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(CBC)   Budget Rent A Car, where the retroactive dubious overcharges for invisible damage is just another part of our world class service   (cbc.ca) divider line 108
    More: Fail, Budget Rent A Car, vehicle inspection, Vancouver Airport, Wendy Chernoff  
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14058 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Nov 2012 at 8:46 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



108 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2012-11-05 08:50:03 AM  
Hello? Visa? I have an unauthorized charge from Budget rent a car. Yeah, they charged me 300 bucks without telling me for no reason. Please reverse all charges from them.

(Visa fraud services) "Certainly sir. Your money will be returned tomorrow"
 
2012-11-05 08:50:34 AM  
Yeah,
I do a walk through of the vehicle and then mark the ever loving shiat of the checksheet before I ever take a rental car.
Then again, I only go with reputable U.S. companies.
You'd expect something like this from Canucks.
 
2012-11-05 08:53:36 AM  
The Better Business Bureau has 70 recent complaints about Budget outlets in B.C., which it said show a "pattern."

Oops, sounds like Budget Rent-A-Car has fallen behind on their Better Business Bureau dues.

/seriously, BBB can DIAF.
 
2012-11-05 08:56:22 AM  
Glad someone's finally doing something about this. Their pre-rental inspection is a quick glance, their post-rental investigation may as well be performed by a CSI team. If you don't want to pay note EVERYTHING to them the first time they pull out that clipbpoard.
 
2012-11-05 09:00:25 AM  
www.cbc.ca

You and your ridiculously large microphone are required to leave these premises. No. I will not acknowledge your ridiculously large microphone. I am ignoring it.
 
2012-11-05 09:00:30 AM  
Good to know. Great way to win repeat customers.
 
2012-11-05 09:01:12 AM  
I've never had a problem. Intial walkthrough with them I note absolutely EVERYTHING. Any scratch, tiny speck, dents. Then final inspection when returned. There's actually been times I returned the car with less "damage" because a few initial specks were just mud or whatever. Budget has a different method than this or are these people just lying?
 
2012-11-05 09:01:21 AM  
let us not forget recent shenanigans of Enterprise Rent A Car posted on Fark. Enterprise lobbied the WashDC folks who are supposed to be working for YOU America. your friends in WashDC made it possible for Enterprise to legally ignore automobile manufacturer recalls, thus keeping dangerous unsafe cars on the road for you to rent.

after a mom & dads beautiful young daughters were killed because of one of these Enterprise cars it still took substantial screaming & shouting in the media to get Enterprise to even consider changing their evil ways.

these people are not worthy of your dollars or your patronage. ignore them and we can put them out of business. shame on them for their evil greed.

hint: check out who owns Enterprise, they own a lot of things, and they treat their employees like cattle.
 
2012-11-05 09:01:22 AM  
They all pull their own scams. I had an Avis rep tell me that I was being charged more because I returned the car early. What kind of BS is that. Of course a couple of phone calls and that got cleared up real fast. But the fact they they would even try to pull a scam like that says something about the company.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-11-05 09:02:47 AM  
Great way to win repeat customers.

As far as I know all the major rental companies have contracts that say they can charge you anything they like for any reason they fabricate and if you don't agree you can walk.
 
2012-11-05 09:07:26 AM  
As others have noted, this story is total BS. I've rented cars many a time, and probably Budget was better than 50% of these rentals. I note the damage with them when I pick up the car, and other than the inconvenience of having to get them to come out and look at the car with me, that's as far as the problem goes. I have had to use nighttime dropoff a million times, and I always take photos and video documenting the condition of the car when I leave it, but I've never once been charged a cent extra and had to use it.

And from TFA, I'm sorry, but a wheel dent is not "normal wear and tear". You kerb the car, you should pay to fix the damage. Especially if the rental is rolling alloys, which most anything except the base models will be these days.
 
2012-11-05 09:07:51 AM  

fluffy2097: Hello? Visa? I have an unauthorized charge from Budget rent a car. Yeah, they charged me 300 bucks without telling me for no reason. Please reverse all charges from them.

(Visa fraud services) "Certainly sir. Your money will be returned tomorrow"


Plus if you put your rental on Visa or some other credit cards you could be insured by your credit card company (unless you have another policy that would cover the rental). I have heard that when rental companies find out they are dealing with a credit card company they will just give up on these trick charges.

I just rented a car through Priceline from Alamo and the service was awful. Pushed to buy insurance, pushed to upgrade to an SUV (the $100/d to get an SUV would be more than a week in a condo cost me...), told we were stupid for not buying the gas (we only ended up using 1/2 a tank). I hate rental car games.
 
2012-11-05 09:11:17 AM  

fluffy2097: Hello? Visa? I have an unauthorized charge from Budget rent a car. Yeah, they charged me 300 bucks without telling me for no reason. Please reverse all charges from them.

(Visa fraud services) "Certainly sir. Your money will be returned tomorrow"


Yeah, that doesn't work. I tried that when Sixt at Heathrow dinged me for non existent damage to one of their rental cars. There was no damage to the windscreen at any time, yet once I was back home in the States they billed me waaaay over the odds for repair of a chip - actually billed me more than a replacement windscreen would have cost. I sent them an email demanding return of my money, and then contacted my bank credit card department to reverse it. Two days later I got a call back from the bank saying Sixt had said it was a real charge, so it would stand. End of story, no possibility of argument. The whole thing was compounded by Sixt being based in Germany, and the head office and the Heathrow branch always saying I needed to be speaking to the other.
 
2012-11-05 09:12:05 AM  
Recently had a rental for long term (my poor '10 Charger took a long time to fix). The Enterprise rep told me between vehicle switches that any "ding" smaller than a dime was inconsequential. I still think taking a lot of "before" pictures is a good idea. Enterprise was really good, would recommend.
 
2012-11-05 09:12:08 AM  

spidermilk: fluffy2097: Hello? Visa? I have an unauthorized charge from Budget rent a car. Yeah, they charged me 300 bucks without telling me for no reason. Please reverse all charges from them.

(Visa fraud services) "Certainly sir. Your money will be returned tomorrow"

Plus if you put your rental on Visa or some other credit cards you could be insured by your credit card company (unless you have another policy that would cover the rental). I have heard that when rental companies find out they are dealing with a credit card company they will just give up on these trick charges.

I just rented a car through Priceline from Alamo and the service was awful. Pushed to buy insurance, pushed to upgrade to an SUV (the $100/d to get an SUV would be more than a week in a condo cost me...), told we were stupid for not buying the gas (we only ended up using 1/2 a tank). I hate rental car games.


credit card companies are extremely damaging to merchants.

The merchant instantly loses all your money, and is highly unlikely to be able to contest the issue and get it back.

Furthermore, if the merchant gets enough charge backs, the card companies will simply ban them from accepting credit card transactions at all.

Can you imagine what would happen if Budget was forced to accept cash or check only?
 
2012-11-05 09:13:32 AM  

Shagbert: Yeah, that doesn't work. I tried that when Sixt at Heathrow dinged me for non existent damage to one of their rental cars. There was no damage to the windscreen at any time, yet once I was back home in the States they billed me waaaay over the odds for repair of a chip - actually billed me more than a replacement windscreen would have cost. I sent them an email demanding return of my money, and then contacted my bank credit card department to reverse it. Two days later I got a call back from the bank saying Sixt had said it was a real charge, so it would stand. End of story, no possibility of argument. The whole thing was compounded by Sixt being based in Germany, and the head office and the Heathrow branch always saying I needed to be speaking to the other.


You are in the UK. That is your problem.

America is farking serious about their money.
 
2012-11-05 09:17:06 AM  

spidermilk: I have heard that when rental companies find out they are dealing with a credit card company they will just give up on these trick charges.


What the hell fly-by-night, mom-and-pop rental car companies are you using that will allow you to rent a car and pay with a debit card, check, or cash? Every rental car company I am aware of (even Budget and Thrifty, these days) explicitly *requires* you to use a proper credit card. Even a debit card isn't sufficient, because with a debit card they can't put a hold on the funds to charge you for damage and extras if you return the car beat-up or late.

In other words, they don't "find out" they are dealing with a credit card company, they know it. Because they are with 100% of their customers.

