Budget Rent-A-Car Complaint - Don't risk your life with a Budget Truck!
DON'T RISK YOUR LIFE WITH A BUDGET TRUCK!!
Budget rents out un-maintained, un-checked vehicles, and doesn't care about the fact that their vehicles are risking lives.
I rented a 24-foot truck and car-trailer to move from Vallejo, CA to Tucson, AZ.
I flew out my brother to help me drive back. The first thing he did was to check the brake fluid on the trailer (in case the trailer comes loose, it has its own automatic brakes), and OF COURSE it was empty. LIVES RISKED NUMBER ONE. If the trailer had come loose, it would not have stopped and would have seriously injured or killed other people on the freeway.
U-Haul advertises that they have the lowest decks. I thought that it wouldn't be that much of a difference - but it sure was. U-Haul's decks are lower than waist level. The Budget back deck was almost neck high. The ramp they provide has very little traction. We almost couldn't get the washer & dryer up the ramp. MASSIVE INCONVENIENCE NUMBER ONE.
After the truck was loaded, it had a HORRIBLE shudder between 45 and 65mph. My brother said that there was clearly something very wrong with the front end. Given that the max speed when towing a trailer is supposed to be 55mph, and there's no way I could go under 45 on the freeway...we shuddered along. By the time we got to Tucson (20 hours later), we were beyond sore. MASSIVE INCONVENIENCE NUMBER TWO.
The AC vents had broken flaps. You couldn't turn them off of one person and on the other. MASSIVE INCONVENIENCE NUMBER THREE.
Now the good part. It got dark, we turned on the lights, and were shuddering merrily along. Suddenly my brother says, "What happened to the running lights?" We were completely dark on the sides & back of the truck & trailer. We checked the fuses (I happened to know exactly where they were, because the cover kept falling off onto my knees). It was clear which fuse was bad, because it was burning hot. Literally burned my fingers. Of course, there was no fuse diagram, so we couldn't just pull one of the "extra" fuses and plug it in - even if we had, it probably would have burned out in a second, because there was obviously a short. Driving down the freeway in an invisible-dark truck? LIVES RISKED NUMBER TWO.
My brother asked me to be sure to find the fire extinguisher. I looked around the whole cab, and couldn't find it. The next day, in the bright sunlight, I found it, completely inaccessible, WAY behind and under the driver's seat. It's a law that there has to be a fire extinguisher in a truck like that, but, of course, it doesn't have to be ACCESSIBLE! What if the short had caused a fire in the dashboard? LIVES RISKED NUMBER THREE.
I tried to call Budget's Roadside Assist, but I was on hold for about 25 minutes. Finally, my cell phone ran out, and we couldn't risk using up my brother's cell, because there might be (and WAS) a real emergency. So, we went the rest of the way with the hazards on. Have you ever driven with hazards on? TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. For hours. And hours. And hours. MASSIVE INCONVENIENCE NUMBER FOUR.
Still, we continued. We had been averaging about 100 miles per quarter tank. We were approaching Phoenix, and I asked my brother (he was driving, thank goodness!) how much gas we had. Just over a quarter tank. We decided that we'd play it safe and get gas at some truck stops just the other side of Phoenix. About 10 miles later, we were just the teeniest amount under 1/4 tank. That should be enough to go another 12 to the truck stop, right?
WRONG. As we're driving along, my brother WATCHED the needle drop from 1/4 to zero. Then below zero. Then it ran out of gas. 1/4 tank in 10 miles. When a truck like this runs out of gas, it loses power steering & brakes. My brother is a big, strong, strapping guy, yet he was fighting with all his strength to stop this beast. I was TERRIFIED! We literally almost ran off the road. We would have flipped over, and been seriously injured or died. If I'd been driving, I wouldn't have been able to safely stop the truck. LIVES RISKED NUMBER FOUR.
There's more of a long story about how we unstrapped my car, got gas, but the truck wouldn't start due to a lack of a priming button, and then my brother sent me to Tucson while he waited for roadside assist. They did show up (after 90 minutes) and get him on the road again - that guy was great. Meanwhile, another semi almost ran him down (LIVES RISKED NUMBER FIVE) so he had to go sit outside of the truck, at 4:30am, in southern Arizona, in the dark desert, by himself. (Animals, illegals, and drug-runners...) LIVES RISKED NUMBER SIX.
The next day, when we called customer service, we were proudly told that they always do a 10-point inspection before renting the trucks. (Whee... so, the brake lights and blinkers work. What about the ALIGNMENT, the FUSES, and the GAS GAUGE???)
Do you think Budget is offering me any sort of fair compensation for RISKING MY LIFE? Not a chance.
Bottom line? RENT A U-HAUL, AND BOYCOTT BUDGET!
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