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.
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..
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI -- I arrived to pick up a reserved car at a promised rate of 175.45 (plus tax and 89.37 fees). Upon arrival, the counter person stated that our reserved car (Chevy Aveo 4dr) would be too small for my mother's wheelchair and our luggage so gave me the option of either a Prius or Thunderbird to choose from, stating that the Thunderbird had a large enough trunk. She never once mentioned the daily costs of the car and insurance upgrade.
Imagine my shock when my bill ended up being $748.37. Not only was we charged almost $400.00 additional for the upgrade, but we were also charged a 48% tax fee! I would never had knowingly rented a vehicle for only 9 days at the cost off $748.37. I had used Budget many times in the past but never again. I just cannot afford that kind of additional cost.
MIAMI AIRPORT, FLORIDA -- I have to say that I was very happy with my experience with Budget. Especially the Miami Airport location. I found the operation very efficient, and easy to navigate. I have never written a review of anything before, but I researched a lot for which place to get my car from. I chose Budget because they had an easy site to navigate, and it was easy to find all of the answers to my questions.
They also do not require that you buy their insurance, which I did anyway, and if you prepay for the reservation with a debit card they only place a 100 dollar hold, which is lower than most places that I looked into. I was worried about my flight being late, but they told me that they would hold the rental for 15 hrs with no fees, which they did and I was 4 hrs late and accrued no fees.
The counter was easy to find and pick up was pretty quick. We also had to leave very early in the morning, so I left extra early not knowing how long the turn in process would take. There were signs clearly posted so finding the drop off was also very easy. It was very fast, and I never even had to go to the counter.
I also was concerned about a few small scrapes on the car because nobody walked around with me when I picked up the car, so I waited until the hold on my card was released before writing this review, there was no hidden charge and I paid exactly what I expected, plus they only put a 2 dollar hold instead of the 100! The car was great, clean, and great gas mileage. I forgot exactly what type of car I reserved but it was the type after economy and compact.
They let me choose from between several, and the guy at the counter suggested one with good mpg and sound system and low miles, which I chose. Every employee I encountered was helpful and friendly. They put a Sun Pass in the windshield for toll roads which is awesome, and made navigating the congested highways a breeze.
Overall, if you look for a car at a site with multiple companies, go to their sites and read the terms, this was the best deal, and very efficient service. Also, I recommend prepaying online. It eliminates some of the restrictions (like pick up time and card holds), and it is the best rate even over other discounts. I give this location a 5 star as well as budget themselves. Good Job, and I will use them from now on.