I believe that businesses would like to satisfy their customers. I have been satisfied with car rentals from Budget in the past, but my experience in Denver, Colorado this weekend is an exception.
I reserved an economy car to be picked up at the Denver International Airport at 10:30 a.m.. My flight was slightly early and I stopped at the Budget desk inside the airport. The clerk at the Budget desk inside the airport told me that she took no information but would check that my reservation was in the system, which it was. I then took the bus to the rental car lot.
The line to pick up cars was the longest I have ever seen in my life. Only 4 clerks were working and it was over an hour before I reached the head of the line. The clerk who took my details asked me if I still wanted a small car and I said that I did, due to gas prices and the difficulty of finding parking spaces for larger vehicles. He then walked off for approximately 10 minutes. When he returned, he told me they were giving me a Toyota Highlander. This is not, in fact, a small car. When I objected, he told me I could wait to speak to his manager, but that would be another half hour. Given the length of time to get to the rental car lot and the time I had waited in line, I reluctantly accepted the car. I then waited another 15 minutes for a porter to actually bring the car, during which time I saw several small cars in the lot. The total length of time from when I arrived at Budget's desk at the airport until I had the vehicle was nearly 2 hours. The clerk insisted this is not unusual for Denver. I have rented cars approximately 200 times at the Denver airport and the longest I have ever waited in the past is 30 minutes.
There is nothing I can do about the length of the wait (other than inform you so you can revisit your staffing at that location). Nor can I do anything about the inconvenience of parking a large vehicle. But I can and do object to having to pay for the additional cost of fuel because of a clerk's deception and/or incompetence.
The EPA estimates a Toyota Highlander gets 18 mpg in city driving and 24 mpg in highway driving and that a Hyundai Accent (the car identified as on my reservation) gets 24 mpg in city driving and 33 mpg in highway driving. Therefore, the car I was given uses approximately 35% more gasoline than the car I reserved.
I paid $33.70 to refill the car before returning it. Had I been given the car I reserved (and which was, in fact, available despite the clerk's claims) it would have cost me approximately $24.96. I would, therefore, like you to refund the $8.74 for expenses I would not have incurred had I been given what I asked for.
In addition, your on-line reservation system includes a guarantee that the total price will be as quoted in the reservation. The quoted taxes were $5.39, but I was actually charged $12.06 in taxes. This is a difference of $6.67, which I would also like refunded.
I have attached copies of the original reservation, my transaction record from returning the car, and my receipt from the gas purchase. Please refund the total unexpected expenses of $15.41 within the next 30 days.
Now, all I have to do is figure out who to actually send this to.