Rented a car from this location on May 3, returned it on May 6. Received email 5-weeks later stating that the two front tires were damaged by the "gate spikes" and my wife and I were being charged for the repair.
Called 800 Customer Service and the call was referred. We received a call today from the customer service team saying that we were responsible because 1) we didn't buy Budget insurance 2), the rental location sent pictures, and 3), they had a picture of the car mileage. The caller was not receptive to facts, only that the rental location told them we damaged the tires. The pics show that the two front tires are flat.
The repair bill states' "Front tires flat spiked at gate". (see below) She said no video would be reviewed and the accepting employee could not be identified. Hmmm.
We returned the car by driving through the rental return entrance, approached a Budget employee who told us to park it in a parking space (he even pointed to a particular space). After parking, he walked to meet us and I asked if we needed to sign any paperwork and he said, "No".
I received a slip from him that does not state any damage. He then directed us to a waiting airport shuttle. (Reference the spike gate statement - it's interesting that a rental location employee has identified the damage as having been caused by gate spikes - how would someone know the cause of damage? They probably know because they did it) The above employee saw us drive through the rental return gate, drive to his location, then into a space at his direction with no mention of us operating on two flattened tires.
Seems like he would have noticed a car on the lot being driven into the return area with two flat tires, especially since he walks up to the car.
My guess is that someone attempted to drive the car from the lot causing front tire damage, then blamed it on us. My wife and I at no time drove over spikes (except at the return entrance but those are facing inward). We would have had to try to leave the lot to damage the tires. And if damaged upon entry, why didn't the back tires get the same damage?
It is my guess that an employee or an employee's friend tried to "borrow" the car, damaged the tires driving out of the entrance gate (because employees are stationed at the exit gate to verify rental agreements and this would have led to getting caught), then drove it 30 or 40 yards back to the return area, blaming us. Besides the dis-honest rental location, Budget made NO effort to verify the claim. No video review, no contact with receiving employee, no acceptance of my receipt that does not state damage.
Only that someone told them there was damage, and we're being charged. In the end, this will cost Budget a lot of money in lost/re-directed business.
Product or Service Mentioned: Budget Rent A Car Car Rental.
Reason of review: Problems with payment.