SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- Although our family has had many easy transactions with Hertz over many years, in the last few years there has been a slight change to customer service that resulted in two unhappy experiences. The first was three years ago when we returned a car rented in Portland to SeaTac airport in Seattle and I accidentally left a digital camera in the car. The camera was loaded with family photos of our son's 21st birthday with us. We'd all traveled to meet him in Oregon and it was the first time we'd all been together since he left home. Right after I passed security for my plane I realized I'd left the camera in the car.
At the first opportunity, I called Hertz and reported it. The employee who took the car from me and the employees who cleaned the car all denied finding the camera. Hertz did not follow-up with me despite my filing a complaint with them, contacting lost and found at the airport and filing a theft complaint with the Port of Seattle Police (the Port of Seattle Police didn't care and blew me off). The camera was right there. An employee found out it and stole it instead of turning it in, and despite my husband's Gold Membership with Hertz, Hertz had no interest in our loss at all.
Second, approximately a year-and-a-half ago we rented another car in Portland and drove to WA for the funeral of my MIL. On the way to WA, shortly before we arrived at our hotel, the engine trouble light came on and stayed on. According to the fine print in the contract, we could not keep driving that car with that light on or we would be financially responsible for any damage to the engine. As soon as we checked-in to the hotel, I called Hertz. As expected, customer service told us not to drive the car and to replace it with another one.
I was then told I had to make a two hour trip to pick up another car instead of Hertz delivering us a new one locally! We were getting ready for a memorial that evening and did not have the time to make that trip even IF I would have accepted Hertz forcing us to do so when it was their responsibility! The only thing that saved us was that after I started getting angry and was switched to a local office (only after I asked for it and insisted), the young man who answered happened to be someone who grew up with our daughter and he recognized me.
He was a savior in that moment, delivering us a great vehicle within the hour and taking away the problem vehicle, no fuss, no muss. That was to his credit though, not Hertz. Until I talked to him, Hertz was insisting we make the drive to get a different car and did not care at all that we were grieving and on the way to a loved one's memorial service. Hertz, the best-known and expensive, is slipping too, following the same cutthroat path as the others. I'm so sick of the loss of almost all customer service ethics in this country!
PARK RIDGE, NEW JERSEY -- For almost 20 years I was a highly satisfied Hertz Gold customer. Now in less than three years, I have experienced three highly unsatisfactory rental experiences with Hertz. In the summer of 2008, during a 3-week vacation rental, I had a flat in Colorado nearly 200 miles from the nearest Hertz office. I paid for the tow truck to take me to a station where the spare could be put on the car (again, my expense) because they had no means to repair the flat.
I then spent a full vacation day (over 8 hrs) round trip going to and from Colorado Springs, where the Hertz office gave me a smaller replacement car than I had rented. Because of the smaller size I had to rent a small trailer to accommodate the luggage we had been able to place in the larger car. Later, I received an exorbitant bill from Hertz for what they claimed was a ruined tire (not according to the service station manager).
Last month I rented a one-way car for two days for my wife to go from Waco to the San Antonio, TX airport so she could attend a wedding and then join me in Grand Junction, CO. for the JUCO World Series. She had a flat inside the airport less than a mile from the Hertz location. Hertz instructed her to lock the keys and the contract inside the car and said they would come get it. Hertz originally billed us for 7 days ($750.48) and claimed the car had not been turned in for a full week after it was due.
When that was finally straightened out and credit was given for the 7 mischarged days, they added a $79.91 towing charge. The final invoice sent shows mileage driven of 571 miles, when the actual mileage at the time of the flat was 259. Obviously, the car was leased to someone else during the time they claimed my wife still had the car. I have repeatedly asked for a copy of the contract, but they claim it cannot be located, and they refuse to make any additional adjustment.
On 6-16-10, I rented a one-way car from Dallas to Waco when AA was late from Philadelphia and I missed my connecting flight (last of the day). The rental clerk illegally added optional services to the contract, telling me that was the only way they would rent a one-way car, which turned out to be a total lemon of a car. (She had my Hertz profile in front of her on the computer which plainly showed I decline these optional services.)
