It Hurts To Rent From Hertz - $2,036 For 65 Miles

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by RandyASteinberg, May 17, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. RandyASteinberg

    RandyASteinberg New Member

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    Our son didn’t do the right thing and returned his car (on time – no damages) at a different Boston Hertz facility 65 miles away from where he should have.
    Hertz provided no receipt – stated everything was okay – then took an additional $2,036 out of his credit card account with no warning.
    Details are in our BBB complaint - also filed with the FTC this is:
    1)No receipt, communication or indication there was an issue – had our son been informed he would have taken the car back to the right facility
    2)If same happens on a 1 day rental for the 2 facilities involved, the overcharge is $100 – not $2,036 – Hertz raised this only because he had a 2-month rental
    3)None of this is in the rental contract, web site, emails, FAQs or any communications that Hertz provides when renting a car
    4)The bill submitted by Hertz is doctored to hide an audit trail of the above
    5) Estimate has forged signature.
    Our claim is that this vendor is operating in a highly dishonest manner and hiding audit trails of their billing practices. The length of rental has nothing to do with additional charges for drop off and Hertz has no contractual or other written documents to this point. Our son rented a car in good faith for an extended period and it appears this is now being used against him. We are posting this to advise other travelers about this fraudulent practice.
    We can provide documented evidence of fraudulent billing.
     
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  2. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    Sounds like a first step is to refute the charge, then head to small claims court.
     
  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    A one-way rental has a different rate than a local rental. And if it is a 60-day rental you pay more for every day.

    As for the contract, when he changed the return location he changed the contract. I'm pretty sure Hertz does disclose that.

    As for the estimate and forged signature, where are those shown? It sounds from the initial recounting of the story that there were no docs about the new rate.
     
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  4. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Sounds like a big mistake. However, most car companies have the (ridiculous, in my opinion but there it is) policy of applying the higher drop-off charge to each day of the rental rather than as a one-time charge. So, the length of the rental does make a difference in the drop-off charge. In such cases it's almost always better to rent the car one-way for a day and then to pick up another car from the second destination for the rest of the time.

    Also, I'm not sure this:

    is correct. I'm certain that when you originally rent the car you agree to a pick-up and drop-off location; and 99.9 percent certain those locations are stated on the contract.

    Where I think the return location may possibly have erred in an actionable way is in not presenting your son with the revised cost when he returned the vehicle. Whenever I return a vehicle the agent either gives me a receipt or (I"m pretty sure) confirms what the total cost is. If they had done that, it might have made it possible for your son to get the car back to the correct location.
     
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  5. DealsRock

    DealsRock Silver Member

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  6. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    I think the flyertalk thread gave the OP good paths forward and explanation.
     
  7. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Of course Hertz stated everything was ok, because on their end it was. Your son made a very costly mistake by returning the car to a different location. (Yes, the right thing to do is tell the customer, but all in all, they did what they had to do; accept their car.) All is spelled out, albeit in weird language, in the many agreements you agree to when picking up the car. Being a long-length rental period, not 1 day, all of these charges compounded to a large number. Yes, the length of rental has everything to do with the additional charges! What bill and estimate? The summary of charges Hertz provides at the time of rental includes charges that will accrue if the customer sticks to the contract. Your son did not, and as Seth (@Wandering Aramean) and @LarryInNYC stated, all of these contributed to the outrageous cost and would have been on the receipt at drop off.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  8. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Not really the best advice until all of the facts are revealed. The OP is very misinformed, as well as very angry; both will work against him.
     
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  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Given that the OP is in the wrong what positive result would likely result from either of those two actions??
     
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  10. RandyASteinberg

    RandyASteinberg New Member

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    The purpose of the post is to communicate and warn other travelers what Hertz is willing to charge. In addition, their contract terms state "additional charges" for this kind of situation. Our bill has a series of false charges and no indication that "additional charges" were applied. Yes, we are on the warpath and will continue to let customers know what Hertz is willing to charge for things like this until Hertz finds a fair way to deal with customers and bills them in a transparent manner for what took place. To be honest, I'm a little mystified by the strong defense of very poor customer service, false billings and a willingness to accept an undocumented charging policy that unfairly inflates fees based on contract length.
     
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  11. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Of course they are. And you've agreed to that when you sign the contract.
    What is the poor customer service? That they didn't immediately refund the charges which you were contracted to pay?

    Again, what is false? Did your son not return the 60-day rental at that location thereby altering the terms of the contract he agreed to?

    You say it is unfair but you also had the option to follow the contract as written and get the rate you believe was fair.

    This thread is a great reminder to everyone to know what you're getting in to when executing a contract and when attempting to change the terms of such unilaterally. It can be quite painful. I'm sorry your son is out two grand for what seems like a simple quirk but the rules are not nearly as obscure as you suggest. A quick call to the 800 number on the rental contract would have cleared up the return fee for the change in advance of his actions. Asking at the new return location before returning the car would have, too. I know these to be true as I've done them many times when my plans changed after I picked up a rental car.

