Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Budget and Gotcha Capitalism

This is an update to my story on Gotcha Capitalism in the travel industry.

I consider myself a well experienced travel buyer and despite all of my efforts in my car rental with Budget (see above in the story) I have found it unavoidable to be hit with A$90 in charges on my card after returning the car (25% of the rental cost). This is despite prepaid, despite filling up the tank, despite denying the top up insurance premiums and despite reading all of the terms and conditions.

I spoke with Budget customer service and they immediately sent me on the local office.

I spoke with the local office and they simply say "that is the way we do it here, it is the computer, if you have a problem call your travel agent. It is to cover airport taxes, child charges and more".

In response to being told by me "this is a terrible customer experience. Why do you constantly do this - charge customers money for pre-paid booking after they have consumed the service and after they have left the country", the Budget agent in Nelson said "I have to go now and service another customer". In other words, "Gotcha!". Shame on Budget and the whole car hire industry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

1st Rule.
Always ask them to provide a signed authorisation.

2nd Rule.
Same thing happened in Melbourne, so i went in and settled in cash. THen asked them to tear up Credit card voucher.

3rd Rule.
Get a debit crd with limited spend amounts and top up Just enough for such expences.

We go the way Euro Airlines have been forced by the EU. 1 price all in.