Hertz Tries To Walk, Upsell, And Rip Me Off, All At Once

Hertz Tries To Walk, Upsell, And Rip Me Off, All At Once

181

Some days I really do hate the rental car industry, and today is one of those days. It’s mind-boggling just how customer unfriendly rental car companies can be, and somehow we normalize this behavior? Since I was renting from Hertz, I guess I should at least be grateful that I didn’t get arrested?

Hertz won’t honor my rental car reservation

Earlier today, I made a Hertz rental car reservation at Santa Rosa Airport (STS), with plans to pick up a rental car later today. I made the reservation shortly before boarding my flight, and when I landed at the airport, I saw that I had a voicemail:

“I’m calling in regards to the reservation that you just made. Um, so unfortunately, we are completely sold out of vehicles. The only thing that I do have available, however, is a large SUV, it would be a Chevy Tahoe. Usually they go for about $250 more a day, but because you’re a President, I can bring it down to $150 more a day. It you would like to get into that, please give me a call and let me know so I can make sure that is ready for you.”

For those not familiar, the “President” comment refers to me having Hertz President’s Circle status, which, in theory, is supposed to get you a car upgrade.

Hertz is “completely sold out of cars” and can’t accommodate me… unless I’m willing to pay for a more expensive car (even though I should be getting some sort of an upgrade anyway due to my status)? Clearly we have different definitions of what completely sold out means.

Here’s my much bigger issue — it’s being claimed that I’m being given some amazing deal on a large SUV, as it usually costs $250 more per day, but they’ll give it to me for just an extra $150 per day.

I pulled up the same cars for the same location next week, and the medium sedan I purchased would have cost $110 per day, while the large SUV would have cost $150 per day. That’s a $40 difference, not a $150 difference, and certainly not a $250 difference. I’ve looked up a handful of sets of dates across the year, and haven’t found a single date where the rate difference between these cars is $250 (let alone $150).

Though ironically for today, Hertz is continuing to sell the exact car I had reserved (which is not available), but not the SUV they’re willing to upsell me to (which apparently is available).

Hertz rental car rates for next week

So let’s just recap — they’re “completely sold out,” only they’re not. But they’re willing to sell me a more expensive rental car, and because I’m such a good customer, they’ll give me the reduced price of only an extra $150 per day, when usually that car goes for an extra $40 per day.

My experience at the Hertz counter

Since I only discovered this once we were on the ground minutes before the planned rental, I figured it was best to just go directly to the Hertz counter. Usually I find that by being polite but firm, you can get a reasonable resolution to most problems.

I approached the Hertz representative and gave her my name, and she immediately said “I tried to call you, we don’t have a car for you.” I explained I was on a flight, and she responded that “I wasn’t aware of that.” You’d think that wouldn’t be the first time that has happened at an airport location?

She insisted there was nothing she could do, and I could either take the Tahoe for an extra $150 per day, or I could cancel the reservation. She further emphasized that Hertz oversells by 33%, and that the manager was doing me a favor by giving me the reduced price, and that if I had an issue with that, I could talk to the manager.

So I asked to speak to the manager. He showed up within a few minutes, and my gosh, he was a jerk. There were no niceties, or anything, but he just said “what’s your issue?””

I explained my disappointment that I was being denied a car even though a car was available. I then explained that if I was going to be charged a premium for a different car, the premium being suggested was unreasonable, as the rate difference is never as much as I was being charged.

His response? “The price is the price, take it or leave it.” At that point I just asked him to cancel my reservation.

My experience at the counter wasn’t great…

Isn’t it time the government regulate rental car agencies?

I appreciate how the government is trying to force airlines and hotels to be more transparent with pricing. But if you ask me, if there’s an industry that needs government intervention, it’s the rental car industry.

I made a reservation for a product that Hertz didn’t have, and I was then told that if I wanted my reservation honored, I’d have to pay a lot more. Mind you, even after all of this, the rental car agency was still letting people reserve these same exact cars, even though they knew that they had no cars to offer.

Let me be clear, I don’t blame the frontline employees here — working in the rental car industry must suck, because I’m sure they don’t like these policies either. It’s also not surprising that the industry doesn’t tend to attract great customer service talent, because who would want to work in an industry where they have to apologize for their company’s constant mistakes?

But isn’t it downright deceptive to continue accepting rental car reservations when you know you don’t actually have any cars available? And then to charge someone a “discounted” upsell cost that’s actually multiples higher than the usual price difference?

Admittedly problems with the rental car industry and overbooking go back to the Seinfeld days…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTvtSKXwu0o&t=1s

Bottom line

I made a pretty last minute Hertz reservation today, and was then informed that the agency was “completely sold out,” but nonetheless could upsell me to a more expensive car. The discounted upgrade cost was way higher than the typical price difference between the car I booked and what I offered. Add in the terrible customer service, and this wasn’t a great experience.

What would you have done in this Hertz situation?

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  1. Michael D Robinson Guest

    I’m sure there’s a ruder woman working somewhere in the EYW airport than the woman at the Hertz counter, but she certainly needs a HUGE attitude adjustment. There are five choices for rental cars but because of advantages offered from AmEx, we use these. I never have trouble in other locations. She’s been here too long and needs to be removed IMMEDIATELY!

  2. Daniel P. Guest

    These slimeballs at Hertz are still at it. Today, I reserved a car directly with hertz.com - which said they have a "mid size SUV" available. When we arrived, they said they only have a Bolt and an Enclave, and the Enclave would be an extra charge. I said "Why should we pay more because you don't have the car that your system sold us and confirmed was in stock?" he says "Not for a...

    These slimeballs at Hertz are still at it. Today, I reserved a car directly with hertz.com - which said they have a "mid size SUV" available. When we arrived, they said they only have a Bolt and an Enclave, and the Enclave would be an extra charge. I said "Why should we pay more because you don't have the car that your system sold us and confirmed was in stock?" he says "Not for a same day reservation because we don't have the chance..."

    Excuse me, YOUR system confirmed that type of car was in stock - there were plenty of other classes it said were not available there, so I picked one that was. The system could have simply shown me honest and correct inventory. That's not in my control.

    Bottom line, Hertz.com lies and fakes inventory in order to trick people into coming there, in hopes they won't be able to make alternative plans at that point and will then agree to whatever upcharge they decide to ask. Despicable practice and I won't darken their door again. Thank goodness there is a little competition in rental cars.

    By the way, they tried this same upcharge BS on my wife several years ago -- and that one was NOT a same-day reservation.

  3. Keith B Guest

    To add to the crazy Hertz stories, I used VentureX to make a reservation with Hertz since CapitalOne was giving me some special "Presidents" privileges' (so I thought) and competitive prices. I thought I was adding my wife as a driver but somehow they made her the primary renter (blame CapitalOne software for that?). So at the Hertz counter they asked my wife to produce her CapitalOne card which she did not carry on this...

    To add to the crazy Hertz stories, I used VentureX to make a reservation with Hertz since CapitalOne was giving me some special "Presidents" privileges' (so I thought) and competitive prices. I thought I was adding my wife as a driver but somehow they made her the primary renter (blame CapitalOne software for that?). So at the Hertz counter they asked my wife to produce her CapitalOne card which she did not carry on this trip. I had mine, the one that reserved the car, but no, they had to have her CapitalOne card. I told the agent what happened but they refused to give us the car because although it was a joint credit card account, the name didn't match the card I'm showing her. This is exactly the kind of mix-up you'd expect a human agent to sort out in person, have some understanding about a minor mix-up since we were both standing in front of her and the account number matched the payment account. Instead they stood their ground and demanded that we call someone in reservations or CapitalOne to sort it out. After waiting on hold and getting the run-around we just canceled the pre-paid car (CapitalOne agreed to refund our money) and made a reservation online at Enterprise, since they were my previous go-to. Ten minutes later we picked up a nice car at Enterprise with friendly people to get us on our way. If you are frustrated with the rental car companies, there are now just a few, try the Turo service. We've had good success but they are mostly price competitive at larger cities.

  4. Ryan Parsley Guest

    I’ve never rented from hertz, that’s probably for the best. My first company I worked for 5 years ago was a strict “you just book the lowest rate quoted when using the booking system” and hertz was always more expensive. So I usually ended up with Avis, enterprise, or national. All of which I haven’t had any issues. But I definitely want to shout my praises to national. Yes, I have status with them but...

