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Budget/ car rental / insurance fraud

1 San Diego International AirportSan Diego, CA, United States Review updated:
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The budget sales rep asked me while renting the car if I wanted insurance. I said I was declining insurance. The sales lady said, "If you are declining insurance, initial here in the highlighted area". The area she highlighted was to accept the insurance. I initialed in the highlighted area and was charged $15/day insurance when I returned the car.

The sales lady and the manager at the rental location said that I should have read the highlighted area. But what really blew me away was when the manager said that regardless of if you are declining or accepting insurance, the sales agents are instructed to only highlight the 'accept insurance' lines. It is up to you to not sign the highlighted area if you are declining insurance.

This seems like a 'standard operating procedure' for Budget rent-a-car. Has anyone else fallen for this scam or am I the only one?

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Comments

Ca
  24th of Oct, 2008
Agree Disagree +1 Votes

A similar situation just happened to me. I was in Hawaii flying for 12 hours from NY. I had a package deal...hotel, airline, and car...when I got to the Budget counter they pretended they didn't know anything about the particulars of my reservation and they never heard of Sam's club doing business with them. I declined all extra insurance and told them to just give me what my package dictates...it was all economy and no extras. They handed me a contract to sign and initial at 10pm which was 4AM to me, telling me this was a standard contract. After getting home 12 days later I found they over charged me $250 for extra insurance and another hundred for taxes and fees. I called Budget customer service and was told, after begging for a while, that he would give me half the insurance back...$125. I felt I shouldn't have been charged for any of it so I asked to speak to a manager. The manager wasn't available then but called me back over 2 hours later. She said that since I signed and initialed the contract I owed them the money and she wouldn't give me anything back. She was very stern with no sympathy what so ever in her voice. I explained that since no one could tell me what I had reserved I thought it was a standard contract for my reservations. I told the manager that I informed the people at the counter I didn't want anything extra and I trusted them...BIG mistake to trust Budget!!!

Mr
  27th of Oct, 2008
Agree Disagree +1 Votes

Same thing just happened to me, over $250 in extra charges. Almost doubled my rental bill. I don't intend to pay it.

Ge
  18th of Apr, 2009
Agree Disagree +2 Votes

I just returned from San Diego Int'l Airport where upon returning my Budget car it turned out to be everything accept a Budget! The check in clerk had asked me about the additional insurance charges which I declined and initialed for. Then he moved his thumb over the above two highlighted spaces and said that I needed to initial these spots also to decline. When I returned, I was charged an additional $25 per day for insurances I thought I was declining. When I complained the manager came out, listened, did not say a word and went back into the door he slitthered out of while the agent just kept apologizing. I will fight this as it is clearly a scam and it is difficult for me to believe that this company can remain in business with such illicit practices.

Ja
  15th of May, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes

I agree that Budget intentionally tries to overcharge you. Anel Walker (their head International customer service representative) knows this and still allows the practices to continue. In Costa Rica, Budgets representative said it was a country requirement that we take the extra insurance and he said that he could not rent me the car (I'd confirmed a price months before) if we didn't take the extra insurance.

Also, even with this "extra insurance, " we still had to pay over $500 when someone broke into our rental and dented the door in the process. Apparently this wasn't covered...

These practices show me that Budget will be out of business in the coming years.

To
  21st of Jun, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Budget is huge and they deal with customers as if they are the giant and you are the ant. Simply do not deal with them. There are alternatives that you will be far safer with. They are expert at emptying wallets without fear of any reprisal from anyone, and it's true! You are dealing with a giant that will kick the crap out of your wallet any time they can.

Lb
  24th of Jun, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Budget Car rental are cheats and have the worst customer support I have ever seen.

No wonder the company did not survive by itself and was taken over by Avis.

