Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Customer Un-Service

Budget Rent a Car Topping Off Some Bills With Fuel Charge by Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post:

To help offset gasoline prices, Budget Rent a Car is imposing an additional $9.50 charge on all vehicles driven fewer than 75 miles.
"This is a convenience and time-saver for our customers," said Susan McGowan, a spokeswoman for Cendant Corp., Budget's parent company. "This is being done to recoup the cost of lost fuel."
"It ticked me off that after I told them I bought the gas, [the fee] still showed up. I had to go in and show them the receipt and everything," he said.

Does anyone believe the Cendant spokesperson? Given that they say make sure obviously self serving false statements why would any customer believe Cendant is interested in anything but tricking customers out of money? This type of behavior in my experience shows exactly why customers feel like they are being hustled by most large companies.

I would imagine all customers realize if a company wants to offer convenience to customers they don't impose mandatory fees then require customers jump through silly hoops to get there money back. Obviously imposing mandatory fees is done to take money from customers they would not chose to give you if you offered the "service."

It is so frustrating that companies behave like this, so much more often than in a honest open way.

Does anyone doubt that what most customers would like it for you to return the car and be charge the wholesale gas rate for any gas that must be added to the tank. The rental fee can include the time this takes just like it includes the cost of washing the car. Companies providing this un-service don't deserve to be in business. I just expect rental companies to try to rip me off every time I deal with them.