For 3 years I planned a trip of my dreams to celebrate both my 40th birthday and our 20th wedding anniversary. Six months before we were scheduled to leave I finished making the reservations and paid for everything.
It was at this time I made and PAID for a rental car through Budget to be picked up upon our arrival at Boston’s Logan Airport. I spent a considerable amount of time on the line with the Budget agent, asking questions and reviewing my personal situation to make sure that everything was accounted for. I discussed with the agent that I would be using a debit card and we reviewed how that would effect a hold on card, my need to give my return flight information etc. When we determined everything was going to work I paid in full, with my debit card, for the car for the week we would be in Boston.
Fast forward 6 months, I arrived at the Budget counter to get my rental. I gave my reservation info, return flight agenda, debit card, driver’s license over to the agent who them proceeded to tell me that there was a problem. She indicated that she ran a credit check on my debit card (I don’t even know what that means) and I am not approved to rent a car from Budget. WHAT!??
I have never heard of such a thing, I already paid for the rental and gave my debit card then. I reviewed all of the information before. I clarified – did the card not go through? I know there was plenty of money?
She said no, that I did not pass their debit card credit check. What the heck is that? I was advised that all they could do was have me call customer service and change the name on my reservation to that of another person in my party and use their card. Fine – whatever, at this point I just wanted to get on with my trip.
So I called customer service while standing at the counter with the agent. Customer service placed me on hold. The agent at the counter helping me then packed up her stuff. I said to her, “oh, are we moving to a different spot?” and she advised me that I was to stay there, she was moving to a new desk.
Great, now I have no one helping me. Eventually customer service comes on the phone and advised me that because I was so great to have paid my reservation at the time of booking, there was no way to change the name on the reservation. All they could do was cancel it. They could then rent a car to another person in my party but it would be at the walk up – rent a car today rate.
That was almost three times the price I already paid. At this point I asked to speak to a supervisor. Was this some sort of trick to get more money at the last minute? What was happening here?
The supervisor came on the line and advised me very frankly that I could pay the new rate or not. Budget had no interest in my business and I should be thankful that they were cancelling my original reservation without charging me a cancellation fee. NEVER again will I do business with Budget. I have rented cars many times from other companies out there in many different cities and never had a situation like this.
We walked away from the Budget counter and were immediately taken care of by Alamo but still had to pay significantly more because we were no longer booking in advance. I will tell everyone I know, NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH BUDGET!!
Product or Service Mentioned: Budget Rent A Car Car Rental.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Monetary Loss: $250.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.