I booked a oneway rental from Ohare on 7th June, the booking was done through expedia where I had declined the insurance. Also when I picked up the rental car I was told to sign in places to decline the insurance. The cheat/lady at the counter repeatedly told me that I was declining the insurance and that I would not be covered, which I agreed to as I have my own car insurance.

To my surprise, I was charged insurance and when I contacted them they said that I signed for it. I agree I should have read what I sign for, but these cheats keep you engrossed in words while you sign for something other than they are telling.

After contacting customer support, drop off location (as it was oneway) and even the Ohare area manager, all are covering up their location staff by saying "You have signed it"

I beleive that the insurance coverage is a major source of income for their goal and that is why they all team up to protect this misleading practice resulting in this fraud.

I will be taking up this matter with BBB, but I suggest all those who rent, to read what you are signing for very carfully to avoid paying extra.

St
  30th of Aug, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

The same circumstances occurred to me. I had traveled 7 hrs, told the agent that I declined LDW etc., and lo and behold the contract that I signed had 'accepted LDW'.

Ja
  21st of May, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

A similar thing happened to my husband and me at the Tampa Airport last month. A Budget agent asked me to sign the bottom of an agreement. When I asked what I was signing, she said that "YOU ARE DECLINING INSURANCE" I signed the paper . After I signed it, the agent put a couple of initials in circles and put the paper in an envelope with all of the other papers. I now realize it was a trick. The other day we received a charge on our credit card for $522.00!! When we called Budget they said that it was for insurance. I said, i would never get insurance - my own car insurance company covers a rental car. The agent basically told me Too bad - you should have read what you were signing. I called my credit card company, but they told me that because I signed the paper I am responsible. I am now responsible to pay for this insurance that I did not want or need, Does anyone out there have any suggestions. I'm not sure where to go from here. HELP!!

Dm
  28th of May, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

At BWI airport, the week of May 18th, 2011, we purchased a rental car through Budget. When I received the bill is was marked for LDW (their scam insurance) which I 100% declined, as my own insurance covers me. My bill was $585 dollars of which, more than half $300 is for LDW Budget Car Scam Insurance. Good luck fighting with them--you're given a case number and a manger is "reviewing it". This is a class action lawsuit buidling and Budget should realize no company is too big to fall from grace. Spread the word to everyone you know--I plan to post this info on my Facebook page and get the word out--DON'T USE BUDGET RENTAL CAR!!

Jo
  4th of Jul, 2017
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

@DM Adair we were hit by the same scam for $299.90. we declined all coverage, were asked to sign a small 4x6" electronic pad waiving coverage, and were not allowed to review the contract before signing. subsequently, we were charged for insurance. called customer service and they offered a 50% discount. customer service rep acknowledged that the standard process does not allow for review of documents prior to signing. they offered 50% refund, but i declined. fighting charges. suggest to everyone to fight the charges so these fraudulent practices are eliminated. Budget is shady. don't trust Budget.

Mi
  23rd of Jun, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I got hit up for over $400.00 from the peple in Louisville. I should have been more careful. The people in front of me were complaing that the guy offered to upgrade their vehicle for free because they didn't have the car they reserved. Then he charged them for it. These people were in a panic because they could not afford it. Then when I got back, the people in front of me were scammed like I was for the insurance. When I called customer service and tried to work through it, all I got was that I signed a legal doicument. When I asked for the persons name, she told me I could call her anthing I wanted and hung up! Way to go Budget!

Po
  4th of Oct, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I recently had the very same experience with the LDW insurance renting with Budget. It's clearly a scam, part of their business plan and I'm sure a clear part of their training process to get agents to pull the insurance charge over on customers. I was asked verbally if I wanted liability insurance, I said no clearly. The agent then asked me who my car insurance agency was, and I told him. I initialed the decline area under "liability insurance". I thought for sure this indicated that I did not want insurance. What I didn't see that LDW was circled, but I was not asked to initial it. I was charged $24.49 a day for LDW. This is ridiculous and I will never rent from Budget again.

