As a contributor to tripadvisor I wanted to give you a warning on the Budget Car Rental Service at Santo Domingo Airport
I travelled in October 2012, and have driven in many countries but this has to be by far the worst experience I've had with car rental.
Generally, I'm pretty brand loyal on car rental, so have been using Budget for years. However, they've lost my future trade.
I booked a 5 car mid sized car hire at a tune of $155 inc tax which isn't bad. I forget to add the GPS on my initial booking so add another $60.00 for that... Ok sounds good so far.. Roll on October 1st
I go to check in for the car and told by the agent I have to have insurance, I declined, I argued, I said call your boss but I got no where... I knew he was lying to me because the forms has decline option on them.... He just kept repeating how can you afford the car if it was damaged, needless to say after flying from Chicago to Panama and then Panama to Santo Domingo I didn't have time for this jump star so wrote the specific word on the carbon copy "Joan said I had to have insurance, I declined". I made sure I kept my copy... Fast Forward 5 days and I return the car, first they try the car is missing a centre for the hub caps... thankfully that worked out when the maintenance man said that car model didn't have them. My final bill arrives at nearly $400.00. So my rental has gone from $155.00 to $400.00.
I complained to Budget via there www.budget.com website on the 2nd day of my vacation, when I could get Wifi and basically I may as well have not bothered...
1. it took 15 days to get a response, which is too late because I turned from my vacation
2. refuted my claim saying I signed the agreement - dispute me telling them get the carbon copy and it will show everything they need to know.
I refuted it with them and sent them my copy with the wording clearly show and then they just sent me a scanned copy of theirs (conveniently with that part chopped off) - seriously a multi national copy tried to lie and cheat there way out of it... In the end they even had the cheek to say my dispute is not with budget.com but budget central America and they will deal with it....
Budget Central America offered me a 1/2 day car rental when I return next to Central America.... What a joke. What a bunch of liars and the worst customer experience ever.
Despite the bad experience, some good did come of this, my credit card company (to be nameless because of the posting rules) were very helpful, they listened to me, sent me a form, I sent them my documentation and yesterday I see they've refunded the disputed amount to my account.
I'll be following up with budget.com head quarters to give them this example of service and how they've lost a valued customer.
I hope this information is of help to others.
For those that would like more information, or proof, I have all the documentation to support they content above.