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Budget car rentals is trying to shake me down!!!

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by acoluzzi, Jun 1, 2012.

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  1. acoluzzi

    acoluzzi Low-Roller

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    April 3rd, I came to Las Vegas for a short meeting. I needed a rental car for a couple hours. I rented a car from Budget. The car they gave me had a dozen or so scuffs and scratches on the rear passenger side, which I duly noted on the slip they give you to fill out before you leave. I thought I was all set.

    Two hours later I return the car and the guy who comes to settle my account and take the keys points out a scuff mark that I'd apparently not drawn on the slip. Granted it's a darkened parking garage (airport mega rental car terminal) and I'd tried my best to mark each and every spot down. Apparently I missed one.

    I was forced to fill out an accident report, on which I explained everything I've just written. The attendant said most likely nothing will come out of this. I said I hope so because that damage was pre-existing.

    Yesterday I get a call from my insurance company. Budget is trying to get $130 plus tax for the damage. They also want another $38 since the car will have to be taken out of service for a day to repair. My insurance company wants nothing to do with this, as the cost is under my deductible (which I believe is $250). The adjuster could not believe Budget was trying to collect this small a fee, it must have cost someone that much in time to put the 30+ documents they sent together.

    Now I am stuck with how best to tell Budget to go fuck themselves, and that I'm not paying them a dime.

    I'm open to suggestions. I've been renting cars for 20 years now and have never had something like this happen.

    Thank you for letting me vent.

    Alex
     
  2. DOUBLE B

    DOUBLE B Tourist

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    I suggest you print this (post) out and send/mail/fax it to Budget.
     
  3. Countessa

    Countessa Tourist

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    They tried this with me a couple months ago. Never got a follow-up call though so hasn't gotten this bad. Lesson learned: Do your own due diligence and mark every damn scratch, crack down. Sorry. No budget for me anymore.
     
  4. ItsJustMe

    ItsJustMe Low-Roller

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    Budget RAC will do anything to get extra money from you.

    2 years ago someone who had a Budget RAC hit my personal vehicle - she failed to negotiate a curve in the road and broadsided my car. As soon as I found out that this was a rental car, I referred this accident to my insurance company.

    A few months later Budget RAC sent me a letter stating that their investigation of the accident determined that I was at fault and that I owed them $3000+. I contacted the lady who hit me and she stated that her insurance company already paid Budget RAC for the damages (in excess of $3000+). Talk about trying to collect from all parties involved.

    My insurance company had to call their lawyers on Budget RAC to pay up for the damages. I finally collected my deductible 13 months after the accident.

    Lesson here - never trust a RAC company.
     
  5. allustoms

    allustoms Tourist

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    I agree with Double D

    I have 2 cars reserved right now, Alamo and Budget. I always use Alamo but Budget has a better price. I'll pay more if I have to and stick with Alamo, they never give me a problem.

    Rental cars have lots of scuffs - especially in by the trunk. We always get them to take note but you can't always list every mark.

    Budget's not getting my business.
     
  6. engicedave

    engicedave VIP Whale

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    Ignore it, but in the meantime, notify your CC on file of the situation and you plan to object to any additional charges Budget tries to put on the card.
    PUT EVERYTHING IN WRITING, including all correspondence with Budget, your insurance company and any copies of your rental, including receipt and your copies (if any) that noted the existing damages.

    Prepare for a fight, though it is possible that once you tell Budget you'll fight to the death including to court, they may drop it for such a small amount
     
  7. MisterJJ

    MisterJJ Low-Roller

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    Years ago I also picked up a car in a dark area. I did not notice a dent on the bottom of a door panel. They wanted to charge me close to $1000. When I told them I had to go through my Credit Card coverage they were not happy at all and tried to get me to pay it directly. I filled out a ton of forms and a month later they said the forms were "incomplete". Resubmitted the fully filled out forms and they said incomplete again. So I ignored them. That was years ago and I have since rented from the same company without any problem.
     
  8. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    We rent cars often, though we have stopped doing it in Vegas based on some stories like this. Maybe the super cheap rates have forced them to make up the difference somewhere else.

    We did rent about two years ago - it was either Budget or Dollar. A month after we got home we get a bill for $300 for bumper damage. I call somebody and tell them the agent checked us in and did not mention ANY damage. I still had the receipt (in our junk drawer) and said I can fax that. She dropped the whole thing.

    Weird.
     
  9. loonytoony

    loonytoony VIP Whale

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    I reccommend in the future using your smartphone to video the agent with pre-existing damage prior to check out going forward. Have them point to each and every mark. Then when you turn it in, see if they go after you and counter sue for fraud and waste of your time.
     
  10. acoluzzi

    acoluzzi Low-Roller

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    That's the thing, it's not like anyone escorted me to the car, and I figured marking the sign out sheet they give you would be plenty, like it has been in the past. They're going to have to increase their staff considerably if there needs to be extra agents on site to walk the cars with customers.

    Thank you for all the suggestions. I'm going to fight this tooth and nail. Starting with having my brother in law, an attorney, send them a nice letter.

    Just kills the buzz of a trip to the most entertaining city in the land ya know....
     
  11. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Very unfortunate but IMHO I think most of the rental agencies always seems to have a butthead attendant once and a while to try to nickel and dime you.

    I always carry a small flashlight and go over the car with a fine tooth comb before leaving the place. sometimes after leaving I also check the car out for things I didn't notice in the rental facility (the place is so dark, hard to see everything in there).

