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Watch out for Budget Rentacar in Ireland!

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Watch out for Budget Rentacar in Ireland! I just returned from a wonderful trip to Ireland, marred only by my unsatisfactory experience with Budget.

I had done my homework, or at least I thought I had. I took my World Mastercard. I understood that despite my letter from MC saying I was covered, they would charge me an additional 25 euros for the privilege of declining their overpriced CDW. I also understood that they would charge my credit card upfront 2000 euros, which would be refunded when I returned the car in fine shape.

What they don't tell you, until you read the very fine print at the bottom of their contract, is that they'll charge you the deposit in your local currency. They use an exchange rate of their choosing. Interestingly, they return your deposit in euros, not your local currency.

So they made about 5 cents per euro by using an unfair exchange rate. In my case, they actually got over $100 from me that they didn't earn. Their answer to my protests? "The rate of exchange is controlled by the government and the banking system, not Budget."

It's true that the OFFICIAL exchange rate is not controlled by Budget, but the rate they USE is controlled by Budget, and it wasn't even close to the official rate being used on the day of my rental.

Don't expect help from Budget in the US - they simply referred by complaints to Budget Ireland. I won't be using Budget again, in Ireland or anywhere else in the world.

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