The following day, after seventeen (17) calls to various Hertz numbers, I finally got someone to agree to adjust the charges. (During several of the calls, I was put on hold after I described the problem, but no one would return to the call. The people I did manage to have some conversation with clearly had a CYA attitude.) I still have not received the promised copy of the final adjusted invoice (but the adjustment has shown up online on my credit card). Over a week ago, the area manager promised a copy and some courtesy certificates to make up for the inconvenience. Nothing has come in the mail, but I was not surprised.
I have spent untold hours on these three problems, and my Hertz Gold card is now cut into a myriad of pieces. I will never under any circumstances use Hertz again. I see them as Hertz Lead. A lady in the billing department told me counter personnel are on commission to sell as many additional services as they can, which (she added) creates "a lot of customer abuse." Never again at my expense.
HIGHLAND, INDIANA -- Upon renting a vehicle for a couple of days to visit family and friends in Northwest Indiana, I continued on to Cincinnati, Ohio. I was told upon returning the vehicle in Cincinnati at the predetermined location that I was going to be charged approximately $150 more on my card than previously agreed upon. When I questioned the validity of this charge with the individual taking receipt of the vehicle, he said that the charge was for another "full day" because the vehicle was three hours late in getting returned.
When I told him I didn't know what he was talking about he said it was to be turned in earlier that afternoon, the same time of day I rented the vehicle. I explained to him that I told the guy from whom I rented the vehicle that when asked when and where I would be returning the vehicle, I said I was going to be returning it to the airport in Cincinnati in the evening on this day. And in fact, I not only returned it on time, but even a little earlier than what I had told the Hertz representative in Indiana.
This representative agreed that the charge was excessive, not necessary, and that the individual from whom I rented should have expressed that the vehicle was to be turned in at that particular time. He said if it were him he wouldn't expect a full days charge and that although he was unable to make that adjustment, I should contact the store from which I rented the vehicle and they could do so. I have called the store from which I rented the vehicle twice.
The first time, the individual I spoke to said he understood and that the individual I rented from should have gone over the details of the contract and expressed everything such as the turn in time in order to avoid instances such as these. He said he also agreed that the charge was excessive and that he wouldn't like to be charged a full day for an extra three hours, especially when as a customer he didn't realize the mistake made on the contract. He said he would talk to his manager and get back with me that day concerning the situation. I never heard from him again.
A few days passed and I called back. This time I spoke with a woman who said she could make that adjustment but that she wouldn't because the time was written in the contract. I explained that her representative did not put down the time that I told him, and I did not expect to have to go over each detail of the written contract written by her representative given that I expressly stated at the time of rental the time and location of which I was returning the vehicle.
I further explained that I was a loyal and repeat customer of Hertz and that in light of her customer service representative putting the incorrect turn in time on the contract, and further failing to inform me of the time he placed on the contract for return, I would still meet her halfway and not expect a full refund of that day but agree to a pro-rated charge for the three hours because I didn't read the contract in detail and catch it. I thought this to be a fair and satisfactory solution for all involved and would satisfy me enough to have the company work with me on this that I would rent from Hertz in the future. Never again.
The representative on the phone told me even though she "can do that, I won't" and went on to further slow her speech referring again to the contract as if to speak to me in a childlike manner. I explained to her that I was a grown man and not to be treated like a child and she said then you should stop acting like a child. I asked her how expecting to be treated with fairness and respect after being a loyal and repeat customer was acting like a child. She had no answer to that question.
I asked her to look at it from my perspective and that if she unknowingly returned a vehicle past its due time, would she expect to be charged for a full day given that the vehicle was three hours "late". She said of course not, she wouldn't expect or appreciate a charge like that. I thanked her for her honesty and said, "Then why are you doing it to me?" She said, "That's the policy and I can't make an adjustment." I said no, you can make an adjustment but you won't. She then admitted that was true.
