charges associated with the extra day but failed to remove the late fees and suggested I contact the customer service department to discuss the matter further.
Over a two week period I have been attempting to negotiate this matter with customer services and various other Budget employees (not Management, the common customers do not have access to anyone other than customer service).
After great frustration I thought perhaps taking the whole mess to Court might be easier than trying to maneuver through the idiot mine field. Customer service referred me to legal but that number sent me to an automated system where you could leave a message that would reach any lawyer decided to listen or not. In my professional experience Lawyer on respond to Court filed complaints.
Someone in corporate sales manage to contact the new Manager at the rental location who authorized an additional $50 credit that I had to coordinate with customer service to execute. After discussing the incident with a Supervisor she took off the cost of the hotel and stated that she would remove the $10 late fee. When I contacted American Express she stated the hotel fee had been removed but the late fee had not.
When I called to confirm all credits had been applied I spoke to a feeble minded $5.00 an hour, old, poorly educated man who attempted to bully me into not requesting the credits that had been orally agreed upon prior to his brief and unnecessary inclusion. The entire useless conversation was ridiculous considering he had no authority to make any modification to the file.
In order to expedite resolution I had to coordinate with the location Manager (who was very cooperative) to negotiate with his customer service to execute the credit that had been agreed upon. Throughout this entire process not one Budget employee ever acknowledged that because of the questionable condition of this vehicle I could have been injured or killed.
I attempted to contact corporate but I was told by a secretary at the front desk of the corporate office she was not allowed to give out names of Management or Legal and was not allowed to put dissatisfied customers in direct contact with anyone other than customer service.
This has been the most dissatisfying encounter I have had with a corporation in quite some time. It will be one I will not forget. But I will certainly forget to consider AVIS and BUDGET when I require car rental services. I will also make sure my organization and our partners in the respective Procurement departments also forget AVIS and BUDGET when considering services. I would have probably received better customer service by banging my head against a brick wall. ** would be a understatement when describing the unreliable, belligerent, short sided, incompetent budget employees.
A company's stature is reflected by its employees. Employees are a reflection of the tone set by management and their mission statement. I am guessing the BUDGET/AVIS mission statement is just a bunch corporate speak that clearly is not executed by its employees or its management. The mission statement, management, the employees have all failed, like the brakes on their cars.
NORTHEAST, PENNSYLVANIA -- I'd like to explain some policies and offer some advice to those who have problems or just do not understand. First, Debit Cards. When using a debit card at a location that takes them, at the time of this writing, it will first run a credit check (which I believe minimum score has to be 550), if that passes we will put a $400 hold on the card (funds no longer available for use) or if the rental is greater than $400 total, the hold is $400 then a percentage of the rental cost. Also, if the card is an Access card we do not take it period.
If location does not take debit cards, please do not throw a fit and scream that the card is also a credit card. Just because it says Visa does not mean it's a credit card. If it says anywhere on the card it cannot be used and the computer will reject it. Reason for not taking debits is not stupid, there needs to be some way to take funds off the card if you don't return the car on time or return it all. Please stop giving the employee behind the car a hard time since it is not their fault at all.
Second, Reservations and Cars: We can only guarantee that you have a reservation, we cannot guarantee the make or model of any car. People just assume we have access to whatever cars we want and that we have an infinite amount. Please do not get angry and scream and tell the rental agent that you reserved a certain model, because you did not. The website clearly says that the make and model car you're looking at is just an example of types of vehicles available in that car class. When you tell the agent you were told you were getting a certain model, you sound foolish.
The people on the 1-800 reservations number will tell you anything since they don't have to actually deal with it. If you have an SUV, Van, Luxury, Premium, or Convertible reserved, you NEED to show up at the time you have on your reservation, not 4 hours later. If it gets too busy we may have no choice but to give your car out because you did not show up on time. Many times locations run very short on cars.
Also, when renting from a location that isn't open 24 hours (airport locations), it is crucial to put your flight information in your reservation. You cannot get mad when you get off your delayed late flight and find that the counter is closed, because how are they supposed to know you were on a flight. Also, when renting from smaller locations who have small selection of vehicles, don't get picky and start complaining about what car you got, you aren't buying it. And PLEASE do NOT book a reservation after finding out your flight is going to late after we've closed. We do have lives and would like to go home instead of working 14 hours.