    I’ve never rented from hertz, that’s probably for the best. My first company I worked for 5 years ago was a strict “you just book the lowest rate quoted when using the booking system” and hertz was always more expensive. So I usually ended up with Avis, enterprise, or national. All of which I haven’t had any issues. But I definitely want to shout my praises to national. Yes, I have status with them but I get to pick my car and I am always asked if I was pleased with my rental experience. I have become more comfortable in telling these kind people when the car is a piece of shit and they genuinely seem to listen to my critique of the vehicle and it’s shortcomings. Nothing but great things about national, their customer service is top notch and I feel that my loyalty is their priority.

  5. John young Guest

    Hertz will probably blacklist you now for writing this. I’ve seen it done dozens of times people complain publicly. It really is insane what they can get away with.

  6. Steph Guest

    This sounds like all of the bad experiences I’ve had with Hertz too. I like that they offer EVs but their customer service is awful. No accountability either.

  7. Steve Guest

    Why do you excuse the frontline employees' lousy attitudes and dismissiveness of problem-resolving opportunities? If they are sticking to deceptive and/or ethically questionable policies, why should they get a pass? Rudeness too? If you're going to call 'em like you see 'em and write a critical piece, commit to it.

  8. Kristopher Guest

    So when something like this happens and you write about it, do you ever get a call from someone in Customer Relations or their PR department to 'make it better'?

    Alternatively, do you ever reach out to Hertz and let them know of your situation?

    I for one would love to know if anyone from corporate reached out to you after this experience.

  9. sunguy Guest

    I tend to rent with Avis - why? I have zero clue for the ways I have been treated over the years - ATL is one major location that never, ever, ever has any cars.... and an 8 or 9 hour wait of sitting around and waiting under a tent in the parking garage, with extremely rude and apaulingly behaved staff ....

    Last time, I was offered a car with a broken windshield (like really...

    I tend to rent with Avis - why? I have zero clue for the ways I have been treated over the years - ATL is one major location that never, ever, ever has any cars.... and an 8 or 9 hour wait of sitting around and waiting under a tent in the parking garage, with extremely rude and apaulingly behaved staff ....

    Last time, I was offered a car with a broken windshield (like really broken - not just some scratch - but a huge massive expanding crack along the passenger side.... with the explanation that I could take it or wait until "god knows when" ..... aherm....

    The one thing I have never had though is a problem with getting an upgrade when there were no cars in the type reserved.....they give them all away until they have zero .... literally zero.... I hope Avis dont take a cue from Hertz!

    1. Laurie Guest

      Hertz is just begging for a (another?) class action lawsuit. I was also President’s Circle, 20+ years. got hit with a false $400 smoking fee (don’t smoke, no one else in the car), which they refused to remove. Couldn’t reach the branch I rented from, went round and round with multiple CS platforms. They were such jerks and wouldn’t budge an inch. After I’d given them over 20 years of my business. Finally reported them...

      Hertz is just begging for a (another?) class action lawsuit. I was also President’s Circle, 20+ years. got hit with a false $400 smoking fee (don’t smoke, no one else in the car), which they refused to remove. Couldn’t reach the branch I rented from, went round and round with multiple CS platforms. They were such jerks and wouldn’t budge an inch. After I’d given them over 20 years of my business. Finally reported them to the BBB and got the charges reversed. I’m now hearing my from fellow colleagues (who also travel for work), than Hertz has been scamming people like this for years. Evidently I was the last to break up with Hertz. They need to be slapped with an investigation.

  10. Rico Suave Guest

    I had a similar experience with Thrifty in RSW For Myers Airport. I arrived from my flight after I had booked the mid size rental several days ahead. Upon checking in at the front counter, I was told that the prize was different form what I reserved. When ask how that can be, I was told "We don't have to honor the online travel agency pricing. Pricing is at our discretion." I asked to speak...

    I had a similar experience with Thrifty in RSW For Myers Airport. I arrived from my flight after I had booked the mid size rental several days ahead. Upon checking in at the front counter, I was told that the prize was different form what I reserved. When ask how that can be, I was told "We don't have to honor the online travel agency pricing. Pricing is at our discretion." I asked to speak to the manager, who was a nasty lady who told me to take it or leave it.
    I had not choice and took the car since I had to get my ill mother to the hospital. I contacted the Better Business Bureau of SW Florida as well as the State OF Florida Attorney Generals Office and the cooperate office. It was only when the State AG's Office contacted me and then went to Thrifty did they have a complete turnaround, saying there was a billing error!!! I was credited the difference on my credit card immediately!!!
    Please don't just sit and take the crap these companies five you. Contact everyone you can and make a social media splash. This is definitely fraud these companies engage in and the more complaints and awareness is made, the better chance they are to be investigated.

  11. iamhere Guest

    I doubt Hertz will do anything about it. It is almost like some of the hotel brands that at the corporate level not much is done. You should have dealt with the compensation from that location. What are their policies about if you are walked? Well then they claim they did not walk you because they offered a solution. Not an appropriate solution but none the less.

  12. Badbit Guest

    Ummm if you are the highest status then why didn't you call corporate? If they won't play ball then contact the corporate sales division of one of the competitors and explain your dissatisfaction with Hertz. If you express your desire to move your business to them they will most likely match your status from Hertz. Then mail a letter to the CEO of Hertz explaining what you do for a living and the issue you...

    Ummm if you are the highest status then why didn't you call corporate? If they won't play ball then contact the corporate sales division of one of the competitors and explain your dissatisfaction with Hertz. If you express your desire to move your business to them they will most likely match your status from Hertz. Then mail a letter to the CEO of Hertz explaining what you do for a living and the issue you experienced. Include the branch location, date, and time. That way the manger will get correspondence from his direct boss or higher and will have to answer. While he/she may be able to explain it away that is always a dreadful task. Include that the competition is matching your current status and will be getting all your business... You may be surprised at the response you get.

  13. Johnny Guest

    FWIW: Had a similar situation with Sixt. However, they gave me the upgrade with no charge. Honored their commitment. Period. Solid business plan. Wasn’t even part of the conversation to consider anything less. They’re now my go-to car rental.

  14. Joe Guest

    Hate car rental companies. The amount of stress they add on is not worth it. Most places I go to now if I need car rental I rethink my plans. In most cases I end up spending a lot less by just taking lyft/uber daily instead of renting. I'll try to relegate my trips down to just 1 intra day rentals.

  15. BradStPete Diamond

    OMG Yes ! My partner has a job that involves MANY rental cars rented from Budget at Tampa. And by and large, even in the worst days of covid, they were pretty ok. I am talking about 1 weekly rental per week... So, his company switched to Hertz, which used to be in many travel managers opinion, the gold standard. My how times have changed. The arrogance, staffing issues, filthy cars..and TWICE he was accused of theft. Yes, it's time for regulation.

  16. Arnold S Guest

    When I worked at Hertz many years ago, if we were sold out of the car that you reserved you just were given the next available size at no additional charge. I remember that once we were out of all cars except for about 10 Lincoln Town Cars. Several people that came in that had reserved a Ford Escort ended up in a Lincoln Town car. That's just the way it should be.

  17. JTown Guest

    That's absurd. Every time I've walked up to an overbooked rental counter, they go up the levels until they hit an available car and give it to me at the rate I booked. First time I ever rented a car, I booked the cheapest bottom-basement vehicle they had. Ended up with a Grand Marquis for two weeks at that rate because it was the 2nd cheapest car they had available. The cheapest was a Camry...

    That's absurd. Every time I've walked up to an overbooked rental counter, they go up the levels until they hit an available car and give it to me at the rate I booked. First time I ever rented a car, I booked the cheapest bottom-basement vehicle they had. Ended up with a Grand Marquis for two weeks at that rate because it was the 2nd cheapest car they had available. The cheapest was a Camry which went to a couple who's reservation was 1 day longer than mine. I would have preferred the Camry. Last time I rented a car, the forecast called for snow and I was heading for some unpaved roads so I booked the cheapest 4x4. When I got there, they gave me a Suburban at my original rate because it was the only 4x4 they had left.