Ca
  12th of Oct, 2012
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Same thing happened at Budget (BWI) Baltimore Washington International Airport on 10/04/2012. We will never rent from Budget again. Or, rent a car through Priceline. They didn't stand behind us either.

Fi
  5th of Feb, 2013
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Budget/Avis Rent A Car is scamming customers by pursuing fraudulent claims against customer credit card and car insurance for preexisting damage of their rental vehicles. Pervasive schemes targeting customers who waive Budget insurance. Bullying and intimidation and extortion go all the way to corporate headquarters CEO Ronald L. Nelson, CFO David Wyshner and Veronica Weston 973-496-3465 in Parsippany, NJ. File complaints with Better Business Bureau, Insurance Commissioner, and Attorney General's office for each state, and contact NJ Consumer Affairs for a record of ongoing complaints against the unethical company.

Budget is under fraud investigation for al North America operations. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/11/27/bc-budget-rental-fraud.html

Tr
  23rd of Sep, 2013
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Looks like Budget in Orange County Airport (CA) is pretty crooked. Wife rented car without insurance but when she returned the car they said that there was damage underneath car. The guy that inspected had to get on his back and look under the car to see it. Wife said she didn't do that and she could see NO damage. In the end we had to pay $1200 or our credit would be hit. We protested to no avail. A real bummer so we don't use Budget anymore.

Ta
  14th of Jul, 2014
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I rented a Toyota Yaris on line from Budget Car rental Co. to be picked up in Aruba. When I got there they wanted charge more than I was quoted on line. After some talking they brought the price down to about $20.00 more than I expected to pay. The car itself was a piece of junk. It was over 4 years old with over 50, 000 miles on it. The tires were almost bold, the motor made very loud rattling noises and it shook and vibrate. The car had to be locked with the key and the windows had to be rolled down by hand. The car was unsafe, in the USA would never have passed a safety inspection. They should be ashamed to steel good money good money from customers. I e-mailed the company and they did nothing about it!!! I would never rent a car from them ever again. Budget is the worst rental car company in the world. DO NOT RENT CARS from THEM!!!

Yz
  29th of Sep, 2015
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Same thing happened to me. I rented a car from Budget through AirportRentalCars.com for two weeks, Clearly declined all types of insurance. when I picked up the car at 4246 SEPULVEDA BOULEVARD, Culver City, CA 90230, also clearly told the customer representative that I declined the LDW and all other insurance options from them. They then just pinpointed a couple of places for me to sign, I saw after the insurance, clearly typed Declined. But then when I got the credit card statement, I saw a surprise higher price. Budget slapped $97.86 insurance charge for the declined service! This is completely a fraudulent practice. I will fight with them, will file a formal complain with BBB too. NEVER EVER rent a car from them again, including Avis, since Avis now already bought Budget, yet still allow this type of scam going on!

Sr
  2nd of Jul, 2017
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I had that same thing happen in July 2016, so obviously this scam is working for them. I arrived in SFO after midnight (3 AM my time). I explicitly told the agent I didn't want LDW because my credit card and auto insurance provided sufficient coverage. Agent said something like, "okay, then you will need to initial here to indicate that you are waiving LDW". Call me an idiot, but I initialed where she was pointing, assuming that, well, I was actually waiving the LDW. It wasn't until I got home from vacation and reviewed my bills that I saw the $150 LDW charge. I call Budget, and, long story short, accepted a concession of a 50% refund. I will never use Budget again because of this. Had they refunding the other $75, I would happily have continued using them in the future (I rent a car for about a week each quarter). Net loss for them for this particular customer.

Clearly this is a money maker for them. Trust me, their management is fully aware of this practice. They certainly have a line item for it in their financial statements, and are well aware that most of their customers don't actually need the insurance. By keeping things ambiguous and incentivizing their agents to push the LDW, they profit by being knowingly deceptive. Shame.

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