Budget Rent-A-Car — failure to fulfill reservation
I reserved a Ford Expedition 4x4 with a ski rack in advance for my party of 6 to drive to Whistler. The agency did not have this car upon our arrival at 9:30 that night. We tried to fit into an inferior minivan that would have cost less to reserve online (I had originally reserved one and then changed my reservation when our group increased to 6). We barely fit, so seeing that it was too late for us to hire a shuttle instead and that we were helpless, the Budget employee "Mickey," # [protected] (with surprising unpleasantness and an additional 1 hour delays in processing paperwork and mostly standing around) proceeded to charge us an additional $75 for an "upgrade," although this was clearly an inferior, less desireable, 2WD car. Knowing that we were headed to Whistler that night, the staff did not even mention that we might have any trouble driving to Whistler without the 4x4, nor did they provide us a map or even mere directions out of the terminal. So there we were, at 2 am, stuck in a blizzard on a hill about 13 kilometers past Squamish, in about 4 inches of snow. We seated two guys on the hood (to weight the front tires) and somehow managed to turn the van around and drive back to Squamish, where we took shelter in two $85 hotel rooms for the night and then (the next morning) bought cables to ensure safe passage to Whistler. We were already missing a day of skiing. So add the $75 charge from budget, the $170 in hotel rooms, and the $70 chains, and our costs had ballooned by $335. By the time we actually arrived in Whistler, we were exhausted, stressed out, and had colds from the harsh night in the blizzard. Budget rent a car, namely, the employee named Mickey, very nearly ruined our trip. Had it not been for the wonderful, kind people of Canada that we met, and the spectacular scenery, they may have succeeded.