Budget Car Rental..and when we went there the lot was bare

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Nov 1, 2017
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#1
I made two car reservations through Costco/Budget in early 2018. We were a large party and needed two vehicles. I planned to and have paid for the rentals. The confirmations are available. They were for a meduim sized care with child seat to be picked up 12/24 in Kona, and a medium sized care to be picked up in Kona on 12/25. The budget agent who was making the reservation advised me to put the 12/24 car in Matthew B. name as he and that party would arrive on 12/24 and I would not arrive until 12/25. The 12/25 car was in my name.

Christmas Eve 12/24 Matthew and his family two small children and wife arrive in Kona 12/24 evening and there are no budget cars to be rented. The taxis are so busy because of this, it is a minimum 3 hour wait to travel to the hotel. I contact Budget explain the situation and let them know we would rent a car from Enterprise incur much greater cost and expect Budget to reimburse the difference. I am given a concern number Budget Case: 26487888

I arrive the following day, Christmas. There are still no cars. The budget agent agrees to rent a car to Matthew and family because they had been there the day before. Futher she committs to me she will call me when another car becomes available while we were in Hawaii. We rent the car and I provide my credit car number. I paid for this car and the rental receipt is available.

We continue to drive the enterprise vehicle, expecting Budgets to let us know when another car is available. Budget Car Rental Hawaii does not call. I turned the enterprise car in on January 6, was required by Entereprise to use the credit card on record (Matthews) and I immediately reimbursed him through pay pal. (pay pal reimbursement for car)

In closing I asked to be reimbursed for the difference I agreed to pay for a car $547.00 and what I paid for the Enterprise car $2139.74. This amounts to 1591.96.

Budgets has told me that because Matthews name was on the agreement, and the car rentals they will not reimburse.
 
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Neil Maley

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#2
Use our company contacts and start writing to the Executives at Budget, one at a time once a week.

Do you have it in writing that they agreed to reimburse you for the difference in price?
They don’t usually do this- if they don’t have the car when you get there it’s usually “tough luck”.

Did you prepay this through Costco? Have you reached out to them for help?
 
Nov 1, 2017
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#3
Thanks Neil for taking the time to respond. I’ve contacted one of the folks on your Budget contact list, and will follow your advice about further Budget Exec contacts. Yes I’m also talking with Costco to see if they can help me.
I did get a staff ID number of one of the supervisors during our conversations. She is the one who started the concern file. I asked that she include in the file my expectation for reimbursement for the difference.
At no time did the budget folks tell me that My name needed to be on the reservation. I could have done that easily.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#4
Glad to see that your post is the right place, Patty. I rent cars exclusively through Costco. I'd definitely lean on them for help. They are a HUGE player in the rental car market and could carry some weight to obtain some satisfaction for you. The rental car companies have become experts at wringing the last dime out of their customers any way possible, so they really play hardball. Contact Costco's rental car desk first.
 
Nov 1, 2017
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#5
Hi jsn55, I very much appreciate your response and the information and support you have provided.
I feel less like David with Goliath breathing down my back.
I have communicated with Costco and sent them the documentation, fingers crossed.
I've also asked that my concern be elevated within Budget/Avis.

I will certainly write when I hear something.

Thank you
 
Sep 20, 2015
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#6
Unfortunately there is another reality here...there are a limited number of cars available during holiday periods, and it's even worse in Hawaii where they can't bring in cars from elsewhere.

Isn't the norm in the industry that if they can't supply you with a car they walk you to another supplier who can? Obviously Enterprise had cars since the OP got one from them.
 
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Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#7
Can the other person get refun
Unfortunately there is another reality here...there are a limited number of cars available during holiday periods, and it's even worse in Hawaii where they can't bring in cars from elsewhere.

Isn't the norm in the industry that if they can't supply you with a car they walk you to another supplier who can? Obviously Enterprise had cars since the OP got one from them.
No it’s not the norm if there are no cars they will walk you. For a rental company to do that the other company would have to accept what the consumer paid for the original rental. Since this was througn
Costco, Enterprise might not be willing to accept the low price the consumer paid through Costco. What they should do is call their other Budget locations in the area to try to find another car.

The thing to do would have been to call Costco to find another car.

If your airline flight was canceled, your airline normally wouldn’t get you a ticket on another airline. Same thing here.

I don’t think this is a right way to do business so don’t think I am on the car rentals side. I happen to believe a prepaid reservation should have a car held for the consumer vs. one that is reserved with no money on it. Those are the ones that can be no shows that cause overbooking.
 
Sep 20, 2015
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#8
Can the other person get refun

No it’s not the norm if there are no cars they will walk you. For a rental company to do that the other company would have to accept what the consumer paid for the original rental. Since this was througn
Costco, Enterprise might not be willing to accept the low price the consumer paid through Costco. What they should do is call their other Budget locations in the area to try to find another car.

The thing to do would have been to call Costco to find another car.

If your airline flight was canceled, your airline normally wouldn’t get you a ticket on another airline. Same thing here.

I don’t think this is a right way to do business so don’t think I am on the car rentals side. I happen to believe a prepaid reservation should have a car held for the consumer vs. one that is reserved with no money on it. Those are the ones that can be no shows that cause overbooking.
I was wondering if it was similar to what (good) hotels will do--walk you to another property. I guess not. It isn't a matter of (in this case) Enterprise taking the lower rate, since they received confirmation from Budget, it should be Budget who bears the difference in cost between what the customer paid and the actual rate. Guess that isn't going to happen. But it doesn't hurt to ask.

And I agree with your comment about pre-payment vs. payment at the counter...I'm very surprised the rental industry hasn't started penalties for no-shows--this encourages people to book several reservations and keep the best one, while putting "honest" people in the cold.
 
