Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

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rrscha22
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Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by rrscha22 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:17 pm

I don't rent cars often, but my car needed to be fixed so I rented a car to get to and from work. I reserved a rental car through Costco Travel at Budget rental car. I arrived to pick up my car at the same times as 4 other people. The person at the counter said they didn't have any cars in the area at all. I had reserved my car a couple of days before. One person had reserved their car over a week before and had prepaid. We were all told that we were out of luck. The person at the counter said we should try to figure out how to make our way to the airport and see if they had any cars. The person didn't call to see if there were car, offer to drive us, call other car companies--they didn't do anything. I was told I could leave a message with customer service (voice mail only) to help make sure I wouldn't be charged. It has been a couple of days and no one called me back. I had my 4 year old daughter and a car seat with me. I was able to call my husband and have him pick me up, but I don't know what the other people were able to figure out. And I don't know what I'd do if we were out of town and I had to go it on my own at the end of the day with a 4 year old. Is there anything you can do to make sure a reservation really ensures you a car? Can they really do this? Is it just Budget or is this a common occurrence? Should I have done something differently?

SrGrumpy
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by SrGrumpy » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:21 pm

There was a Seinfeld episode on this.

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fortfun
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by fortfun » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:37 pm

Because of this, I usually rent at least two cars from two different companies whenever I travel. I figure that at least one will be there. As soon as I pick up the car, I cancel the second reservation. I check for the less expensive car first. Then Hertz second.

ClaycordJCA
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by ClaycordJCA » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:44 pm

I had this happen at an airport (Burbank) a number of years ago. Hertz was out of cars even though I had a reservation. Luckily, Alamo had a nice, new Toyota Avalon. I now rent only from Alamo.

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celia
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by celia » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:51 pm

I imagine an airport location would be more likely to have cars in stock. Just don't wait until the end of the day.

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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by 123 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:57 pm

I've had this happen twice when I went to pick up "reserved" vehicles, both times with Hertz. After deplaning in Maui Hertz said they were out of cars and that I would just have to wait until one was available (took about half an hour). Another time at Burbank my assigned vehicle space was empty, the lot gal made a call and 10 minutes later a Hertz driver arrived with a vehicle for me. These things happen.
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by whodidntante » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:57 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:21 pm
There was a Seinfeld episode on this.
Image

harrychan
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by harrychan » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:48 pm

Never happened before. I used to rent a lot but now I almost exclusively use shared ride services when on business travel.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

megabad
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by megabad » Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:21 am

harrychan wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:48 pm
Never happened before. I used to rent a lot but now I almost exclusively use shared ride services when on business travel.
+1 I have never experienced them not having a car either (but I don't use Budget), but ridesharing apps is how I would prevent it. For a short commute, lyft is much cheaper than a rental (especially from the airport) in my area. I suppose you could tweet/message Budget HQ but whats the point. That won't ensure that they treat you right next time. Alternatively you could use one of the direct owner rental apps if they have one in your area.

Ironically, as a frequent business traveler, I have basically taken cars from waiting non-business customers. I have walked right by the desk before, heard a desk agent explain to another customer that there are "no cars available", followed the signs to a separate lot (for business travelers I guess) and instantly drive my car off. Usually it is some upgraded gas guzzler too (for better or for worse). I would laugh if they even said they didn't have a car because I would think they were joking.

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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by iamlucky13 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:31 am

megabad wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:21 am
For a short commute, lyft is much cheaper than a rental (especially from the airport) in my area.
Out of curiosity, I just checked my medium-length commute - each way is almost as much as the per-day cost of the last car I rented.

But I'd still consider it for this kind of situation, because there's also the time and money spent getting to the rental location to consider.

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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by adamthesmythe » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:53 am

fortfun wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:37 pm
Because of this, I usually rent at least two cars from two different companies whenever I travel. I figure that at least one will be there. As soon as I pick up the car, I cancel the second reservation. I check for the less expensive car first. Then Hertz second.
Rental companies run out of cars because of overbooking. Poster is suggesting overbooking as a solution.

This cannot end well.

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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:57 am

You do know the universal slogan of rental car agents, don't you? "Book, don't look".

