Budget required to honor a quoted web site rate?

 
Old Oct 1, 11, 7:13 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 182
Budget required to honor a quoted web site rate?

This has probably been asked before (did a quick search of the forum, but couldn't find a direct answer), so sorry for asking again, but is there any requirement that Budget honor a "confirmed" rate reserved through their web site?

I just booked an intermediate out of LAS for next wk at the base rate of $15 for the whole wk, final total of $58 w/taxes+fees-Costco discount. That's not per day, but for the entire rental! Other models (i.e. economy) on the same page were running $142+ base for the same period. Obviously, this is an incredible rate...so I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Don't want to get to Vegas and have the agent say my rate is really 10x or more higher.

Yes, I have a confirmation hardcopy and an email acknowledgement showing the low rate. And yeah, I'll probably book a backup with another company, just in case, and will keep checking to see if Budget changes the rate on my res. But it would be nice to know if I just got an early jackpot, or if the Vegas mob runs Budget, and I've just been suckered...
Cygnet is offline  
Old Oct 1, 11, 2:02 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Programs: AGR, PC, HH no status as I stopped paying for travel
Posts: 1,454
From Bdet master agreement

Emphasis is mine

6. Rental Charges

You will pay for the number of miles/kilometers you drive and the period of time you rent the car at the rate provided to you by the reservation agent or reservation system at the time of reservation, or your applicable corporate rate. The minimum charge is one day (24 hours) plus mileage/kilometerage, or a fixed fee. We will determine the miles/kilometers by reading the factory-installed odometer. The daily charge applies to consecutive 24-hour periods starting at the hour and minute the rental begins. If you fail to comply with any conditions for special rates specified on the rental document our otherwise applicable rates will be charged.You’ll pay all charges that apply to the rental for miscellaneous services and, where permitted, airport facility fees and/or concession recovery fees, vehicle license recovery fees, other fees and surcharges. If you use a car with automatic toll payment capability, you will pay for all tolls incurred during your rental and all related service charges. You will also pay a reasonable fee for cleaning the car’s interior upon return for excessive stains, dirt or soilage attributable to your use. You and any third party to whom any rental charges are billed, such as an insurer or employer, are jointly and severally responsible for payment of all such charges. If you direct us to bill any such charges to a third party, you represent that you are authorized to do so.
darben is offline  
Old Oct 9, 11, 6:39 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 157
Wow! What an amazing rate! I have been searching for months and the cheapest rate I could find was $280 for an economy for 10 days! Pick-up is this Wednesday. May i ask where you found this rate?
dorif is offline  
Old Oct 10, 11, 11:40 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Programs: SW Rapid Rewards, Hilton Honors, Marriott, Avis First
Posts: 4,831
Originally Posted by Cygnet View Post
This has probably been asked before (did a quick search of the forum, but couldn't find a direct answer), so sorry for asking again, but is there any requirement that Budget honor a "confirmed" rate reserved through their web site?

I just booked an intermediate out of LAS for next wk at the base rate of $15 for the whole wk, final total of $58 w/taxes+fees-Costco discount. That's not per day, but for the entire rental! Other models (i.e. economy) on the same page were running $142+ base for the same period. Obviously, this is an incredible rate...so I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Don't want to get to Vegas and have the agent say my rate is really 10x or more higher.

Yes, I have a confirmation hardcopy and an email acknowledgement showing the low rate. And yeah, I'll probably book a backup with another company, just in case, and will keep checking to see if Budget changes the rate on my res. But it would be nice to know if I just got an early jackpot, or if the Vegas mob runs Budget, and I've just been suckered...
Sorry. They will stop you cold and change the rate.

This happened to me in June at LAS as well. I got a five day rental for about $50 plus taxes and fees with a Costco discount for an intermediate. I called the 800 number three times to confirm because the rate was so unbelievable, and was assured every single time that the rate was valid and sometimes they have fire sales to move inventory and bring in some cash.

I printed everything out and had it in my book bag ready for anything.

