Budget Rent a Car Experience exemplifies the current lack of customer service
Alright so first off, I haven’t blogged here in ages. Just been too busy.
But my experience with Budget Rent a Car (specifically the 40 Blue Jays Way location in Toronto) has me raging and I need an outlet! (the fact that I am sitting in a coffee shop instead of a moving vehicle also means I have some unexpected time on my hands).
From start to finish, the whole experience with Budget was horrible.
Surprising as I have rented from this location for about 10 years, maybe more and I usually have had good experiences, however, over the last few years I have seen it declining and this time it really came to a head.
It started with me trying to rent online using the website and the pay ahead system. The website wasn’t working – I tried a few times using different settings / car selections but to no avail. The messages pointed me in the direction to call customer service. In this case because I’ve rented from this location before I thought it might be easier to just call the location and put a car on hold.
When I called in, I explained my situation with the website and that i needed a car. They quoted me a higher rate and I asked if they would honour the online rate in this case because the site wasn’t working. They said no.
I asked for a manager and he said the same thing and then quickly said he had to go into a meeting and he had to go. He wouldn’t really let me ask anymore questions and he said I had to call customer service. Which I thought odd as shouldn’t every location, especially the manager provide customer service. Which I actually asked and he said no they don’t do customer service and for me to call customer service. Then he hung up.
I called customer service and mentioned the experience I had so far – they basically said nothing about it and gave me quote – which was different from both the website and the store quote.
Just to get through it I made the reservation for 2pm Saturday.
Saturday morning, I knew i was going to be late so I called in saying I would be there around 3:30 and to make sure they had a car for me.
I get there around 3:40 – yes I am late.
I approach the counter and give my name. They look me up and then say they do not have any cars can I wait. I also notice there is another patron also waiting.
I ask what is the problem – I reserved for a specific time. I was given a weak answer saying sometimes they are busy and just don’t have cars. Well then don’t make the reservation! What’s the point of reserving a car when there are no cars!! OR…. if they find themselves without cars, why not contact the customer ahead of time so they don’t waste money on a cab travelling to pick a car that doesn’t exist? Time and money wasted by the customer is not customer service. Not fullfilling your part of the bargain by taking a reservation and then not providing a car at all, is not customer service.
Another customer comes in and he too is told they might have a car for him in 30 minutes … BUT …. they close in 5….. The worker asks for the customers number and says he will call IF a car comes in.
The customer asks what are the chances of the car coming in and the worker says it probably won’t.
What really bothers me and gets me riled up is that every one of the workers is ok with all of this. Stranding customers who have plans to be on the road. Myself I was running an event with 50 venues in town that I was planning on visiting.
That customer leaves while another arrives..
The same story.
The manager even has the gall to tell the new customer that she shouldn’t book at 4pm as a pick up time. She should book earlier in the day and he even says because she might be late when they close at 4.
She replies – I live across the street – I wont be late.
Then she asks the magic question – “So you don’t have a car for me?”/
Same answer – leave your number and we will call if a car comes in but it probably won’t … and we are closing.
Holy – how does this happen?
A customers time is money. Cab fares to the location is money. Not having a car – in this case – could be lose of money.
How is Budget ok with this business model????
Do they not have relationships with other rental locations that they can direct their customers to – provide a pick up drop off service like others?
It was now 4:05 and the workers were getting antsy to leave as it was now past their end of shift…. How convenient.
I had to choose to abandon all of my plans for the weekend and leave empty handed. It being after 4 meaning it was too late to look around the city at other locations for a vehicle.
Back in the day the manager would have offered something to please the customer so they come back even though they had poor service.
I also suggest that Budget includes the meaning of the words customer service and reservation in an employee handbook if one exists.
So in the end – there has been no resolve.
A car was put on reservation a day prior, email confirmations were received, the location was phone the morning of the reservation to confirm the reservation, time was taken to get to the location to pick up the car and costs of taxis and no car available, no rental, reservation not honoured. All plans cancelled.
What was Budget’s answer?
Nothing. It is what it is, tough luck, see ya later.