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#1 Holden West

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:04 PM

Recommendations? Horror stories?

Budget Rent a Car accused of bilking customers
B.C. operation bills $300 plus for small dents, then does its own repairs

By Kathy Tomlinson, CBC News Posted: Nov 5, 2012 2:31 AM PT Last Updated: Nov 7, 2012

Calgary couple Paul and Kim Ferguson were billed $966 for a pin-prick sized windshield chip in 2010 — again by Budget at the Vancouver airport.

“We were surprised at how quickly the two inspectors seemed to zero in on a small chip in the windscreen,” said Paul Ferguson.

“They told me that there was a "crack" in the window. I told them it was a small chip and easily repaired and that I did not recall any stone hitting the windscreen.”

Budget’s repair facility is right at the Vancouver airport. Go Public watched as mobile glass repair vans came and went. The owner of a major windshield repair company told us it costs rental car fleets far less to replace a windshield than what Budget bills for.


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#2 sebberry

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 12:02 AM

Scam artists. I guess if you need to rent a car, take lots of pictures before you drive it away. $900 for a windshield? Outrageous.

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#3 Sparky

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 12:47 AM

I kissed a concrete barrier with a rent a car in Palm Springs that left a crease on the right rear fender. I went to the local car parts store on a Sunday morning and picked up some polybond, sandpaper, and a can of factory touch up paint.

$38 later, the crease was gone.

#4 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:16 AM

I kissed a concrete barrier with a rent a car in Palm Springs that left a crease on the right rear fender. I went to the local car parts store on a Sunday morning and picked up some polybond, sandpaper, and a can of factory touch up paint.

$38 later, the crease was gone.


Two weeks later, the patch probably fell off. Too bad for the next sucker!
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#5 G-Man

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:00 AM

I am always very anal when doing the walk around. I make them mark everything. Strangely enough rock chips at the Kelowna Budget are so common place from the winter driving that they do not care about them.

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#6 Sparky

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:13 AM

Two weeks later, the patch probably fell off. Too bad for the next sucker!


My work was most likely better than most body shops. Mrs Sparky was amazed.

#7 Holden West

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:16 AM

^^Which kind of proves the original claimants point. Rock chips are so common in some areas they don't matter but in other areas they may be rare but are still a by-product of normal everyday driving. How is a windshield or paint chip caused by a flying rock the fault of the driver?

I am definitely going to be more careful with the walkaround. Or at least get familiar with basic body repair, Sparky-style.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#8 Sparky

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:20 AM

^ :)

#9 Holden West

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:26 AM

^I hear that in a pinch, Betty Crocker Super-Deluxe Frosting makes a good body filler. Unless it's raining.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#10 Sparky

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:33 AM

^ Doesn't work on black cars :) My system is based on the VIN #

#11 Holden West

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:44 AM

I think last time I rented a car I used Enterprise because Budget was a lot more expensive.

Remember Rent-A-Wreck? I think it was on Douglas near Tang's Pagoda. They rented cars that were a few years old. I think by the time they disappeared they were a standard rental agency, just with a funny name.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#12 Mike K.

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:16 AM

Rent-a-wreck setup a little office at the foot of the View Street parkade (after a different auto rental place went belly up). Rent-a-wreck has since been renamed (or at least at that location) but the logo is still the same.

Come to think of it I've never seen anyone in the process of renting or returning a vehicle there.

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#13 MarkoJ

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:08 AM

AVIS did this when I rented a car in Austria this summer. It was only a $56 extra charge so I didn't fight it but very annoying as it showed up on my credit card after the fact when I was back in Canada. Next time I will insist car is inspected in my presence upon return. I certainly don't remember any dents or chips when I returned it.

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#14 gumgum

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:18 AM

I needed a van for an event I was organizing over the winter and chose to book with Budget. I booked it for 24 hours. They called the night before to make sure I would be there by 8:30 am to pick up. I told them I wouldn't be needing it until the afternoon. They told me for some reason they needed it off the lot before noon. I thought it was a bit strange, but it worked out that I was able to pick it up at 9:30 am.
When I got there they told me that I was supposed to pick it up at 7am. I told them "No. I arranged with someone on the phone to pick it up sometime before noon." They kept insisting that I should have picked it up at 7am. "Whatever" I thought. Then they told me after I paid that I must return the car by 7am the following day or I will be subject to a another 24 hour charge.
I told them it was BS and that I paid for 24 hours then I should have it for 24 hours. I told them that I hosting a very stressful and late event and I certainly don't plan on getting up at 6am to return it. The argument went back and forth for a while. I knew I was stuck because it was too late to find a van from another company.
In the end after an exhausting night, I ended up returning at 2am that night.

Never will book with Budget again.

#15 Mike K.

