Sunday, July 3, 2005

Budget Truck Rental Very tight budget for customer experiences.

Having a terrifying and frustrating experience with U-Haul, I started searching for other options and I found Penske and Budget Truck rental. I had no luck with Penske, it was fully booked until next Wednesday. I went to Budget truck rental web site, and tried to make the reservation. To my surprise, trucks were available to be picked up on the Memorial Day itself. I booked a truck to pick up at 4PM on the Memorial Day.

On that day, I called up the dealer location. No body picked up the phone and it was automatically transferred to Budget Truck national service number. So I tried to go to the actual location to find whether the location would open on that day. I spent almost half an hour at the street address, but could not find the location. I called the customer service and explained the situation and asked for any alternate phone number. She gave me a number, but the same story with the new number. After a few rings, it would automatically transfer to national service number.

I called up the customer service number and explained the situation and asked them to ask the dealer give me a call so that I can locate the dealer in that area. They refused to do so. They kept on insisting that I had to go to the location to check. I told them I could not locate the store even after spending half an hour and I need help in locating it. She kept me on hold almost for half an hour and came back saying that I had to go to the dealer and check whether the store is open on Memorial Day. I asked her why the hell I had to do that. Why should I go and check. I made the reservation on their website. It gave me the hours of operation but never indicated that the dealer location might be closed on that day. It confirmed my reservation to pick up the truck at 4PM at that location. She then told me that their web site couldnt track the working hours and holiday schedules of individual dealers so I had to check all that stuff on my own. Then why I should book at all on the web? The web site does not know whether a truckis available, does not know the dealers holiday schedule. Then how can it say that is confirms my reservation for a truck to be picked up at a certain hour at a location? On the reservation confirmation at least it should have mentioned that they do not know the actual working hours and dealers holiday schedule so I need to check with the dealer. They failed to mention that and they were reluctant to accept that. They kept on telling me that I had to manually go there and check it myself. The dealer might be closed on Memorial Day.

When I later called to cancel the reservation, it went to an agent who books new reservations. The agent there told me that the dealer was closed on Memorial Day and they had that information available with them. Then the previous agent I talked in the customer care department was bluffing me that they had no idea about dealers holiday schedule.

They did not honor the reservation at first place. And when I tried to cancel the reservation they told me that they could not do it too. I had to call the dealer to do that. If I cannot reach them on phone, I had to go to the dealer location and cancel it. If I could not talk to the dealer on phone, how can I find the location and how can I go and cancel it. Trash people!

Next morning I called up the dealer and told the entire story. He told me that he had no trucks available at that time so he would give me a call once he gets a truck. Seems like, they never reserved any truck for me. They take orders and when the customer goes to the dealer he would give the truck if available at that time. Otherwise he would have to wait till one is available. Truly a horrible system. I waited till afternoon and cancelled it.

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