And also, I've had a charge or two reversed in my time, and the credit card company doesn't treat this lightly. They will require evidence that the charge is fraudulent, and they will take their time to consider that evidence carefully.
 
2012-11-05 09:17:40 AM  
I hate budget. They offered me a free upgrade from basic economy to a luxury, fully loaded Malibu, then charged me $30 extra a day for the upgrade.

I was flabbergasted! The lady said "we have tons of them right now, I'll just upgrade you to one of them." Then when I returned, there was a charge for upgrading as well as the daily charges. I was livid. That was the day I spent so long screaming at every supervisor I could find I almost missed my flight home.

Budget is TERRIBLE.
 
2012-11-05 09:17:41 AM  

Tarmangani: The Better Business Bureau has 70 recent complaints about Budget outlets in B.C., which it said show a "pattern."

Oops, sounds like Budget Rent-A-Car has fallen behind on their Better Business Bureau dues.

/seriously, BBB can DIAF.


This. BBB is complicit in a lot of scams and frauds simply by providing the veneer of respectability. Most people don't realize a BBB rating of A+ can be gained just by addressing complaints, not resolving them positively.

And don't even get me started on the extortion and confidence scam that is Ripoffreport.com.
 
2012-11-05 09:17:58 AM  
National was BAD about this for about a year. I'm a FF and rented exclusively through National until I returned a car at DFW. About 2 months later I get a letter in the mail telling me they're going to charge me $600 for a windshield.
I call up the # and they tell me the windshield was "shattered" upon return (completely ludicrous--not even a chip), and I tell them to pound sand.
A month later, they pulled the same thing at DFW to the tune of $1200 for damage to the driver's side door (there was none).


They've gotten better, but my belief is that once the car is turned in and you get your receipt, that's it.
 
2012-11-05 09:17:59 AM  
Enterprise is already on my shiatlist. I'll just add Budget.
/Avis and National have always been easy to deal with, for me.
 
2012-11-05 09:18:12 AM  
I have Hertz #1 Gold. I've never had them even remotely screw with me. I've even had loose body panels I've had to push back in place before they came to look at it.

I was given a car at the Tampa airport. I drove over the causeway to Clearwater, went to a client, stayed there at the hotel, got gas, and back to the airport. I noticed on my receipt I had driven 600 miles. Looks like someone had 'borrowed' the car before I got it. But I didn't care. It came with free unlimited mileage. The only problem was they stuck me with lousy cars for a while after that.

I was in Orlando and someone actually ran out of gas in the Hertz driveway. They got their money's worth out of the prepaid fuel option. They were getting high 5s on the bus.
 
2012-11-05 09:20:10 AM  
Every rental car I get, I ask for the form, and mark the shiat out of it. I take pictures all around the car and e-mail them to myself before I leave the lot. Sound like a PITA? Yep, it is.....but as said before, the check-out 'inspection' is just a glance, the return inspection is white-glove. The practice seems to be that SOMEBODY will just fork over the deductible / damage fee, and it works often enough that they keep doing it.

If the car gets damaged after you take it, might as well pay to fix it yourself. Your credit card and primary insurer will likely cover you if you claim it....and if it's minor, a paintless dent repair is $50-75, a rock-chip in a windshield can be fixed cheaply, and you can replace an entire windshield for under $300. (Someone broke into my rental by smashing a passenger window), and a glass company came out to my house and replaced it for $150. Rental company never knew.
 
2012-11-05 09:20:35 AM  

fluffy2097: Hello? Visa? I have an unauthorized charge from Budget rent a car. Yeah, they charged me 300 bucks without telling me for no reason. Please reverse all charges from them.

(Visa fraud services) "Certainly sir. Your money will be returned tomorrow"


That might work, if it's the first time you've gotten mad enough to go that route. The second time--and I mean the second time in your life--that you ask for a chargeback, out come the fine-toothed combs. The third time, you'd better have video footage of someone holding a gun to your head as they swiped your card.

Whenever possible, browbeat the business itself into reversing the charges. The chargeback gun only has so many bullets in it, and there are a ton of people out there who will rip you off without so much as a second thought.
 
2012-11-05 09:20:52 AM  
I rent from the Sikh guy with the buy/sell/rent lot of older cars at the end of my street.

Broke a wheel running into a curb. My fault, I tell him. "Forget about it, happens, happens." he tells me.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-11-05 09:22:19 AM  
gweilo8888

I think the meaning of the comment you were replying to was this:

When a rental company realizes they are negotiating a damage claim with the credit card company that insured the rental, the company they depend on to earn income, rather than a lawyerless mortal who can't hurt them, they will act like honest businessmen instead of thieves.
 
2012-11-05 09:24:42 AM  

fluffy2097: Shagbert: Yeah, that doesn't work. I tried that when Sixt at Heathrow dinged me for non existent damage to one of their rental cars. There was no damage to the windscreen at any time, yet once I was back home in the States they billed me waaaay over the odds for repair of a chip - actually billed me more than a replacement windscreen would have cost. I sent them an email demanding return of my money, and then contacted my bank credit card department to reverse it. Two days later I got a call back from the bank saying Sixt had said it was a real charge, so it would stand. End of story, no possibility of argument. The whole thing was compounded by Sixt being based in Germany, and the head office and the Heathrow branch always saying I needed to be speaking to the other.

You are in the UK. That is your problem.

America is farking serious about their money.


Nope, not any more. Today marks my 5th year in the US, in fact.
 
2012-11-05 09:25:46 AM  
As for the premise of this article, well, duh. And I doubt that Budget is any better or worse than any other rental company. It's the nature of the industry.

Beware any business that tries to pass off its lowest-skilled, bottom-rung employees as middle-to-upper management. That 22-year-old wearing the blazer and tie does nothing in his day more complicated than handing you a key and operating a cash register. So why is he under such strict orders to speak, act and dress as though he, too, is a member of the business elite? Because the rental car companies think, perhaps correctly, that enough of their customers are dumb enough to care about this.
 
2012-11-05 09:26:34 AM  
I've rented for work from an airport Budget in Georgia (not Atlanta) and from Enterprise for personal use and I've never had a problem with either. Enterprise doesn't bill for anything less than a square inch. Never had any issues with Budget, but that could be because they knew it was a business account and they don't mess with that.
 
2012-11-05 09:26:34 AM  

Shagbert: I tried that when Sixt at Heathrow dinged me for non existent damage to one of their rental cars.


when Sixt at Heathrow

at Heathrow



/born at night. Not last night.
 
2012-11-05 09:26:50 AM  

gweilo8888: spidermilk: I have heard that when rental companies find out they are dealing with a credit card company they will just give up on these trick charges.

What the hell fly-by-night, mom-and-pop rental car companies are you using that will allow you to rent a car and pay with a debit card, check, or cash? Every rental car company I am aware of (even Budget and Thrifty, these days) explicitly *requires* you to use a proper credit card. Even a debit card isn't sufficient, because with a debit card they can't put a hold on the funds to charge you for damage and extras if you return the car beat-up or late.

In other words, they don't "find out" they are dealing with a credit card company, they know it. Because they are with 100% of their customers.

And also, I've had a charge or two reversed in my time, and the credit card company doesn't treat this lightly. They will require evidence that the charge is fraudulent, and they will take their time to consider that evidence carefully.


Yea I know they all required credit card. What I'm referring to is that if you don't have an insurance policy that will cover your rental car and if you don't buy the rental car's insurance and you have a credit card that will provide insurance to your rental car. Once they find out that the $300 'scratches' fee they sent you is going through Visa's rental car insurance department they just give up.
 
2012-11-05 09:28:43 AM  

ZAZ: gweilo8888

I think the meaning of the comment you were replying to was this:

When a rental company realizes they are negotiating a damage claim with the credit card company that insured the rental, the company they depend on to earn income, rather than a lawyerless mortal who can't hurt them, they will act like honest businessmen instead of thieves.


It's my experience that they act like honest businessmen simply if you make sure to note the damage present on the car before you leave the lot, and you treat the vehicle properly while it is in your care. And that includes Budget. And in Canada, as well. (Most recent rental I had was in Canada.)

No threats and credit card companies are needed if you take the five minutes necessary to protect yourself.
 