    And I don't even belong to any kind of Frequent Renter club. That's just how it's supposed to work. If they run out of the class you booked, they give you the next class up that's available at the rate you booked.

    But we ARE talking about Hertz. He's lucky they didn't have him arrested

  18. Mike F Guest

    I had a similar Seinfeld-like experience with Hertz at the Cross Border Express in San Diego. "You can take the reservation, but you can't honor the reservation". I had booked a one-way rental 3 weeks in advance from CBX to Orange County. I arrived in Tijuana late and busted my a** to get to the Hertz counter across the border just as it was about to close. The woman told me that she sees my...

    I had a similar Seinfeld-like experience with Hertz at the Cross Border Express in San Diego. "You can take the reservation, but you can't honor the reservation". I had booked a one-way rental 3 weeks in advance from CBX to Orange County. I arrived in Tijuana late and busted my a** to get to the Hertz counter across the border just as it was about to close. The woman told me that she sees my reservation in the system but has no one-way cars available. To be clear...she had cars available, if I was returning it to them, but not a one-way rental. Trying to explain to this woman that I had a reservation for exactly that was useless. She just said, "sorry" and put her Closed sign up. My only option at that point was an Uber to Orange County....try getting that at 11pm at night. After 4 cancellations and an hour later, I finally got some poor guy to take me...at a cost of $150. I complained to Hertz and they offered me 5,000 miles to my account. I escalated it further and got 1 free day. I too am President's Circle. They could have cared less. Customer service at Hertz is abysmal.

  19. Eric Guest

    Ben,
    What do you think would have happened if you had clicked the "Pay Now" button? Would they have then been (more) obligated to provide the car and the price you purchased?

    Have any of the readers had experiences with this variation?

  20. Ry Guest

    Same thing w Sixt at PDX in Oct. No car available and they tried to get me to pay to upgrade. Said no. Took abt 10 minutes then gave me upgrade for “free.” Pain in the ass. Not so sure abt Sixt now. First time. Maybe last time?

  21. MoJoe Diamond

    When you experience a very poor guest/loyalty experience at a hotel, we say you've been Bonvoyed. For atrocious car rental experiences (like getting arrested for driving a "stolen" rental car, not having your reservation or free upgrade privileges honored, etc.), we should say you've been badly Hertz'd.

  22. Jamie L Guest

    I'm using Turo more and more....especially at airports where there is a shuttle

  23. Scott Guest

    Sounds like Hertz has become the Spirit airlines of the rental car industry. I’ll stick with Avis.

    1. Crosscourt Guest

      Please... I ask you, stop excusing, or making excuses for, front line staff in travel. There is a thing called "service". You are the client, they are there to serve you. They need to provide service. The usa was once known for service, even if it was cosmetic. Not even that exists; from hotels to airlines to hire car companies to limousines. They all need to be called out.

  24. TProphet Member

    If Hertz is doing this to a top tier status holder who is also a blogger with millions of readers, what will they do to YOU?

  25. Dave Guest

    Enterprise is often just as bad as Hertz in situations like this. They will show every car class being available, but once you make the reservation you get a call from them with similar BS.

    National is my go to. They have certainly had their issues with inventory management, but I've always walked away with a vehicle.

  26. AdamW Guest

    You should consider holding front-line employees accountable for their lack of empathy towards you as a customer. While it's important to address this issue within the industry, giving a free pass to rude behavior doesn't contribute to a solution. I suggest that you use your influence or reach out to company leadership to help improve customer service standards.

  27. Zach S Guest

    Unfortunately, this sounds all too familiar.

    I've run into this scenario a few times in the past year, and I usually don't even receive a phone call. I just show up, the person working the desk informs me my reservation doesn't exist, and then says my email confirmation isn't valid. :: shaking my head::

  28. George Romey Guest

    That's bs. Rental car companies are required to give you a free upgrade if they don't have your vehicle size, assuming you have a valid reservation.

    1. Cumallo Verme Guest

      I do not believe they are required to do so by the terms and conditions. If they do so it is a goodwill practice that is probably scaled back in current economic conditions.

  29. me Guest

    Something similar happened to me with them in 2019 in Florida, and it was eventually resolved, but that and their tendency to call the police on people who have already returned vehicles claiming wrongly they were stolen (Its a system glitch in reality), you rent with them at your peril. I've always used Enterprise when I've had the choice, and although not perfect, never been put through shit like this.

  30. Todd Guest

    Hertz really is the worst! I gave up renting with them years ago when these types of things happened. I rent with National about 50 times a year (for the past 10 years) and have never once had something like this happen. Even if National is sold out, (and it clearly states that on their website) you can book a vehicle for a date/time that is available and they will still accommodate you if you...

    Hertz really is the worst! I gave up renting with them years ago when these types of things happened. I rent with National about 50 times a year (for the past 10 years) and have never once had something like this happen. Even if National is sold out, (and it clearly states that on their website) you can book a vehicle for a date/time that is available and they will still accommodate you if you show up during the time that they are sold out. I know you hate to rent cars, but when you do, do yourself a favor and skip Avis and Hertz.

  31. Eric Guest

    Any twosome newsom should be dealing with this issue instead of running for president in Asia

  32. eightblack Guest

    After all the negative publicity around Hertz and hapless customers being dragged away in handcuffs, I will never, ever rent from Hertz. No matter what status I have with them. The brand is a shambles...

  33. JME80 Guest

    I guess I got lucky with Hertz as I wanted to rent a car, picking up in San Antonio, and dropping off at Houston-Hobby (home-base airport). Enterprise/Alamo/National (for whatever reason), would not allow me to rent from SAT, and return to HOU- regardless of dates. Avis was highway robbery, but allowed it, and Hertz gave me a fair price, and no issues renting. Arrived at San Antonio airport, went upstairs, picked up my car based...

    I guess I got lucky with Hertz as I wanted to rent a car, picking up in San Antonio, and dropping off at Houston-Hobby (home-base airport). Enterprise/Alamo/National (for whatever reason), would not allow me to rent from SAT, and return to HOU- regardless of dates. Avis was highway robbery, but allowed it, and Hertz gave me a fair price, and no issues renting. Arrived at San Antonio airport, went upstairs, picked up my car based on my name being listed on the board, and enjoyed my time.

    1. me Guest

      When you're arrested out of the blue two years from now....

  34. Rob Turner Guest

    I researched Hertz terms and conditions recently where it says a reservation is your expression of Interest and that they make a note of that in their computer. That only prepaid reservations are guaranteed a car within 1 hour of original pickup. If Hertz is the biggest car rental company then this is a big problem and the large SUV should have been given to you at no cost difference. However an expression of Interest sounds like talking about today's weather.

  35. Mat Guest

    When did Hertz drop the guaranteed availability for President’s Circle? Many years ago I booked a minivan to transport my wife’s elderly grandparents and was told there were none available. A quick call to the PL line and the associate went and booked a van from National for me. I hadn’t noticed that had gone. Hope you found a decent alternative.

  36. Donna Diamond

    This is a typical transaction for me at EU Rental agencies. Take the reservation price, double it and then substitute with a much crappier car than what you reserved. I believe Ben has been LUCKY in his past dealings with Hertz if this isn’t his typical experience. Car Rental is the worst industry in travel, by a long shot.

  37. George Salem Guest

    Santa Rosa Airport Hertz is new. They left years ago and recently returned. They are the worst domestic Hertz location there is. I've seen them pull the same "we don't have a car, but I can give you nicer at a discount" BS more than once. Seen someone denied a car since she showed up 20 minutes late (delayed flight). Left her in tears as she could not afford the up sell. I would never...

    Santa Rosa Airport Hertz is new. They left years ago and recently returned. They are the worst domestic Hertz location there is. I've seen them pull the same "we don't have a car, but I can give you nicer at a discount" BS more than once. Seen someone denied a car since she showed up 20 minutes late (delayed flight). Left her in tears as she could not afford the up sell. I would never in a billion years use that location again, even though it is close to my Winter home.

    I don't have an answer except "Don't patronize them." Also, letters to corporate can't hurt.

