CLEVELAND — Sharon McCue of Cleveland just can't seem to unravel the growing mystery surrounding a Toyota Camry she rented from the Budget Rent-a-Car location near Hopkins International Airport back on March 12.
Budget has now sent McCue a $180 speeding ticket issued by Newburgh Heights police on April 14. The problem is McCue has the receipts to prove she returned the car to Budget on March 18, a month earlier, so she couldn't have been behind the wheel.
The Newburgh Heights ticket showed the Camry on speed camera video heading westbound on Harvard Avenue at East 58 Street, ticketed for doing 37 in a 25 MPH zone. Budget then forwarded the ticket to McCue, creating just another frustrating chapter to a missing car mystery that has been going on for more than three months.
"This was a terrible, terrible experience and it’s getting worse by the day, it’s turning out to be a nightmare," McCue said. "You couldn’t even imagine, it’s making me sick, I mean it’s making me physical ill."
Back in April, McCue contacted News 5 after Budget Rent-a-Car sent McCue a notice in the mail that the Camry she rented a month earlier had not been returned.
She also received multiple calls and voicemail messages from the Budget loss prevention office claiming she once again rented the $25,000 vehicle a day later, and that the car had not been returned and was missing.
To make matters worse, McCue reported Budget then rang-up more than $5,000 in charges on her credit card for rental time on the car she never used, and told News 5 she was never given any billing on the charges.
“I received nothing, no kind of billing, no type of itemization for what these charges are for," said McCue. “I can’t even explain how upset I was.”
McCue said she called Budget numerous times to solve the issue but with no results. So, News 5 contacted Budget Rent-a-Car Headquarters and it quickly responded and issued the following statement:
"Following an initial review of events, we have apologized and refunded Mrs. McCue the additional charges. We are carrying out further internal investigations to ensure this doesn't happen again."
But McCue told News 5 the charges on her credit card have still not been removed, and now she's facing a speeding ticket on a rental vehicle even Budget confirms was returned weeks earlier.
News 5 again contacted Budget headquarters, and News 5 learned the credit to Mrs. McCue's credit card will post in the coming days. Newburgh Heights police confirmed the speeding ticket has now been paid by the company.
However, the company would not give us any information on who may have been behind the wheel of the missing Camry, when it was caught speeding in Newburgh Heights. News 5 is still waiting for an official statement from the company.
Meanwhile, McCue again had a warning and advice for consumers who are using a credit or debit car when renting a vehicle.
“I would absolutely highly urge people to definitely put an alert with their credit card company or their debt card if you’re renting a rental car," McCue said. "I actually missed a couple days of work going down to the Cleveland Hopkins Airport trying to resolve this matter."