2012-11-05 09:30:10 AM  

gweilo8888: spidermilk: I have heard that when rental companies find out they are dealing with a credit card company they will just give up on these trick charges.

What the hell fly-by-night, mom-and-pop rental car companies are you using that will allow you to rent a car and pay with a debit card, check, or cash? Every rental car company I am aware of (even Budget and Thrifty, these days) explicitly *requires* you to use a proper credit card. Even a debit card isn't sufficient, because with a debit card they can't put a hold on the funds to charge you for damage and extras if you return the car beat-up or late.

In other words, they don't "find out" they are dealing with a credit card company, they know it. Because they are with 100% of their customers.

And also, I've had a charge or two reversed in my time, and the credit card company doesn't treat this lightly. They will require evidence that the charge is fraudulent, and they will take their time to consider that evidence carefully.


Most, if not all, reputable rental companies will accept debit cards by placing an additional "deposit" charge on the card in the amount of the insurance deductable or some fraction thereof and returning it when you return the car. What fly-by-night rental companies do you deal with that don't?
 
2012-11-05 09:31:12 AM  

gweilo8888: What the hell fly-by-night, mom-and-pop rental car companies are you using that will allow you to rent a car and pay with a debit card, check, or cash? Every rental car company I am aware of (even Budget and Thrifty, these days) explicitly *requires* you to use a proper credit card. Even a debit card isn't sufficient, because with a debit card they can't put a hold on the funds to charge you for damage and extras if you return the car beat-up or late.


I've only rented a car from Enterprise on the two occasions I've needed to do so. I used my debit card and they put a hold on some money for the duration of the rental. Maybe things work differently in your state.

/CA
 
2012-11-05 09:33:05 AM  

GlobalStrategic MapleSyrup Reserve: Glad someone's finally doing something about this. Their pre-rental inspection is a quick glance, their post-rental investigation may as well be performed by a CSI team.


That's doing it wrong.

oukewldave: I've never had a problem. Intial walkthrough with them I note absolutely EVERYTHING. Any scratch, tiny speck, dents.


That's doing it right.

No problems with Enterprise, the only one I've used in 10 years.
Check all panels, open all doors, look in trunk, glovebox and center console, examine all tires and wheels/hubcaps. Denote scratches on headlamp covers, rock dings in windows, spots on interior.
It's my pre-rental inspection kid, go fix your tie and get me some coffee.
 
2012-11-05 09:34:59 AM  

StrangeQ: gweilo8888: spidermilk: I have heard that when rental companies find out they are dealing with a credit card company they will just give up on these trick charges.

What the hell fly-by-night, mom-and-pop rental car companies are you using that will allow you to rent a car and pay with a debit card, check, or cash? Every rental car company I am aware of (even Budget and Thrifty, these days) explicitly *requires* you to use a proper credit card. Even a debit card isn't sufficient, because with a debit card they can't put a hold on the funds to charge you for damage and extras if you return the car beat-up or late.

In other words, they don't "find out" they are dealing with a credit card company, they know it. Because they are with 100% of their customers.

And also, I've had a charge or two reversed in my time, and the credit card company doesn't treat this lightly. They will require evidence that the charge is fraudulent, and they will take their time to consider that evidence carefully.

Most, if not all, reputable rental companies will accept debit cards by placing an additional "deposit" charge on the card in the amount of the insurance deductable or some fraction thereof and returning it when you return the car. What fly-by-night rental companies do you deal with that don't?


Avis. Hertz. National. Budget. Thrifty. At least in the US market, no, sorry. Not a single one of these will take a debit card. Thrifty or Budget (forget which) was the last one that used to do so, about 8-10 years ago.

Even if you have a confirmed booking on a debit card, when you show up they will refuse to honor the booking unless you provide a real credit card. And they will actually turn your business away if you don't have one, even if you show proof that you have comprehensive automotive insurance that covers you for rental cars.
 
2012-11-05 09:35:58 AM  

Honest Bender: gweilo8888: What the hell fly-by-night, mom-and-pop rental car companies are you using that will allow you to rent a car and pay with a debit card, check, or cash? Every rental car company I am aware of (even Budget and Thrifty, these days) explicitly *requires* you to use a proper credit card. Even a debit card isn't sufficient, because with a debit card they can't put a hold on the funds to charge you for damage and extras if you return the car beat-up or late.

I've only rented a car from Enterprise on the two occasions I've needed to do so. I used my debit card and they put a hold on some money for the duration of the rental. Maybe things work differently in your state.

/CA


Must be a per-state thing then, yes. (But every state I have rented in requires a credit card.)
 
2012-11-05 09:38:33 AM  

Honest Bender: I've only rented a car from Enterprise on the two occasions I've needed to do so. I used my debit card and they put a hold on some money for the duration of the rental. Maybe things work differently in your state.

/CA


In GA, Enterprise will let you use a debit card but require more documentation, including 1 or 2 pay stubs. Pain in the arse, got a CC just for this crap.
 
2012-11-05 09:42:44 AM  

gweilo8888: Honest Bender: gweilo8888: What the hell fly-by-night, mom-and-pop rental car companies are you using that will allow you to rent a car and pay with a debit card, check, or cash? Every rental car company I am aware of (even Budget and Thrifty, these days) explicitly *requires* you to use a proper credit card. Even a debit card isn't sufficient, because with a debit card they can't put a hold on the funds to charge you for damage and extras if you return the car beat-up or late.

I've only rented a car from Enterprise on the two occasions I've needed to do so. I used my debit card and they put a hold on some money for the duration of the rental. Maybe things work differently in your state.

/CA

Must be a per-state thing then, yes. (But every state I have rented in requires a credit card.)


Enterprise and Hertz have both regularly rented to me with a debit card in MD as well. It's more involved than with a credit card, but when you refuse to own one it's all you can do. (have since relented after facing the fact that even if you refuse to play the bullshiat credit game, the corporate world will still hold you to its rules)
 
2012-11-05 09:45:03 AM  

gweilo8888: Must be a per-state thing then, yes. (But every state I have rented in requires a credit card.)


Depends too whether it's a "retail" rental, or an insurance-replacement one.

If it's the latter, they'll let any swinging dick walk out with car only plunking down their debit card because the vast majority of insurance companies offer direct-bill services to car rental companies.
 
2012-11-05 09:45:23 AM  
One time I was on the bus back to the terminal from the rental car lot, and the guy calls me and is like "SIR, you didn't leave the key! We need that key!!". I was like, um nooo, the key is in the ignition, the dude turned it when he checked the mileage. Idiots. I was laughing but kept checking my statement in case they pulled some BS. Had a Sheraton try to dick me over by charging again for a prepaid room, slimeballs. Traveling is such a pain in the butt because of the 5% of counter clerks who decide to be total dicks, and the 40% of fellow travelers of course who are born total dicks.
 
2012-11-05 09:45:30 AM  
After reading that article I think I will do what I always wanted to do. Next time I rent a car, I will treat the roads as my own personal bumper-car ride. Concrete median? No problem...watch the sparks fly! Slow driver in front of me? No problem...just give gramps a little nudge at 80 mph. Donuts at the mall parking lot on Black Friday anyone?
 
2012-11-05 09:45:34 AM  

fluffy2097: Shagbert: I tried that when Sixt at Heathrow dinged me for non existent damage to one of their rental cars.

when Sixt at Heathrow

at Heathrow


/born at night. Not last night.


Yes, I was renting in England. With an American credit card. Issued by an American bank. It's not that complicated to follow, is it?
 
2012-11-05 09:46:23 AM  
I love how the in-airport pickup area always resembles the black hole of Calcutta. You need a miner's helmet just to find your way to the car. Return area? Brightly lit, you can get a tan from all the candlepower being thrown at your car. What seemed to be a minor scuff on pickup looks like the Grand Canyon on delivery.

But, of course, that's probably just a coincidence.
 
2012-11-05 09:47:17 AM  

Odd Bird: It's my pre-rental inspection kid, go fix your tie and get me some coffee.


Yea... this.

Note everything. Write on the back of the form and down the margins.