Of course there's no cars. Why on earth would you think there are any cars?
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Rob54keep
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by Rob54keep » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:59 am

I had this happen to me with a hotel reservation (Marriott). I had a confirmation number but they said they gave the room to a priority member. Not what you want to hear after being on the road for 8 hours. They did pay for a room at a different hotel however. I also had them pay for the breakfast and the deposit for a pet at the hotel. At the end, they lost a future customer and $$.

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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by willygreen » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:01 am

In my opinion Budget is one of the worst to deal with. My small company uses them because they provide the best price, but we don't like them. Their supposed FastBreak service is a scam, they almost never have the car ready and we have to wait in line at the counter. The quality of the cars is low; they are typically older and have more miles on them. One of my colleagues had a car from them that wouldn't start in cold weather, and waited three hours for them to come and jump it. He demanded a different car instead, but they said no way.

You get what you pay for when it comes to Budget.

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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by 02nz » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:02 am

adamthesmythe wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:53 am
fortfun wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:37 pm
Because of this, I usually rent at least two cars from two different companies whenever I travel. I figure that at least one will be there. As soon as I pick up the car, I cancel the second reservation. I check for the less expensive car first. Then Hertz second.
Rental companies run out of cars because of overbooking. Poster is suggesting overbooking as a solution.

This cannot end well.
Yet that's the only reasonable solution to mitigate the risk. I cannot as an individual change how rental companies manage their reservations and fleets. So I can only adjust behavior to adapt. I have also run into this situation and now generally make two (cancel-able, non-prepaid) bookings.

ETA: I've had the "no car" situation even when my booking was prepaid and no longer refundable, so that clearly doesn't prevent this. I think the one thing that might help (besides making a backup booking) is having elite status with that company. With some it's easy to get with a credit card or some other way, but for the most part this isn't a practical strategy for most people.
Last edited by 02nz on Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

TravelGeek
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:04 am

rrscha22 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:17 pm
Is there anything you can do to make sure a reservation really ensures you a car?

Can they really do this?

Is it just Budget or is this a common occurrence?

Should I have done something differently?
Nothing you can do. Prepaid doesn’t guarantee availability either.

Yes, they can really do this. Probably in the T&C.

No, not just Budget, and no, it is NOT a common thing. In a few hundred rentals I have seen this once, and a car became available within 30 mins.

You seem to have rented from an off-airport location. They probably have less inventory, less frequent returns, slower turnarounds, and you don’t have the ability to walk “next door” to a competitor. Renting at the airport, though likely more expensive, might be a bit safer.

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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:10 am

02nz wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:02 am
Yet that's the only reasonable solution to mitigate the risk. I cannot as an individual change how rental companies manage their reservations and fleets. So I can only adjust behavior to adapt. I have also run into this situation and now generally make two (cancel-able, non-prepaid) bookings.
You don’t really think they are going to buy more cars to park on their lots, so they can accommodate your wasted reservations, right? This behavior, if adopted by sufficient travelers, will simply result in two changes: rental companies will overbook even more and eventually introduce cancellation/no show fees.

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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by 02nz » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:15 am

TravelGeek wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:10 am
02nz wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:02 am
Yet that's the only reasonable solution to mitigate the risk. I cannot as an individual change how rental companies manage their reservations and fleets. So I can only adjust behavior to adapt. I have also run into this situation and now generally make two (cancel-able, non-prepaid) bookings.
You don’t really think they are going to buy more cars to park on their lots, so they can accommodate your wasted reservations, right? This behavior, if adopted by sufficient travelers, will simply result in two changes: rental companies will overbook even more and eventually introduce cancellation/no show fees.
No, I don't think they'll buy more cars and I really don't care what they do. I'm doing what's best for me (greatly reducing the chance there's no car when I show up), within the circumstances created by the car rental company. If they aren't ultimately bound by the "reservation," why should I be?