    1. Ricardo Guest

      Santa Rosa might be limited for sure. I wish that Ben had explained where he ended up getting a car. I've walked away ftom cars before and refused junkers. I've experienced the "No cars available" scenario but always found alternative rentals. It's a reality of a low margin, low wage business.
      An employee removed my last such problem by giving me a car with no entry in their computer system. When I returned the...

      Santa Rosa might be limited for sure. I wish that Ben had explained where he ended up getting a car. I've walked away ftom cars before and refused junkers. I've experienced the "No cars available" scenario but always found alternative rentals. It's a reality of a low margin, low wage business.
      An employee removed my last such problem by giving me a car with no entry in their computer system. When I returned the car at another location they could not accept payment until corporate approved it on Monday. I ended up getting a ~45% discount. In the interim I was counting on Amex to help me with any potential billing dispute.
      It may have helped that I was using a corporate personal use rental code with Avis.

  38. I S Guest

    Check out Google reviews for this location. People are complaining about this exact 33% no show number Ben gave. It's a systemic scam

  39. Kredie Guest

    Ben - thanks for this post. Looks like it's a widespread issue and there's no better way of trying to get things right than negative publicity on a widely-followed blog.

    I recently also had issues with Hertz, got a copy-and-paste automatic response to my complaint followed by radio silence. Hate their customer service.

  40. Bonnie Guest

    Hertz is the absolute worst! We rented a car in Casper Wyoming and due to a medical emergency had to return it to Salt Lake City Utah. Hertz charged us over $3000. for 8 days rental, instead of the $500. that was originally quoted by Expedia. Never again Hertz!

    1. Cumallo Verme Guest

      Medical emergencies suck. Have you looked into whether any form of insurance, maybe umbrella insurance, covers the one-way rental fee? I would also write to Hertz asking for a reduction in the fee given the medical emergency circumstances.

  41. stogieguy7 Diamond

    Rental car companies tend to attract a lot of lowlifes to management, as their corporate overlords also tend to be lowlife sleazeballs. However, I can't say that this experience is limited to Hertz (though they're right up there); AVIS will happily not honor your reservation either if it's not convenient for them. National seems to be better about being honest and basically not taking reservations if they won't have cars, but none of them are...

    Rental car companies tend to attract a lot of lowlifes to management, as their corporate overlords also tend to be lowlife sleazeballs. However, I can't say that this experience is limited to Hertz (though they're right up there); AVIS will happily not honor your reservation either if it's not convenient for them. National seems to be better about being honest and basically not taking reservations if they won't have cars, but none of them are perfect and you cannot expect expert-level customer service from any of them. Often, you're dealing with either kids just out of school (Enterprise) or people who just left a fast food job. And far too many agencies also seem to promote the sleaziest among these to the role of manager.

    In my case, I used to rent from an AVIS local in northern IL all the time. Was on a first name basis with the manager. Well, AVIS replaced the manger with a new guy and everything changed. The desk agent was a 20-something gal who was rude and DNGAF. It peaked for me when I returned a rental, all was well, then I saw my statement and they had hit me for a cleaning fee for "pet hair" to the tune of $250. I tried to reason with the desk agent who again DNGAF. Then I talked to the managed who was rude and frankly didn't give a crap about all my prior business either (I was President's Club back then). So yeah, that's common.

  42. Vinny Guest

    Probably won't do much, but you should send that voicemail to Hertz loyalty department and have them explain how they can claim to be out of cars, but not really. If they oversell, they should give you whatever they can at no extra charge.

    Imagine an airline oversells and instead of offering people $$$ to take a later flight, they see which customers are willing to PAY $$$ to be on the flight! Definitely need regulation here

    1. Lisa Guest

      They will just tell you that they have cars allotted to various categories, like one way drop off, to end at different places,etc. Not every car can be swapped out for another. Of course they should upgrade you, like a hotel would, to a higher category for no fee if they run out of what you ordered. I would be hesitant to pay when I reserve. What if you needed a refund? These places are...

      They will just tell you that they have cars allotted to various categories, like one way drop off, to end at different places,etc. Not every car can be swapped out for another. Of course they should upgrade you, like a hotel would, to a higher category for no fee if they run out of what you ordered. I would be hesitant to pay when I reserve. What if you needed a refund? These places are not cooperative with that. I got a rental car recently through enterprise through my insurance when my car was being fixed. It was a totally sleazy experience. And, they kept calling me after I returned the car to rate my experience. I finally told the uy I hated enterprise and he did NOT want to see the rating I would give. A stunned silence followed and I hung up the phone.

  43. Holly Guest

    Hertz is trash. I rented a car from them for a weekend and it broke down twice. The first time it took them 4 hours to send help. The 2nd time it took them 9 hours. I have presidents circle. I spent a total of 6 hours on the phone with them that weekend. Luckily I was in a safe location those 13 hours - either at a taco place or in my hotel room....

    Hertz is trash. I rented a car from them for a weekend and it broke down twice. The first time it took them 4 hours to send help. The 2nd time it took them 9 hours. I have presidents circle. I spent a total of 6 hours on the phone with them that weekend. Luckily I was in a safe location those 13 hours - either at a taco place or in my hotel room. But it basically ruined my trip. If you rent from a corporate location - like the ATL airport - you can't exchange your car at a non corporate location. In my case it was Athens, GA. They wanted me to ride back to the Atlanta airport with the shadiest tow truck driver you've ever seen in your life whose truck smelled like weed at midnight by myself for 2 hours back to the airport. No way. Luckily they would take the car without me. I took a video of the driver taking the car in case I got arrested for never returning the car. I was able to get a shuttle back to the airport.

  44. D3Kingg Guest

    I would have told them they are going to honor my reservation. Negotiated a lower rate as last resort.

    It’s a business they make commissions as a big part of their salary. I used to be such a good salesman. Never be high pressure. As Ben was walking away I would have said ok we will give it to you for $99 and then on paper make it look like it was an upsell.

    1. Cumallo Verme Guest

      You are a f**king Uber driver. Stay in your lane.

    2. D3Kingg Guest

      Yes I drive Uber part time ; mostly transporting cancer patients to and from hospital appointments to their hotels or residences. I also have a decent net worth of assets. What is your point ?

  45. Michelle Guest

    My husband traveled to Tampa for a funeral. Booked online with Hertz. He got to the airport late Friday. Couldn't find his reservation with the confirmation number. Sent him to Dollar Rental car and said we found your reservation. When booked online, it said $315. When he picked up the car it was $882. What?!! Then said that it was for EV car. Didn't ask for that. Refused it. Gave him a Camry and said...

    My husband traveled to Tampa for a funeral. Booked online with Hertz. He got to the airport late Friday. Couldn't find his reservation with the confirmation number. Sent him to Dollar Rental car and said we found your reservation. When booked online, it said $315. When he picked up the car it was $882. What?!! Then said that it was for EV car. Didn't ask for that. Refused it. Gave him a Camry and said that our account would be credited. He flew back home. A day after returning car, we noticed that the charge went it to 982. Tried calling company. No answer. Yesterday, checked account and bill went up to 1,082. Are you kidding me. Call the company. No answer. This is ridiculous. We will NEVER rent from Hertz again!

  46. Towelie196 Member

    What's mind boggling is that anyone tries to rent from Hertz. Isn't it the American way to let the market sort itself out instead of regulating it? Everyone is literally contributing to this practice by renting from there. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    1. Cumallo Verme Guest

      Makes you think the market sorting itself out idea may not work so well in practice, hm? F'ing dumb economists.

  47. Sel, D. Guest

    @Lucky so what did you end up doing? Stressful, hope you got some wine in you stat.

    It’s not an excuse, but STS is minuscule - do you think if had anything to do with that?

    Also, no love for the Snoopy pilot logos? Curious to hear what you’re checking out, as you already wrote your Alila post.

