I decided to rent a car online through Budget Rentals. I made the reservation almost 4 months in advance just to make sure everything would be in order. I requested a Ford Expedition because I was travling with my wife, 2 kids, and 2 dogs. We wanted the maximum amount of room to be comfortable.
Two weeks before the trip I contacted Budget to comfirm the reservation was still there. The customer service rep confirmed everything and assured me everything was in order. Two days before we were to leave, I went to the actual Budget rental office and confirmed that they would have my vehicle. The young man assured me I would have a Ford Expedition and that everything was in order.
The big day arrived. I went down to the Rental office to pick up my vehicle. The same young man who just two days before assured me everything was good, now looks at me and tells me that they dont' have a vehicle for me! He tried to convince me that I could fit my family and pets into the Ford Taurus they had available on the lot. NOT!! After 20 mins of argueing he decided to see if there was a vehicle available at the airport Budget.
There was but I would have to wait 1 hour for it to be turned back in. No problem, just get me my rental car. Four hours later my vehicle arrives because the lad they sent to get it didn't know it was a rush job, decided to get some lunch and cash his paycheck! The vehicle that I received was a Mercery Mountaineer which not the same class size as the Ford Expedition that I reserved.
At this point I had lost most of my temper and I demanded some sort of refund. The young man told me that he could not do that since I had made the reservation online and that I would have to contact Budget customer service to get some sort of compensation.
After the vacation was over I contacted Budget customer service and they told me that they would conduct an investigation and would contact me promptly. After about three weeks I received a letter in the mail that informed me that the Budget I picked the car up from was independently owned and that they were not cooperating with Budget Corp investigation. There was nothing else the company could do and that I would have to deal with the local office myself.
Of course when I went back to the local office they informed me again that there was nothing they could do since I had made the reservation online.
I would advise anyone planning on using a rental car for an enjoyable vacation to stay away from Budget. They will gladly take your money but give very little back in return.
Virginia Beach, Virginia