Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Rental Car Scam..

When we got to Arizona to get the rental car, Budget, we had reserved an economy car. Knowing a bit about how often they give upgrades, and with 2 of us, I'd never get anything but the cheapo. So, we get to the rental counter and a guy about 30 years old is the rental agent.

Agent: "Oh, I see you have a economy car rented. That's a Chevy Aveo today."
Me: "Okay"
Agent: "Are you sure you don't want something more? I mean, have you ever seen an Aveo, it's really small 2 door."
Me: "Nope, that's fine, we like small cars." (I say this knowing a lot about the rental car business, they generally don't order up too many small cars for rentals. And I'm a bit surprised they'd have a small 2 door that wasn't a sports car.)
Agent: "Well, it has crank windows, and it's manual door locks. An upgrade isn't much more."
Me: "That's okay, we need some excercise. You don't know what we're driving at home, crank windows that actually work might be an upgrade." (At this point, I know he's got some kind a scam brewing - like he gets a bonus if he talks us up into something more expensive. Knowing a lot about auto, I happen to know, that the Aveo is a pretty loaded up base-vehicle, and I believe, pretty much no manufacturer even makes crank windows or manual door locks for the US market anymore, since the complexity of the labor, costs a lot more than offering more expensive options)
Agent: "Are you sure? I mean, this thing is a piece of junk."
Me: "It has Air conditioning, right?"
Agent: "Well, it does, but when I was in it, it took 10 minutes for it to come on, and it hardly worked."
Me: (Smiling) "Well, if the air conditioning doesn't work, then I'll just bring it back."
Agent: (Angrily)- "okay, here's your keys it's in spot H13"

We walk to spot H13 in the rental garage,'s a fully loaded Ford Fusion. Yep, in fact, there are 100 Budget cars in the lot and the lowest level is a Pontiac G6, there are ZERO Chevy Aveo's, anywhere in the garage. So, basically, this guy knew we werent' getting an Aveo right out of the gate, and tried to screw us into paying more for the same car.

Lesson: It pays to be cheap....... and stubborn.


  1. WOW. I will keep that in mind! Sneaky little b*stard!!

  2. That is awful! Can't believe just how much he was pushing the lie, but I LOVE how steady you stayed "well then I'll just bring it back." LOL

  3. ah yes, I see Dad raised you well. Don't spend money on something you don't need