  48. infrequentflyer Guest

    years ago I heard an analogy I like to use in these types of situations when needing to lock between multiple bad choices; Picking the best rental car company is like trying to pick the best Madonna movie, they all suck, but you are still tasked with having to pick the best one. I personally have had very few issues with Hertz and ten to use them due to being able to use my corporate...

    years ago I heard an analogy I like to use in these types of situations when needing to lock between multiple bad choices; Picking the best rental car company is like trying to pick the best Madonna movie, they all suck, but you are still tasked with having to pick the best one. I personally have had very few issues with Hertz and ten to use them due to being able to use my corporate for all my reservations which usually ends up making it the cheapest option compared to all others. I can rent a minivan in Hawaii for a week during the summer for only $500. My most recent counter experience was a few months back at TLH and they brought my rental up to the curb for me, handed me the key, and I was on my way. I've also had on multiple occasions where when returning the car at smaller airports with my family in tow they offer to drive me over to the terminal.

    1. Shayla Guest

      No need to be a hater. You know it's Desperately Seeking Susan followed by Evita. Easy peasy

    2. Bob Guest

      Haha. Not to mention everyone here would fall over themselves to have her $800 million net worth. Also, a Madonna movie bomb reference is so 1995 which tells everyone they're well pass their prime which is probably why the h8.

  49. Nate nate Guest

    Rather than blogging about it (or in addition to), you could file a complaint with the FTC.

    1. Bob Guest

      He can get better results blogging than going through ftc. People think the ftc is this great big organization with tens of thousands of employee waiting to take your case. There's probably all of 1 person assigned to car rentals and that person is already inundated with complaints and maybe just maybe 7 years from now they'll get to your complaint. Which is precisely why companies act like they do because they know regulators can't...

      He can get better results blogging than going through ftc. People think the ftc is this great big organization with tens of thousands of employee waiting to take your case. There's probably all of 1 person assigned to car rentals and that person is already inundated with complaints and maybe just maybe 7 years from now they'll get to your complaint. Which is precisely why companies act like they do because they know regulators can't keep up. And then if you say well more tax dollars should be used to fund them, then you get loud mouths screaming the govt should not get involved and again companies know that which is why they have lobbyists whispering in your ear that increasing govt is the work of communists and is non Christian and 40% of the country who never passed high school believes it.

    2. it hertz it hertz Guest

      The state attorney general s office is more likely to be helpful

  50. Mike Guest

    Same thing happened to me at the SYR airport.

  51. snic Diamond

    Avis did something similar in St. Louis recently. I got a text when I landed saying my pickup was ready. I didn't reserve a pickup, I reserved a sedan. The app has a button for "change car", but when I tried that it told me nothing else was available. In STL you have to take a shuttle to get to the rental agency, and I didn't want to do that without making sure I had...

    Avis did something similar in St. Louis recently. I got a text when I landed saying my pickup was ready. I didn't reserve a pickup, I reserved a sedan. The app has a button for "change car", but when I tried that it told me nothing else was available. In STL you have to take a shuttle to get to the rental agency, and I didn't want to do that without making sure I had a car I wanted. So I called Avis, which couldn't connect me to a local representative and could do nothing more than tell me to go to the counter.

    I went to a different agency instead and picked up exactly the car I wanted for a similar price.

    So much for "Avis Preferred" - if that is how they treat their "preferred" customers, how do they treat their un-preferred customers?

  52. Joe Shlabotnik Guest

    Turo.

    That's it. That's the answer. Read the reviews, contact the owner of the car, and voila, you have a great rental at a fraction of the price, and you usually get out of the airport in less time than if you'd rented from a car company.

    1. snic Diamond

      In my experience, Turo is not a fraction of the price when you factor in:
      1. Extra insurance that normally your credit card or personal auto policy would cover
      2. Charges for meeting you at the airport and/or taking an Uber to wherever the car is.
      3. Charges to get from the drop-off location back to the airport.

      Every time I've priced out Turo factoring these extras in, the price is no longer competitive with an on-airport car rental.

    2. Lisa Guest

      Just say no to the extra insurance as long as you have your own.

  53. cccc Guest

    Hi had the same thing happen to me in Austin (local). Then ended up going to the airport to pick up a car at a higher rate. I asked for them to pay for the uber ride over, they refused. Called hertz, no dice, no one cares.

  54. Anna Guest

    There is a reason I never use Hertz. Scrappy cars for ridiculous rates, and jerky customer service.

  55. Gray Guest

    The overselling issue is a real issue, though it's also tangled up in the fact that it's /really/ hard for the agencies to enforce timely returns. Having said that, I'd take the view that if you roll up with a reservation in hand, they should be stuck giving you what they've got in a same-or-better category for no upcharge.

  56. Mantis Gold

    Car rental industry is incredibly slimey, but a reservation is not a binding contract. You can cancel without penalty, and so can they.

    Government regulation will not solve this, it will just increase costs, and probably some other unintended consequences. Just take your business elsewhere.

  57. stvr Guest

    What would I do? I don't know, rent with National? Renting with Hertz when there's National is like staying at a Marriott (that treats you dirty) when there's a Hyatt next door.

  58. RGV Guest

    Sue them. Seriously, this is a scam an needs to be addressed.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Good luck finding an attorney that would take such a case, lol.

  59. Phil Guest

    Completely irresponsible and time for more government regulation... But... You said the upgraded SUV was available at 40 USD more? Why didn't you just make a new reservation right then and there for the SUV and demanded that same car without paying 250 USD extra? I'm sure cancelling and going elsewhere to rent a car on the spot must have been much more expensive.

  60. Rahul BR Guest

    Had the same thing happen to me in a suburban New Orleans location earlier this year. It was infuriating. And it was at the time of NOLA Jazz Fest - turned out the local manager was hoarding cars to rent out for that, and make more $$, instead of renting to me and others who had reserved 1-2 days before.

    This practice by rental agencies - and I've seen it most at local Hertz...

    Had the same thing happen to me in a suburban New Orleans location earlier this year. It was infuriating. And it was at the time of NOLA Jazz Fest - turned out the local manager was hoarding cars to rent out for that, and make more $$, instead of renting to me and others who had reserved 1-2 days before.

    This practice by rental agencies - and I've seen it most at local Hertz branches in small places, such as Santa Rosa airport - is atrocious. It would be fine if they notified in advance that nothing was available or canceled it even. However, having you arrive there and then tell you there's nothing available is pretty bad.

  61. Pist at Hertz Guest

    I had a very similar experience at a Hertz counter a number of years ago when they refused to honor a reservation I made. The manager actually called me a liar. I have not rented from Hertz since then and I instructed my employees to avoid them too.

  62. ArnoldB Guest

    Thats a scam attempt and you should not let them get through with it

  63. Ross Guest

    In the interest of transparency, the name of the airport is Charles M. Schulz - Sonoma County Airport. Yes, that Charles Schulz, as in Snoopy. It is owned and operated by the county, which is managed by a board of five supervisors, all of them Democrats (although elected on a nonpartisan ballot). Hertz no doubt pays substantial rent for space at the airport, which helps pay the $160,000 salaries of the supervisors. County government could...

    In the interest of transparency, the name of the airport is Charles M. Schulz - Sonoma County Airport. Yes, that Charles Schulz, as in Snoopy. It is owned and operated by the county, which is managed by a board of five supervisors, all of them Democrats (although elected on a nonpartisan ballot). Hertz no doubt pays substantial rent for space at the airport, which helps pay the $160,000 salaries of the supervisors. County government could easily make it a requirement that only companies that honor their reservations can do business on their property. But things like that don't happen in this country. No one even calls them up to ask them why they won't consider it.

    1. Pist at Hertz Guest

      Wait a minute. Hertz sucks and their franchize at this airport is run by incompetents and you blame Democrats? Are you an adult?

    2. Joe Shlabotnik Guest

      No. No, he is not.

    3. Ross Guest

      I was expecting to find that they were Republicans, in a wealthier California enclave. I'm a Democrat but I recognize that money speaks the same language to both parties. It might be easier to hold the Democrats' feet to the fire, so the affiliation is worth mentioning. At least I bothered to look it up.

    4. Julia Guest

      What does them being democrats have to do with it?

    5. Lee Guest

      Your dogma drives your reasoning. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Hitler was a vegetarian and dog lover, so he must have been a great guy.

      If "no one calls [the county] up," wouldn't you say it's the voters who don't care enough and are the underlying problem? And, if "no one" includes you, then you as well must not care enough and are the underlying problem.

  64. Icarus Guest

    More proof customer service is awful in the US. And yet Americans gush how wonderful it is. Frontline staff have no
    empowerment ( which is similar everywhere) so you pulled the Karen card DYKWIA and asked for the manager ( who was probably 20 and it was his first job).

