Budget Truck Rental Complaint - Budget Rented a STOLEN TRUCK!
PEMBROKE PINES, FLORIDA -- We rented from Budget on 4/4/05. What you are going to read below is what happened during the time of our rental.
I rented a Budget Truck on Monday, April 4th, 2005 from a Budget dealer in Pembroke Pines (under my name), my husband was listed as the driver. The truck was loaded the same day. Tuesday evening we started back to South Carolina. I was driving my car with my 77-year-old mother, we were behind the truck and my 13-year-old son was in the truck with my husband.
At around 2:15am we had just crossed over the Georgia line when a Police Car passed me with their lights on and then cut in front of my car and got in back of the rental truck which my husband was driving. Once we pulled over we found out it was the Florida DOT and they stopped us because my husband had not passed through the Agricultural Station just before entering Georgia (we had no idea he was supposed to stop). The officers from DOT were very nice and stated this happens a lot and all they needed to do was to check his drivers license and run the truck through the system.
After about 20 minutes, I knew something was wrong. Another Police Car pulled up behind us with the lights on and a Police Officer got out and started talking to the other Police Officers that pulled us over. After a few minutes one of the officers came over to me and told me that the truck my husband was driving had been reported stolen in New York City. Needless to say we were terrified! They were about to haul my husband off to jail in handcuffs to straighten it out. We were very lucky we had all the paperwork handy and in order. The Officers said the paperwork looked official and the date rented was just the day before. The officers said they would try to straighten it out there instead of taking him to jail. The officers came back to me a while later and said that they were able to contact Budget in Florida and verify that we did in fact rent the truck but they still needed to find out why it was reported stolen and get it straightened out before letting us go. It took another 20 to 30 minutes to have Budget in New York take it out of their system that the truck was stolen.
By 3:30am we were finally released and were on our way. I had asked the officers to please put in writing what happened to us so we had proof once we contacted Budget ourselves. The officers wrote up a Citation Form explaining why we were held up.
Needless to say the whole experience was terrifying and humiliating not only for us but also for the fact that my mother has a week bladder and had an accident because we had to wait so long on the side of the road.
I contacted Budget once we got back and told them what happened. The Customer Rep said she noted it on our file but we would have to turn the truck in before they could give us restitution. We returned the truck in on Thursday, April 7th and I called Budget back on the morning of April 8th.
I could not believe the attitude they gave me when I told them I did not feel we should have to pay full price for the rental because they in fact rented us a stolen truck. At first the Rep said she was sorry for what we went through but we did complete the trip with no further problems so there was nothing she could do. I was appalled at the attitude of "Budget" as a company and how they take care of their customers. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was put on hold. I was connected to a supervisor and his attitude was the same stating we did in fact complete the trip. Only after I got quite upset and asked him "Is this how you treat your customers... Just act like it was no big deal we were held up on the side of the road for something that was not our fault?!"
Then he said "Well I can offer you a 10% discount and a letter of apology.
I told the supervisor that 10% was not sufficient enough to cover the extreme mental anguish; humiliation and time lost time the entire event caused us. Then he stated "Well we cannot give it to you free!". I had not asked Budget to give the rental to us free, but I feel $81.00 is not a suitable figure for what they put us through. I told him that I had thought about putting a hold on the amount charged through the credit card until it was resolved but I would give Budget a chance to work it out with us before doing that. He told me it was 10% or nothing. I declined his offer and told him I would take it further with Budget.
I had sent in an email complaint in on April 8th, I received a call from the Budget office in Wichita Falls on April 17th, offering the same 10% discount, which I have declined.
If you rent from Budget.... MAKE SURE YOUR VEHICLE IS NOT LISTED AS STOLEN!!