Sunday, August 18, 2013

Travelogue Day 1: Beware of Budget Rent-A-Car

Greetings from Boston's South Shore, where the nights are freezing in August and the air is salty.

Smooth ride from DC to Boston. JetBlue. One hour. Piece of cake.

But then, only then, the hell unleashed.

Prepaid a car through USAA with Budget.

Oh, if I only had a time machine.

There was a line out the door. Fifty people waiting. Twenty crying children. The bathroom looked worse then once upon a time at a border crossings between Serbia and Macedonia. Dirty, toilet paper only on the floor.

The Budget employees move around at glacial speed. One of them takes a break. The other one asks him"what did you get?" He answers "sea food." He leaves now 60 people in line with only one person working. 30 screaming children.

Tiny little socialist looking room is sweaty, musky.

I intercept an employee to complain. "Everyone available is working," he "ma'am's me.

People are nervous, the employees are laughing to each other, they tell customers not to complaint otherwise it will take "longer."

I call the Budget's office in some God forsaken village near Tulsa, OK.
In a redneck accent he says:"I can't help you ma'am. I'm not there."
I ask for the manager. He can "write it up," but he can't do anything about it either. The Logan Budget manager has left.

Finally I get to the counter after an hour of heartburn. I give her a prepaid confirmation. He disregards it and finds another person's reservation and charges me for that one.
I say no. I already paid.
She doesn't understand what I'm saying. I try again. Nothing.
I say until the 23rd. She says the computer says until the 25th. I show my confirmation. She still doesn't get it.
My husband is about to lose it. He asks what circle is this?
I'm glad I don't carry a gun.

She finally asks for help, and finally gets that she was looking at someone else's reservation. An hour and a half. No apology. Doesn't know how to say thank you or welcome.

She gives us a car with a wrong name on the rental agreement.

We speed away.

Life is too short.

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