Third, Making Reservations. It is generally and almost always cheaper than booking online or through the 800 number rather than calling location directly. At my airport location there is only one person on at a time working the counter, not only is it very aggravating when a flight lands and you're busy when the phone starts ringing, but likely you'll get a very high rate because of it.
Also, when you come up to the counter and ask if there are cars available and they say no, then you go and book one on the phone or online, it is extremely frowned upon. No, we are not lying to you, let me explain: We do not have the ability to sell ourselves out of cars, that is controlled by upper management in the locations main zone (Example: Philadelphia Zone controls whole northeast branches). And they are very, very stingy about doing it. So when you do that, you're almost positively likely to get the worst car.
One last bit of advice: Please do not immediately walk into the back room and start screaming hello if you don't see someone at the counter 2 seconds after arriving. We do have paperwork to do. We do need to go to the bathroom or eat. Please be patient.
NEW JERSEY -- My wife and I flew from Mewark to Pittsburgh on 10/12/07 to avoid a long drive to attend her 50yr High School Reunion. I rented a Budget car on the internet for two days, estimated total $76.22. RA Document **. It was a Maine car. My wife has occasional nerve problems in one leg, it gave way on her early on the morning of 10/14/07 and she fell against the nightstand in the motel room, breaking three ribs as it turned out.
Due to her pain, we decided to drive back to NJ rather than go through the airport routine. I called Budget and inquired about driving this car to NJ. "There will be no Destination Charge sir, your total will be $114.++". This was acceptable and seemingly routine so I did not get his employee number. There was no way to get a paper confirmation at the motel, an hour the wrong way from the airport.
Upon returning the car that night to Newark Airport, the charge was $343.28, which I disputed on the spot. "Don't argue with us, call customer service in the morning. Here's the number. We are a franchise, not corporate, we have nothing to do with their rates." I even immediately cancelled the credit card account so that they could not charge more than the $200 that Budget blocked out. That didn't make any difference. The charge was on the bill when the statement arrived a week later.
The morning after delivering the car I called Budget Customer Service. Ricky **, he was sarcastic and snotty. He said I could not expect to take a car from a corporate site to a franchise site and not pay a lot more. He apologized for any misunderstanding that I may have had, but the rate is the rate. He had a record of the contract change when I made it, would not tell me what it said. He gave me a case number, said he would send this to District Administration and get back to me with their final and un-appealable decision in one to two days. This was 10/15/07.
On 10/26/07, having heard nothing, I called and had a message left for him. He called back at 5 pm on the 29th. He was supercilious and overbearing, kept talking over me, would not confirm that he sent the matter to District Administration, but kept repeating that there was nothing wrong with the rate. However, he knew the exact amount of the alteration quote, which I had never told him, so I believe he was looking at it on his screen. He offered me $50 off on a future rental in final settlement which I of course declined.
If you have to deal with Budget, always get employee numbers and transaction numbers and ask about any charges not listed on the rental contract. I am also pursuing this fraudulent charge with Citibank. I appreciate reading the other similar accounts of being cheated by Budget. This is obviously their modus operandi.
VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON -- I have already written down the events in this format, so I just copied and pasted, sorry it's so long! 1/2/07 - Spoke to Sarah at Budget location re: $9.50 error charged on car rental from December 29, 2006. Sarah said it was too late to credit my card, so she would tape a note on the desk for a free day rental. (Sarah knows me by sight from my continuing patronage, and has never been rude to me.)
1/18/07 - Rented vehicle from Budget car rental (with Sarah), since I was getting an Explorer, which cost more per day than my normal rentals, I verified that it was OK to use the free day (along with an extra day, that I would pay for), to which Sarah said "absolutely." 1/20/07 - Returned to Budget, spoke to Sarah and extended the rental an additional day, to make it 3 days (paying for 2 days, and getting the one free day to repay their error), again Sarah was amiable, and said "you're all set."
1/21/07 - noticed I had a coupon for Budget for a free day ("Rent a budget car for a minimum of 3 weekend days and enjoy the third day free") I called Budget, spoke to a man, not sure of the name, told him that I already have a free rental day because of an overcharge on their part, and asked if I could use the coupon, since the rental started on a Thursday, and I would keep it through Monday if they would accept it, paying for 2 days, getting a third free, and the fourth being free for the error.
