Budget Rent-A-Car Complaint - Defective Seatbelt Trapped Friend
ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK -- I rented a 14 foot truck on april 1st 2007 to move. The problem wasn't with the truck but the seatbelt and the subsequent response or lack there of I got after. Upon pulling up to my new residence, my friend who was helping me move and sitting in the passenger seat tried to unbuckle the seatbelt and it would not dis-engage. He is a bigger guy, around 275lbs. and there was not any slack to wiggle his way out of. While trying to manipulate the belt, it became tighter and my friend began to feel light headed, clausterphobic and was having a bit of a hard time breathing, after several attempts to unbuckle, our only alternative was to cut the belt with a razorblade that my new landlord grabbed from his set of tools. I notified Budget via note that I slipped in the box with the keys and agreement. When I stopped there the next day,six hours into the day the agent had not yet notified her boss but sat on her chair like a bump on the log, starring at the wall when I walked in. I left a message on her managers vmail the next day and when she finally returned the call, she had no idea that the incident occurred but did not offer an apology but did say they may charge me for the belt. I suppose it is reasonable to expect the seat belt to malfunction when you rent a vehicle. What if I crashed or the truck started on fire? My best friend could have been killed or maimed but that did not seem to cross her mind. The following day 04-04-07. Maria Tucker called me to tell me the truck was being looked over by an "independent" repair person and "if" the seatbelt was not deemed defective. I would be charged for it. This is the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard. I know this is not a normal occurence but the research that I have done today on the internet, cites several instances of seat belt malfunction and wear and tear, just as any other component of your vehicle and many seat belts are replaced. This company has insulted common intelligence of the consumer and I would not advocate using their rental vehicles anywhere in WNY as apparently Maria Tucker is the area rep/manager and complaints and other issues are handled by her.