Penske Truck Rental Complaint - Beware of Hidden Policies and Expect Deceit-
KEENE, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- Below is the review I wrote on 10/3/2010. On 10/11/2010, I received a call from Penske in Denver offering to refund $200 for the time that I overbooked. Perhaps it was the review(s) or perhaps the complaint to Customer Service finally found its way to someone who was sympathetic, but I graciously accepted.
I found many positive reviews for Penske truck rentals when deciding who to use: Penske, U-Haul or Budget in relocating from NH to Colorado. I obtained a quote over the internet for a 16’ truck and car carrier and found like most, Penske seemed to be the lowest of the three truck suppliers. With the good reviews, pricing made the decision.
I didn’t know how long it would take to drive the truck and trailer to Colorado, because speeds would be low with the loaded weight and trailer, so I requested the truck for 10 days. The language in the Penske contract is very specific about the monetary penalties for returning a truck late. Naively, I felt I could obtain a refund for days not used as it’s always done at Hertz, Avis or any of the car rental agencies. I even mentioned to two rental agents at the time I picked up the truck, that I expected I to get a refund for time not used, if I made better time than estimated for the trip. Neither agent said anything to the contrary.
There is nothing mentioned in the Penske contract about an early return of a rental, only penalties for late return. When I arrived in Colorado 4 days early, I was told it’s not Penske’s policy to refund money for an early return. I did receive my $100 deposit back, which also was not something mentioned in the quotation. Later, in studying the contract, the deposit should have only been taken for a cash or check payment; mine was with a credit card.
The only place I was able to find anything that said there are no refunds for early returns was in an obscure FAQ on the Penske website. It seems obvious the two Penske agents in NH should have told me I would never receive a refund. My naive decision cost us $300-400 in unnecessary charges. I wrote a complaint to Penske Customer Service which they didn’t bother to answer. My advice would be to never use Penske. The trip cost us more than either of the other two truck renters and the ABS brakes didn’t work properly on the truck. Unfortunately for us, since this happened, we’ve found there’s ample evidence in negative reviews of Penske on the net that show they deal shoddily and deceitfully with customers.