    1. Lee Guest

      And Air Canada or Lufthansa or Turkish are really better? Don't kid yourself.

    2. ArnoldB Guest

      Other countries have this thing called consumer rights you know. In Germany you would've gotten the upgrade-car for free.

    3. Steve S Guest

      I'll just provide a different point of view - as a president's club member for decades now, I have never had any sort of problem like that. I have had people stay late in small locations when I was coming in 2 hours later than expected so that I could still get a car. I get nice upgrades even in locations without a choice lot. I've had good experiences 98% of the time

    4. E. T. Guest

      "pulled the Karen card"...... Wow, you're retarded. The representative offered him to speak to the manager... and so he legitimately took her up on that to discuss a legitimate problem. Ben got screwed, and was nicer than I would have been.

    5. frrp Diamond

      They probably wanted a 20% tip for cancelling the reservation lol.

      Service in the US is generally some of the worst globally.

    6. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "More proof customer service is awful in the US. And yet Americans gush how wonderful it is."

      This statement calls into question whether you've ever even met an American, much less talked to one, much less got a realistic opinion on anything.

      Because NO ONE in the US "gushes" over American customer service, lol.

  65. Christian Guest

    I'd file a complaint with the BBB and any regulatory agency that you can think of. I'd also consider if there are grounds for suing in small claims court for fraud or gross misrepresentation. With a blog this big you must have a lawyer you can ask about such things.

  66. Nicolas Guest

    I use Hertz regularly in Switzerland, and they are lovely. I have five star status and book a medium car and they let me pick the upgraded car I want based on all available cars (usually I pick a Volvo SUV). I tend to prefer Europcar since they have more premium mercedes and Audis but can't complain about Hertz.

  67. Nico Z Guest

    Rental car wisdom is a blind spot on this website.

    If you’re visiting north central / northern CA, you are much better off renting from National at SFO, SMF, or if the weather and absence of wildfire smoke & high altitude snow permits, MFR. Any tiny airport without an enterprise (national) presence is a gamble for multiple reasons.

    1. Jim Guest

      What does all that have to do with Hertz's attempt to cheat Ben out of his rental?

  68. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    All Rental Car places SUCK. But I've had "less problems" personally with Enterprise and Turo.

    Has anyone on here used SIXT? Thoughts?

    1. beachmouse Member

      We gave Sixt a try in Colorado and Scotland this year and were generally happy with the results. You’ve got far better odds of getting something in the class you made the reservation and we paid less in Denver for a nice BMW 5 series than the Hertz President’s Circle option, which probably would have been some rando Nissan. You do need to do a good walk around before hand to look for scratches in...

      We gave Sixt a try in Colorado and Scotland this year and were generally happy with the results. You’ve got far better odds of getting something in the class you made the reservation and we paid less in Denver for a nice BMW 5 series than the Hertz President’s Circle option, which probably would have been some rando Nissan. You do need to do a good walk around before hand to look for scratches in the paint, because they’re pickier about that than the US companies, and there are reports that the discount for paying ahead can morph into ‘we don’t have record of your prepayment’ at the counter so go with the pay at the counter option from the start. But would definitely rent from them again when we’re in their footprint. (They also status match to pretty much everyone and give you a small but substantial discount for matching from Hertz PC)

    2. Stanley Morris Guest

      I used them in Iceland. Good car and decent service, but slow.

    3. DCAWABN Guest

      Oddly, I've had the same experience with Sixt that Ben had with Hertz. Oddly similar as this was a "local" Sixt location in southeastern Spain, similar to the STS location Ben's writing about. That is, the Sixt office was in a converted cargo container (or at least the sizing fit) and was located in the parking lot of a gas station near to where I was working. I understand that there's a limited amount of...

      Oddly, I've had the same experience with Sixt that Ben had with Hertz. Oddly similar as this was a "local" Sixt location in southeastern Spain, similar to the STS location Ben's writing about. That is, the Sixt office was in a converted cargo container (or at least the sizing fit) and was located in the parking lot of a gas station near to where I was working. I understand that there's a limited amount of cars available at smaller locales but the treatment is what can make/break the experience. I walked and had a colleague drive me to the airport where I rented nearly the exact same car at the same price. I think it has more to do with local locations or small airport locations where the manager is a sleazy cunt and think their location is some sort of fiefdom.

  69. Mike Guest

    Seriously though, the bad experiences with Hertz are legion and very well documented. Why bother?

  70. David Guest

    I stopped using Hertz because of the way they treat customers. Avis is fine. There should be a status match available from Hertz PC.

    -David

  71. Points and Miles Doc Guest

    Another problem in Santa Rosa is that the car rental counters close before the last flight comes in. I had a flight schedule change on Alaska that put me in about 15 minutes after the counters close. I called and asked if they could hold the reservation or leave the keys for me, and was told no. Also was told that they are closed on Sunday so I would be charged for an extra day,...

    Another problem in Santa Rosa is that the car rental counters close before the last flight comes in. I had a flight schedule change on Alaska that put me in about 15 minutes after the counters close. I called and asked if they could hold the reservation or leave the keys for me, and was told no. Also was told that they are closed on Sunday so I would be charged for an extra day, after their online system allowed me to book my actual flight times for pick-up and drop-off.

    I think they know the counter is the only game in town and they can charge whatever they want!

  72. Esquiar Guest

    Sorry to hear that. Not surprised about Hertz, but shocked it happened in Santa Rosa. I lived in the area for a year, and nearly everyone I met was honest and friendly

    1. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      When was that? 30 years ago?

  73. Beachfan Guest

    You think that’s bad. Wait til you get arrested for stealing the car you declined.

  74. Jochen Lauterbach Guest

    I am so done with Hertz. They will never see my business again, ever.

  75. Robert D Guest

    In my 40+ years of renting literally hundreds of cars, it has always been standard practice to upgrade to the next available car class if the class you booked is unavailable. This has happened to me many, many times, even multiple times with Hertz. This location was trying to scam you, and you definitely should take it up with Hertz corporate.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      This part. I've never come to a counter at Enterprise nor Avis, with a valid reservation but a sold out class of car, and been told I'll have to pay more for an alternative.

      In fact, THEY usually do something in addition for *ME*... there was a time when I ordered Economy and was left with the choice of Small Pickup or MiniVan, but they lowered my rate by $11/day, and marked my fuel as...

      This part. I've never come to a counter at Enterprise nor Avis, with a valid reservation but a sold out class of car, and been told I'll have to pay more for an alternative.

      In fact, THEY usually do something in addition for *ME*... there was a time when I ordered Economy and was left with the choice of Small Pickup or MiniVan, but they lowered my rate by $11/day, and marked my fuel as 0 upon rental, so that I could bring it back empty.

      I always figured that was more or less the standard way of handling this sorta thing. Apparently not.

  76. Chris Guest

    Give them all the business they deserve. None.

    A regulatorycomplaint to the proper authority for attempting fraud using bait and switch makes sense.

    A class action civil suit might be interesting.

    1. Jim Guest

      Absolutely, and Hertz was nice enough to even leave audio evidence for the complaint.

  77. Hungry Guest

    It's a problem I too have faced.

    I made a same day reservation at Hertz in downtown Chicago and showed up, only to find no cars available. The employee said it was a well known website issue - Same day bookings aren't reflective of the actual car availability.

    And yes, that is extremely stupid. Leads to plenty of people wasting time looking for a car post a reservation, only to find there is none....

    It's a problem I too have faced.

    I made a same day reservation at Hertz in downtown Chicago and showed up, only to find no cars available. The employee said it was a well known website issue - Same day bookings aren't reflective of the actual car availability.

    And yes, that is extremely stupid. Leads to plenty of people wasting time looking for a car post a reservation, only to find there is none. But it seems Hertz wants to do nothing to fix that.

    In my case, I was asked to go to ORD. And I was informed that because I was special, they would provide a car at ORD without any extra cost :O

  78. rrapynot Guest

    Since you’re in town, I would love to meet up for a drink.

  79. XPL Diamond

    Rental car companies, bah. I switched to Turo and have never looked back.