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:39 AM

Jesus Christ, gumgum, that's a bit intense.

Two years ago I rented a brand new (thing must have had 2k on it) Ford Explorer for several weeks. Upon returning the vehicle to Budget the owner appeared and tried to convince me to buy the thing with promises of a deal I couldn't refuse.

Funny thing is after driving the Explorer for several weeks I got to liking it so much that I picked one up not too long afterwards.

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#16 pherthyl

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:48 AM

I've always had an excellent experience with Enterprise. They are the cheapest, they pick you up, and I've never had an issue with damage. I rented the cheapest car they had there in Germany, they gave me a free upgrade, and even though I scraped the plastic wheel cover on a curb they didn't charge me anything.
Rented in Scotland, they picked us up from the hotel, cheapest rates again, and no problems on return. In fact I left my camera in the car and they found it and mailed it back to Canada for me. Rented many times from them in Canada and never had a problem.

#17 Coopershawk

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 01:36 PM

I agree...Enterprise is the best. We just had another great experience with them...we reserved a car yesterday and when Mrs. Coopershawk arrived to pick it up, they had no cars available because some didn't come back on time. They drove her to the National lot, got a car at the same price, and gave her a voucher for a free car rental the next time we rent. How's that for service! We always rent from them when we're in the US and have never had a problem. You can save a pile of money by renting at their off airport sites.

#18 LJ

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:18 PM

My experience lately with car rental agencies has been pretty good.

I rented from Alamo in Calgary, reserved a compact, not available when I got there so was offered a pick up truck. I said "what the heck" and I took it. When I get out to the lot there it was - a great big extended bed, four door, Silverado. I didn't really want to take it but I did. On the walk around I noticed quite a few scratches on the vehicle so I grabbed hold of somebody that looked in charge and had him do the walk around with me and we marked on the sheet all the marks on the truck. When I returned it, it may have had a couple of more scratches on it, did I mention it was BIG. Anyway the guy checking the truck back in didn't seem more than slightly interested so I made a point of showing him the sheet with all the previous marks on it and he was happy. As an aside, was that thing every smooth and quiet on the highway.

Rented from Dollar in Texas and got a Mitsubishi Galant, when I drove up to the exit I mentioned to the guy that there was a few scratches on the fender and he said - don't worry about it, it passed inspection inbound and that they didn't worry about minor cosmetic damage. Two days later my GPS turns off as were driving down the road and it turns out the 12 volt outlet wasn't charging. I phoned them and they said just return the car and they will give me another one, and not to bother putting any gas into it. I went in and they gave me a near new Ford Fusion that was in perfect shape, very nice car to drive and lots of power. At $17 a day I was pretty happy.

Haven't tried Enterprize lately but I was happy with my experience with these two companies.
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#19 Holden West

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:38 PM

Great stories, everyone.

Yes, Rent A Wreck is still around. Here's a story about someone's experience:

At first glance, the slightly dented blue Chevy Cobalt was nothing special. It was missing hubcaps, and looked like it hadn't been washed in a year or two. But that's what I was expecting – not pretty, but otherwise fine. But when my daughter and I opened the doors, we both gasped.

I was peering into the back, hoping to drop our luggage on the back seat. But the grey cloth bench seat was grimy. Tie-dyed in dirt. There was a large soft drink cup tossed on the floor, surrounded by an unknown liquid. On the other side of the car, the floor mat was sickly yellow and black. I don't know why.

My 12-year-old daughter, who usually has a plethora of adjectives to describe any situation, just said, "Ewww."

That's because the front was just simply rank. Other people's dirt was caked under the emergency brake and in the cupholders. There was a blue mystery liquid in the coin holder. Paint was chipping off the radio (which we quickly learned didn't work anyway.) The windshield wiper controls were held on with black electrical tape. Someone, or something, had chewed off the passenger door lock. We paused to consider how that happened, and just decided it wasn't worth the potentially scarring mental images.


http://autos.aol.com...a-wreck-junker/
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#20 Holden West

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:09 AM

Lower Mainland Budget employees spill the beans:

“If there was a scratch on the car, we charged their credit card immediately … and that scratch would never even be fixed,” said another former employee.

She worked at the Budget counter at the Abbotsford airport, and also spoke on condition she would not be named.

“For the three months that I was there, I saw only one car go to the repair shop, and it was rear-ended.”

She said several renters would be charged for rock chip damage on the same vehicle, but no repairs would be done until later when the vehicle needed a new windshield.

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...etinsiders.html

Can someone explain how a driver can be responsible for a stone chipped windshield? Are they implying the driver follows too close to the car in front? Can following the two-second rule avoiding tailgating insure you against flying rocks? If I am responsible for the windshield, why aren't I responsible for the head gasket or the battery or any other part that goes kaput after a time?
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

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