Another handy hint is to take a gauge cluster pic before and after noting the mileage and tank reading on each. (This one has gotten me out of a $85 return fuel charge for ~10 gallons of fuel.) Thank you Enterprise at Ontario International CA for trying that. I appreciate that.
 
2012-11-05 09:48:25 AM  
I just say 'fark it' and pay for the extra insurance and drive the hell out of the car.
 
2012-11-05 09:50:08 AM  
Lots of rental companies are going this route - there's an upcharge for everything from prepaid gas, to GPS to 'upgrades'.....and the employees are pretty much forced to have to run through the upgrade script (When I tried to tell the Avis rep in Orlando that I wasn't interested, she said that she had to run through the entire speech - and I believe her). They're not making much money when I go through Priceline or Hotwire, so they're looking to get money whereever they can, including hitting every renter up for 'damage' in the hopes that someone will pay.
 
2012-11-05 09:53:38 AM  
I rent cars probably 20 times a year. Two steps that have saved me hassle on multiple rentals:

1. ALWAYS do a pre-acceptance walk-around of the car and note all damage. If they tell you they have it "in their system" or "don't care about little marks like that," ignore them. Describe the damage on your invoice, date it, and demand that the manager on duty initial it.

2. If there's real damage to the car when you get ready to accept it (e.g. a crack in the windshield, or a dent or scratch through the paint), take a picture of it with your phone or camera, making sure it notes the date.

The worst in my experience are Budget and Dollar, mainly because they push their insurance coverage on you and get vindictive when you decline. Last time I had a Dollar car in Las Vegas, for example, they tried to tell me they pre-inspect all their cars and all damage is noted so there's nothing to write down. The car they brought me had a cracked tail light (someone had clearly backed into a pole). I demanded that they acknowledge it in writing, so the manager agreed to initial my invoice. Sure enough, when I returned it the check-in guy went immediately to that damage, clicked on his little computer, and said that this damage wasn't in their system. I showed him the write-up from his manager, he grumbled, and let me go without billing me for it.

Whenever the cost is close I try to use Hertz #1 Gold. I've never once had them raise a fuss on a car. The one time I did damage a car -- knocked a side view mirror off in England -- I owned up to it, and they billed me all of 33 pounds to fix it.

/CSB, I know.
 
2012-11-05 10:04:18 AM  
I only use Hertz #1 Gold, never had a problem.
The person behind the counter always goes around the car with me and notes everything.
 
2012-11-05 10:05:37 AM  
Another tip for the car rental neophytes - never just walk up to a counter cold and ask for a car. You will get the highest possible rate, and there is a chance they will have nothing anyway. Even if you're standing 20 feet away call them or use your smartphone to book. Better is to book even a day ahead, it will be like 25-50% off.
 
2012-11-05 10:07:38 AM  

ChipNASA: Yeah,
I do a walk through of the vehicle and then mark the ever loving shiat of the checksheet before I ever take a rental car.
Then again, I only go with reputable U.S. companies.
You'd expect something like this from Canucks.


I do the same thing. I won't pay for minor damage I didn't case.

Budget is not a Canadian company. It's headquartered in New Jersey. The FA is out of Canada, but Budget's been pulling this crap for years here in the US.
 
2012-11-05 10:10:16 AM  

kiwimoogle84: I hate budget. They offered me a free upgrade from basic economy to a luxury, fully loaded Malibu, then charged me $30 extra a day for the upgrade.

I was flabbergasted! The lady said "we have tons of them right now, I'll just upgrade you to one of them." Then when I returned, there was a charge for upgrading as well as the daily charges. I was livid. That was the day I spent so long screaming at every supervisor I could find I almost missed my flight home.

Budget is TERRIBLE.


Didn't you sign off on the per day rate and total expected charges BEFORE you even got the keys?
 
2012-11-05 10:12:59 AM  

ham-operator: They all pull their own scams. I had an Avis rep tell me that I was being charged more because I returned the car early. What kind of BS is that. Of course a couple of phone calls and that got cleared up real fast. But the fact they they would even try to pull a scam like that says something about the company.


The last time I rented one the same thing happened. No BS--since I returned it early I was only charged for the days I actually had it but I was charged a $15 fee. This is sensible as the car was expected to be in my possession and not available for rent. Thus my reserving it for longer than I turned out to need it possibly denied them an opportunity to rent it.

gweilo8888: As others have noted, this story is total BS. I've rented cars many a time, and probably Budget was better than 50% of these rentals. I note the damage with them when I pick up the car, and other than the inconvenience of having to get them to come out and look at the car with me, that's as far as the problem goes. I have had to use nighttime dropoff a million times, and I always take photos and video documenting the condition of the car when I leave it, but I've never once been charged a cent extra and had to use it.


I stick to photo as it's higher resolution (at least with the gear I have.)

TheGreatGazoo: I was given a car at the Tampa airport. I drove over the causeway to Clearwater, went to a client, stayed there at the hotel, got gas, and back to the airport. I noticed on my receipt I had driven 600 miles. Looks like someone had 'borrowed' the car before I got it. But I didn't care. It came with free unlimited mileage. The only problem was they stuck me with lousy cars for a while after that.


Yeah, I think this is the main issue. Cars get borrowed, if anything happens the next renter gets stuck with it if they don't catch the problem.
 
2012-11-05 10:13:56 AM  
My company makes me buy all the insurance. I say fark you and give me the keys I bought all the insurance. I'll bring back the steering wheel if i choose.
 
2012-11-05 10:16:51 AM  
I've had Budget try to charge me for a chip in the windshield. I was 21 and in a hurry (and not good at talking to strangers) and it took a lot longer than it should have for me to convince them that it was really just a bug. I ended up using the back of my pocket knife to scrape it off before they would believe me.

/Nearly gave the guy a heart attack when I pulled it out, too.
//It did remind me to put it in my luggage before checking in, so that's nice.
 
2012-11-05 10:19:03 AM  

I May Be Crazy But...: I've had Budget try to charge me for a chip in the windshield. I was 21 and in a hurry (and not good at talking to strangers) and it took a lot longer than it should have for me to convince them that it was really just a bug. I ended up using the back of my pocket knife to scrape it off before they would believe me.

/Nearly gave the guy a heart attack when I pulled it out, too.
//It did remind me to put it in my luggage before checking in, so that's nice.


I should add that I think this happened because the guy was an idiot, not something about Budget.
 
2012-11-05 10:24:03 AM  
My dad ranted a car when he was visiting Canada from the US. They decided to round up all the charges to the nearest dollar. So he complained to the rental company, they ignored him so he complained to Visa and Visa gave him all the money back.

Then there was then a string of fraudulent purchases on the card. Considering it was a new card and had only been used at that one place...

Visa of course returned all the money and asked for a statement to give to the FBI.
 
2012-11-05 10:32:52 AM  
I had some co (thrifty maybe) call and say I dented the car two days after the return. I said sorry I returned it with no damage and that is noted on my forms, Someone on your lot or an employee probably dinged it, and if you try to charge me I'll have to take you to court + damages and legal. That was the end of that. Who the hell takes that after the fact bs.
 
2012-11-05 10:41:56 AM  

ZAZ: Great way to win repeat customers.

As far as I know all the major rental companies have contracts that say they can charge you anything they like for any reason they fabricate and if you don't agree you can walk.


I'm pretty sure the Budget agreement is "at the time of return there's an inspection done and any damages discovered can be charged to you"

I use Budget and their lot is a public parking lot. If they "spot" something retroactively they can kiss my ass, since once it's their problem in the parking lot, they're welcome to try and prove it, but I'm reversing the charges first and dealing with their bullshiat later.

CSB story: Budget is so organized once they managed to lose a record of me returning a car. They called me weeks later asking for it, whereupon I freaked the fark out until they discovered they'd rented it shortly after, putting me off the hook. After that my reaction was "how the fark does your rental system let you rent a car that is still on the books to somebody else?".
 
2012-11-05 10:44:38 AM  
Does anyone here not have a camera easily available? How long would it take to snap off a few photos or a video of the car when you drop it off?
 
