Hertz Complaint - Goodbye Hertz. Thanks for the pain!
SEATTLE -- I used to love Hertz back when I traveled a lot (1992-2000), so when the opportunity to travel came up, I chose Hertz in spite of their higher prices. I did this because I personally value customer service and don't mind paying a premium for it.
First, when I arrived at the customer service counter in the Seattle Tacoma airport, it was understaffed. When it was my turn, I walked up to the counter, but was cut off by a customer who came back after returning a car. The agent completely ignored me, until I asked him if I was in the right line.
Then they did not have the vehicle that I reserved (Toyota 4-Runner or GMC Envoy). In stead, they provided me with a Nissan Xterra, a real POS in my opinion. The vehicle was also kind of dirty inside.
A few days after I returned home from my vacation, I discovered that my business checking account was overdrawn. When I investigated further, I found out that my week long rental from Hertz was charged to it. I took a double take and realized that I must have used the wrong card when I picked up the vehicle, as I had intended to use my CitiBank MasterCard. (The two cards look similar).
No problem, I say to myself, I will just call Hertz and they will take care of me. Wrong. On Friday, I called the 1-800 number from the website and asked the customer service rep. if she would charge the rental to my MasterCard and refund the charges to my business debit card. Her immediate response: "we don't do that." I was actually a little shocked at her indifference. After pleading my case to her, I asked for a supervisor. After a lengthy hold time, I spoke to Maria Guess in Oklahoma. She was equally indifferent and added that it would cost Hertz $40 to refund one card and charge another, and that they would not do it unless it was their error. Huh?! I have had a merchant processing account and I worked for both a credit card company and a card processing company and no way are there processing fees like that. In fact, a charge back costs less than that. I continued to plead my case and she finally said that I would have to submit a request for her manager, in writing, with my signature authorizing a charge to my credit card. The call ended with her giving me a fax number.
The next day, I faxed a letter with the rental record number, both card numbers and my request. Of course, the fax number that Maria Guess gave me was wrong, so first I had to call to get the correct one. On Monday, I called to see if they had received the fax. I asked for Maria Guess, but apparently, her highness has her calls screened. The rep. put me on hold and came back a couple of minutes later and said that she had emailed Maria, but that she did remember this issue. I asked her to refer to the fax that I sent in on Saturday. She put me on hold again, then came back on and said that Maria was discussing it with the manager right now. A couple of minutes later and I was informed that Hertz would not be charging my credit card as I had requested. The end.
To summarize this experience:
- Higher price ($522 for 7.5 days)
- Poor counter service
- Bait-and-switch the vehicle model
- Dirty Vehicle
- Poor back-end customer service
- A $35 overdraft charge
Rest assured that Hertz has lost my future business. Their service is poor and I will not reward bad service with my good money.
UPDATE 041306: After all of this negative customer service, I just found out that Hertz did perform the transaction that I requested. I'm really confused though, because they did insist that they would not do it when I spoke to them on 4/10. Perhaps it is because I told the CSR that I would no longer do business with Hertz. I guess I have to retract that statement, but I still think that Hertz has a long way to go to redeeming their one excellent customer service. I will proceed cautiously in the future.