So we rented a car to do some running around, this 4th of July week, to save on mileage. We rented from Budget Rent-A-Car, whom I've rented from before, pre-COVID.
I rented a "mid-size SUV, Mazda CX-5 or similar, fits 5 people," which looks like this ...
Instead, we got this little roller skate - a Buick Encore ...
Cute, but it only fits 4 people, with no luggage space.
Me: "Okay, so ... our reservation says, right here, "Mid-size SUV, Mazda CX-5 or similar, fits 5 people. The Buick Encore is a subcompact SUV."
Ticket counter Agent: "Yeah, that's what Budget calls a mid-size SUV."
Me: "Okay, question - what SUV is smaller than a Buick Encore? Everyone else, including Ford themselves, calls it their subcompact SUV."
Ticket Counter Agent: "Nothing is smaller, but that's what car-rental companies consider a mid-size SUV."
Me: "But ... the name "mid-size" implies there are smaller SUVs - but as you just agreed, nothing is smaller than a Buick Encore. And it doesn't fit five people. "
Ticket Counter Agent: "Technically, it does, but ..."
Me: "A 2-year-old in a really skinny car seat?" lol
Ticket Counter Agent: "Lol, true. "
Me: "Okay, so I know you don't make the policies, but anything we can do about that? It's not as advertised."
Ticket Counter Agent: "Nope, sorry. I just work here. Rental car companies call sizes differently than the car companies.
Me: "That's funny, they didn't use to, before COVID. Nice little scam they've got going, way to unnecessarily stick it to people during inflation and COVID. Okay, I guess we'll need an upgrade then."
I had to shush my husband, who was about to blow a gasket, so as not to get extra charges when we brought it back.
Though wrong, I'm not about to act like a Karen, so I just upgraded to a Ford Edge, which is a true, mid-size SUV, for $35 a day more, which is what they are hoping you'll do.
I have never in my life had any problems with renting cars before, this is pure exploitation with COVID and inflation.
So just be forewarned ...