Budget Car Rental: Fraud and Cheating, Unethical Business Behavior

Posted on Saturday, March 24th, 2007 at 8:11pm CDT by 7e94329e

Company: Budget Car Rental: Fraud and Cheating, Unethical Business Behavior

Category: Other

I arrived at Washington Dulles Airport one week ago and upon arrival went to Budegt car rental to pick up a 5 day reservation for a compact car. The overall experience, from the beginning to the end, is horrible.

Pick up: When I arrived at the Dulles Airport Budget office, ready to check out the car, my driver's license was denied!!! However, I have no accident record or any kind of violation record on hold. The Budget representative simply said that they did not know the reason. After 1 and 1/2 hours waiting, their manager came out and entered some special code into the computer system to get my reservation through. During that waiting period, I asked the representative what is my quoted total rate for 5 days rental, he said it was $119.43.

Return: Disastreous!!! The quoted rate I get was $119,43, however, when I returned the car 6 days later (one day delay due to their office shut down). Their representative intended to charge me $284.36. The additional charge reason is that I am under age 25 and will pay "additional fee" which is $25/day !! But this year I am 25!!!! Their explanation is that I must be OVER 25!! Holy shit !!!

I called their service center and encountered a very rude guy who questions my math ability and taught me how to calculate my age. SOB!!!! Then I called the Dulles Airport Budget office and talked to their manager. That guy was rude too. He did not admit hiding the additional fee from me and refused to take my complaints. Then he hung up the phone.

Conclusion:

Below is some tricky approaches and their cheating behavior I observe:

1. The reason my driver's license was denied initially might be that according to Budget's age calculation method, I am under 25 and not eligible to rent a car at Budget. After one and half hours waiting, their manager came back from lunch and entered a special code into the computer system to get the rent work. However, they did not disclose the additional $25/day charge to me.

2. The Budget service representatives are very rude. And Budget is making tricks with customers. They intended to give you a good initial impression of low rate but will charge you more money for some of their hidden policy and addtional fees that are designed specifically to target certain types of customers. When I was checking out the car at the Dulles Airport, there was also an old lady who was at the counter arguing with the representatives and waiting for the result. I overheard her charged fee was something like over $1,200.

I AM ALSO CONSULTIN MY LAWYER ABOUT THE CHANCE OF WINNING A LAWSUIT AGAINST BUDGET REFERRING TO THE "Consumer Fraud and Deception Prevention Act". I will update my progress here.

NEVER GO BUDGET CAR RENTAL!!!


6 Comments

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e815906b, 2008-05-26, 05:41AM CDT

I also was scammed by this Budget @ Dulles 2 days ago. I made an online reservation, and part of that reservation contained a question that asked if any "liability damage waiver" was requested. I checked "none". When we arrived to rent the car, the counter clerk asked "do you want any extra coverage"; we answered NO; the clerk printed out the form and said "initial here, here and sign here"; he then folded the rental agreement, placed it in a folder and we were on our way with our "great deal" of $139.99 per week. Upon returning the car, we were given a computerized receipt for over $300 in the parking lot. I went into the office to ask them why my bill was double what we asked for; the very rude guy stated that we had signed the agreement stating that we accepted LDW; I produced my online reservation copy that said "none"; he said that meant nothing because we signed the contract in the office; we told him that we had answered "no" to the rental clerk, but he told us it didn't matter what we said, it only mattered what we signed; he was very smug, almost like he had a scripted response; this is obviously one of their more popular scams; he refused to cooperate in anyway, stated that we were responsible for the bill because that's what we signed; we insisted that we said "no", but he just kept on with his smug responses; they are obviously banking on the fact that consumers are in a hurry to catch a plane and do not have the time to pursue any recourse; he was adament that we had to pay because we signed the agreement; I told him that the signature was obtained fraudently and this was a scam; he just smiled that big smile and basically said it didn't matter what we "said" it was what we "signed"; I will pursue this till the bitter end; any help in what authorities to contact will be appreciated (this Dulles office is in the state of Virginia)

131b7aa9, 2008-08-26, 12:27PM CDT

Amen. I was charged $3500 suddenly on my charge card-months after returning the car and calling the Dulles Budget 15 times to clear it up.

The issue was that I had to drop the car off at the near by airport - where they pick up customers 300 times a day - because I was late for my flight.

I have had to do this twice before with different rental agencies (for different reasons) and they just charge me a somewhat standard $50 retrieval fee.

When I called Budget as a cold-call type customer to inquire about their retrieval fee they were so hilariously rude. They went right to "Do you have your paperwork?" - I said I'm just asking what your retrieval fee is - the CS at the main 800 Budget office told me that each office has different fees and they said I should call you to get the fee". "Well we don't have a fee as we don't allow that - why would you do that? - you rent from a Budget you return to the Budget." I reminded that they do have a retrieval fee - that it was listed in the contract - but not the amount - and again 'what is your retrieval fee?"

This is when they put me on hold - and you know it - it was permanent hold because I held for ten minutes just to give them the last shred of benefit of the doubt. And then I hung up and emailed the main customer service - and fyi they have been very very nice.

Waiting to hear from them - will let you know.

