I booked a flight from Dallas to Amarillo on Southwest Airlines, they offered to book my rental car. SW apparently uses Budget Car Rental. I examined the car for body damage before I drove away. I did not examine the windshield. When I returned the car, the young lady examining the car came into the clerk with a solemn face reporting a chip in the windshild. I told them nothing had hit the windshild during my rental. They showed me a pit in the center of the windshield the size of a pinPOINT and said it was not ther when I rented. My first reaction was this is a scam, and asked how many renters have been charged for this same "chip". They claimed they repair such chips immediatly for a $35.00 fee, or they would charge me for a new windshield! I protested, it did no good. A "manager" came out and yelled at me that he'd be glad to charge me $250. for a new windshield. As the driver drove me to the departure gate I asked " if I had purchased the extra insurance upon renting, would I have been charged for this supposed damage?" He said no. Seems to me that this scam applied to only those who did not purchase the extra protection. When I got to the Southwest check in gate, I mentioned the scam to the ticket agent. She replied: "I've had three other reports of the same thing from customers whom they had booked rentals with Budget." That convinced me that this is a regular scam in the Amarillo Airport office of Budget Car Rental. Southwest needs to stop using this agency! Budget needs to remove this agency from their namesake, revoke their franchise.
I travel to Mexico a lot, and have always been told that car rentals in Mexico constantly scam customers with pre-existing damage upon return. I would NEVER have expected this in Amarillo, Texas, from a nationally known Rental agency! They need to stop this abuse in Amarillo and anywhere else it occurs!