As I was on the shuttle from LAS to the car rental facility about two miles away, my cell phone rang and it was some low level employee telling me that there had been a programming mistake and that the rate should have been about $145 for the five days plus taxes and fees. I said I would get to the counter and discuss.

I got to the counter, showed all the paperwork and was told flat out that it wasn't their problem, there was a computer mistake, and I had to pay for it. I asked for a manager who refused to come out and discuss it with me so I was ready to walk before a supervisor came over to give me an acceptable rate of about $90 for the five days plus taxes and fees. I even quoted the part from the website about honoring the confirmed rate and they gave me some song and dance about how they were not a corporate location, but a licensee and they called the shots (which is why they also do a $300 hold instead of a $200 hold on your credit card if your total rate is below that).

Your print outs will be meaningless if they catch the glitch. You might be lucky and get it, but I wouldn't count on it.

I filed a complaint when I got home and got a $25 same-as-cash certificate, but I know I will never rent from budget again at LAS.
PhoenixRev is offline  
Old Jan 15, 12, 11:53 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Carlsbad, CA, USA
Programs: SPG: Platinum
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Did you really expect them to honor a rate that was so far out of reality? You should be happy with the $90.00 rate and the certificate and move on. that is a great rate for LAS. You would not get that good service from most rental companies.
cldflyer is offline  
Old Sep 27, 12, 10:15 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: TBD
Posts: 799
Similar rate in Spain

I booked a similar too-good-to-be-true rate for an upcoming one-way, six-day, rental in Spain. Total cost on my email confirmation is $76. Now, when I check the reservation on budget.com the total is $197.

OP, did they honor the rate? What about their "promise":

When you return your car to the rental location, you'll pay the total amount due according to the rental agent's calculations. If you believe that you were charged more for your car rental than what you were quoted on your original reservation confirmation and the rental agent is unable to explain or resolve the difference to your satisfaction, review all Rate Promise terms and conditions below to determine if you could be eligible for reimbursement equal to the amount of the difference between the two rates.
source: http://www.budget.com/budgetWeb/html...ebenefits.html

I plan on paying with my AMEX Platinum and am reasonably confident that I would have recourse through them, no?

Thanks for any thoughts you all have.
onfo is offline  
Old Oct 23, 12, 10:42 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Singapore
Programs: Mileage Plus, AAdvantage
Posts: 1
had a similar experience renting from Budget at Sevilla airport, Spain. Absolutely infuriating. To date I have received a $50 credit, which does little to cover the almost $400 I was charged above the quoted rate. Escalated the complaint and planning to send the following letter to customer service rep Sonia Thompson.

--

Dear Ms. Thompson,

Thank you for your quick response and for your gesture of goodwill. Unfortunately, it does not rectify the situation.

My complaint is that not simply that your rates and additional fees are outrageously high, but that I expected to pay the rate that I booked through my travel agent; instead, I was handed a bill roughly 400% higher than initially confirmed. I do understand that certain additional fees are not included in my travel agent's confirmed estimated rate. I fully expected to pay the Young Renter's Fee, the cost of add-on GPS product, as well as any applicable VAT. These are normal add-on services and taxes, and I am not disputing these charges.

However, it is Avis Budget Group's responsibility to provide its travel agent partners with up-to-date daily rates. It is unclear how, after confirming my reservation at $14.33 per day, and ultimately charging me €39.86 -- or $52.11 USD -- per day, is in any way right or acceptable. You've charged my more than three times the quoted rate.

On the television screen behind your agent, a comprehensive insurance product was advertised at €6.30/day. I asked to purchase this product, but was told by your agent that "North American customers cannot purchase this insurance product." Instead, I was offered an insurance product at a cost of €51.91/day. Yes, you read that correctly. Not only is that by far most expensive insurance premium for a compact rental car that I've ever encountered -- most of your competitors' total coverage plans run from $10-$20 -- but it's also more than the daily rate of the car itself. On top of that, I was also charged a Young Renter's fee of €63.00 -- this is a charge I expected to pay, but not on top of an outrageously priced insurance premium.

