Seattle, Washington
1 comment

I rented a car at the Portland airport so I could attend my grandmother's funeral. I was thrilled that I got a good deal on Priceline at 60% off. My week long rental was only $179. I rent cars at least twice a year for travel and have never had any problems previously. How was I to know that I was about to engage in the worst customer service I have ever experienced in my life and be charged and erroneous $476.

One day in NE Portland, I accidentally parked in front of someone's driveway and my rental car was towed. It took me 42 phone calls, two days, and 11 direct hours of dealing with the situation to even talk to someone who was helpful. 80% of all the customer service reps I spoke with were some of the most non-empathetic people I have ever come across. They were rude, sounded annoyed from the start, had wrong information, I was hung up on three times during transfers, and all around unhelpful. Apparently it is Budgets policy that the customer cannot pick up the vehicle if it were towed. Every customer service person I asked (most of them just kept transferring me to the wrong person) could tell me that this was the policy, but no one could tell me where this policy was located or how I could get a copy. I finally found someone who could help me. He calls the manager of the PDX airport Budget and I am granted special permission to go pick up the vehicle from the towing company.

I get back home and the vehicle I rented from Priceline for $179 is now costing me $1000! My debit account, that I used as the security card when picking up the vehicle, has been charge $350, the full cost of the rental. I also just received a bill in the mail for $211 from Budget. Let me break this down. I completely take responsibility for the fact that I parked in front of someone's driveway. I paid $202 for the impound and I have the $90 parking citation to pay. Forget all of the illegal parking fees and I will have paid $476 directly to Budget (this does not include the Priceline rental fee I already paid).

Upon calling Budget customer service again to discuss this issue, I am told that the $350 that I was charged was for the towing fee and that I needed to prove that I paid the fee directly to the towing company. But $350 was the exact amount for a full price (non-Priceline) rental of the vehicle. I am convinced that no one knows what they are talking about. To top it off, the bill I received for the parking ticket states that the violation amount was $181.50. I have the ticket in front of me – It was for $90 and is not past due. Then they have a line item for $30.00 handling fee. Where did the other $91.50 come from??

This company does not have their act together and they are taking it out on the consumer. Not only was I two days without a car I rented, but they art charging me $476 in fees that they appear to have just made up. I am writing reviews every where I can and making a complaint to the BBB. I have never experienced such bad service in all my life.

Monetary Loss: $476.

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Anonymous
#625454

How you "Accidentally" park in front of a driveway is beyond me, but I don't get why it took you so long to get the car back. You call the local cops and they tell you the impound lot they use, and those lots have someone answering the phone 24/7.

You show up the next morning, pay the impound fee, show them your rental agreement and pick up the car. There was no reason to get Budget involved at all.

Call your bank, dispute the charges and be done with it. You have the proof that you paid the impound charges directly so the bank will side with you.