    Usually my experiences has been the opposite, I mention the scuffs and marks when checking out the car, usually the attendant said that they were superficial marks and so not to worry. I've been lucky (knock on wood), I haven't had many bad experiences with dents and scuffs when returning my rental. I've been renting cars in vegas for many years. I only rented from budget once but didn't have a problem, guess I was lucky.
     
  12. saintpauljeff

    saintpauljeff VIP Whale

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    wish I would have seen this thread yesterday...

    Just prepaid a rental w/ Budget for an August trip, they were literally $75 cheaper than everyone else, might still try Priceline (Budget will let you out of the prepaid reservation for $10) after reading here

    note to self- write down every little scuff on the Budget rental car
     
  13. sammasseur

    sammasseur VIP Whale

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    Haven't had this problem with Budget on Vegas. YET. But I do take photos all around, before and after, on my phone.
     
  14. acoluzzi

    acoluzzi Low-Roller

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    I guess I learned my lesson about taking pictures. My telling Budget to go fuck themselves did not go over so well. I've filed a claim with VISA who will apparently help pay for this.
     
  15. tapakip

    tapakip Low-Roller

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    Sorry to hear about your troubles. Shit like this is my one worry about renting a car in Vegas. Last trip out there, we thought we saw the Vdara valet attendant bump into something on his way out of the garage. Like a dope, I didn't even check the car at the time. Next day, when we returned the car to Fox Rent-A-Car, they pointed out the dent. We had to fill out a form, but amazingly, they never tried to bill or charge us anything. And Fox isn't exactly a top notch rental car company, so finding out Fox > Budget in this situation is pretty surprising!

    Also, American Express is very, very good about taking care of these types of issues. Basically the only reason I have the card. I also have a Capital One card simply because they have free and full rental car coverage (no deductible).

    Thumbs down to Budget!
     
  16. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty native Texan; born and bred.

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    We have resorted to a "campy" approach but it is disarming for us and the attendant.....we make a video with our phone as if we are so excited we video everything during our trip. The purpose is to have documentation when the attendant says don't worry about this or that after we point it out. Although it is certainly not binding as is the written word, it is certainly misleading when the attendant is pooh-poohing everything or giving you the hard-sell. We make it fun for our own protection, and it would be too obvious for the attendant to say "Sorry, video taping is not allowed in the garage"....at least they haven't yet and we've not had a problem since.

    All these dark garage stories are what eventually drove us to Enterprise where you are delivered a car on the open lot. Never had a problem returning a car nor refusing insurance in preference to our own. Although they are a bit more pricey.

    Nothing worse than having that "bad feeling" in the back of your mind while driving a rental.
     
    1st Super Bowl DT...Panthers / Browns no doubt
    Spur of momento trip
  17. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

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    I do the same thing and also try to casualy get the employee in the same video.
     
  18. ItsJustMe

    ItsJustMe Low-Roller

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    Why You Should Always Photograph Your Rental Car

    Why You Should Always Photograph Your Rental Car

    http://autos.aol.com/article/rental-car-photograph-damage/?icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl2|sec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D169080

    One man's harrowing experience serves as a cautionary tale

    Because they cost so much for companies to buy and maintain, renting a car can be a dicey little game. Car rental companies, like every other business on the planet, are in the game to make money and, as a result, will try to pass on costs to the consumer -- especially when they are expensive costs like car repairs.

    In a recent post from The Consumerist, a man only known as Dan and his wife recounted their car rental experience with Budget on a trip to Hawaii, which served as some very clear evidence of this fact as well as a reminder of how documenting your rental car via photos and video can save you a lot of money.

    While waiting for their "econobox" to be prepped at the Budget location in Oahu, Dan explained in the post, they were offered an upgrade to a Dodge Challenger for free instead of waiting for the other car. The deal seemed like a no-brainer and they took it. Unfortunately, when the car was delivered, they discovered it was "trashed."

    "Dents, dings, scrapes and the front fairing was hanging loose. I photographed everything and noted it on the forms being very specific. The attendant signed off on everything, I got my keys and we spent a week on the lovely island," Dan said.

    "[Then,] when we turned the car in, the receiving attendant gave the car very careful scrutiny and took our damage form copy when we rented it, signed off on the car and we flew home. No worries."

    Everything seemed to be fine and dandy until two weeks later when Dan received a phone call from Budget asking for details about the accident he had been involved in. Confused and knowing that he didn't get in an accident while in the car, he contacted Budget's investigations department and told them he had pictures and video of the car's pre-existing damage.

    Only after he explained his careful documentation and the fact that he had pictures did Budget miraculously "find" his existing damage claim.

    The moral of the story, Dan said, is to "photograph your evidence and maybe photocopy/scan and save all your paperwork...you never really know what's going to pop out of the woodwork to try and bite you."
     
  19. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    Last two times out I had issues with Car Rentals

    No More!! I'm sticking with AC, I can drive my own car there. It's not our Vegas anymore,they can keep it.
     
  20. saintpauljeff

    saintpauljeff VIP Whale

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    ended up having a fantastic experience w/ Budget; no issue on the scuffs as I was given a brand new Kia Soul (not too bad of a car, first Kia i've driven) and since I was apart of the FastBreak program I went right out to the cars as my name was up on the video board- no waiting in line and no hard sell on the options

    great first rental with them
     
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