To all our readers, colleagues, friends, law makers and honest people all around the world.

For the first time in over 22 years,  I'm Asking for Help! Please read my letter to Budget / Avis Rent A Car, and join me by showing your support in the fight against injustice. Please read my review on YELP, and show your support by writing your comments here or on Yelp!

Please help me spread the word using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, e-mails etc. We must unite together, and demand our politician and law makers to legislate new laws that will protect us from companies like Budget and Avis. We must stop them from taking advantage of loop holes in the banking system. We must stop them from abusing innocent citizen and from stealing our money!

Here is my story:

On June 22, 2012, I rented an economy car from Budget Rent A Car at 214 North Clark St. in Chicago, for the cost of $193.99 per week, to be returned to the same location on Friday, June 29, 2012. 

Sharon, the sale person on site assured me that I will not have any problems if I decide to extend the rental lease for a month. All I had to do is to call the 24-hour number listed on the papers she gave me. We established the cost of $600.00 per month  during our conversation.

On 6/29/12 at 4:40 p.m., I called the number listed on rental papers I got from Sharon. To my surprise I reached the office of Avis Rent A Car, and not Budget.  Later on, I learned that Avis and Budget are owned by the same company –– the Avis Budget Group.

A woman named Frieda answered the phone. She couldn't find my reservation or information in their system, and I found this to be odd.  A few minutes later her colleague Mary was able to find my information. STRANGE!

All I wanted to do is to extend my rental lease to a month, and to return the rental car back on July 21, 2012, to the same office on Clark Street. Instead, Mary tried to sell me a new deal, and was not interested in extending my rental agreement, because she couldn't get commission on the existing car rental lease.  From a $1,200 deal she went down to a $800 deal per month, but I was not interested in buying, I was only trying to extend my agreement and deal Sharon who I met first at the rental office on Clark Street. If you do the math you will know that $193.99 multiplied by four (weeks) is less than $800.


I had to cut this conversation short because I lost my trust in Mary.  I Ended our conversation by telling Mary that I will finalize everything with Sharon on the day I will return the rental car, Saturday, July 21, 2012. All Mary had to do to remedy this situation was to extend the existing lease into Budget's computer system. Guess what, she never did!  She deliberately did NOT DO HER JOB!

On Friday, July 17, 2012, at about 9:15 a.m., my front door buzzer rang. Two men identified themselves as Avis/Budget security employees who were there to repossess the rental car and the car keys. 

I was shocked and surprised. I called Budget to find out what was going on, by 
dialing 866-996-6784, the number I got from the security guys. 

Ms. Johnson, who answered the phone was unprofessional and rude. She treated me as a thief and criminal, something I did not deserved. 

She claimed that Budget sent me emails and called my office number. Unfortunately, the person who emailed these letters used a different email address not mine. This wrong email is listed on the Order of Recovery that was given to me by the security guy; this piece of paper was my proof of returning the vehicle and the keys back to Budget. Don, one of the security men  was the one who approved, confirmed  and signed this paper which I kept. Ms Johnson refused to give me any explanation to why the information wasn't in the computer system.  She was only interested in getting the vehicle and the keys back, which I returned voluntary.

To date, I never got any call from Budget. They must have called someone else just like they did with their emails.  All my incoming messages are recorded, and sent to me as an email that includes the telephone number of the person or company who made the call to me. It also includes the date, time, and the message they leave for me.

I never stole any car in my life. A car thief will always hide the car he stills,  and definitely will not park it in front of his home, The security guys volunteered to explain this to me, ans you should have known that I parked the car in front of my home. 

On Sunday, June 24, 2012,  I reported to my bank the credit card I gave to Budget on June 22, 2012, as a stolen card.  My bank Chase issued me a new credit card which arrived 10 days later. All payments transactions were to be canceled,  and not to be processed on this credit card number effective immediately. 

On July 25, 2012, Budget processed and took out $1706.78 from my bank account, and few days ago, on August 24, 2012, Budget took out additional $26.65 using my old stolen card information, and processed a transaction without my authorization and without having my signature on any of the receipts they processed. This is stealing, Budget stole money from my account, and  caused me major financial problems.

Recently, I have discovered disturbing information about the way credit cards payment procedures are done at any bank, and how companies like Budget get their money.