  80. Brian Guest

    I find rental car agencies to be good based on location and not by brand. At SNA and MCO, hertz gold is good, at PBI, I rent with Alamo/Enterprise. Rare do I find Budget ever to be a stand out leader.

    1. Stanley Morris Guest

      That's my impression. The off-airport Hertz on Montana Blvd. in El Paso has good service and is quite convenient. I take a rideshare to them from the airport and save a bundle.

  81. Bort Guest

    I’m usually able to forgive companies screwing up and ruining my day. Large systems of people can after all. But the false GTA accusations were so incredibly bad and so numerous that it’s going to be a long long time before Hertz is anything other than my last resort for a car rental. Particularly because I can’t think of anything that the company has done to repair the broken trust with their customers (hiring Brady as a spokesperson doesn’t count).

  82. zagman1112 Member

    I worked for Enterprise for a couple years right after college and I can verify that the rental car industry is sleezy at best. We were always told to “run tight” meaning you want as few cars on the lot as possible. We would often take reservations when we had no cars. We would put people in two seater cargo vans to get them going and tell them to check back every day to see...

    I worked for Enterprise for a couple years right after college and I can verify that the rental car industry is sleezy at best. We were always told to “run tight” meaning you want as few cars on the lot as possible. We would often take reservations when we had no cars. We would put people in two seater cargo vans to get them going and tell them to check back every day to see if there was a car to switch into. That’s just one example but I can absolutely say that I hated working there and it is certainly a crappy industry to work in

    1. Eskimo Guest

      What people don't realize is if you don't “run tight”, your rental cost would double and people would complain even more.

      Nothing good ever come to an airline for overbooking because people take lower fares for granted.

  83. RK Guest

    I would insisted that they honor my reservation. They did have a car, even if not the class he booked, so shouldn't even be an issue.

    I'd have phoned Hertz to discuss.

    1. LLinNH New Member

      Try to call Hertz and get a human to talk to.

  84. Eskimo Guest

    Regulations?

    Adding more cost to them is just adding more cost to consumers.
    LAX is extorting you $9 per day on top of CONCESSION FEE.

    Wait till you have a resort fee on car rentals.

  85. Lee Guest

    You did it to yourself. Of all people, you know the situation with Hertz. Sorry but no sympathy.

  86. Casey Kell Guest

    I used to work in the rental car industry. I absolutely hated it. We had to try and upsell 3 times before moving on to the next sales item. We too oversold, usually by 100 or more cars. The big wigs don't care that it makes the counter agents look incompetent, as long as they stay sold out.

  87. Terry Guest

    This seems to occur on same day reservations, at least it has for me. Last year in BUF they said they don’t honor same day reservations so I had to take an Uber downtown and rent the car there.

  88. Dom Guest

    Rookie mistake. A pro would have made a backup reservation with another agency at the first sign of trouble.

  89. Eli Guest

    Crazy. What did you do?

  90. Frank Guest

    If I were you I would reserve 50 vehicles at that location for the next 30 days so they can have it.

  91. KK13 Diamond

    The same Hertz gave me the best deal and one of the best cars (a new VW Polo) at Zurich airport: 10 days for $260!

    It’s mind blowing how cheap rental cars can be in Europe when compared to US. And I agree, rental cars are ripping us off in the States.

    1. Esquiar Guest

      Cars are cheap in Europe because they hose you on “repairs” for imperceptible dings unless you pay their CDW charges

    2. frrp Diamond

      You think they dont do that in the US? lol

      Theyre all crooks.

  92. Santastico Diamond

    I would take Uber over Hertz any day at any cost. National is the only way to go in the US.

  93. Matt Guest

    Why are people still going to Hertz??? Hertz lost me in the 90s with their 'business' pricing. Even when they were the gold standard they were overpriced. Now they either convince you to cancel your own reservation or they get you arrested... Steer clear!

  94. DT Guest

    There's an old saying in Tennessee—I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, 'Fool me once, shame on...shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again.

    Why are you still giving them your business?

    1. David Diamond

      Usually I don't like to blame the victim, but gotta go with this one. Lucky covered negative Hertz stories so many times on this blog, and has multiple car rental company elite statuses, I just have no idea why he still choose to give Hertz his business.

      The only way to stop this behaviour is to not reward the worst actor in the industry.

    2. Andrew Diamond

      100% agreement. Lucky makes rational choices usually - given his many experiences, he should have fully bailed on Hertz. Voting with your wallet is the only solution

    3. digital_notmad Diamond

      In fairness though, every one of the car rental agencies are incredibly shady and I don't think Hertz is any worse in this regard than the others; other than with regard to the arresting customers thing, which is a Hertz specialty.

      Excellent quote for the occasion, though.

  95. Marcus Guest

    Most industries are consolidated now to just a few players (banks, airlines, rental cars etc) and they all focus on cost reduction and raising prices with a take it or leave it attitude. You are better off with Uber/Lyft which may cost more but you won’t be arrested or charged for damage to the car that you did not do

    1. Bobby J Member

      In my experience, I’ve never experienced any travel where Uber/Lyft was more expensive than renting a car. Rent a car when you’re flying someplace but actually travelling to the middle of nowhere, and even then, never rent from the airport. Hassle + hidden fees + jackasses at the counter.

  96. RF Diamond

    Does the car rental industry need more regulation?

    Yes, absolutely.

  97. Greg Guest

    It's bait and switch - report it to the FTC and the CA consumer affairs bureau. The FTC went after them in the 70s for this

    https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/penalty-offenses/autorentals

    1. Alan Robertson Guest

      This sounds like a very sensible approach - have you done this, Ben? I've rented from Hertz quite a bit and not had this issue (so far at least!)

  98. Dan Guest

    The day of frontline employees not having a choice of where to be enployed is not a reality right now.

    I’m done being nice to idiots like that manager. He deserved a “thank you sir, I’m going to have to cancel. You might want to take that SUV and shove it up your ass. While you’re at it anyone that would take check to be employed by Hertz is a waist of oxygen. Might be better if you find something else everyone is hiring ya know.

  99. Chris W Guest

    I've never had a problem with Sixt

    1. David H Guest

      Really? I have. Palma De Mallorca Sixt is a racket - they rent you a car and then when you leave they claim there are scratches. When you ask to see photos for proof, they don't have it. They tell you they'll take you to court in Spain (knowing you're not coming back for that.) I finally offered them 1000Euros to just make it go away (they were saying there was 3500 Euros of damage)...

      Really? I have. Palma De Mallorca Sixt is a racket - they rent you a car and then when you leave they claim there are scratches. When you ask to see photos for proof, they don't have it. They tell you they'll take you to court in Spain (knowing you're not coming back for that.) I finally offered them 1000Euros to just make it go away (they were saying there was 3500 Euros of damage) - within 30 seconds I had a document sent to me for my signature (clearly they've done this before) - and so I posted about this on Reddit. Literally HUNDREDS of people replied THE EXACT SAME THING HAPPENED TO THEM with Sixt.

    2. Santastico Diamond

      Well, that’s not Sixt. That’s Europe. Never ever rent a car in Europe with full insurance. Yes, it will cost you a lot but at least you won’t have the headache to try to solve a huge charge on your credit card. Cars in the US are usually kept in much better conditions than in Europe. Once I rented from Hertz in Italy and the car had a door that was literally crashed by another...

      Well, that’s not Sixt. That’s Europe. Never ever rent a car in Europe with full insurance. Yes, it will cost you a lot but at least you won’t have the headache to try to solve a huge charge on your credit card. Cars in the US are usually kept in much better conditions than in Europe. Once I rented from Hertz in Italy and the car had a door that was literally crashed by another vehicle and was completely dented to the inside of the car. They couldn’t care less and still rented me the car.

    3. Antwerp Guest

      Well, to be honest, you were the fool for offering them anything. Walk away. They will never do anything. Trust me.

    4. Brian Guest

      In Spain, demand an hoja de reclamaciones and follow up. If they say they don't have one, you can contact the local tourism bureau and report the company. It is taken very seriously. Any shenanigans in Spain I've had, such as a restaurant saying I had ordered things I didn't or a merchant overcharging, have quickly been resolved in my favor by demanding the form.