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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by adamthesmythe » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:26 am

02nz wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:15 am
TravelGeek wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:10 am
02nz wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:02 am
Yet that's the only reasonable solution to mitigate the risk. I cannot as an individual change how rental companies manage their reservations and fleets. So I can only adjust behavior to adapt. I have also run into this situation and now generally make two (cancel-able, non-prepaid) bookings.
You don’t really think they are going to buy more cars to park on their lots, so they can accommodate your wasted reservations, right? This behavior, if adopted by sufficient travelers, will simply result in two changes: rental companies will overbook even more and eventually introduce cancellation/no show fees.
No, I don't think they'll buy more cars and I really don't care what they do. I'm doing what's best for me (greatly reducing the chance there's no car when I show up), within the circumstances created by the car rental company. If they aren't ultimately bound by the "reservation," why should I be?
Tragedy of the commons?

stan1
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by stan1 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:35 am

Definitely try to avoid picking up the car at the end of the day (near closing hours).

For the most part its first come first served.

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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by Living Free » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:36 am

megabad wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:21 am


I have never experienced them not having a car either (but I don't use Budget), but ridesharing apps is how I would prevent it. For a short commute, lyft is much cheaper than a rental (especially from the airport) in my area.
I think that the 4 year old with a car-seat would make just hopping into an uber much more unpleasant. Each time one wanted to go anywhere he'd have to install then remove the child seat and lug the child seat around. It can take some time and frustration to get those child seats in and secured and ensure they're correct (admittedly, I'm somewhat OCD about it though). And they're heavy.

02nz
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by 02nz » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:37 am

adamthesmythe wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:26 am
02nz wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:15 am
TravelGeek wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:10 am
02nz wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:02 am
Yet that's the only reasonable solution to mitigate the risk. I cannot as an individual change how rental companies manage their reservations and fleets. So I can only adjust behavior to adapt. I have also run into this situation and now generally make two (cancel-able, non-prepaid) bookings.
You don’t really think they are going to buy more cars to park on their lots, so they can accommodate your wasted reservations, right? This behavior, if adopted by sufficient travelers, will simply result in two changes: rental companies will overbook even more and eventually introduce cancellation/no show fees.
No, I don't think they'll buy more cars and I really don't care what they do. I'm doing what's best for me (greatly reducing the chance there's no car when I show up), within the circumstances created by the car rental company. If they aren't ultimately bound by the "reservation," why should I be?
Tragedy of the commons?
Sure, sometimes individually rational behavior doesn't lead to collectively optimal outcomes. But it's not a commons I created - the rental companies set all of the terms and conditions and control how they manage booking, so I'm just playing by their rules.

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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by TexasPE » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:45 am

02nz wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:15 am

No, I don't think they'll buy more cars and I really don't care what they do. I'm doing what's best for me (greatly reducing the chance there's no car when I show up), within the circumstances created by the car rental company. If they aren't ultimately bound by the "reservation," why should I be?
+1

I look at it as the car rental's unsophisticated version of airline overbooking. MOST of the time there will be enough no-shows to give you a car, but not always.

Anecdote: Last Thanksgiving we flew the day before the holiday to visit family. [Yes, I had two reservations, one with Budget (the lowest cost) and a second with another company]. Budget (small airport location) had our vehicle. In chatting with the counter agent, she volunteered that she was happy she was off for the holiday - on Thanksgiving (the next day) they had 30+ reservations for three cars :oops:
At 20: I cared what everyone thought about me | At 40: I didn't give a damn what anyone thought of me | Now that I'm 60: I realize that no one was really thinking about me at all | Winston Churchill (?)

02nz
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by 02nz » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:03 am

The comparison with airlines and hotels is interesting: with those, overbooking does also happen, but generally you get re-accommodated. The airline puts you on a later flight, or the hotel "walks" you to another hotel at its expense. Not convenient, but you're not left holding the bag. The car rental companies, OTOH, have it written in their terms and conditions that they can simply not honor the reservation. That Seinfeld episode isn't a parody of real life, it's an accurate depiction of it. So no, I have no qualms whatsoever about making a backup reservation.

BTW, my sense is that (a bit like hotel/airline bookings), overbooking leading to having no cars is most likely when leisure travel is heaviest, i.e. around the holidays (e.g., TexasPE's anecdote). Reservation systems assume a certain percentage of overbookings based on past averages, but those averages are probably skewed by business travelers whose plans change more frequently and are more likely to cancel last-minute or no-show. When the airline/hotel/car rental has a ton of bookings (and overbookings) for leisure travelers who made their plans months in advance and are bound by school schedules or needing to be back at work on Monday or what have you, cancellations are less frequent and a situation of having no seat/room/car is more likely.