Admittedly, I should have looked over the details of the contract much closer. And one can bet in the future I will. However, their representative did not put the correct time on the contract for return, did not return calls they said they would, refused to assist me in coming up with an acceptable solution, and further went on to insult me during our last phone conversation. This was completely rude, disrespectful and inappropriate behavior all around for which I will never rent from Hertz again.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- Location: Orlando International Airport, FL. Rental length: 17 days, August, 2009. Nightmare started: From the minute we told the representative at the check-in counter that we were from New York City and we did not drive often, our nightmare started. Basically, the representative did two things during our check-in process. At first, he wanted us to buy their fuel purchase plan. To this purpose, he lied to us that the oil price in Orlando is over $4/gallon, while through that plan, we could enjoy the rate of $2.51/gallon. We did not drive often but we were not idiots. We gently turned down this offer.
Then he wanted us to sign for an insurance package that cost more than $900, without even asking us whether we need it. Since we were pretty sure that our own insurance company has covered most of the listed things, he started his "persuading tricks" by saying all horrible things about the safety issue in Orlando. For a moment we almost wanted to cancel this reservation since it sounded like we would be killed once we step out of that Hertz building. Finally, my husband called our insurance company to make sure that we can survive throughout this vacation, and at last we did not buy that insurance plan. Then I saw perhaps the most "disappointed" face I have even seen in my life. We almost ran out of that building to get away from that cold face a.s.a.p.
Nightmare continued, and got worse: We thought the hard time was over, but we were clearly wrong. Our car was a 2008 Volkswagen Beetle, without any manual. We drove that car for 3 days, and every time the brake was applied, we felt that the entire vehicle was vibrating. Since we still have 2 more weeks to go, we decided to change the car. I guess we were really, really lucky for making this decision. We did not go to Disneyworld during traffic hours as usual. We took one day off, and chose to drive back to Hertz around noon.
However, we did not make it back to Hertz (only 13 miles from our hotel) due to the break failure. Fortunately, the failure happened in the parking lot of a buffet. Finally, we called Hertz emergency line and get our car towed back. Thank god no one was injured. One thing I cannot stop wondering is, Hertz staffs should know that the car had some break problems, since the symptom was pretty obvious to them (although not so obvious for us who had never experienced a break failure before), why did they still rent that car to us who were supposed to use it for 17 days. Were they (or the "disappointed" staff) trying to kill us?
Nightmare continued. Anyway, we get a replacement, a 2009 Toyota Camry. We were in general happy with the car except for the slippery tire when driving in the rain (it almost rains everyday in Orlando during our stay). Since we did not want to go back and change for another car again (with a chance that we would get a even worse car), we tried to reschedule our trip to avoid driving at raining evenings. However, slippery tire was not the only thing wrong with the car. After driving for about 10 days, the maintenance requirement light was on. The engine oil needs to be changed.
We could risk driving this car for the rest of our rental days, but we basically did not trust Hertz anymore, and we did not want to take any more risk. So we went back to get our car replaced again. This time, the question I am keeping thinking about is, do they ever check their cars? When I returned the Camry, we only drove it for about 300 miles. This means when they rented us this car, they should have changed the engine oil already.
Nightmare ended (hopefully). I really want to finish my story now, but since we haven't received the final bill from Hertz after our trip, I am not sure whether the nightmare has ended already. I do not even want to say how bad this Hertz rental experience is. I just want to pray for all future customers that choose to use Hertz.
FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA -- Yesterday my sister and Mother were to travel out of town and were using a debit card for the reservation. When they called to reserve the car, they were told this was not a problem. When they arrived at the airport, the car rental was declined. The debit card however was hit for nearly $500. We have now spent yesterday and today in numerous heated calls to Hertz, trying to get a refund to the card.
A call to the local airport where the car was supposed to have been rented and the same people who hit the card for this unauthorized charge was useless. A call to the customer service number is merely an automated system and filled with false information. A recorded message says that if you are waiting for an authorization to fall off of your card, you must phone your bank and ask them to release the authorization. This is NOT TRUE. The only person who can release those funds is the business who put them on the card.