He said yes, and took the coupon code down, and said I was set. Let me add here that if they had said that I could not use this coupon, I would have returned the vehicle that day, paying for 2 days, and getting the one comp day. 1/22/07 - returned vehicle at around 4:30. I made sure to tell him to take off the 9.50 refueling charge, because I filled it with gas. Eddie helped me, and I asked if he needed the coupon, and he said yes. At this point he tried to tell me I was an hour late, and the total would be 200 something!
I calmly explained that Sarah had arranged a free day rental prior to my renting this vehicle because of an erroneous charge on my previous rental, and that with the coupon which, I explained, I got an OK from the employee yesterday to use, I should only owe for 2 days (which clearly falls within the coupons requirements).
To this, Eddie said (in a rude tone of voice, I might add) "I'm not giving you 2 free days." He also said that the employee I spoke to was a temp. I tried to explain that the person I spoke to yesterday took down the coupon code, and asked specifically for the "bcd" number from the coupon, so he must know something about the business, as there are two codes on the coupon, one starting with "bcd #" and one starting with "coupon #".
He (Eddie) continued to argue and first tried to say that the coupon did not apply, since I kept it longer than 3 days, then when he realized that the coupon would still be good, he reverted to "you're not getting 2 free days." In the end he gave me a receipt that charged me $190.11. (As far as I could tell, this amount, again, included the 9.50 refueling service charge, and $1.80 Fuel services charge!) I was so angry at this point, and told him I wanted to speak to Sarah, he said she wasn't there, so I told him that I would be contesting the bill, and left. I came back 10 minutes later to get the original paperwork from when I rented on the 18th.
1/22/07, later at home, I know I did nothing wrong here, and made every effort to be sure that the free rental from their error could be used on the Explorer, and then calling for confirmation that I would be able to use the coupon. I really am just very confused as to why Eddie (I assume he is the manager) would behave in such a rude fashion to a semi-regular customer! And to reverse the other persons statement with his reason being that the guy was a "temp" in my eyes he was representing Budget, and if he is allowed to answer the phone, then what he tells the customer should be honored!
If I had come in on Thursday, got a rental, and used the comp day, then return it, then come back on later that day and rent until Monday and use the coupon, this would not even be an issue, so again I am extremely confused at what the problem was!
After thinking this over, I called (Eddie) and stated my case again saying that I was giving him another chance to rectify the situation before I take action, mentioning the bit about renting Thursday, using the comp, returning Friday, and come back later in the day, renting through Monday, and he said "no, you still would not have gotten 2 days free!" So from what I can tell, he would not have let me use the coupon no matter what, but he still ASKED for the coupon when I first returned the car - again, very confusing.
1/23/07 - Called Budget customer service, told her (Nicole) the story, and told her she could speak to Sarah at that location to confirm the comp day. When Nicole came back on the line, she said that Sarah said she didn't authorize that! I called Sarah, and she was very cold (this I couldn't believe, as she is normally very nice, and accommodating, a true customer service star), and told me that she gave me a coupon (which she did NOT)!
So now it looks like I was trying to double use the coupon I had from before! I called Nicole back, and in the end, I DID get my credit for the day and the gas charge, but at the expense of being forced to first visit the Twilight Zone! I couldn't help but call Sarah back and tell her that their attempt to screw me had failed, and that they lost a good returning customer to boot.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- Budget Rent a Car dramatically overcharged me for a rental in November of 2005. While the company holds that this charge is valid, no consumer could possibly expect this outcome, given the circumstances. As part of a family trip over this recent Thanksgiving, I needed a rental car beginning Nov 24, returning Nov 28. The reservation was made through Southwest Airlines website in combination with my flight. The estimate for the entire rental was provided by Southwest to be under $150.
I picked up the car from Orange County/SNA on November 24th as scheduled, rental agreement #**. At the counter in Orange County, the estimate provided by Budget was $131.40 and was also written on the rental paperwork. The original route plan was to begin in Orange County, tour Disneyland with family, drive to my second home in Las Vegas for a meeting, then drive back to Orange County, return the car and fly home. As a result of the unanticipated Thanksgiving traffic we encountered on the Sunday the 27th drive to Las Vegas, it became clear that we would not be able to drive back to Orange County in time to catch the flight scheduled.
