Budget Rent-A-Car Complaint - Beware Reno Budget Fraudulent Cleaning Fee
RENO, NEVADA -- Oct. 13 I was charged $180 cleaning fee by Reno Airport Budget Rent-a-Car. I received an unsigned form letter over a month after my rental. It says they discovered excessive "stains, dirt, soilage."
After hearing about rental car scams, I personally detailed this car inside and out including the undercarriage, the dash, the guages, the floor mats, the upholstery, the wheel wells and the chrome. I put plastic on the seats during the trip. It was not opened during the Burning Man event at all. It was in better shape than most rental cars I have used.
Reno Airport Budget Rental Car are obviously trying to scam Burning Man renters with a form letter sent over a month after the car return.
I did notice that when I rented the car I was not asked to do a "once over" to note any dents or defects and initial them. I specifically asked the manager, Rick Sanguansha, about this unusual policy of not checking out the car and signing off on it, and I told him there was a stain on the back seat I was concerned about. He said, "Oh, we don't worry about things like that." So my first warning light should have been this deviation from the norm. Always check a car first and make sure you get to initial any small defects! This is one of the ways they can scam you. If you have a camera, take photos, before and after with today's newspaper to prove the date.
Luckily, I made sure the person checking in my car upon return, write a note and initial it saying the car was OKAY. But I still may have to do a Mastercard chargeback if they refuse to give me a refund. I am waiting on a call from the District Manager. That's time and frustration on my part to get this fraudulent charge fixed. If I didn't have the documentation of the person who checked my car in, I would be, as they say, completely *screwed.*
If I had it to do over again, I would make sure I got to initial the car upon check in, and I would cancel my credit card (or have it re-issued) right after renting a car from them so they can't charge me the fraudulent cleaning fee for an absolutely pristine car that I spent an hour and a half detailing.
Better luck than me!