Report Filed: Avis/Budget car rental Palermo, Italy Jacked up price from $225 to $1600!!
We prearranged a rental at Catania to use to get over to Palermo for a family visit after a Rick Steve’s tour. The office was closed, someone finally showed up, said they did not have the car we wanted, but could rent us a bigger one for the same price. we wanted to get on the road so said ok. The car was a 7 passenger van parked nose in to the wall. We packed up and left for Palermo. We took all interstates with a brief stop at a beach town. we moved into our rental villa, and drove over to the family home. They were on a narrow one-way street in the city. We spoke with them about the difficulty of our getting in and out of here so our son-in-law said we could leave our car at our rental and he would drive for us. Other than a quick grocery store run and a visit to the mall, the car was parked. When it was time to leave our son-in-law led the way to the airport. We dropped off the car. Within minutes an assistant came into the office claiming we had damaged the car. I said impossible, it was parked. He bent over on his hands and knees and pointed out a long scratch under the bumper running parallel to its length. There is no way that could have happened driving. I suspect he did it. At the office, our $225 charge had suddenly become $1,600. There were people waiting and we had a plane to catch. I told him we would take care of it when we were in New York. The next day I checked my bank and they had already taken $1,019 and had an additional $665 pending. I had our bank refuse the pending charge and cancel our account. I have written letters to Budget, Expedia, AAA, and Gardia di Finanze in Italy. I may never get our thousand dollars back but I plan to blitz every website I can find to share this experience.