I rented a car for couple weeks in Prague Budget.cz in November 2014. When I was returning a car they registered two small scratches that seemed to be new one:
1) 1 x 1 mm barely noticeable scratch on the windshield, probably from the small stone, this kind of scratch just can’t cause any major repair like the windshield replacement. It’s usually fixed, if fixed at all, by filling a scratch with a filler. Such repair should not exceed $30-50
2) 1 x 8 mm scratch on the left side at the very bottom under driver’s the door, almost on the edge to the bottom of the car so barely noticeable as well. Repainting such spot can’t cost more than $30-50 either.
I have to notice that prices above are for USA. In Czech Republic they usually 2x lower. I also need to notice that car initially had more noticeable registered scratches when I rented it.
Now imagine my surprise when in four weeks upon returning a car, when I already was back to USA, I found that Budget.cz charged me $1000 (additional to the rental cost). When I called them they confirmed that was the cost of the repair of those two scratches. Complete cost as they explained by the phone. Not only no one had contacted me before this charge (they had my phone and email), but one would expect to pay only deductible when car is insured, right? And car was of course insured, and my payment included insurance portion as well. I asked them to send me electronic copies of the documents confirming such expensive repair. It took few days to get one letter issued on their corporate blank of Budget.cz saying that repair had a cost of 800 EUR. No paper from body shop, no detailing on the work done, and parts used. Nothing. Well, I sent them another letter asking for all those details. It took them 5 (!) weeks to reply again. Reply occurred after I complained multiple times to the BudgetCustomerService.com. BudgetCustomerService.com initially opened a file, but then closed it as only they learned that I have a communication with Budget.cz. Anyway, in their last reply Budget.cz acknowledged that the initial charge of $1000 was “too high”. They also sent an electronic copy of the paper from some body shop in Prague claiming that they replaced a windshield (~$450) and repaired a scratch (~$250). So Budget.cz has returned the rest $300 to my credit card.
- no explanation how the initial cost happened to be “too high”
- no explanation why they charge me the full amount of the repair instead of the deductible
- no explanation why they decided to change the windshield (I doubt they did change) instead of using a sealer
- no explanation how repainting of a minor scratch (I doubt they did) could cost $250; for such cost they could of repaint half a car at least in Czech Republic
Note that I received ZERO help from the . BudgetService.com worldwide either. Now both BudgetCustomerService.com and Bufget.cz do simply ignore my further questions – no reply.
Of course I disputed the charge with Visa. I should of be doing that from the very beginning. I regret that I wasted a lot of time communicating to them. Just thought that in European country I should be able to resolve such an obvious fraud attempt with their customer support. I’ve been so naive.
Product or Service Mentioned: Budget Rent A Car Car Rental.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Monetary Loss: $700.
Preferred solution: Full refund.