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Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#9
I was wondering if it was similar to what (good) hotels will do--walk you to another property. I guess not. It isn't a matter of (in this case) Enterprise taking the lower rate, since they received confirmation from Budget, it should be Budget who bears the difference in cost between what the customer paid and the actual rate. Guess that isn't going to happen. But it doesn't hurt to ask.

And I agree with your comment about pre-payment vs. payment at the counter...I'm very surprised the rental industry hasn't started penalties for no-shows--this encourages people to book several reservations and keep the best one, while putting "honest" people in the cold.
If they haven’t added a credit card to the res. they have no way to charge them.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#10
I was wondering if it was similar to what (good) hotels will do--walk you to another property. I guess not. It isn't a matter of (in this case) Enterprise taking the lower rate, since they received confirmation from Budget, it should be Budget who bears the difference in cost between what the customer paid and the actual rate. Guess that isn't going to happen. But it doesn't hurt to ask.

And I agree with your comment about pre-payment vs. payment at the counter...I'm very surprised the rental industry hasn't started penalties for no-shows--this encourages people to book several reservations and keep the best one, while putting "honest" people in the cold.
I think we're on the right track ... rental car companies should be sure they have a car for a prepaid res. This is not rocket science, they should just do it.
 
Likes: Pixie Pie
Apr 10, 2017
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#11
Perhaps I am wrong but it's my understanding that this wasn't a prepaid reservation. 10 years ago my husband and I were very delayed landing in Salt Lake City at Christmas time. I had booked a 4WD vehicle and it was prepaid through Southwest. We were actually upgraded to a large SUV because the other vehicles were all gone. The agent said the only reason we had something is because we had prepaid.

I do agree it would be very frustrating to have a confirmed reservation for 2 vehicles only to find out neither is available. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode. I hope OP can get some reimbursement for the price difference through Costco and/or Budget.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Jul 2, 2018
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#12
Perhaps I am wrong but it's my understanding that this wasn't a prepaid reservation. 10 years ago my husband and I were very delayed landing in Salt Lake City at Christmas time. I had booked a 4WD vehicle and it was prepaid through Southwest. We were actually upgraded to a large SUV because the other vehicles were all gone. The agent said the only reason we had something is because we had prepaid.

I do agree it would be very frustrating to have a confirmed reservation for 2 vehicles only to find out neither is available. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode. I hope OP can get some reimbursement for the price difference through Costco and/or Budget.
I believe the OP has said that they were paid reservations in the first line.
 
Nov 1, 2017
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#13
Hello my Elliott Advocacy friends. I am writing to report that Budget agreed to reimburse the additional amount I paid to rent the second car. I am grateful for your counsel and sympathetic ear. The Budget folks have advised me it will be a few days for processing the reimbursement, but I believe it will occur. Thank you so much

Th
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,061
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#15
Hello my Elliott Advocacy friends. I am writing to report that Budget agreed to reimburse the additional amount I paid to rent the second car. I am grateful for your counsel and sympathetic ear. The Budget folks have advised me it will be a few days for processing the reimbursement, but I believe it will occur. Thank you so much

Th
Most excellent news, Patty! Chalk up one for the savvy consumer ... well done.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,061
7,948
113
San Francisco
#16
Perhaps I am wrong but it's my understanding that this wasn't a prepaid reservation. 10 years ago my husband and I were very delayed landing in Salt Lake City at Christmas time. I had booked a 4WD vehicle and it was prepaid through Southwest. We were actually upgraded to a large SUV because the other vehicles were all gone. The agent said the only reason we had something is because we had prepaid.

I do agree it would be very frustrating to have a confirmed reservation for 2 vehicles only to find out neither is available. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode. I hope OP can get some reimbursement for the price difference through Costco and/or Budget.
Don't think I was clear ... I was speaking about a "fundamental change" for rental car agencies ... if they'd massage their business model and allow us to prepay for a vehicle, then the vehicle would be there when we arrived. However, now that I think about it, how would they handle a change/cancellation? Surely nobody wants to pay for a vehicle they never picked up. Guess the only way that really works is arriving before 3pm to pick up a vehicle when they still have plenty of them in the lot ... or the neighboring company can roll one out.
 
Nov 2, 2015
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#17
I've rented cars from both ITO and KOA before. It's a very large island with a very small population, and those are the only two commercial airports on the Island. During times of special events (Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo for example), it is extremely common for one airport's car inventory to be gone quickly. I have seen them send employees to the other airport lot to beg for additional cars and drive them more than an hour from KOA to ITO (or vice versa). If both airport lots are empty, then no cars.

Not much can be done here; cars rust quickly in Hawaii due to the high salt content in the air and on the Big Island, constant volcanic emissions (Kilauea has been erupting since 1983) so an overly large inventory would be financially difficult.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#19
So, if you guaranteed a rental car with your credit card and there was a cancellation deadline 48 hours before your pickup date, wouldn't that work for both sides? I'm picking up my car on 2/15; on 2/13 my guarantee is converted into a prepayment unless I cancel the res. That would at least stop the dopes who make 3 reservations for a car with different companies, or the others who don't cancel when their plans change.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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#20
So, if you guaranteed a rental car with your credit card and there was a cancellation deadline 48 hours before your pickup date, wouldn't that work for both sides? I'm picking up my car on 2/15; on 2/13 my guarantee is converted into a prepayment unless I cancel the res. That would at least stop the dopes who make 3 reservations for a car with different companies, or the others who don't cancel when their plans change.
Not necessarily. It’s still usually first come first served. We just had a case that client prepaid and no car was there.