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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by jacksonm » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:27 am

willygreen wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:01 am
In my opinion Budget is one of the worst to deal with. My small company uses them because they provide the best price, but we don't like them. Their supposed FastBreak service is a scam, they almost never have the car ready and we have to wait in line at the counter. The quality of the cars is low; they are typically older and have more miles on them. One of my colleagues had a car from them that wouldn't start in cold weather, and waited three hours for them to come and jump it. He demanded a different car instead, but they said no way.

You get what you pay for when it comes to Budget.
+1

I have never had the experience of Budget being out of cars but on more than one occasion I have had the counter person use aggressive tactics to get me to buy their insurance, even to the point of lying about my insurance company (Geico) not covering rental cars.

Also on two occasions I found fraudulent charges on my credit card after renting from Budget, both at the same airport. Could have been somebody else of course but when I stopped renting from them there were no more fraudulent charges.

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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by TravelGeek » Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:56 pm

02nz wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:37 am
But it's not a commons I created - the rental companies set all of the terms and conditions and control how they manage booking, so I'm just playing by their rules.
I wonder how you would run a car rental company that has customers like you. :twisted:

02nz
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by 02nz » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:36 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:56 pm
02nz wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:37 am
But it's not a commons I created - the rental companies set all of the terms and conditions and control how they manage booking, so I'm just playing by their rules.
I wonder how you would run a car rental company that has customers like you. :twisted:
I don't spend all that much time wondering how I would run a car rental company (or bank, supermarket, airline, etc.). But I might: 1) make better use of data/algorithms to better predict when I can overbook; and 2) set up arrangements with competitors so that they can accommodate my customers when I overbook and run short of cars, and vice versa.

But these people get paid to run their business, so I'm going to let them figure it out. Meanwhile I play by their rules and do what's best for me. (For the record: I never made duplicate/backup bookings until I had a personal experience with not getting a car despite having a prepaid reservation.) OP will have to decide whether my suggestion is ok with him/her ethically.

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rrscha22
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by rrscha22 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:54 pm

I love the Seinfeld clip. It’s nice to be able to laugh at something so frustrating.

I was able to get a car from another company the next day so I could commute to work and take my daughter to preschool. The new company didn't have the car I reserved but upgraded me for free.
TexasPE wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:45 am
Anecdote: Last Thanksgiving we flew the day before the holiday to visit family. [Yes, I had two reservations, one with Budget (the lowest cost) and a second with another company]. Budget (small airport location) had our vehicle. In chatting with the counter agent, she volunteered that she was happy she was off for the holiday - on Thanksgiving (the next day) they had 30+ reservations for three cars :oops:
That is a scary story. I understand that a business can run out of a product; things happen. But instead of being on the phone trying to arrange alternate transportation for those people, the employee was happy she wouldn't be there to hear 27+ people frustrated about a problem the company knew was coming. My situation was nice and local--I can't imagine fighting for a car after a long trip, on Thanksgiving, with a tired, cranky child.

I know it can create problems, but when it really counts from now on I'll be making two reservations like others have suggested and arriving early (and avoiding Budget). If I'm not having to haul a small person, her car seat, and her supplies in and out of a car, then I think ride share backup is a viable option.

And when my car is fixed and I return my current rental car, I'm going to write them a giant thank you note since I now know they didn't have to help.
Last edited by rrscha22 on Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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fortfun
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by fortfun » Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:47 pm

02nz wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:36 pm
TravelGeek wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:56 pm
02nz wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:37 am
But it's not a commons I created - the rental companies set all of the terms and conditions and control how they manage booking, so I'm just playing by their rules.
I wonder how you would run a car rental company that has customers like you. :twisted:
I don't spend all that much time wondering how I would run a car rental company (or bank, supermarket, airline, etc.). But I might: 1) make better use of data/algorithms to better predict when I can overbook; and 2) set up arrangements with competitors so that they can accommodate my customers when I overbook and run short of cars, and vice versa.

