If you rent from Budget, do you get what you pay for?

Last week I rented a car from Budget. Since I was renting a car just to get from Providence to Logan, I was psyched that Budget had a pickup service. Saved me figuring out how to get from my hotel to wherever their office was. The web info said to call ’em 24 hours beforehand.

When I called they explained that they aren’t staffed for pickup at their location (despite the web saying otherwise), and I should take a cab and bring in the receipt and they’d give me the money. Well, that’s not the point. Now I need to get to them, rather than having them come to me. They offer a service, but they don’t need to actually fulfill their promise?

When I arrived at the rental location, the woman at the counter was in-depth in a very personal family conversation. She took my ID and began pecking at the computer keyboard, stopping when she needed to focus on the advice she was giving. I can’t express how much I hate when people who are working service businesses carry on their personal crap while I’m trying to transact. It forces you to stand there and either look at them as if you are in a normal interaction of that type (which feels rude) or to shift and look away as if you are interrupting them. It always takes longer since of course they aren’t paying attention to what they are doing, and having someone push a piece of paper and pen at you, without even saying (or maybe just sotto voce) what it is they want from you (“….sign and initial…”) is awkward as hell. For the customer. This should absolutely be a firing offense.

When I returned the car, the wearable-computer dude was only printing out slips that sent us into the office to complete our return. So much for the Fastlane service. Was anyone trying to resolve a technical problem, let alone tell us what the problem was? Nope.

With the car, the trunk release didn’t work, but none of the check-in folks asked me if the car was okay (a standard question at Hertz).

I figured I would let Budget know about my less-than-satisfactory experience at some point, and hey, what I do see in my email today a chance to fill out a survey (and everyone knows how much I love surveys) about my recent rental experience.

I rated various parts of the experience, based on what I was asked, and they got low marks. There was some question that seemed to be a follow-up, asking for the different causes (list pre-selected by them) for my low rating.

Obviously, there was no chance to share information about the poor service, especially the specific crap that I had the most problems with.

But I did get this lovely screen:

Business, personal, or leisure. Oh, and personal is non-leisure. What does that mean? Taking your dog to the vet is personal but not leisure?

And then a lovely segmentation question.

Actually, I’m a semi-retired chiropodist with buck teeth who collects snakeskin clothing and rents vehicles for the vague high from the new car smell. Do you have one of those I can check off?


Of course. We’re done when you say we’re done? You didn’t come close to asking me any of the questions I’d like to answer. Nicely played!


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