The week of Thanksgiving we planned to move my in laws from Fultondale, AL to Gulf Shores, AL and chose Budget to rent a 16ft truck to use to move their belongings. I would like to inform you about my experience with Budget on 11/27/2013 at the Gardendale, AL location and on 11/29/2013 at your Foley, AL location. Prior to renting the truck my wife had called several times to ask questions about insurance pricing and the amount of coverage that it provided. She was either told that there was no one available to answer her question or no one would actually answer the phone. She called at least 6 times over the week prior to thanksgiving week. She did finally speak to someone and they informed her they only had 24ft trucks but would give us the same price on it. When we went to pick up the truck I will say that is one of the dirtiest places of business I have been to. I actually thought we were at a junk yard. There was no office entry point or indication of where the office was even located. You walked across stacked crates to get to a trailer where the office/computers were located with a clear plastic door and kerosene heaters set up. There were family members cursing loudly about children not having on coats (it appeared maybe these people lived on-site?) When we finally got the truck it was one of the worst vehicles I have ever had the displeasure of driving. We never were asked to inspect the vehicle before we signed the papers (this was a mistake on our part that will not ever happen again). The truck’s fuel gauge had just a small fraction under the full indicator. The paint was peeling off of the dented hood. The truck would shake the driver’s door and mirror very badly if you got your speed up to 65mph. When I got on the interstate flakes of paint began to fly of the vehicle. I would actually be embarrassed to have my company name on the vehicle and I was embarrassed to drive it. With this one day before the holiday we were stuck with having to use the vehicle or I would have returned it.
Now for the pleasure of returning the truck to the Foley location; prior to returning the truck we stopped less than a mile away from the Foley office and filled the truck full of fuel. When we pulled up the budget location, an employee came out and met us with the paperwork for returning the truck. I informed him of what I thought about the truck in which he informed me that he would make sure that it would leave his lot. He said he had rented a truck to someone headed to Georgia later that afternoon and that “ that lot could have the thing”. He inspected the truck and told me that if I wanted to fuel the truck back up there was a gas station a block away and if he had to fuel it that would be an additional $30 charge in addition to the fuel. He said he looked at the gauge and it was a small fraction under the full indicator. I informed him it was just as it was when I picked it up. He told me I signed that it was full so either go fill it up or be charged $30. I told him that was crazy but took the keys to go fill the truck. He told me next time I need to make sure that the truck was on full not just a little of the indicator in which I told him next time I will just rent from another company. His response was “that’s what you need to do; that’s what I would do too” and he went back inside his office. When I cranked the truck up the indicator showed ”Full”, not below as he had indicated and I called him back out to look at the truck. He said ok because he did not crank the truck, he had only turned the switch and gave us our paper work. He never once said sorry for the misunderstanding, thank you or we appreciate your business. How many people have fallen for the $30 additional charge scam and not questioned it?
As someone who works for a worldwide company I know about customer service, both giving and receiving. If budget was my company or I represented them I would be embarrassed at the way your two locations handled the budget name. I will say that In the future I will not rent anything with the Budget name attached no matter the discount or savings available and will relay the experience to my friends, family, strangers and the company I work for. I would rather pay more from a reputable company that knows what “customer service” means and appreciates its customers, rather than rent from one the most unprofessional companies that I have had the displeasure to use for services
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