But these people get paid to run their business, so I'm going to let them figure it out. Meanwhile I play by their rules and do what's best for me. (For the record: I never made duplicate/backup bookings until I had a personal experience with not getting a car despite having a prepaid reservation.) OP will have to decide whether my suggestion is ok with him/her ethically.
When I've called to cancel these reservations, they don't care at all. If it was a real problem, they would have a different cancellation policy.

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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by cherijoh » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:10 pm

rrscha22 wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:17 pm
I don't rent cars often, but my car needed to be fixed so I rented a car to get to and from work. I reserved a rental car through Costco Travel at Budget rental car. I arrived to pick up my car at the same times as 4 other people. The person at the counter said they didn't have any cars in the area at all. I had reserved my car a couple of days before. One person had reserved their car over a week before and had prepaid. We were all told that we were out of luck. The person at the counter said we should try to figure out how to make our way to the airport and see if they had any cars. The person didn't call to see if there were car, offer to drive us, call other car companies--they didn't do anything. I was told I could leave a message with customer service (voice mail only) to help make sure I wouldn't be charged. It has been a couple of days and no one called me back. I had my 4 year old daughter and a car seat with me. I was able to call my husband and have him pick me up, but I don't know what the other people were able to figure out. And I don't know what I'd do if we were out of town and I had to go it on my own at the end of the day with a 4 year old. Is there anything you can do to make sure a reservation really ensures you a car? Can they really do this? Is it just Budget or is this a common occurrence? Should I have done something differently?
Personally, I think they stick their second (or third) string employees at the non-airport locations. :annoyed

IMO, the best time for a rental car to be available is when they first open since people usually don't want to be charged for an extra day and will often drop off the car off after hours at off-site locations. Lack of cars at airport locations is less likely to occur since the pool is bigger and they have the option to offer you a different class of car.

When I was working, the car dealership was close enough to my office (1st comany) or light rail (2nd company) that I could get their complimentary shuttle to drop me off at work/light rail. Now that I'm retired I just bring entertainment (book or tablet and wait on the car). When the dealership messes up and the car has to stay overnight or well beyond the estimated completion time, I tell them I need a loaner. So far they have complied and this isn't a luxury dealership.

confusedinaz
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by confusedinaz » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:57 pm

Next time, call Costco travel. I've had this happen to me twice with different rental companies. Costco makes the original rental company reimburse you the difference if you rent the same class car elsewhere. It doesn't make up for the hassle, but at least you can rent a car at the same price from somewhere else.

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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by Marylander1 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:27 pm

confusedinaz wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:57 pm
Next time, call Costco travel. I've had this happen to me twice with different rental companies. Costco makes the original rental company reimburse you the difference if you rent the same class car elsewhere. It doesn't make up for the hassle, but at least you can rent a car at the same price from somewhere else.
Yes, do this! I also have never rented from Budget since my flight into Denver was 3 hours late, and Budget said picking up my car later than scheduled would add $180 to my reservation.

Marylander1

TravelGeek
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by TravelGeek » Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:29 am

rrscha22 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:54 pm
TravelGeek wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:10 am
Anecdote: Last Thanksgiving we flew the day before the holiday to visit family. [Yes, I had two reservations, one with Budget (the lowest cost) and a second with another company]. Budget (small airport location) had our vehicle. In chatting with the counter agent, she volunteered that she was happy she was off for the holiday - on Thanksgiving (the next day) they had 30+ reservations for three cars :oops:
That is a scary story.
But not a story I wrote. Can you please fix your quote? ;)

Jim Beaux
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Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by Jim Beaux » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:14 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:56 pm
02nz wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:37 am
But it's not a commons I created - the rental companies set all of the terms and conditions and control how they manage booking, so I'm just playing by their rules.
I wonder how you would run a car rental company that has customers like you. :twisted:
That doesnt matter, Im gonna play by the rules of the game. If a provider isnt going to give me consideration, he dang sure wont get any from me. BTW...My business treated clientele ethically.