I was told by a bank manager that BANKS NEVER CHECK the credit card receipts. BANKS NEVER CHECK FOR SIGNATURES or TOTALSBanks put through the AMOUNT vendors (in this case Budget) claim to be. This amount can be different from what I (or anyone) agreed to pay.  Why banks trust their vendors and what make them believe their vendors will be honest? We all need to answers for that question.

WITH CLEAR KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING  and FULL CONSCIOUS, Budget Rent A Car submitted false information to my bank. They LIED about everything: the amounts, dates, and took advantage of these procedures and loop holes. Budget did all of that thinking they can get away with it. But I advise Budget to think again, THIS  IS ILLEGAL!  I will make sure Budget will pay for their unconstitutional action.

Budget messed up my financials, caused me problems, and made me loose valuable hours of working time. I still deal with unnecessary stress, anxiety, migraines, and restless sleepless nights. I have been penalized for overdraft and for non-available funds in the total amount of $127.  To date, a total of $1860.43 was taken illegally from my account by Budget Rent A Car and Chase bank who allowed this to happen.


I ONLY allowed Budget to hole a total of $310.68  and not a penny more until the day I would return their car back.  I have a copy of this agreement, and it has my signature on it. I never approved or agreed to pay any other amount, definitely not $1733.34.  I never got any explanation how Budget got this total.

Just to proof my position I visited Budget's website on August 27, 2012. This are the quotes on 5 different rental cars.

1.  The cost for economy 2 or 4 door is only $596.69 per month.

2.  The cost for compact 2 or 4 door is only $614.69 per month.

3.  The cost for intermediate 2 or 4 door is only  $629.99 per month.

4.  The cost  for standard 2 or 4 door is only $659.69  per month.
5.  The cost for a full size 2 or 4 door is only $685.79 per month.

None of these prices add up to $1733.34 isn't that strange?... 

Budget did this because most people DON'T KNOW THEIR RIGHTS, and that it is illegal to do this. Also, most people will not fight  back, and Budget always counts on that. 


I want everyone to know what Budget is really is all about.
DON'T EVER  RENT A CAR FROM BUDGET, and STOP BANKING CHASE ––they don't stand by their service or by their words!

I'm not afraid, and will not hesitate to file a law suit against Budget and Chase Bank, demanding to be compensated for the trouble and stress they caused me! I demand an apology in writing, and immediate release of my money for violating my rights and banking security laws that are supposed to protect us.

I will use all my media connections, my friends, family, colleagues, my huge email blast  lists, my website, and social media tools TO HELP ME fight Budget and Chase. Please help me share my story with as many people as possible all around the globe.

I want my message  to be Strong, Loud and Clear, and I want Budget and others to know that they can NEVER do this to any person ever again!

I will not give up until JUSTICE will prevail, SO HELP ME GOD!

P.S. I found a similar horror story like mine on Budget's Corporate Office Comments website.
My first impression on 07/06/2012 was A+ for Budget. The Customer Service Reps were on pointe. Was told everything I thought I needed to know, and thought I provided the same.
Reserved a truck based on the availability of continious rental. Told what I needed to do to maintain that agreement.
Well, on 08/07/2012 I get a call from Ryan saying the truck needed to be returned. The truck was out. I explained what my original agreement was. Told it didn't matter, he is over the truck department.
Then told the truck needed to be back 08/08/2012 am because it was pass due after 08/06/2012 and was paid up to that date.
Rick, Ryan's manager calls and now threatens if we don't bring it now or 6pm we will never rent a truck anywhere. I told him the truck was out of town just to get off the phone. I don't go into battle I provide Customer Service. The conversation had become unprofessional.
Apparently we both had started to lie. Not Good! I am up to date, I paid 3wks 1685 on 07/27/2012, which was $715deposit, 07/13,$451, 07/20 $519. Told they collect the full 3wks which ended on 07/27. Had drafts $197,$98,$98. which disappeared. Then on 08/06/2012 $519 withdrawn.
We have done nothing but be a great customers and referals. We said what we needed, CS provided and now I am dealing with what only God will fix. Please get this email to the area manager Francis Williams. Thanks I AM THAT I AM INC patricia. I have total respect for the name I represent. 678-823-3272
I AM THAT I AM INC 8/8/12 1:36PM

To all our readers,

At the end of June this year, I received an email from Mike Claffey at The Illinois Office of Communication and Information. Mike was hoping to see his email ––a joint letter from HUD and IDHR published.
Because of my hectic work schedule during Gay Pride and the pressure of putting together the Market Days issue, I forgot to honor Mike's request. As I came across his email again an hour ago I have decided to publish late, rather than not at all. 

