RentalCars.com confirmed my rate included all fees, but Budget disagreed

When William Shallcross rents a car from rentalcars.com, the confirmation shows that all taxes and fees are included in the price. But when he picks up the car, he’s charged the taxes and fees again. Our advocates sort through the rental runaround.

Question: I booked a Budget rental car through rentalcars.com. I selected the reservation by comparison shopping on several search engines.

The reservation clearly stated there would be no taxes and fees (I assumed they were in the base price). Budget charged me taxes and fees. Rentalcars.com told me they have no liability and to contact Budget. Budget told me they are entitled to collect the taxes and fees.

Can you get my money back from rentalcars.com or expose these twin very bad business practices: The erroneous quote and the eschewing of liability. — William Shallcross, Altamonte Springs, Fla.

Answer: I’m so sorry to hear about your frustration with rentalcars.com and Budget Rent A Car. It would have irritated me if the same thing happened with one of my rentals.

You had proof of your claim with the written confirmation you received from rentalcars.com, so what happened? Part of the problem might be that you rented from Budget, but through a third-party travel site. Rentalcars.com was the middle man, and it was responsible for confirming the correct amount of your rental. And Budget dropped the ball by not charging you the correct amount at the pickup time.

You reached out to Budget customer service and received a terse response, stating you were charged the correct amount and denying your claim. You may have had better luck by contacting an executive at rentalcars.com’s parent company, Priceline, or at Budget’s parent company, Avis. We list executive contact information for both Priceline and Avis Budget Group on our website.

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Instead, you contacted our advocates, who reached out to representatives at Priceline on your behalf, since it was the one who confirmed the rate (which included taxes and fees) to begin with.

When a rentalcars.com representative did not get in touch with you, our advocate, Dwayne Coward, contacted the company again. Finally, a representative reached out to you, agreeing that the charge at the time of rental was an error.

Rentalcars.com refunded the $74 you had overpaid.

Mark Pokedoff

Four-time Emmy-award-winning television sports production specialist and frequent traveler. Longtime freelance writer and travel blog enthusiast. Proud papa of four amazing kids who have been upgraded to first class more than all their friends combined. Read more of Mark's articles here.

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