Our Ryder/Budget truck began slowly degrading from the moment we left Tucson, with all of our household goods neatly packed in the back, on Friday, April 12, 2002.
Entering San Bernardino, CA, the truck would not shift, and we were stuck doing 15-20mph through the mountains and straight-aways. My wife was literally crying at times with semi-trucks racing up behind her and slamming on their brakes. I had no place to turn off or stop.
When we finally came out of the mountains and into San Bernardino, I attempted to exit the freeway. The truck would not move another inch up the exit ramp, and I coasted onto the shoulder. California Highway Patrol immediately came by and said it was parked in a very dangerous area. I explained to them that it would not move.
I called roadside assistance from Shaver Auto Center, 770 Showcase Dr., San Bernardino, CA 92408. I waited almost 2 hours on the phone for someone to pick up, and then was told a repairman would come to my location. I asked them where I was supposed to stay tonight, and the Ryder agent told me, Keep your receipts, we'll reimburse you for lodging and per diem. I asked him when they would send me the money, and he said, We settle everything at the end of the move, once you turn the truck back in. I told him there should be a refund for giving us a defective truck and endangering our lives, plus the military required me to report on time to my new assignmentthis would make me late. He said, Ryder will definitely consider the refund. They will also reimburse your lodging and per diem, but only after the move is over. Before I got off the phone, the agent exclaimed, Wow, that's interesting. That truck isn't supposed to be on the road. Our computer shows it's a 1996 model, and those old trucks were supposed to have been sold. Ryder shouldn't have rented that one.
Several hours later, as the dealership was closing and it was getting dark, Glenn Davis of Davis Truck and Equipment came. He popped the hood, started the truck, checked the transmission fluid and said, Wow, smell that (offering me the dipstick). I smelled it, and said it smelled like formaldehyde. That's not transmission fluid, he said, they put the wrong fluid in it. He continued, If the transmission fluid breaks down or burns, it smells burnt. We both agreed Ryder the fluid in the transmission was something other than transmission fluid. It was clear and smelled like formaldehyde. He called Ryder and told them their truck needed towed.
I asked Glenn what Ryder normally does in these situations, since he does this every day. He explained that I would definitely get my lodging and per diem reimbursed, and that I should also get the entire rental reimbursed for them renting an old lemon and putting the wrong fluid in it. He said he'd seen Ryder do that before - put in the wrong fluid.
- They sent a large semi tow truck. It arrived a few hours later (now almost midnight). It hooked onto the vehicle and sped off. Then entire weight of our household goods was now pressed against the back door of the truck, crushing everything in the rear together.
We tried to find a place to stay that night, and drove around for almost 3 hours. Everything from cheap to expensive was sold out for some concert in the area. We eventually ended up in Fontana, CA. We stayed there and in the area for 4 days while Ryder decided what they would do, 1) unload all of our goods and repack it into a new truck, or 2) replace the transmission. They finally decided on the latter.
Glenn told me that Ryder ordered him to put motor oil in the new transmission to save money. Glenn told the service manual said only Dextron II or Dextron III transmission fluid, and he would not go the cheap route and be responsible for another failure. Glenn said Ryder purchased the new transmission, and he hoped it would work. He said they didn't give him time to adjust it.
It would later prove that this adjustment kept the truck from shifting out of low granny gear into high or overdrive for highway speeds. This once again limited our speed to about 30-45 mph. All the while burning twice as much fuel at twice the RPMs.
I told Ryder the truck was still broke when I returned it to Yuba City, CA, and they rented to another young couple right in front of us. I told the rental person that the vehicle had major transmission problems and Ryder said it would definitely be repaired before it hit the road again. The agent asked me, Are you sure that's the same truck? I pulled out my contract and pointed to the vehicle number, then we both looked outside and it matched. I told him I was positive it was the same vehicle, since I only parked it there a few hours agoin the same spot. Replacing the transmission takes a qualified shop about a day and a half, and they didn't do Ryder equipment repairs.
The agent lowered his voice and said, They're just going to Chico, it's only an hour away. I told them not having the capability to accelerate in such a large truck and having a maximum speed of about 35mph almost got me killed several times, and that California highway patrol had ordered the vehicle off the road. The man just shrugged, and off drove the next young couple, same truck number. This is more than simple negligence.
To date, Ryder/Budget has not paid for any of my costs associated with this act of criminal negligence. They are endangering the lives of young families without remorse. Put these bastards out of business!
I have been routed around their "Customer Service" circles for over half a year, with countless phone calls. Nobody seems to know what they are doing; everyone has a different story. They have no legal office, but every employee pretends they are a lawyer.
They asked me to settle the issue by refunding part of the rental cost (as I noticed they did to another consumer on this site). I told them I would accept ANY money from them "as partial payment for their negligence." They argued that they would not give me anything unless I released all claims. I told them they had two options, 1) pay the amount I requested in full, or 2) head to court via civil lawsuit. They refunded a portion of the rental cost, which did not meet either of my options. They still refused to reimburse 4 nights of hotel costs while they tried to fix their truck.
So I am suing them in California Superior Court.
I must wait until they reorganize from their bankruptcy. This is a clean kill, and I expect to get every penny back. I urge the American consumers to cut Budget/Ryder, Inc. off and let them sink under their own incompetent, dead weight. They will kill someone in the future. Don't let it be you!
NOTE: Ryder TRS, Inc. is a division of Budget Group, Inc., a Delaware corportation.
Beale AFB, California Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Ryder