A Moose Jaw, Sask., man says he feels “sort of cheated” after his family became overdue from vacation by several days following an “unreal” customer experience with Budget Rent a Car.
Michael Weber says he rented a car from the company’s Moose Jaw location for a family trip to British Columbia.
On Sunday, Weber discovered the car had been stolen from a residential area in Surrey, B.C., where he, his wife and two young children were staying. He says he misplaced the fob needed to start the car.
When Weber initially phoned Budget to tell them about the stolen car, “They told me that they couldn’t do anything for me, that I would have to pay out of pocket to rent a new car,” he said.
But he said that when he called four different Budget offices in B.C. earlier in the week, none of them said they had a car available for him. Ditto other rental companies.
“I just want to get my kids home,” he said over the phone from Surrey on Wednesday, adding that his wife, a nurse, had been due back at work Monday.
“A multinational company like that, you’d think that they would have the inventory and the technology to get a person a car. They have my credit card number and everything and I’m offering to pay up front.”
CBC News reached out for comment from Budget days ago and has been unable to get in touch with anyone.
‘Like a waste of skin’
Weber’s car insurance package with Saskatchewan Government Insurance covers him for theft. That same plan will also pay for his family to fly to Regina from Abbotsford, B.C., for $1,600 on Friday.
Weber said he didn’t opt for the extra car insurance offered by Budget because he assumed he didn’t need it given his existing SGI plan.
“Would the story have changed if I had the extra insurance? Are they treating me like a waste of skin just because I didn’t buy that extra insurance?” he said.
Karen Smith thinks that could have been the case.
“I’m not promoting picking up the insurance policy from the car rental agency at all,” said Smith, the CEO of Saskatchewan’s Better Business Bureau. “But … it does make it seamless, and there is more responsibility because they’re also carrying the insurance policy.
“They’re more likely to help you or to go out of their way to help you.”
‘Make sure you’re educated’
Still, Smith said that when Weber called Budget to ask for another car, the company should have treated him just like any other…