NEVER use BUDGET AT DULLES I can warn you against that for sure.

e3fac852, 2009-10-06, 07:35PM CDT

I too had problems with Budget a couple weeks ago at Providence RI. I reserved a car weeks before but when I got to the counter and they took drivers lic, credit card, etc, I was summarily denied a car. No explanation was given, but I was given a printed card instructing me to call Equifax, the credit reporting agency. The clerk said that "Equifax denied your request..." and although I explained, calmly, that Equifax only recommends and Budget decides, I was met witha blank expression. My credit rating, btw, is fine - FICO score > 775.

I got on the phone with Equifax who were baffled by the clerk's statement. The cust service person looked at my credit report and was baffled as to why they would have denied me. A subsequent call to Budget "customer service" lol was surreal. She insisted that Equifax made sales decisions for Budget and they denied me. My problem, she insisted, was with Equifax. She initially refused to give me to anyone higher (corporately as well as IQ) but finally yielded a couple names which I'm sure she pulled at random out of a phone book. End of story. Boycott Budget!

f4b85cad, 2009-12-30, 12:50PM CST

We just had the same insurance waiver fraud pulled on us at Pearson Airport in Canada . When we went to pay the bill all of a sudden it was on added on!

HOw many other have had the same BS puled on them? These guys are crooks

96920600, 2011-03-12, 11:40PM CST

I rented a car from Budget Car Rental through Priceline.com.

My price was accepted at $35/day and picked the car up at Tampa Airport. The price from Priceline, including taxes was $236 for 5 days.

PICKUP:

I was asked if I wanted to upgrade and I said no, I'll take the mid-sized car that I requested and paid for online with Priceline. I was told by the Budget rep that the Hyundai Sonata was slightly larger than what was considered "mid-sized" but there would be no charge. I accepted those terms based on what the Budget Rep told me.

RETURN:

Upon arriving at the return area a poor English speaking attendant managed to tell me to go to the service desk to ask about the additional $59 charge. When showing several pages of paper work to the person at the service desk (she knew right where to look at a font size of about 2 or 3 point in size) and advised me there was a $10/day upgrade added. I said I did not ask for an upgrade and was given the Hyundai Sonata at the mid-sized price. She said I should have read the paperwork. I told her AGAIN, when I picked up the car the REP verbally told me there was no charge and assumed he was telling me the truth. She said I was old enough to know that I should read the paperwork. I told her when I bid on the price per day at Priceline, the price that was accepted by Budget was $35/day, of course plus taxes and was all paid in full prior to the March 7th pickup date. No ups or extra charges.

An extra charge should not be located in the fine and print should be large enough to easily read. The problem is not about reading, but is about the unethical practices by Budget Car Rental, which was verbally telling me there was no upgrade charge, then back-dooring a charge and trying to slip it buy me in the small print. So their tactic is to lie up front and take advantage of you on the backend. I filled the car up to the brim with gas and returned the car the way I received it, so I held up my part of the deal. I caught them in the act of committing fraud. The $59 charge was finally refunded and I told the RETURN REP if it was not refunded, I would just take it to my credit card company and get taken care of that way.

And that is one lesson I have learned some years back. If you have proof of an agreed price, as I did through Priceline, your Credit Card company will protect you from Fraud and other unauthorized fees and charges. I have no problem paying the agreed price, but unethical practices of this sort I will not stand for.

d2d7a721, 2011-03-13, 07:24AM CDT

I rented a car from Budget Car Rental in Tampa Florida, through Priceline.com.

My price was accepted at $35/day and picked the car up at Tampa Airport. The price from Priceline, including taxes was $236 for 5 days.

PICKUP:

I was asked if I wanted to upgrade and I said no, I'll take the mid-sized car that I requested and paid for online with Priceline. I was told by the Budget rep that the Hyundai Sonata was slightly larger than what was considered "mid-sized" but there would be no charge. I accepted those terms based on what the Budget Rep told me.

RETURN:

Upon arriving at the return area a poor English speaking attendant managed to tell me to go to the service desk to ask about the additional $59 charge. When showing several pages of paper work to the person at the service desk (she knew right where to look at a font size of about 2 or 3 point in size) and advised me there was a $10/day upgrade added. I said I did not ask for an upgrade and was given the Hyundai Sonata at the mid-sized price. She said I should have read the paperwork. I told her AGAIN, when I picked up the car the REP verbally told me there was no charge and assumed he was telling me the truth. She said I was old enough to know that I should read the paperwork. I told her when I bid on the price per day at Priceline, the price that was accepted by Budget was $35/day, of course plus taxes and was all paid in full prior to the March 7th pickup date. No ups or extra charges.

An extra charge should not be located in the fine and print should be large enough to easily read. The problem is not about reading, but is about the unethical practices by Budget Car Rental, which was verbally telling me there was no upgrade charge, then back-dooring a charge and trying to slip it buy me in the small print. So their tactic is to lie up front and take advantage of you on the backend. I filled the car up to the brim with gas and returned the car the way I received it, so I held up my part of the deal. I caught them in the act of committing fraud. The $59 charge was finally refunded and I told the RETURN REP if it was not refunded, I would just take it to my credit card company and get taken care of that way.

And that is one lesson I have learned some years back. If you have proof of an agreed price, as I did through Priceline, your Credit Card company will protect you from Fraud and other unauthorized fees and charges. I have no problem paying the agreed price, but unethical practices of this sort I will not stand for.

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