You are only asked to leave a phone number and name with the automated system and someone will phone back in 34 to 53 minutes. So, the woman calls back and claims she cannot release the funds until she speaks to my sister who is travelling. I explained this to her and said that you did not rent her the car, it is going back on HER card and to simply release the funds. I went on to explain that they would not know if I had a woman call and claim to be my sister if it were really the person they claimed they were since they have never spoken to my sister before and had no voice to compare it to.
Again, she claimed she must speak to my sister before she can release the funds. I offered my sister's cell number and was told they cannot call out as they are on an automated system. OK.. my temper is flaring now and I call my sister and have her call the Hertz automated system and after leaving her name and number, she receives a return call and is told they can release the funds but now told it takes 24 o 48 hours to process the release and then another 3 to 10 DAYS for the funds to appear on her account.
Hertz did nothing but cause problems and no one with one ounce of common sense can fix the problem... Apparently common sense is lacking at Hertz. I would say to stay clear of this company and use one of the competitors. Don't be ripped off by this company.
They did not rent a car to my sister and had no right to charge her card for anything and then to go through this to get a refund of an unauthorized charge is beyond ridiculous. My advice is to cancel any reservations you have with this rip off company and take your business to one who appreciates your business enough to at least talk to you and not use an automated system answered by robots who have less common sense than the cars they rent.
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO -- I am writing this letter on behalf of a client/friend who speaks Spanish. My client asked me to book two 7 passenger SUV's for one week for he and his family of 14 to take a road trip from New Mexico to Colorado. After some research online, I decided to go with Hertz since they seemed to have the best rate. Since these are specialty vehicles, I was not able to book them on Hertz.com instead, I had to speak with the specialty desk at Hertz reservations. I was told Hertz needed a credit card to "Guarantee" the cars' availability. They could not confirm the make and model but guaranteed me that the vehicles would carry 7 passengers each.
The morning my client was scheduled to pick up the vehicles at the airport in Albuquerque, NM, the Hertz representative at the counter said he only had one 7 passenger vehicle and one 5 passenger vehicle. What is interesting is that the Hertz representative in ABQ said he did have a Ford Expedition on hand which could hold up to 9 people but he wanted to charge an additional $1500 which was the price of one week's rental, this was in addition to the $1200 which was the original quote for the two 7 passenger vehicles I reserved. My client called me to see if I could help him.
After speaking with the representative in ABQ I called the Specialty desk at Hertz reservations, the woman I spoke with seemed very surprised that this happened especially since I had booked a "Guarantee" for two 7 passenger vehicles but ultimately, all she could offer me was an apology. My client ended up renting with another Car Company that had 2 7 passenger SUV's for less money than Hertz charged. (Hertz allowed $1200 walk out the door). I specifically asked the Hertz representative in Albuquerque if he was going to charge my client anything since he was not going to take either car, he said no.
I followed up with a letter to Hertz's customer relations and received a standard letter of apology with a $100 discount on a future Hertz rental. Several days later I noticed my client called to say a charge from Hertz for $100 had appeared on his credit card. I emailed the same customer service representative who sent the $100 discount certificate and was told that Hertz has a cancellation penalty for SUV's of $100 per vehicle if cancelled within 24 hours of the scheduled pickup. Since one of the two vehicles was a 7 passenger vehicle and my client didn't take it the $100 cancellation penalty would apply.
I wrote back and explained this was an all or nothing situation, was my client supposed to leave 2 members of my family behind? My argument seemed to fall on deaf ears. I feel Hertz is being completely unreasonable here to give a $100 future discount but then charge $100 cancellation. I am asking for the $100 penalty to be reversed on my client's reservation. I would also like a clarification of Hertz' "Guarantee" policy for SUV's. My question here does Hertz fall under any regulations like the DOT? Would another letter written to the Better Business Bureau help? What do you suggest?