2012-11-05 10:48:18 AM  
I rent a lot of cars (20-30 a year), and very often if you just stand up to them they back down. Had a car for a week in TX, turned it in, and flew home. The next day I get a call saying "they found significant damage to the side and fender, and had I been in an accident?" I told the woman that it would have been apparent when I had turned it in to their employee - and they had inspected and accepted the car. When I asked about the extent of the damage, you'd have thought it was totaled. I very firmly denied responsibility but also threatened to get our corporate legal office involved. They promised to "investigate" and call back. The next day I got a rather sheepish call where they admitted that their employee had sideswiped another car in their lot, and that I shouldn't worry about it. Not the first time something like this has happened - and they sometimes wait weeks. Like other posters suggest, mark everything in your inspection, especially windshield dings and trunk scratches - I've never rented a car what didn't have some on top of the bumper at the trunk edge where people can't lift their luggage out and drag it across.
 
2012-11-05 10:51:47 AM  
i was going to relate a story about someone who rented a car and took it to Burning Man, then cleaned it thoroughly before returning, so there was very little dust or dirt on it, and a MONTH later they got charged a couple hundred dollars as a cleaning fee. a whole month!

I don't have more details though because apparently i was dropped from the facebook group where the story was originally told... I do know he got the charges reversed by being a responsible consumer and calling around and disputing it.

the general idea seemed to be that they might have charged ALL the vehicles from the week of the event with the cleaning fee, to see if they stuck. Because if you rent a vehicle in Reno the week before labor day, yeah. they know where you're going.
 
2012-11-05 10:51:49 AM  
The last two times I rented a car (Enterprise) I filmed (Droid) the car before and after with the rental representative.
 
2012-11-05 10:55:30 AM  

Sun Khan: Tarmangani: The Better Business Bureau has 70 recent complaints about Budget outlets in B.C., which it said show a "pattern."

Oops, sounds like Budget Rent-A-Car has fallen behind on their Better Business Bureau dues.

/seriously, BBB can DIAF.

This. BBB is complicit in a lot of scams and frauds simply by providing the veneer of respectability. Most people don't realize a BBB rating of A+ can be gained just by addressing complaints, not resolving them positively.

And don't even get me started on the extortion and confidence scam that is Ripoffreport.com.


Yes exactly. Most people think that the BBB is some kind of regulatory agency, or will help them with their problems. It isn't and it won't . It is a for profit organization that makes money by charging businesses for membership. Your complaints just make more money for them, and are not actually resolved. They approach the business, saying that there have been complaints, would the business like to pay and join so they can address the complaints, otherwise the BBB will be "forced" to issue a bad rating. After the business pays, they can "deal" with the complaints. As long as the complaints are "dealt with" (just making one attempt to contact the complainer, the complaints do not have to be resolved), the business can have an A+ rating. The more complaints, the more the business has to pay to maintain the A+ rating however heh. No complaint ever has to actually be resolved.
 
2012-11-05 11:01:07 AM  
My company requires us to rent from Budget, period. No exceptions. The Budget lot at Laguardia airport is separated from a very large junkyard, which comes complete with very large, very mean junkyard dogs.

The good folks at Budget back those rental cars right up against the fence.

The junkyard dogs take it as a personal insult when you attempt to walk around the car to assess previous damage prior to renting. One actually snagged my suitcoat jacket through the fence.

The Budget employee took immediate action...he whipped out a cell phone, dialed a number and said "Wilmer? (side note: Wilmer?) Your damned dogs are biting my customers on the ass again!!"
 
2012-11-05 11:01:25 AM  

BobCumbers: My company makes me buy all the insurance. I say fark you and give me the keys I bought all the insurance. I'll bring back the steering wheel if i choose.


We did that with Avis in Italy. Managed to scrape a sign in a parking garage and put a ding in the roof (full-size van). Since the young woman at the return desk was too short to see it, we made sure that she was aware of it. We were relieved that we'd bought the extra insurance...until they insisted that the additional insurance doesn't cover damage to the roof! Naturally, there's no mention of that detail in the English version of the contract...and the Italian-language version takes precedent.
 
2012-11-05 11:08:08 AM  

kokomo61: The practice seems to be that SOMEBODY will just fork over the deductible / damage fee, and it works often enough that they keep doing it.


Or in some cases, every customer who rents that car.

Charge customer for inconspicuous damage.
Don't repair damage.
Repeat.

Neat scam, until you get caught.
 
2012-11-05 11:08:46 AM  
4.bp.blogspot.com

I don't think you do. If you did, I'd have a car. See, you know how to
take the reservation, you just don't know how to *hold* the reservation and
that's really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody
can just take them.
 
2012-11-05 11:09:30 AM  

cig-mkr: I only use Hertz #1 Gold, never had a problem.
The person behind the counter always goes around the car with me and notes everything.


Until there's a claim.

I left Hertz when I booked a car in HNL and I get to the counter (near closing as my flight was delayed) and the clerks look at each other then go in the back to "check inventory". They never returned. The lot was empty. They gave my car away.

In addition, they changed their rental policy several years ago. If there's a claim, you agree to be billed for the full amount of the damage/deductible until the matter is settled, regardless of fault.

Screw them.
 
2012-11-05 11:11:38 AM  

Gough: BobCumbers: My company makes me buy all the insurance. I say fark you and give me the keys I bought all the insurance. I'll bring back the steering wheel if i choose.

We did that with Avis in Italy. Managed to scrape a sign in a parking garage and put a ding in the roof (full-size van). Since the young woman at the return desk was too short to see it, we made sure that she was aware of it. We were relieved that we'd bought the extra insurance...until they insisted that the additional insurance doesn't cover damage to the roof! Naturally, there's no mention of that detail in the English version of the contract...and the Italian-language version takes precedent.


You excepted the rule of contract law to apply in a country which imprisoned scientists because they couldn't predict an earthquake?
 
2012-11-05 11:15:01 AM  

99.998er: After reading that article I think I will do what I always wanted to do. Next time I rent a car, I will treat the roads as my own personal bumper-car ride. Concrete median? No problem...watch the sparks fly! Slow driver in front of me? No problem...just give gramps a little nudge at 80 mph. Donuts at the mall parking lot on Black Friday anyone?




www.imcdb.org
 
2012-11-05 11:19:45 AM  

palelizard: I just say 'fark it' and pay for the extra insurance and drive the hell out of the car.


I always write down "goat hoofprints in roof" on the pre-inspection sheet, then enjoy my Vegas weekend.
 
2012-11-05 11:27:25 AM  

KarmicDisaster: Sun Khan: Tarmangani: The Better Business Bureau has 70 recent complaints about Budget outlets in B.C., which it said show a "pattern."

Oops, sounds like Budget Rent-A-Car has fallen behind on their Better Business Bureau dues.

/seriously, BBB can DIAF.

This. BBB is complicit in a lot of scams and frauds simply by providing the veneer of respectability. Most people don't realize a BBB rating of A+ can be gained just by addressing complaints, not resolving them positively.

And don't even get me started on the extortion and confidence scam that is Ripoffreport.com.

Yes exactly. Most people think that the BBB is some kind of regulatory agency, or will help them with their problems. It isn't and it won't . It is a for profit organization that makes money by charging businesses for membership. Your complaints just make more money for them, and are not actually resolved. They approach the business, saying that there have been complaints, would the business like to pay and join so they can address the complaints, otherwise the BBB will be "forced" to issue a bad rating. After the business pays, they can "deal" with the complaints. As long as the complaints are "dealt with" (just making one attempt to contact the complainer, the complaints do not have to be resolved), the business can have an A+ rating. The more complaints, the more the business has to pay to maintain the A+ rating however heh. No complaint ever has to actually be resolved.


BBB is a non profit
 
2012-11-05 11:36:01 AM  

Clemkadidlefark: The last two times I rented a car (Enterprise) I filmed (Droid) the car before and after with the rental representative.


YOU USED FREAKIN ROBOTS?

ARE YOU GEORGE LUCAS?
 
2012-11-05 11:36:12 AM  

BobCumbers: My company makes me buy all the insurance. I say fark you and give me the keys I bought all the insurance. I'll bring back the steering wheel if i choose.


That "insurance" they sell is very shiatty. Doesn't cover things like tires, wheels, glass sometimes. You could rent it for a week, pay $100 for the coverage, then run over a tiny scrap of something on the highway and find out you have to drop $150 on a new tire.
 