Furthermore, I was charged a €48.28 "Airport surcharge" -- you mention that the car was returned a day early to a location different than specified. You are half correct. The car was returned a day early because the costs were so outrageous that returning the car early saved me approximately €79.76. However, the car was NOT returned to a different location than specified. I have a written confirmation that the car was to be picked up and dropped off at the "Budget Sevilla Airport" location. This is the same location specified by both you and by the travel agent through which I made my booking. I trust you understand why this is aggravating -- you are charging me a fee for a service I simply did not use. Based on my reservation, you knew I was picking up and returning the car to the same airport…why was this charge not included in the estimate?

And in a final coup de grâce, after denying to refund the outrageous charges over the phone, customer service rep Glenda Cleveland followed up with an email, informing me "If you wish to dispute this charge further you will need to contact AvisBudget Spain directly - here is their e-mail address: [email protected]." Unfortunately, the AvisBudget Spain was the root cause of the problem: their agent's inability to properly explain the charges in English is very reason I'm lodging a complaint in the first place.

Ms. Thompson, I work in the tourism industry as well. I work with travel agencies and distributors on a daily basis. While I fully understand that a reservation confirmation does not equate to the final bill after all charges are accounted for, I do expect that confirmation to provide, at the very least, an accurate estimate of my total cost. Your response here suggests that AvisBudget has no responsibility to honor the price offered to customers through its travel agent partners. I shouldn't have to tell you that this practice does not encourage repeat customers.

While I realize that spraining hidden fees on unsuspecting customers like myself contributes to your revenue stream, charging me more than 400% of my quote cost is what's often referred to as "price gauging." In fact, I cannot recall the last time I rented a car, booked a hotel, or purchased a flight through a travel agent or otherwise, and then upon settling my bill, was told by the vendor: "By the way, the price you were originally quoted has increased by 400%."

I chose to rent from AvisBudget because it's a brand I know and trust. When I make a reservation through an American travel agent, in English, with a known brand like AvisBudget, it's because I want to be sure that upon arrival in a foreign country where I do not speak the language, I am entitled to the rate and product that I've booked. I will repeat myself again here: while it is not AvisBudget's responsibility to provide a completely accurate total price, but when I'm confirmed in writing with an "Approximate price in including taxes" of $126.23, I expect to pay that, plus the reasonable cost of add-on products and services like the Young Renter's Fee and GPS rental. But I refuse to pay more than three times the quoted daily rate, plus an insurance product valued at higher than the daily rate when a lower priced product was CLEARLY advertised on the TV screen behind your agent, plus an inexplicable airport drop-off surcharge for airport.

In summation, this has been the single most infuriating and unfair experience with a car rental service in my life as a frequent traveler and frequent renter. This is a truly appalling case of customer service and shows both an unwillingness and disinterest to rectify a situation that is so clearly wrong on the part of AvisBudget. I have already raised this with my credit card company, Chase, which is also the travel agent through which I booked; Chase will contact you with a similar request to rectify this situation.

I will never again give my business to AvisBudget until this is resolved and I am charged the amount that I initially agreed to pay. It is simply not right to quote one price, and charge three times that due to your agent's inability to communicate with US customers, and then to suggest that it is somehow NOT your responsibility to provide accurate, up-to-date rates to your travel agent partners.

Please rectify this situation at your earliest convenience by refunding me the difference between what I was initially quoted and what I ultimately paid, less the reasonable add-on charges for the Young Renter's Fee and GPS rental.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,

W

--

Whether or not Budget is willing -- or even has the requisite customer service infrastructure in place -- to rectify this situation, I hope that my sharing of this experience here on FlyerTalk will at the very least discourage future customers from giving AvisBudget their business, less they too end up $400 and many hours on the phone poorer.
willyen is offline  
Old Oct 25, 12, 3:14 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Programs: Delta, AirTran
Posts: 140
I found a great deal on coscto as well...$99 for a week from LAX. should I totally skip this? or will it really be $99? I'm confused.
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