March 2008 - Outside of Rome, Italy - our Hertz rental car malfunctioned and broke down on a busy highway in rush hour traffic 8 miles outside of Rome. It was 5 PM - cold and getting dark outside. We are both Senior Citizens - 60+ - one handicapped. Helpful locals pushed the car out of harm's way to a spot off the road. The Hertz representative could not speak English well enough to assist in taking down our details and information to arrange for our rescue.
After speaking with 4 of them, we finally got one who seemed to understand. He heard all of our details - contract number, car plate number and our exact location. He promised to send a Replacement car and a tow truck to arrive in under an hour. When 2 hours had passed and they didn't show up, we searched for and found another Italian speaking local who was willing to help us make another phone call to Hertz. Hertz claimed that someone cancelled our pickup and in the same sentence claimed to have sent help but to a different city. Both lies and cover ups for their very poor service.
Finally a tow truck did arrive - at 8 PM. Hertz was more concerned that we had filled up the gas tank that our safety. The driver did not bring along a replacement car as we were promised and stated that was not the regular procedure. He suggested that we find a taxi and take it to Rome and that we would be paid back by Hertz? Where were we to find a taxi at night on a highway outside of Rome?
Fortunately, the same local bystander was kind enough to call a taxi on his cell phone and stayed with us till it arrived. It cost us $60 for that taxi to our hotel. We lost the rest of the day to continue our vacation, were traumatized by the situation of being out there all night on the road without help and we had no rental car to finish up our Hertz contract. The next morning we took time to go the Termini Station in Rome - where we had planned on leaving the original rental car - which was originally from the Rome Airport.
The Hertz counter representative was verbally abusive and did not want to help in any way. He could not settle our bill or give money for the taxi expense or even give us an Update on what happened to our car so that we could close out the bill. We later found out that the car was towed back to a lot for repair near the airport. The airport assistant manager was called and he seemed sympathetic to our situation and stated that we shouldn't be charged for the 4 days rental. We are talking about a total charge of about $300 US. He said he needed to speak with his manager when she came in.
Back in the USA we called in a complaint about the events and behavior of the employees for the record. After making many calls and sending emails, we were sent a standard apology letter offering no adjustments to our bill. More phone calls and emails produced an offer for a $100 certificate towards a future Hertz rental from a very disinterested customer service rep. We put in a complaint to our credit card company and more calls and emails to Hertz as we felt the bill should have been adjusted down.
Finally, Hertz took off one day from our bill - and we have the $100 certificate. Our complaint is that we had to endure more stress in dealing with Hertz - a big company should have taken off all of the charges and given a proper apology without our dozens of emails and phone calls. Additionally, the Hertz USA customer service rep assigned to our issue did not even bother to read our detailed complaint and she thought it was OK because we put on a certain amount of miles on the car and therefore had good use of the car.
It didn't register in her mind that we weren't given the replacement car to continue our vacation or that we lost so much time strained out there on the highway. The counter staff at the airport also was not very pleasant when we first took the car- we had a trainee who really was fluent in English and seemed very confused as to how to process customers. For Reservations in the United States, call 1-800-654-3131. For Reservations outside of the United States, call 1-800-654-3001.
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA -- I had been a faithful Hertz customer for over 30 years (NO MORE). I rented a car for one day at 40.00. Took the car back to the airport with having used on a few gallons of their gas. They charged me over 76.00 for gas, or 14.00 per gallon. Hertz next time you try to rob me, use a ** gun. I will crusade for the rest of my life telling people not to use Hertz.
Recently rented a car through the Hertz.com website for use in South Africa. The rental was prepaid at a "Guaranteed" rate. However we received a credit card bill from the South African Hertz Rental that charged us almost twice our "guaranteed" rate. Called Hertz and was told that the franchise could charge what they wanted. So the "Guaranteed" rate on the Hertz.com website is a lie and false advertising. Stay away from Hertz and their dishonest and deceptive practices.