Today I had the uneviable experience of hiring a ute from Bunnings for the very first and the very last time.
We purchased around $300 of items from our local Bunnings only to find that we were charged $10 more each for 3 items than the displayed price showed, but after my wife took a photo of the displayed price and showed it to them, they refunded the $30 rip-off.
When we loaded the items into our vehicle, we had to put the front seats so far forward that it was unsafe to drive so I went back into the store to hire a ute and asked a person for the details of doing so.
She said that it was $25 for 1 hour or $35 for 2 hours, 28 cents a km for mileage and I had to refill it with fuel so I said I would go ahead with hiring one as I expected to pay around $30 plus refuelling.
Whilst filling in all the paperwork, she asked me if I wanted to reduce the insurance excess, which was the first mention of insurance, and I asked her for the details to which she said that the standard excess was $4,500 but I could reduce it to $1,000 for 39 cents, which seemed like a good deal so I said yes.
She also said that the hire time starts from when the paperwork is completed and there is a late fee, and when I asked her how much, she said it was $35.
The hire process took around 30 minutes from startng to finally getting the keys.
We transferred our items into the ute, drove home, unloaded them, drove to our local United and filled the ute with $2.16 of U91, and returned to Bunnings.
During this time, my wife noticed that the specified return time was 2:42 PM but the transaction time on the Bunnings tax invoice was 2:55 PM, some 13 minutes later and still before I had the keys so effectively a quarter of the rental time had already expired.
After waiting around 10 minutes to be served at the Trade Desk, the girl was not there and I spoke with a different person who I pointed out the time discrepancies to and I said to him it was a scam.
When he had finally finished going out to inspect the vehicle and fiddling around with the paperwork, he put the credit through for only $198.05 against ny payment of $262.00, over double what I was expecting.
When I queried it, he claimed it was the insurance which was 39 cents per km and I replied that the mileage and insurance was actually almost 70 cents per km, to which he then said that the insurance was actually $39 for the hire period.
When I said that the girl had told me that it was only 39 cents total, he tried to claim he overheard the girl tell me $39.
.He is a liar or a fool, or both.
The return process took over 20 minutes so the time spent in hiring and returning the ute was around the same time that we actually used it for.
The completed tax invoice lists 20km travelled with 15km included and the extra 5km at 39 cents per km.
The original tax invoice lists the excess reduction charge as $37.and also states that overdue or late returns will be charged at $25 per hour, not the $35 the girl stated.
$37 to reduce an excess for a 1 hour hire is blantant thievery.
The only number that these fools managed to actually get correct was the $25 for a 1 hour hire,
The ute was a 2WD Hilux with a filthy windscreen and the driver’s door arm rest was completely covered in grime. So much for Bunnings carrying on about Covid Safe.
To add insult to injury, it was the most uncomfortable vehicle I have ever driven in over 50 years.