Budget Rent-A-Car Complaint - Read The Fine Print Or You Will Be Ripped-Off As We Were
We recently rented a one-way rental for 13 days from Budget for a road trip from New Orleans to Providence. I reserved the car on the Internet for a quoted price (including insurance and tax) of $1,331.26. We picked up the car a 9:00 A.M. from a very friendly woman in New Orleans who printed a statement with an estimated total of $1,373.37 (close enough), stapled it to the rental contract and sent us on our way. Our flight out of Providence back home was at 2:30. We debated returning the car at 9:00 A.M. but looked at the statement that the "friendly woman" printed out that gave a daily rate of $114.99 and decided to pay the extra amount to sleep in and get to the airport later. When we return the car at noon, we received a bill for $1,803.11, by my calculation about $300 more than we expected to pay. I phoned Budget to inquire about what I thought was a discrepancy and a very rude and impatient man named Patrick told us that we should have read the rental contract (28 items on 11 brochure-size pages in fine print). He stated that if we return the car late all discounts are removed. (I didn't even know I was getting a discount.) I asked him exactly which item number out of the 28 items is this statement made. He said, "Clearly, item #3." Naturally, the friendly woman in New Orleans stapled the estimate directly over Item 3, so if I were inclined to read 28 items on 11 brochure pages written in fine print, I probably would have missed this statement. Budget should make it a point to verbally state what they suppose is the obvious.
PATRICK'S STATEMENT TO ME WAS "IT IS A BINDING CONTRACT." Obviously, Budget is more concerned about $300 today than the potential goodwill it would have made by pointing this out to me and then crediting me the $300. DO NOT USE BUDGET. OBVIOUSLY, THEY WILL DING YOU FOR EVERYTHING THEY CAN.