P.S. The Market Days Issue will be out next week on Thursday, August 9, 2012, but you can enjoy reading the articles, here on on Happy (rest of the) Summer!


David Cohen-Publisher

From Mike Claffey:
When President Obama proclaimed June to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, he “call[ed] upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.” On a daily basis, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity and the Illinois Department of Human Rights under Governor Quinn’s administration work as partners to make those aspirations the reality in Illinois by working to eliminate housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

We have made progress as a society, but there is still discrimination. In 2011, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality publicized the results of a survey of 6,450 transgender individuals. A staggering 19 percent of respondents reported being refused a home or apartment because of gender identity and 11 percent reported eviction because of gender identity. An alarming nineteen percent of the transgender respondents reported experiencing homelessness at some point in their lives and, when trying to access homeless shelters, over half reported outright denials, harassment, or sexual assault in the shelter context. Similarly, findings of a 2007 Michigan study indicate that same sex couples face high rates of bias and discriminatory treatment based on sexual orientation when trying to access rental housing. And we know that up to 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT.

In a nation founded on the principles of justice and equality for all, this is unacceptable. Recently, HUD and the Illinois Department of Human Rights have taken important steps to ensure that LGBT persons have equal access to housing.

HUD now utilizes its authority under the federal Fair Housing Act’s prohibition of sex discrimination to pursue complaints of gender identity housing discrimination. In February, HUD also leveraged its rule-making authority by publishing “Equal Access to Housing”, a regulation that prohibits HUD-funded and HUD-insured housing providers as well as FHA-approved lenders from basing eligibility determinations on actual or perceived gender identity, sexual orientation or marital status. HUD has already received complaints that this rule has been violated and is pursuing enforcement actions against alleged violators. Additionally, HUD no longer sends its funds to entities that violate state and local laws, such as the Illinois Human Rights Act, that specifically prohibit sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status housing discrimination. In addition to these important policy changes, last year, the Obama Administration hosted the first-ever forum to discuss issues facing transgender and gender non-conforming populations and, as a follow-up, HUD co-sponsored the first summit about the pressing and growing need of housing services for elderly persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT). Finally, HUD’s “Live Free” campaign puts a face to the law and builds public recognition of Fair Housing principles.

Because the State of Illinois has its own fair housing law that is substantially equivalent to federal law, HUD and the Illinois Department of Human Rights are able to work closely and support each other’s work in a meaningful way. To ensure LGBT discrimination does not occur, the Illinois Human Rights Act was amended in 2005 to specifically prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. Unlawful housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity occurs when access to housing is denied or when people are treated differently in housing based on their LGBT status. Similar to the federal Fair Housing Act, the Illinois law prohibits unlawful discrimination in the sale and rental of real property and in the terms and conditions of a real estate transaction. The law also prohibits unlawful discrimination in brokering or appraising real property, mortgage lending and in advertising. It is also illegal to coerce someone to discriminate or to intimidate someone to the extent that it interferes with their legal right to enjoy their housing. Since 2006, the Illinois Department of Human Rights has investigated numerous cases of housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and has sought and obtained remedies for victims of discrimination. Some examples of complaints:
  • A gay couple applied for a one-bedroom apartment, but the owner refused to rent to them once she learned they were both men.
  • A married couple were denied rental based on the transgender status of the wife.
  • A lesbian couple alleged that after renting to them, the property manager refused to make needed repairs and made disparaging comments about their sexual orientation.
These incidents should not happen. Nor should LGBT individuals and families feel compelled to hide identities in order to secure the apartment or house they want. If you believe you were a victim of housing discrimination, contact HUD at (800) 669-9777 or the Illinois Department of Human Rights at (312) 814-6229 for help.


John Trasviña, 
Assistant Secretary Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, 
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Rocco Claps, Director,
Illinois Department of Human Rights