    But continuing to insist that this is "unfair" is silly. Mostly because it is exactly what your son agreed to when he picked up the car and when he returned it. There were many opportunities for this to not happen and he chose to not take any of them. Taking responsibility for mistakes made is part of growing up in life.
     
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  12. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Rarely will a large corporation willingly and overtly commit forgery and fraud. Of course it happens. There are always 3 versions of what happened; yours, theirs and the truth. Often, 2 are similar. Hope it's yours and the truth. Your son agreed to all the "additional charges" when he picked up the car. He altered the contract by returning at a different location. Your anger with your son is clouding your judgement. If it makes you feel better by letting off steam here, good. Your post, however, is not a warning, but a reminder to read the fine print and stick to the terms of the contract. Sorry you had a bad experience, but it's a lesson for your son to learn.
     
  13. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    You're playing a hair-splitting game to distinguish between the phrase "additional charges" and the increased base charge that you incurred by unilaterally deciding to treat the rental as a one-way rather than return-to-rental-location rental. The additional charges in this case are an additional fee that increases the daily rental rate. You almost certainly paid exactly what you would have paid had you rented the car originally under the terms that you wound up using it.

    Your mystification might be eased if you take a step back and consider why all these people, many of whom consider it their role in life to take advantage of companies like Hertz, are telling you that the fault lies with you and not the rental agency? As I said before, the only possible actionable mistake that Hertz made was not informing you of the new total when you returned the car. And, to be honest, judging from some of the less accurate statements in your complaint and the fact that you're still publicizing them after getting accurate information on other forums (thanks DealsRock!), I'm not sure I believe that you weren't given a receipt at the time of return with the final amount on it.

    I've made plenty of mistakes like this in my life and I've found that sometimes (surprisingly often, honestly) even faceless corporations are willing to make an adjustment to compensate for my mistake. But I always present the problem in the form "I've made a terrible mistake, and I hope you can help me out." rather than "I did something wrong and you damn well better make it right or I'm going to go all over the internet and rant against your company."
     
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  14. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    To be fair, I do think that a $2,000 drop-off charge for a location 65 miles away could be considered unfair in the larger scheme of things. It is, however, the common and published rate for this kind of rental with Hertz; the precise rate that would be generated by an online quote and reservation for the rental as used, and therefore neither unfair or surprising on the final bill.
     
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  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Well, look at that -- I actually learned something new in this thread. I didn't know that Hertz charged one-way fees on a per-day basis (camouflaged into a higher rate, okay). I have done plenty of one-way rentals in the past with Hertz, alas all for one day (LE to airport or vice versa). But I could see this bit of information to be useful in the future.

    Kinda like a 50% interest rate for payday loans, which might be published but not considered fair or legal in many jurisdictions.

    OP, someone like Chris Elliott or your local TV station's consumer reporter might be able to help you negotiate a more reasonable rate.
     
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  16. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Unfortunately, what's fair and what's legal will not always be the same.
    I doubt any consumer reporter would touch this.
    The OP may get somewhere with a reduction of charges, but he needs to take this up with his son, who agreed to pay the charges when he dropped off the car.
     
  17. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    True, but there's a court of law and a court of public opinion.

    I haven't read the other threads, so I may not have all the details, but a $2000 charge for dropping off a car at the wrong rental place 65 files away would sound like prime fodder for the evening "news". I have seen them go after phone companies when the consumer ran up a humongous phone bill by going over the texts/month limit of using data service abroad. In all cases, the bill was correct according to the documented plan and rates the consumer agreed to, i.e., it wasn't a billing error. In all cases, the outcome was a one-time reduction of the massive charge.
     
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  18. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    Agreed. IF, as the OP alleges, charges are falsified and undocumented then it might make sense. But as the facts are being revealed and as people weigh in with their opinions I have to agree it's likely to be the renter's error here, not Hertz's wrongdoing.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  19. Canarsie
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    Canarsie Gold Member

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    ...and that works both ways in terms of cost, depending on the situation.

    For example, every year during the spring, one-way rentals out of Florida cost as little as $9.45 per day plus taxes and fees through many of the major rental car companies; whereas the typical rental where you both pick up and drop off the vehicle at the same location or facility would be significantly more expensive.

    By the way, I just completed a one-way rental out of Florida which cost me $9.45 per day — with none other than Hertz. The total cost for three days was just shy of $50.00, including all taxes and fees.

    It all boils down to know what you are paying before you rent; and know the terms and conditions of any variabilities pertaining to the rental — such as dropping the vehicle off in a different location than where you originally agreed to drop it off.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  20. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    I spotted a mistake in one of my rentals this year but had it resolved on the spot
    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/seattle-airport.84695/

    Regardless of whose mistake it was, just raising the issue at the point of return would have established a better case.
    Here, your son would have been able to make a decision to drive back to the original rental location, 65 miles (an hour) away.
    If your son had realized the mistake, tries to offer and bring the car back..... but Hertz refuses, then you will certainly get more support (from me at least)

    I have to say that I did learnt some valuable lessons out of this report (unfortunately at the expense of your son). Much as I do not read the T&Cs, I will all the more try and get a receipt wherever I go from now for these very reasons and also not to make 1 way rentals unless I have thoroughly researched the pricing.
     

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