We rented a car at the Ontario Airport Budget Rent A Car. My fiance's daughter put it on her debit card. The card says "debit" on the front of it but at no time was she notified that the transaction would be treated differently or that they would do a hard-pull on her credit report.
We were given a rate of $64.00 for 3 days, with a return of the car to LAX. We were told we would get a small Ford (I think it was a probe or a focus). The total with fees would be around 64.00. We were asked when we might return it to LAX. It was not going to cost us extra. We repeatedly asked her these things just to make sure.
A contract was printed off, which the agent then took and scratched out the amounts and just put "$59.99" in the Daily section. Because she quoted us that for all three days, we didn't read the fine/illegible print that said "Daily". However, the total estimated cost was completely scratched out by her. She then told us to pick up the car from space number C-10. When we went out it was a Nissan Versa -- not a focus or a probe, but still a very small car just as we'd asked.
We returned the car to LAX a little bit early. We were given a bill for $192.00 -- more than 3 times the amount quoted! The man in the lot even said that was too much for a car that size.
We attempted to dispute this inside but the rude agent just said to take it up with the Ontario Budget Rent A Car. I called them and asked about the mix-up, giving them the benefit of the doubt. The agent then told me that it should have been $49.99 per day. Then in the same phone call she said $42.99 per day. But the rate I was told was 64.00 total. When I check the cost of the exact same rental with an Ontario pick-up and LAX drop-off online, the cost is $84.00 (with some arbitrary fees that add up to $111). Today we discovered that they charged an additional $129.00 for dropping it at LAX. NONE of this is in the contract!
Furthermore -- and this was our mistake that will NEVER be repeated -- they charged a total of $400 to our debit card at the time of renting it. so, they took the entire rental plus some arbitrary deposit out of checking and are holding it!
These guys are crooks. The lesson there: don't ever use your debit card for car rentals and NEVER try to deal with Budget -- they are CROOKS!
Benton City, Washington