TravelGeek
Posts: 3103
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by TravelGeek » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:36 pm

Jim Beaux wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:14 pm
TravelGeek wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:56 pm
02nz wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:37 am
But it's not a commons I created - the rental companies set all of the terms and conditions and control how they manage booking, so I'm just playing by their rules.
I wonder how you would run a car rental company that has customers like you. :twisted:
That doesnt matter, Im gonna play by the rules of the game. If a provider isnt going to give me consideration, he dang sure wont get any from me. BTW...My business treated clientele ethically.
The reason I asked is that I cannot think of a way to avoid the problem in all cases. Car rental companies have a limited supply of cars. Some people will change their reservation or for other reasons not return their cars on schedule, so the car rental agency can’t count on all vehicles to be back as originally predicted. Then some people will not come pick up tier car, whether they forget they had one, or because their flight was canceled/delayed, or they never intended to honor their reservation because they double or triple booked. So what they do is try to predict how many cars they can actually accept reservations for (just like hotels try to predict how many rooms they can rent or airlines predict how many seats they an sell). That usually works, as proven by the fact that I have never been unable to get a car in over a hundred rentals (probably close to 200), many at vacation destinations or during holidays. And sometimes it doesn’t work out. We, of course, only start threads here when it doesn’t work out.

As a business person yourself, how’d you solve the problem? (I could imagine some improvements on the recovery side when the problem occurs, such as assisting in locating a vehicle from a competitor)

And since you say you treat your customers ethically... don’t you hope (expect?) your customers treat you ethically as well? IMO, if I were to double-book every time I needed a rental car, I would act unethical just in case the rental company runs out of cars (which you apparently consider unethical). So I am being proactively unethical? No thanks.

TravelGeek
Posts: 3103
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by TravelGeek » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:44 pm

fortfun wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:47 pm
When I've called to cancel these reservations, they don't care at all. If it was a real problem, they would have a different cancellation policy.
Probably because they know people like you do that, and their algorithms account for it by overbooking more. Or because the minimum wage reservation agent is getting rated by the number of calls processed and canceling reservations takes little time. Or because it isn’t against the T&C (or if they prohibit speculative reservations like the airlines, impossible to prove).

I wouldn’t read too much into this.
Last edited by TravelGeek on Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

02nz
Posts: 2572
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by 02nz » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:47 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:36 pm
Jim Beaux wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:14 pm
TravelGeek wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:56 pm
02nz wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:37 am
But it's not a commons I created - the rental companies set all of the terms and conditions and control how they manage booking, so I'm just playing by their rules.
I wonder how you would run a car rental company that has customers like you. :twisted:
That doesnt matter, Im gonna play by the rules of the game. If a provider isnt going to give me consideration, he dang sure wont get any from me. BTW...My business treated clientele ethically.
The reason I asked is that I cannot think of a way to avoid the problem in all cases. Car rental companies have a limited supply of cars. Some people will change their reservation or for other reasons not return their cars on schedule, so the car rental agency can’t count on all vehicles to be back as originally predicted. Then some people will not come pick up tier car, whether they forget they had one, or because their flight was canceled/delayed, or they never intended to honor their reservation because they double or triple booked. So what they do is try to predict how many cars they can actually accept reservations for (just like hotels try to predict how many rooms they can rent or airlines predict how many seats they an sell). That usually works, as proven by the fact that I have never been unable to get a car in over a hundred rentals (probably close to 200), many at vacation destinations or during holidays. And sometimes it doesn’t work out. We, of course, only start threads here when it doesn’t work out.

As a business person yourself, how’d you solve the problem? (I could imagine some improvements on the recovery side when the problem occurs, such as assisting in locating a vehicle from a competitor)

And since you say you treat your customers ethically... don’t you hope (expect?) your customers treat you ethically as well? IMO, if I were to double-book every time I needed a rental car, I would act unethical just in case the rental company runs out of cars (which you apparently consider unethical). So I am being proactively unethical? No thanks.
How wonderfully virtuous of you. Unfortunately virtue doesn't mean a thing to the car rental company's terms and conditions, nor to their reservation system, nor to the people who shrug their shoulders and tell you they have no car for you.