2012-11-05 11:36:42 AM  

redmid17: BBB is a non profit


Somebody needs a salary and will do anything to maintain the perception of efficacy.
 
2012-11-05 11:42:19 AM  

lohphat: redmid17: BBB is a non profit

Somebody needs a salary and will do anything to maintain the perception of efficacy.


Can't disagree with that. I was just pointing out that BBB is registered as a non profit.
 
2012-11-05 11:48:06 AM  

redmid17: lohphat: redmid17: BBB is a non profit

Somebody needs a salary and will do anything to maintain the perception of efficacy.

Can't disagree with that. I was just pointing out that BBB is registered as a non profit.


That is true. But their goal is still to make as much as possible through their scheme, although they have to spend it all to remain non profit.
 
2012-11-05 11:58:57 AM  
BBB is a non profit

So is the NFL...look it up. The BBB is a group of bullies. As the owner of two small businesses I have refused to bow to their extortion tactics. I have no complaints against us, but if I ever do, I will not reply to the BBB to resolve. They are not supposed to be the arbitrator in civil matters. This is why we have the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection. I have been pressured to "join" the BBB on a monthly basis, but will continue to decline as long as I am in business. I have an eerie feeling those telesales people are not working 40 hours a week out of a civic duty thing. Non-profit? Sure! All of those telesales people are doing their civil service 40 hours a week for free. The BBB is raking on scared businesses. Even a bad business can buy an AAA rating just by replying to a complaint, not resolving it.
 
2012-11-05 11:59:01 AM  

justanotherfarkinfarker: BobCumbers: My company makes me buy all the insurance. I say fark you and give me the keys I bought all the insurance. I'll bring back the steering wheel if i choose.

That "insurance" they sell is very shiatty. Doesn't cover things like tires, wheels, glass sometimes. You could rent it for a week, pay $100 for the coverage, then run over a tiny scrap of something on the highway and find out you have to drop $150 on a new tire.


and, at least in Italy, the roof. Pay $250 for the insurance and $600 for the damage to the roof.
 
2012-11-05 12:02:36 PM  

99.998er: BBB is a non profit

So is the NFL...look it up. The BBB is a group of bullies. As the owner of two small businesses I have refused to bow to their extortion tactics. I have no complaints against us, but if I ever do, I will not reply to the BBB to resolve. They are not supposed to be the arbitrator in civil matters. This is why we have the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection. I have been pressured to "join" the BBB on a monthly basis, but will continue to decline as long as I am in business. I have an eerie feeling those telesales people are not working 40 hours a week out of a civic duty thing. Non-profit? Sure! All of those telesales people are doing their civil service 40 hours a week for free. The BBB is raking on scared businesses. Even a bad business can buy an AAA rating just by replying to a complaint, not resolving it.


The NFL is a non-profit, but it's members are not. Both the BBB umbrella organization and local chapters are non-profits. I mean, BBB had 180 million in revenue last year, so they clearly have money to pay people.
 
2012-11-05 12:05:29 PM  
(Sorry for the bold lettering. Was not intentional.)
 
2012-11-05 12:09:27 PM  
A few years back, rented a minivan from Dollar (now part of Thrifty) in Denver, and had to look at it in an unlit parking lot at night, and couldn't see any thing out of sorts. Drove south to Colorado Springs to our rental near Garden of the Gods, went to bed.

Next morning, got up, and when I saw the van, it looked like someone had driven under a guardrail - the hood had an actual visible crease in it. In a panic, I called up Dollar, and they said, don't worry about it, as long as it was reported within 24 hours, we were good.

True to their word, not problem.

Today, it's different. Wife rented a car from Alamo. I took pictures, noted a fender / door ding on the car, etc. Showed it to them when it got returned, along with my inspection sheet, they said, 'no problem.' Three months later, I get a bill from Alamo claiming $300+ damage for 'collision'. Sent them the pics, copies of the inspection sheet, proof of credit card / ins. coverage.....and somehow it magically went away.

My going in stance is that they're going to try and claim damage every time, so I make sure that I'm prepared to refute it every time.(...and I also make sure I show that I hold on to proof that I gassed up the car prior to its return - Alamo also tried to sock me with the re-fuel fee even though it was full....because I had driven less than 75 miles).
 
2012-11-05 12:15:23 PM  
CSB

Someone I know (for discussion's sake, "Joe") needed a long term rental, 2 weeks or more. Because Joe was under 20 he was being hit for a significant insurance fee, $20 a day I believe (this was the early 90s). He was furious about the added fee so they decided to get the most out of it;
- drove it into curbs (4 tires, at least one wheel replaced), rolled up windows and filled it with water
- learned that in order to shift into low while at highway speeds, you must first jam it into park and then pull the lever back fast.
- girlfriend bumped interior mirror and cracked windshield.
- drove it for extended periods with the emergency brake engaged
I've forgotten some of the other details, but there were plenty. I drove the car near the end of the rental cycle; out of alignment, grinding brakes, valve train sounded significantly damaged, other items....

One day I'm at Joe's domicile and he informs me the rental company will be coming to get the car that afternoon, he then heads out.
Rental agency calls and asks to speak to Joe, I inform them Joe is out but they can pick up the car.
Car gets towed.
Rental agency calls an hour or so later and asks to speak to Joe, I inform them Joe is out but can take a message. They ask me to inform Joe that the rental company will be seeking $4000+ because their car is destroyed. I tell them I will pass along the message.

A few months later I ask Joe how that whole thing turned out;
- After many back and forth calls with rental agency, someone different from the agency called Joe.
- Joe started hammering them with "my lawyer said blah blah blah".
- Poor sap at the agency said he was only calling about the $50 deductible for the windshield.
Joe: "you mean if I come down and give you $50 this will all be over?"
Sap: "Yes"
Joe boogies on down, gives Sap $50, gets receipt stating all charges are satisfied.

A week or so later, lawyer representing agency calls Joe and states money must be paid or charges will be filed.
Joe: "I have a receipt in my hand which states all charges are satisfied."
Lawyer: "You have that? Would you fax me a copy?"
Joe heads out and faxes copy to lawyer.
Fini
/story.
 
2012-11-05 12:19:36 PM  

kokomo61: A few years back, rented a minivan from Dollar (now part of Thrifty) in Denver, and had to look at it in an unlit parking lot at night, and couldn't see any thing out of sorts. Drove south to Colorado Springs to our rental near Garden of the Gods, went to bed.

Next morning, got up, and when I saw the van, it looked like someone had driven under a guardrail - the hood had an actual visible crease in it. In a panic, I called up Dollar, and they said, don't worry about it, as long as it was reported within 24 hours, we were good.

True to their word, not problem.

Today, it's different. Wife rented a car from Alamo. I took pictures, noted a fender / door ding on the car, etc. Showed it to them when it got returned, along with my inspection sheet, they said, 'no problem.' Three months later, I get a bill from Alamo claiming $300+ damage for 'collision'. Sent them the pics, copies of the inspection sheet, proof of credit card / ins. coverage.....and somehow it magically went away.

My going in stance is that they're going to try and claim damage every time, so I make sure that I'm prepared to refute it every time.(...and I also make sure I show that I hold on to proof that I gassed up the car prior to its return - Alamo also tried to sock me with the re-fuel fee even though it was full....because I had driven less than 75 miles).


You know this fuel charge shiat is a great way to rob people too- every gas gauge on every car I've ever driven has been imprecise. They should be able to figure out how much fuel is used by how many miles was driven- also save your fuel receipts. A company tried to charge me for 1/4 tank of gas (4 gallons) for 40 miles until I showed them a fuel receipt for 2 gallons. After a lot of yelling and screaming at them they admitted that yes, their compact cars do get more than 10mpg and that I wouldn't be charged.

They should really just charge you market rate for the fuel minus your receipts and be done with it- but then they wouldn't be able to rip consumers off so there is that.
 
2012-11-05 12:21:47 PM  

thewulf: kiwimoogle84: I hate budget. They offered me a free upgrade from basic economy to a luxury, fully loaded Malibu, then charged me $30 extra a day for the upgrade.

