Budget Truck Rental Complaint - False Quotes, Poor Customer Service from Budget Truck Rental
When reserving my truck, the agent quoted me a rate of $176 for a 3 day rental, plus an $18/day youthful driver surcharge, plus tax, for a total of $230 plus tax for my rental. Because my drop-off location was closed on the drop-off day, the rental was extended for an extra day with no extra charge. I specifically asked if I would be charged an additional $18 for the extra day, and the agent said no. I also asked if there was the potential that I would be given a truck larger that 10', and the agent said no, I would receive a 10' truck. It was important for me to know what size truck I would be driving, since I needed this information to establish coverage on the Budget truck with my insurance agent. The rate I was quoted, combined with the guarantee of a 10' truck, were the deciding factors in my choosing Budget over another rental agency.
When I picked up my truck, I was surprised to find a 16' truck waiting for me. I was also surprised to see that my bill included 4 days of the $18/day surcharge, not 3 days like I was quoted, along with a $3/day "Cost Recovery Fee" that had never been mentioned.
Upon arriving at my new apartment complex, I parked the truck in the visitors section while filling out paperwork with the landlord. After finishing the paperwork about 15 minutes later, I went to move the truck to a new parking spot within the complex. The truck had very little power behind it this time and I had a great deal of trouble negotiating the parking lot of the hilly apartment complex, but the engine trouble didn't appear until I was already stuck blocking the entrance to the complex with a truck 6' longer that I had been expecting to drive. I was finally able to get the truck into a parking spot, though not without a great deal of trouble and inconvenience. Later we determined that the truck was experiencing vapor lock, and was driveable again given sufficient time to cool down, though the temperature gauge never rose beyond its midpoint. The truck vapor locked again after I gave it a final fill-up before dropping it off; luckily I was already close enough to the drop-off location that I was able to make it.
Following this experience, I called customer service to complain. The agent eventually offered to refund 5% of the $176 rental cost for the inconvenience of the truck's performance. Though I feel like I deserve more than an $8.80 refund for this, I accepted because the agent angrily insisted that this would be the only offer, and that she didn't even have to give me the 5% discount. The customer service agent did nothing to address my other issues. The extra $18 was not refunded, even though I specifically asked about it upon making the reservation. The agent stated that the "Cost Recovery Fee" was particular to the individual dealers, and the central office did not include this in its quotes. First of all, it would not be difficult for Budget to keep tabs on the fees of its dealers, so that this price could be included in the quote once pick-up and drop-off points are established. Furthermore, if Budget was unable to quote what this hidden fee would be, Budget should have at least warned me that some dealers will charge an extra fee, and that I should contact the dealer with any questions concerning this. The customer service agent made no apology for this surprise on my bill. The agent also told me that Budget does not make guarantees about the size of its trucks. Clearly some of Budget's reservation agents think you do. Throughout the phone call, the customer service agent kept saying that I had already received a good deal--a 20% discount had been applied when I made the reservation, and I got the truck for 4 days at the cost of 3 (sort of). However, because of all the extra fees I had to pay Budget, I could have gotten a better deal with another rental agency. Additionally, because the other agency was up-front about their fees and the uncertainty of truck size, I could have made better arrangements. Instead, the lies I was told by Budget led to added frustration in this move.
Overall, my experience with Budget has been very bad. The dealers with whom I spoke when I picked up and dropped off the truck were very friendly, helpful, and apologetic, but everyone else was disappointing. The reservation agent lied to me. The customer service agent was unfriendly, talked over me, and angrily told me that no managers would accept calls and that this would be the final resoltion to my issue. I find it hard to imagine that Budget gets many repeat customers with this kind of business practice.