TravelGeek
Posts: 3103
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by TravelGeek » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:52 pm

02nz wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:47 pm

How wonderfully virtuous of you. Unfortunately virtue doesn't mean a thing to the car rental company's terms and conditions, nor to their reservation system, nor to the people who shrug their shoulders and tell you they have no car for you.
Better virtuous than selfish, I guess. :twisted: (see the tragedy of the commons comment above). You should be grateful that not everyone books two cars, because then you’d have to book three to get ahead.
Last edited by TravelGeek on Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

02nz
Posts: 2572
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by 02nz » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:55 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:52 pm
02nz wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:47 pm

How wonderfully virtuous of you. Unfortunately virtue doesn't mean a thing to the car rental company's terms and conditions, nor to their reservation system, nor to the people who shrug their shoulders and tell you they have no car for you.
Better virtuous than selfish, I guess. :twisted: (see the tragedy of the commons comment above)
I'd rather be virtuous than selfish, but I'd rather be selfish than holding the bag at the car rental counter.

02nz
Posts: 2572
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by 02nz » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:57 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:52 pm
You should be grateful that not everyone books two cars, because then you’d have to book three to get ahead.
Then I'll book four and get ahead of even horrible, selfish people like me! :P

tibbitts
Posts: 9375
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by tibbitts » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:27 pm

I've rented somewhere around 500 cars over the years and never had a car be unavailable. Only once was the car class I rented not available.

However I have mostly rented at airport locations. I believe many or maybe even most off-airport locations aren't corporate-operated.

Jim Beaux
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:29 pm

Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by Jim Beaux » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:30 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:36 pm
Jim Beaux wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:14 pm
TravelGeek wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:56 pm
02nz wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:37 am
But it's not a commons I created - the rental companies set all of the terms and conditions and control how they manage booking, so I'm just playing by their rules.
I wonder how you would run a car rental company that has customers like you. :twisted:
That doesnt matter, Im gonna play by the rules of the game. If a provider isnt going to give me consideration, he dang sure wont get any from me. BTW...My business treated clientele ethically.
The reason I asked is that I cannot think of a way to avoid the problem in all cases. Car rental companies have a limited supply of cars. Some people will change their reservation or for other reasons not return their cars on schedule, so the car rental agency can’t count on all vehicles to be back as originally predicted. Then some people will not come pick up tier car, whether they forget they had one, or because their flight was canceled/delayed, or they never intended to honor their reservation because they double or triple booked. So what they do is try to predict how many cars they can actually accept reservations for (just like hotels try to predict how many rooms they can rent or airlines predict how many seats they an sell). That usually works, as proven by the fact that I have never been unable to get a car in over a hundred rentals (probably close to 200), many at vacation destinations or during holidays. And sometimes it doesn’t work out. We, of course, only start threads here when it doesn’t work out.

As a business person yourself, how’d you solve the problem? (I could imagine some improvements on the recovery side when the problem occurs, such as assisting in locating a vehicle from a competitor)

And since you say you treat your customers ethically... don’t you hope (expect?) your customers treat you ethically as well? IMO, if I were to double-book every time I needed a rental car, I would act unethical just in case the rental company runs out of cars (which you apparently consider unethical). So I am being proactively unethical? No thanks.
Im not going to speculate on how I would run a car rental. You appear to have the perception that a merchant/service provider has the same burden of accommodation. So just who should go the extra mile when your product is service? Alienate the customer base & who comes out on the short end of the stick? The customer is always right- about how he will continue to do business with you.

tigermilk
Posts: 592
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:32 am

Re: Budget Rental Cars Left Me Stranded--Prevention ?

Post by tigermilk » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:55 pm

I can't help, but I know it's a rare situation. Only once in my life has a car never been available. It was on a trip to France for work. I arrive at CDG and proceed to the rental counter. I was behind 3 or so people, but despite a short line, the inefficient process at this particular outfit meant I was waiting in line for about an hour. As I'm waiting in line, at one point I hear a whistle followed by a loud boom. Bomb scare and the police had a controlled explosion of a suspicious package relatively nearby. Finally I get to the counter and give my reservation info. "We do not have a car for you." "What? Why not?" "There is a bomb scare, so no cars are allowed to come to the airport. We don't know how long it will be." Fortunately it was only another 20 minutes or so, but that was as close as I've come to not having the car available that I reserved.

Don't know if it was that trip or another trip through Paris, but on one of those occasions I learned the French word for an orderly line going through security - MOB! Hundreds of people squeezing through a portal, packed like sardines.

Ah, the joys of travel...

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