I was flabbergasted! The lady said "we have tons of them right now, I'll just upgrade you to one of them." Then when I returned, there was a charge for upgrading as well as the daily charges. I was livid. That was the day I spent so long screaming at every supervisor I could find I almost missed my flight home.

Budget is TERRIBLE.

Didn't you sign off on the per day rate and total expected charges BEFORE you even got the keys?


Why yes, yes I did. "Expected" charges" are like "estimated lottery winnings." Besides, I signed before they handed me the keys. It was a last minute upgrade. That's why I was so pissed about it. They tried to claim I asked for the upgrade when in reality it was offered for free.
 
2012-11-05 12:26:37 PM  
Thrifty did this to me after a rental in Edmonton. Even after the inspection upon return said it was okay. They said they found a dent after the car was washed. Amex dealt with it and I didn't have to pay anything out of pocket. I don't know if Amex paid or Thrifty dropped it. I honestly don't remember seeing the car get dinged.

Now, I will take photos of anything I find on the pre-inspection, make sure the desk clerk knows of them, and if I'm doing a night drop off, I'll take a video of the car upon return.

Sixt at LHR was pretty good to me. I returned it 90 minutes late and initially they charged me an extra day. A phone call with them cleared it all up and they returned the extra charges.
 
2012-11-05 12:33:41 PM  

Odd Bird: CSB


Your friend Joe sounds like an asshole. This is the reason we can't have nice things.
 
2012-11-05 12:35:00 PM  

kiwimoogle84: thewulf: kiwimoogle84: I hate budget. They offered me a free upgrade from basic economy to a luxury, fully loaded Malibu, then charged me $30 extra a day for the upgrade.

I was flabbergasted! The lady said "we have tons of them right now, I'll just upgrade you to one of them." Then when I returned, there was a charge for upgrading as well as the daily charges. I was livid. That was the day I spent so long screaming at every supervisor I could find I almost missed my flight home.

Budget is TERRIBLE.

Didn't you sign off on the per day rate and total expected charges BEFORE you even got the keys?

Why yes, yes I did. "Expected" charges" are like "estimated lottery winnings." Besides, I signed before they handed me the keys. It was a last minute upgrade. That's why I was so pissed about it. They tried to claim I asked for the upgrade when in reality it was offered for free.


Every rental I've done in the last few years, I've been offered an 'upgrade' - always at a much higher rate. They don't make any money on cars that are sitting on the lot, and if they can push a higher margin car out the door, they will. The only time I've gotten an upgrade for free is when there have been no cars of the class I rented on the lot. At that point, I'll take an upgrade, but always make sure it's at the same rate.
 
2012-11-05 12:37:15 PM  

redmid17: 99.998er: BBB is a non profit

So is the NFL...look it up. The BBB is a group of bullies. As the owner of two small businesses I have refused to bow to their extortion tactics. I have no complaints against us, but if I ever do, I will not reply to the BBB to resolve. They are not supposed to be the arbitrator in civil matters. This is why we have the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection. I have been pressured to "join" the BBB on a monthly basis, but will continue to decline as long as I am in business. I have an eerie feeling those telesales people are not working 40 hours a week out of a civic duty thing. Non-profit? Sure! All of those telesales people are doing their civil service 40 hours a week for free. The BBB is raking on scared businesses. Even a bad business can buy an AAA rating just by replying to a complaint, not resolving it.

The NFL is a non-profit, but it's members are not. Both the BBB umbrella organization and local chapters are non-profits. I mean, BBB had 180 million in revenue last year, so they clearly have money to pay people.


Yes...clever guise under the 501 c 6 rule. I wish I were that crafty or immoral. I could make millions! They pay no taxes, yet they had $180m in revenue last year, providing nothing more than their "service". Might as well go to RipOffReport to get the low-down on shady businesses like Ford, Target, Macy's, or whatever. All of those are of extreme value. I wonder why there is no report of RipOffReport on RipOffReport.com?
 
2012-11-05 12:40:09 PM  

JoeyJoJo: Odd Bird: CSB

Your friend Joe sounds like an asshole. This is the reason we can't have nice things.


Why yes, yes he was. But he grew up.
 
2012-11-05 12:46:54 PM  
Seriously, somebody should report the BBB to the BBB.
 
2012-11-05 01:01:27 PM  

KrispyKritter: let us not forget recent shenanigans of Enterprise Rent A Car posted on Fark. Enterprise lobbied the WashDC folks who are supposed to be working for YOU America. your friends in WashDC made it possible for Enterprise to legally ignore automobile manufacturer recalls, thus keeping dangerous unsafe cars on the road for you to rent.

after a mom & dads beautiful young daughters were killed because of one of these Enterprise cars it still took substantial screaming & shouting in the media to get Enterprise to even consider changing their evil ways.

these people are not worthy of your dollars or your patronage. ignore them and we can put them out of business. shame on them for their evil greed.

hint: check out who owns Enterprise, they own a lot of things, and they treat their employees like cattle.


Figured this would come up [again]. I started working for Enterprise about a year after this incident. All I can really say from my experience is that everyone I worked with took recalls and scheduled maintenance very seriously. We sometimes had to inconvenience customers by swapping them out of vehicles if a bulletin came out for the particular vehicle on-rent.

Commercial Trucks was even more difficult. Since contractors had the trucks out for months or years at a time, we were driving all over the city, dropping off temporary replacement trucks, so we could get them in for scheduled service.

As for nailing customers for minor dings and dents, I have a problem with the article referring to "...tiny dents and chips that were normal wear and tear..." The rental cars are never more than a year or two old, so there really isn't much typical wear and tear going on. If something gets scuffed, scraped, torn, or stained, it will be noticeable on a new car. Whomever was responsible for the vehicle at the time is, therefore, responsible for the damage incurred. This could mean Budget themselves, if an employee was the one driving when the windshield got chipped. Maybe this Budget branch is guilty of bilking customers, and based on the number of complaints, they probably are. Pre-rental inspection is equally important for renter and rentee though, so it's surprising to me to hear of a rental company (cars, trucks, power equipment, karaoke machines, whatever) receiving so many complaints of dinging customers.

No, I'm not a big Enterprise fan. Some people are cut out for it and move up quickly; I never did and probably never would. After moving to Phoenix and doing Truck for a year, I left. I enjoyed a lot of it, and really hated some of it. For some reason, I find a lot of people think employees are commissioned on selling the damage waiver. If that's true with any car rental company, I don't know, but it certainly wasn't at Enterprise.
 
2012-11-05 01:07:53 PM  

Job Creator: kokomo61: A few years back, rented a minivan from Dollar (now part of Thrifty) in Denver, and had to look at it in an unlit parking lot at night, and couldn't see any thing out of sorts. Drove south to Colorado Springs to our rental near Garden of the Gods, went to bed.

Next morning, got up, and when I saw the van, it looked like someone had driven under a guardrail - the hood had an actual visible crease in it. In a panic, I called up Dollar, and they said, don't worry about it, as long as it was reported within 24 hours, we were good.

True to their word, not problem.

Today, it's different. Wife rented a car from Alamo. I took pictures, noted a fender / door ding on the car, etc. Showed it to them when it got returned, along with my inspection sheet, they said, 'no problem.' Three months later, I get a bill from Alamo claiming $300+ damage for 'collision'. Sent them the pics, copies of the inspection sheet, proof of credit card / ins. coverage.....and somehow it magically went away.

My going in stance is that they're going to try and claim damage every time, so I make sure that I'm prepared to refute it every time.(...and I also make sure I show that I hold on to proof that I gassed up the car prior to its return - Alamo also tried to sock me with the re-fuel fee even though it was full....because I had driven less than 75 miles).

You know this fuel charge shiat is a great way to rob people too- every gas gauge on every car I've ever driven has been imprecise. They should be able to figure out how much fuel is used by how many miles was driven- also save your fuel receipts. A company tried to charge me for 1/4 tank of gas (4 gallons) for 40 miles until I showed them a fuel receipt for 2 gallons. After a lot of yelling and screaming at them they admitted that yes, their compact cars do get more than 10mpg and that I wouldn't be charged.

They should really just charge you market rate for the fuel minus your receipts and be done with it- but then they wouldn't b ...


