Shortly after I posted my experience at Budget Rent A Car in Sebring, Florida, I received an e-mail from Howard Moldan, the Territory Performance Manager for SW Florida. He wanted to discuss the issues we had with Budget. I hesitated at first, because like I said, we walked away from the situation with a car–and upgrade no less. But I did call him back.
Mr. Moldan assured me, first and foremost, that everyone who had a reservation with Budget at the Sebring location did get a car that day, so no worries there. I’m glad for that. Not having a car when you rented one would be a real bummer.
Apparently that Seinfeld episode that I referenced in the previous post is something that comes up at rental car meetings frequently, so, my bringing it up just made Mr. Moldan cringe and he wanted to explain a little more about the car rental business to me.
He said the location we visited had been open for about a year, but was scheduled to close. It just wasn’t working out. The location is more than an hour and a half from any other Budget locations, so moving cars back and forth as needed to customers was a challenge. He said while everyone may not have gotten the exact car they request, like in our case, they did get o ne.
Like the Budget agent at the store, Mr. Moldan apologized for the unclean car and said that should have been taken care of.
It was, Mr. Moldan, when my dad hand-washed it my parents’ yard. Oh, and I left the cups in the backseat of the car for the next person. I hope they find my post and we can talk more about the traveling cups. We put more than 1,000 miles on the car, those cups really got around.
I was glad Mr. Moldan contacted me. I wanted to assure him that we weren’t bitter about the situation, just confused. I even agreed to read his wife’s blog, though I haven’t heard from her yet.
Now, returning the car at the airport in Fort Meyers was another story. No one seemed to know where it needed to go: Avis or Budget, Budget or Avis. My dad got his workout in trying to get the car back so that we could get through security. He said he walked the length of the parking deck twice being told both times he was in the wrong place. Maybe we didn’t have to return the car after all?
I think maybe Budget and Avis are merging. Or maybe they are already one in the same already. Maybe the relationship is new, which is why there are issues. I don’t know. I can’t speak for the company, but with all the hassles, it’s hard to say whether or not we would rent from them again. The problem is that they appear to be the cheapest right now. They were when we went on our cruise and they were for this trip. However, my dad swears Enterprise was cheaper last year. Maybe things fluctuate.
Or maybe you get what you pay for.