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Budget Truck Rental April 14, 2010

Posted by shwaldman in Society, Technology.
Tags: , , , ,

This post is a couple of weeks overdue. But let me summarize my entire experience. First, we needed to get a smaller truck to rent for a one way move. I did some searching and comparison shopping. I found that with coupons and discounts, the two major players were Penske and Budget. And the cost ranged from $525-800. Since we were trying to keep cost to minimum, that became a driving factor in the decision. We have had Penske trucks in the past and had positive experiences, but the price difference made me switch to Budget.

We locked into the pick up location close to the first place we needed to pick up a few pieces of furniture. But we waffled on the drop off location, about 600 miles away. Should it be near the apartment or near the rental car location? We decided on the later, since we would just keep the truck until we were ready to get the car… The Budget rental agreement had the drop off go out until Wednesday even though we only needed it until Monday, so timing was not important in that respect. The problem I had with changing the drop off was that even though I called 3-4 times to change it, each time the confirmation emails displayed the original drop off. Even when I asked the customer service representative to send me a new email… well, I did not actually get one. That turned out to be annoying and disconcerting, but not cause any problems.

So the time came to pick up the truck. I scheduled it for 9am so we could get an early start and have the afternoon a little free. We arrived at the pick up location on time, but found three other renters had selected the same time and we had to wait. It took nearly 45 minutes before we got into the truck. Again, annoying, but this was no one’s fault.

Once in the truck, I realized it was filthy. There was dried dirt/mud all over the rubber flooring. The dashboard had a solid coating of dust and whatever else accumulates for the months or years of not being cleaning. I probably would not care if this was a local move and we just had to deal with it for a few hours. But to sit in this truck for 10 hours… yuck! Also, my brother in law who was helping load a few things into the truck noticed that the right front tire was balding. This was a little more concerning, but I didn’t think to do anything about it since I figured the very busy rental shop owner was not going to do anything anyway. It turned out that this issue would make for an interesting drive as it rained the entire way, sometimes hard. I really wish we had four good tires!

So, we loaded up the truck for a couple of hours on Saturday. It turned out to be the perfect size truck. I always feel a little angst when getting a truck until everything is in. Afterward, I grabbed a couple of rags and some hot water and Pine Sol and my 2 year old and I went to work on the cabin area. I spent 30-45 minutes turned the clean bucket of water into a thick muddy mess. But it was so worth it.

The next morning we got on the road mid-morning. There was a little drizzle and that continued the rest of the day. Despite trying to outrun the storms, each time we stopped the rain caught up and it actually rained a little harder. By the time we got to our destination, it was raining pretty hard..not so good for that bad tire. I definitely felt it lose traction a few times. But other than that, the drive was uneventful – we got about 10-MPG – yuck!

We parked the truck and let it sit overnight while we got some rest in the hotel bedroom. In the morning, we got up, got some breakfast and headed down to the apartment. Kim had arranged to have a couple co-workers help with the larger items for 30 minutes or so, but the complex would not let us use the freight elevator until 9am. When opened up the back of the truck to start taking a few of the smaller things up, we found that the back door/roof had leaked. Water had dripped down the back and side walls causing some minor water damage to the couch and a night stand. It appeared that some other areas of the truck were wet too, but I could not find any other major issues.

I immediately called the Customer Service department and was forwarded to the claims department. It was nearly 9am, so I would have expected to reach someone. But I stayed on hold for 15 minutes and the co-workers showed up. It was not worth the time to deal with that right then. So, we got to work… well, we moved stuff out of the truck until the freight elevator was apparently unstuck and made available to us… at about 9:20am. Once we had it we cranked through getting the entire truck moved up to the tenth floor. That was the only thing that went real well.

Skip ahead to truck return time. On our way to the drop off location, I filled it up and topped it off as much as I safely could. We then drove a few miles down the road to the car return location where I dropped off Kim and then I head back to the truck drop off. It was about 3pm, so I certainly expect someone to be there, but only the storage unit person was there. Fortunately, they were willing to take the keys and we left the truck in the back of the building. Done!

Well, that is until Kim checked out credit card bill a few days later. In addition to the expected charge (with taxes, insurance all the fees) of $720, there was a second charge of nearly $40. When I called to find out why, I found out they had to put one gallon in at $4.00/gallon and charge us a refueling charge of $35. Ridiculous! Of course, because I called and questioned it, they refunded the charge. Thinking back… if I drive a 10MPG truck about 10 miles to return it, yea I probably used one gallon, but to charge me $40… RIDICULOUS!

So, my final feedback – I will never rent from Budget Truck again. Enough said.



1. Tweets that mention Budget Truck Rental « Some Waldman’s Blog – Finding Balance in the Flood of Information -- Topsy.com - April 28, 2010

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Scott Waldman. Scott Waldman said: Budget Truck Rental: http://wp.me/phONP-gF […]

2. truck rental - May 6, 2010

not all cheap moving truck rentals would give you the satisfaction you are looking for, most of the services are given on the lowest basis just because you are trying to get it cheap. being cheap is good but make sure that you have all you need.

3. truck hire - January 18, 2011

Hey!!! This is such an informative and useful blog as I got the solution of my problem. Actually I was also keen to search for the vehicle on rent to deliver goods and other things from one place to another at the reasonable budget.

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