Car rental price dispute

Published: Updated:

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Carole Schieszler says she got a good deal on a car rental during a recent trip to Houston.

“I think it turned out to be $54.99 plus a few taxes per day which when I was looking, that was pretty reasonable,” she said.

But when Schieszler’s trip needed to be extended by two days, she called Budget rental and asked how much it would cost her to keep her car.

“I said what would the penalties be if I should keep the car longer… [the Budget representative] said, ‘oh well you will pay a ten dollar extension fee and of course plus the additional days that you stay,’ ” she recalled.

Thinking that was too good of a deal to be true, she asked the Budget representative again.

“I said really? Ten dollars plus my additional days? And he said yes,” Schieszler told WINK.

But fast forward to when Schieszler got back home to Fort Myers–

“I looked at my receipt and instead of $387 they charged me $1,310…. I was like, hyperventilating,” she explained.

Turns out, her original rate of $54.99 a day was only good for five days. When she went past that, her contract price went out the window and a more expensive price kicked in, retroactively.

“If anyone at Budget had ever said to me well you’re going to have to pay $185 dollars a day from day one, I’d have driven the car back to the airport, turned it in and rented another one,” Schieszler explained.

Just when she thought all hope was lost, her husband had an idea.

“I’m complaining to my husband and he says, ‘you need to go to Call for Action News’ and I said good idea,” she said.

Our Call for Action volunteers called Budget and eight days later, Schieszler finally got her money back.

“I get an answering message from the corporate office… telling me that they were very sorry that this young man had given me the wrong information,” said Schieszler.

A spokeswoman for Avis-Budget sent this statement to WINK News Call for Action:

“The managers at our Houston/Hobby location will be reviewing procedures with staff to ensure they accurately adjust customer rentals.”

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