Rented a full-size van from U-haul yesterday. Process went smoothly (although $20 rental fee + $.50 per kilometre, ouch), but they were pretty explicit about the gas. If I didn't return it full, they would charge $30 + $1.50 per litre. Double ouch. I filled it to the far side of F for $25.
 
2012-11-05 01:15:10 PM  

gweilo8888: spidermilk: I have heard that when rental companies find out they are dealing with a credit card company they will just give up on these trick charges.

What the hell fly-by-night, mom-and-pop rental car companies are you using that will allow you to rent a car and pay with a debit card, check, or cash? Every rental car company I am aware of (even Budget and Thrifty, these days) explicitly *requires* you to use a proper credit card. Even a debit card isn't sufficient, because with a debit card they can't put a hold on the funds to charge you for damage and extras if you return the car beat-up or late.

.


At airport locations, you can forget about renting with a debit card usually: most rentals with debit cards occur at non-airport sites to locals who can produce two (or more) utility bills that are current
 
2012-11-05 01:33:34 PM  
No surprise here- I can recall those guys trying to charge me an extra weeks rental and return to the wrong location in Toronto. When I had been back in Nova Scotia the whole time, after returning my car at the airport. Fortunately, being in the service it was easy to prove- the Forces usually tend to notice when you are a week late coming off of leave.
I made such a stink through the CAA (AAA for you down south) that I got my entire rental fee back.
 
2012-11-05 02:34:19 PM  
I hate to see all these disappointed folks, so I'm gonna school y'all. This is how large corporations work.

They lie, cheat, steal, stonewall, finagle, BS, schmooze, back charge, prevaricate, make sh*t up, and happily do so because they are staffed by toadies who have some disingenuous, self-important fat prick sitting three steps above their position in the bloated hierarchy telling them to "get their numbers pumped". They're thieves. Chiselers. No good lying motherf*ckers who will kick a puppy in the face to scrape a nickel off the sidewalk and put it in their pockets. It doesn't matter what they sell.

And here's the punchline. A lot of us work for them and do precisely what we're told so we spend a lot of our working hours screwing over OTHER consumers when they get to OUR door, all to appease some greedy, hippo felching, slimy bastards who want to go to Cancun this year without actually doing any work. Ha ha. We do this to ourselves, and then we complain when the desk monkey up the road treats us the same way when we go to their store. This is what happens when the corporate whore mantra of "endless growth" meets a static economy with limited revenue streams. To be foisted off on the next tier of utterly useless, circuitous malarkey, press 1.

You're welcome.
 
2012-11-05 02:57:01 PM  
P.S. And they sell it by repeating the whole "TEAM PLAYER" / "THIS IS OUR TEAM" horsesh*t. You know who else made people do terrible things by telling them it was for the good of the team and they had to follow orders?
 
2012-11-05 03:31:45 PM  

spidermilk: gweilo8888: spidermilk: I have heard that when rental companies find out they are dealing with a credit card company they will just give up on these trick charges.

What the hell fly-by-night, mom-and-pop rental car companies are you using that will allow you to rent a car and pay with a debit card, check, or cash? Every rental car company I am aware of (even Budget and Thrifty, these days) explicitly *requires* you to use a proper credit card. Even a debit card isn't sufficient, because with a debit card they can't put a hold on the funds to charge you for damage and extras if you return the car beat-up or late.


National Rent a Car does.. but you have to have proof of a return airline or cruise ticket. Of course.. you have to make the initial reservation with a real credit card..
 
2012-11-05 03:35:33 PM  
Enterprise takes debit and actually, most of them do.
 
2012-11-05 03:47:40 PM  

mcreadyblue: Clemkadidlefark: The last two times I rented a car (Enterprise) I filmed (Droid) the car before and after with the rental representative.

YOU USED FREAKIN ROBOTS?

ARE YOU GEORGE LUCAS?


This is not the Lucas you are looking for
 
2012-11-05 04:57:49 PM  

bunner: P.S. And they sell it by repeating the whole "TEAM PLAYER" / "THIS IS OUR TEAM" horsesh*t. You know who else made people do terrible things by telling them it was for the good of the team and they had to follow orders?


www.masculinity-movies.com
 
2012-11-05 05:05:46 PM  

yukichigai: bunner: P.S. And they sell it by repeating the whole "TEAM PLAYER" / "THIS IS OUR TEAM" horsesh*t. You know who else made people do terrible things by telling them it was for the good of the team and they had to follow orders?

[www.masculinity-movies.com image 332x450]


Yup. Him and a whole passel of other self-important motherf*ckers.
 
2012-11-05 07:24:21 PM  

ElLoco: Odd Bird: It's my pre-rental inspection kid, go fix your tie and get me some coffee.

Yea... this.

Note everything. Write on the back of the form and down the margins.

Another handy hint is to take a gauge cluster pic before and after noting the mileage and tank reading on each. (This one has gotten me out of a $85 return fuel charge for ~10 gallons of fuel.) Thank you Enterprise at Ontario International CA for trying that. I appreciate that.


I hadn't thought of that one. Good point.

kokomo61: Lots of rental companies are going this route - there's an upcharge for everything from prepaid gas, to GPS to 'upgrades'.....and the employees are pretty much forced to have to run through the upgrade script (When I tried to tell the Avis rep in Orlando that I wasn't interested, she said that she had to run through the entire speech - and I believe her). They're not making much money when I go through Priceline or Hotwire, so they're looking to get money whereever they can, including hitting every renter up for 'damage' in the hopes that someone will pay.


Yeah--when the guy started trying to upsell me I pointed out I had my own GPS unit (I could have just about bought mine for what he wanted for the rental unit) and no children--he still went through his spiel.

bigbadideasinaction: CSB story: Budget is so organized once they managed to lose a record of me returning a car. They called me weeks later asking for it, whereupon I freaked the fark out until they discovered they'd rented it shortly after, putting me off the hook. After that my reaction was "how the fark does your rental system let you rent a car that is still on the books to somebody else?".


I used to have that problem with the local library. Every year or two the system would go down and when it came back up it picked something I had out long ago and decided I still had it out. It was always a pain to get it cleared up. Once they couldn't find it, I finally had to point out that if I really hadn't returned it for all that time how had I borrowed a whole bunch of stuff since? I assume they were restoring data and failed to restore the return.

DVDave: As for nailing customers for minor dings and dents, I have a problem with the article referring to "...tiny dents and chips that were normal wear and tear..." The rental cars are never more than a year or two old, so there really isn't much typical wear and tear going on. If something gets scuffed, scraped, torn, or stained, it will be noticeable on a new car.


For the most part I agree with you. However, things like windshield chips are simply a fact of life and rarely the fault of the driver. As such, I find it unreasonable to bill the driver for them.
 
2012-11-05 07:57:40 PM  
You can rent from costco (costcotravel.com or something like that) and you get cheaper rentals and less hassle about debit/credit card whatever because you're doing it through costco

I gotta say, costco is awesome
 
2012-11-05 09:10:42 PM  

kiwimoogle84: I hate budget. They offered me a free upgrade from basic economy to a luxury, fully loaded Malibu, then charged me $30 extra a day for the upgrade.

I was flabbergasted! The lady said "we have tons of them right now, I'll just upgrade you to one of them." Then when I returned, there was a charge for upgrading as well as the daily charges. I was livid. That was the day I spent so long screaming at every supervisor I could find I almost missed my flight home.

Budget is TERRIBLE.


I know this is the way car rental companies speak, but man, I can't stock chuckling over that one.
 
2012-11-05 09:30:28 PM  

ChipNASA: Yeah,
I do a walk through of the vehicle and then mark the ever loving shiat of the checksheet before I ever take a rental car.
Then again, I only go with reputable U.S. companies.
You'd expect something like this from Canucks.


Budget is an American company.

Fail

0/10
 
2012-11-06 01:31:10 AM  

KarmicDisaster: Yes exactly. Most people think that the BBB is some kind of regulatory agency, or will help them with their problems. It isn't and it won't


I never thought the BBB was a regulatory agency, but I did think they would help me resolve an issue with a company once. I was wrong.

They lost a lot of respect IMO and degraded their brand. When I was younger and more naive, I used to view the BBB endorsement of a business as a good sign. Now at best it means nothing and sometimes even has a negative connotation.
 
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