The next morning, Monday, I immediately contacted the Budget office I rented the car from to see if the rental could be changed. I was forced to leave a message, where I explained my situation and requested a call back with recommendations. I received no call back from Budget, so I made another call. I was again forced to leave a message where I again explained my situation.
After not hearing from Budget Orange County, I located the number for Budget Las Vegas. I spoke to a lady there and explained my situation, asking if I could return the car to the Las Vegas location. She simply said that was fine, and said so in a way that made it seem as though it was a silly question. I figured that the situation must come up often, and was relieved to know that I would be able to return the car locally. I thanked her and told her I'd be by to return the car on the agreed upon time. I then contacted Southwest Airlines, and was able to rebook my flight leaving from Las Vegas rather than Orange County.
When I returned the car later that day, a courteous gentleman checked the car in and gave me a slip showing the car had been returned and inspected, but not the receipt I usually receive. I went inside to the counter to get my receipt, and waited for 10 minutes, when I was told “you're all done, we'll send you the bill”. Although odd, I was focused on making my plane, and didn't inquire further. As a frequent business traveler, I rent cars often and have until this occasion, never had a problem, so I had gained a comfort and trust for rental car companies. I caught my plane home, on time, and figured that I had another successful trip.
No communication or receipt was ever sent to me by Budget after the return. I was shocked when I then received my American Express bill and found that Budget had charged me $1,101.45 (nearly 10 times the estimate, and an overcharge of $970.05). I immediately contacted Budget to report the error. I spoke to a nice woman named Jean in customer service and was told she could likely fix it, and gave me a file #**. She said it would take a few days and she'd get back to me.
Several days went by without a return call, and I contacted Budget once again. I was asked to give an account of what happened all over again to a man, who later told me that I had returned the car “without authorization”, so my rental contract was invalid and had been re-cast at Budget's highest rates. I explained that I had called both Orange County and Las Vegas offices and that the representative at the Las Vegas location not only told me it was fine to return the car, but did not mention there would be any additional fees involved. I was then told that the Las Vegas location is a “special location” in that it's a franchise or something, as though I should have known that.
I explained that no one at the Las Vegas location told me that on the phone nor did they tell me that I would face these high charges when I returned the car, because if they did, it would have cost me less to simply drive the car back to Orange County and catch a flight the next day. When I asked the Budget Customer Service Rep. what I could do further, I was told Budget would not budge, and to handle it through my credit card company, American Express. I've contacted American Express, and they agreed with me that Budget overcharged me and charged them back. Now Budget is threatening to send my bill to collections and hurt my credit.
Consumers need to know that even if they do all they can (as I did), unscrupulous vendors can still try to bilk them with hidden rules and charges. As a marketing professional for over 20 years, I know this is the right route to take to give broad visibility to a truly unfair practice.
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- Worst rental company. People just don't have a standard service ethic that other companies do. Prices are cheap, but they make sure you come out with what you give for the price. If you speak up, they give you coupons, discounts, or a reduced price rate per day. But if you don't then they rip you off! I would any day prefer or suggest Enterprise over this. Enterprise is a heaven when you compare this unethical company.
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND -- Rented a car from Budget at the BWI airport location. I returned the car and returned it early and they changed the daily rate because I returned it early by 300%. This is total ridiculous and when talking to customer service they acted like this is their normal practice and I should have read the small print. I will never rent from Budget again and I am a frequent traveler for work and rent a car every month.
I have been working with Budget Hungary more than 3 years and I was very satisfied so far. However I rented a car again for 4 days between 28 June and 02 July 2010 and I got the car with basic insurance which my responsibility is around 450 EUR...
When I returned the car, they realized a small scratch on the front bumper lower part and they told me that they can not give me invoice now as they have to see the cost of this damage..It was so small which the cost can be maximum 40-50 EUR. But I saw they did charge 110 EUR for this damage..
I called the downtown office in Budapest and the lady on the phone told me that she can send me only the invoice.. I several times told her that I need to talk to the guy who made this invoice but she refused my request and hanged up the phone... I do not accept such amount for such a small mistake.. Otherwise I will rent a car with full insurance next time and I will return the car wrecked up..