    5. RK Guest

      Did you pay them 1000Euro? They prob reacted so quickly cos they couldn't believe their luck that you agreed to pay anything.

    6. NFSF Diamond

      It's doubtful they would have bothered to sue you in Spain and it depending on where you live, it would be expensive for them to collect.

    7. Santastico Diamond

      Upsell all the time. They never have the car I rented so they offer something more expensive. “How about a Mercedes G-Wagon for “only” $500 more per day. That is usually $800. “ Yeah, right!!!

    8. KK13 Diamond

      Sixt can be a hit or miss. While I didn’t have a problem with them in France, there are lots of complain against them. Mainly about charging insane amounts in fines for minute scratches, which many customers claim was not there when they returned.

  100. AAflyer Guest

    The problem is rental car agency quality is so variable by location. There are no national standards.
    FWIW I had a great experience with Avis STS last year, not only kind staff but the only agency to stay past posted closing time with a flight delay if a booking was made in advance, including flight info. Hope they were able to accommodate you

  101. Antwerp Guest

    They get away with it because people are idiots and actually fall prey to their grifts.

    I only use National and Sixt now. Even if more expensive.

  102. Sara Smith Guest

    Ben, I have to ask what the actual h... you are thinking renting from Hertz?

    For those not familiar, Hertz calls the cops on innocent customers. Then, police departments simply take Hertz on their word, and people's lives are ruined while they're incarcerated for weeks on end. Yes, this happened. It *still* happens!

    Are you paying z e r o attention, Benjamin? This one is on you, and only on you.

    Quite frankly, as...

    Ben, I have to ask what the actual h... you are thinking renting from Hertz?

    For those not familiar, Hertz calls the cops on innocent customers. Then, police departments simply take Hertz on their word, and people's lives are ruined while they're incarcerated for weeks on end. Yes, this happened. It *still* happens!

    Are you paying z e r o attention, Benjamin? This one is on you, and only on you.

    Quite frankly, as a parent, be more responsible. It's not a Rolex watch you bought, it's a human being who needs you.

    1. Cumallo Verme Guest

      The cop thing has an infinitesimally low chance of happening to you, and if you’re well resourced financially, you can come out ahead with a massive settlement from Hertz if it does happen.

    2. Jeff Guest

      that's a great strategy! go to jail when you are innocent to prove a point and make a few $$$. You might even get stabbed or sexually assaulted in jail. Then the settlement will be even more!!!
      Agree with Sara - WTF is Ben doing business with this terrible company. It is an easy stand to take - DON'T do business with Hertz. Ever.

    3. Pudu Guest

      Oh, Sara. Still unmedicated, honey?

    4. Sara Smith Guest

      Oh, Pudu. Still out there spewing your alt right conspiracies? What was it you said about Black people?

  103. Adam Enright Guest

    While I’m sorry this happened to you. I find it very satisfying that they just assumed they could scam you and didn’t realize your audience and reach. Hopefully Hertz will realize they’ve gone too far.

  104. Steven S Guest

    I too am President's Circle but after reading last year about all those poor souls that were arrested, I can't think of ANY reason to ever give them my business again. I have never had an issue with National. Please tell me you won't go back to them!

  105. JS Guest

    As a President Circle member, you can choose any car off the lot. You should have let the agent and manager know you would take what they had at the rate you had booked.

    1. Brian Gasser Guest

      Aiports like SNA do not have pick any car off the lot. Since Santa Rosa is small, I doubt that is an option.

  106. S Gold

    National, Enterprise, and then Avis. Never rent from Hertz unless it's a literal emergency and no one else has anything. Even then, I may just Uber.

    1. Jules Guest

      Exactly my strategy as well. Even though I stopped giving my business to hertz 3 years ago, somehow I’ve still retained PC status.

    2. TA Guest

      Exactly my priority ordering too. Haven't rented from Hertz in 4 or 5 years and hoping it'll be 4 or 5 more years before I'm somehow forced to do it.

  107. echino Diamond

    Florida Man tries to rent a car in California, gets a dose of Left Coast reality :)

  108. Taylor Guest

    While none of the car rental agencies has stellar customer service, I find Hertz to be consistently the worst, even as a fellow PC.

    National/Enterprise can be a touch more expensive, but the customer service is absolutely much better in my experience and the car selection is more diverse than 19 different colors/trims of Chevy Malibu. Well worth the premium, IMO.

  109. InceptionCat Gold

    Knowing how bad they really are why did you even bother booking a car with them again?

  110. Bobby Guest

    Another example of why Hertz is not worth it. National all the way.

  111. Howard Guest

    Don't catch a late flight. Herz does not track flights even if you give them your arrival information. They closed and 20 people went to Avis who stayed open late go honor their reservations.
    We closed our corporate account with Hertz

  112. Cumallo Verme Guest

    That’s a shockingly bad attitude to receive in Santa Rosa, Calif. I wonder if the employee recently relocated to the area from Massachusetts?

    1. JQ Guest

      Having worked and lived in that area, I found the people to be the most miserable of any place I’ve lived… and I lived in Miami. “Napa nice” is being ignored at best and verbally abused at worst.

  113. Peter Guest

    Any of this “no car available” pitch in writing (like email, app) for future escalation, or is it just he-said , she-said?

    1. Paul Rudolph Guest

      He did say voicemail. That’s close enough

  114. Ceejay Guest

    Hertz at STS is the worst. The Avis and Enterprise/National there have always been amazing. I rarely rent from Hertz in general but my last visit to STS I did and they refused to give me a receipt on return and said the building doesn’t have good internet so take their word that they checked it in and I’d get a digital receipt later. Obviously given Hertz’s recent history with this, I wasn’t happy but...

    Hertz at STS is the worst. The Avis and Enterprise/National there have always been amazing. I rarely rent from Hertz in general but my last visit to STS I did and they refused to give me a receipt on return and said the building doesn’t have good internet so take their word that they checked it in and I’d get a digital receipt later. Obviously given Hertz’s recent history with this, I wasn’t happy but really had no other options, I took video and pictures showing my return and it ended up working out but my god their agent had no critical thinking or customer service abilities. The Enterprise/National folks I’ve rented from dozens of times at STS and the AVIS/Budget franchise owner is as nice as can be. Lesson learned with Hertz.

    1. Brian Guest

      Among the big 3 travel expenses of airlines, hotels, and rental cars, rental cars have the fewest protections and least recourse when things go wrong. The entire rental car industry could use more regulation to tackle junk fees and underhanded practices. The average Hertz employee has zero incentive to provide excellent customer service since they're not tracked on net promoter scores like National. Yes, there are customer surveys, but I feel like with Hertz these...

      Among the big 3 travel expenses of airlines, hotels, and rental cars, rental cars have the fewest protections and least recourse when things go wrong. The entire rental car industry could use more regulation to tackle junk fees and underhanded practices. The average Hertz employee has zero incentive to provide excellent customer service since they're not tracked on net promoter scores like National. Yes, there are customer surveys, but I feel like with Hertz these never get back in any meaningful way to the station or individual employee. Another question is whether STS is a corporate or contract location? I've never rented from STS, but I have found that at smaller airports out west that they tend to be contract locations. I've had more issues with contract locations than corporate ones, which tend to be larger operations with more accountability.

  115. David Guest

    I have had more bad experiences with Hertz than any other rental car company worldwide. I have had good experiences with them too. The single worst experience was with Locauto in Rome which charged me for something I didn't even as for!

    1. Stanley Morris Guest

      To my surprise, my worst experience was in Christchurch, New Zealand.

    2. Jon Guest

      That’s surprising! My standout best experience with Hertz was in Christchurch, New Zealand. Although, that just means I received the car I had reserved and it was new and clean.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

DT Guest

There's an old saying in Tennessee—I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, 'Fool me once, shame on...shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again. Why are you still giving them your business?

8
Adam Enright Guest

While I’m sorry this happened to you. I find it very satisfying that they just assumed they could scam you and didn’t realize your audience and reach. Hopefully Hertz will realize they’ve gone too far.

5
Steven S Guest

I too am President's Circle but after reading last year about all those poor souls that were arrested, I can't think of ANY reason to ever give them my business again. I have never had an issue with National. Please tell me you won't go back to them!

5
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