Warning: Hertz @ MAN airport, inconsistent procedures and potential scam

Discussion in 'Hertz | #1 Awards/#1 Club' started by redtailshark, Sep 11, 2017.  |  Print Topic

  1. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Anyone renting from Hertz @ MAN - be very careful!

    This location has third party contractors "between the customer and the car" as I was told.

    Synopisis: Rented LHR, returned MAN. Used Gold service at LHR for pickup, therefore did not interact with staff. There were assorted small marks on the vehicle including scratches on rims. Not all were marked on VCR - previously at LHR when I've interacted with staff, I have pointed out concerns like this and I have been assured that such marks were not reportable.... and indeed, they have not been at LHR (or EDI)... until I returned the LHR rental to MAN last week.

    When I returned at MAN the contract agent used the 10mm wheel mark gauge and 25mm body and determined that two of the wheels had marks. Because these did not appear on the LHR VCR that was in the car when I picked it up, I was told these would be assessed for damage by the third-party assessor. I complained to three Hertz staff, one male manager inside, and two female managers including C. the fleet manager that these marks were not on VCR but had not been a problem previously at LHR.

    I received some platitudes including a statement about "errors can happen" and "we will be using vehicle cameras at all locations soon" - that may be so and will be better, but meantime, we have this very problematic situation.

    We were then offered an SUV, which had a VCR inside it. After this rather unpleasant surprise, we were determined to document the condition exhaustively. We did so.

    Now look at this scratch on the vehicle door - which exceeded 200mm in length! It was NOT MARKED on the VCR! I insisted that manager C. add this to the VCR and pointed out the outrageous inconsistency. She was standing directly beside this non-recorded scratch!! She consented to noting this, but without appreciating the clear liability this action represents.

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    There were two other marks on this vehicle that exceeded the VCR threshold but were not marked on this VCR. We insisted they were added too. We again pointed out to C. - and to another manager who arrived just before we left. I challenged both of them on the inconsistency between their renting and return condition evaluations, and I did not receive a satisfactory answer.

    Think about what this means for a moment. They rent without inspecting and documenting with the same "care" that they use when return is performed. Even if this is not deliberate, this systematically guarantees revenue for them, if they are able to levy "damage assessments" on some proportion of customers. But if it's being in any way condoned or encouraged, it's clear fraud.

    My companion recommended a followup. Had we not moved this vehicle one inch, and simply turned it back immediately, on the spot, we WOULD HAVE BEEN ASSESSED THE DAMAGES BY THE SAME AGENT WHO GAUGED THE LHR CAR an hour before! This, in spite of their own VCR not documenting these damages.....

    This is unacceptable to say the least. We didn't have time to do this, because we'd already been at this location for 1hr 45mins during which time other rather suspicious things had happened. But had we done this, and been reported for damage assessment, I would have called Manchester police on the spot and reported Hertz MAN for suspected fraud. Lots of scope for investigation in such a case. For instance I would request MAN police audit and investigate the contractor and Hertz accounts and determine the scope of financial interest. I would request an audit of net damage assessments per vehicle/rental at this location and compare it with averages/other UK locations.

    Some of you will know, I'm not a guy who has any tolerance for rental car scams and I will not stand for this ripoff. I remember the FL rental car scams of the late 90s and the involvement of the SAG's office in actioning rental car companies. This situation smells very similar to that one (third party contractors with incentive for financial gain fraudulently assessing damages on return until actioned by SAG).

    I have:
    a. Complained to Hertz via the online form.
    b. Emailed Hertz execs, those whose emails I can guess
    c. Poster a warning here.
    d. Dispute charges for these marks on the wheels.

    I informed all of the MAN Hertz staff I talked to that I would follow steps a. b. and c. above.

    The next steps are:

    e. Complain to BVRLA mediator
    f. Complaint to Competition and Markets Authority - who have been examining practices in this sector for some time.
    g. Involve trading standards officers in MAN to conduct an audit on procedures and to interview consumers who have experienced this problem themselves.

    PROTECT YOURSELF FROM POTENTIAL RENTAL CAR RIPOFF HERE!

    Some suggestions for action:

    1. Avoid this location if you can. Always the best solution when scams are a possibility!

    2. If you must rent/return here, document every scratch and mark on the vehicle photographically. Exhaustively.

    3. If the staff do not use the 10mm and 25mm gauges on check out, insist that they do! Protect yourself from this notorious rental car scam. Note any inconsistencies like the one above, if scratches exceed their own thresholds and are not listed on the VCR at pickup. This evidence will support regulatory investigation/legal action.

    4. If you're renting elsewhere and returning to MAN (also potentially GLA), make sure you don't take a car from the Gold bay without exhaustively documenting the marks per (2) and (3) above.

    BTW I saw something similar happening at GLA, which is also disturbing although it did not involve me. It seems GLA also uses contractors "between the customer and the cars."

    No doubt you can see that there is another nasty undercurrent to this. It's happening at an airport location where many customers are pressed for departure time and therefore will not have time to follow up/complain/document in this way. Luckily for us, we were not using air travel that day and had sufficient time at least to initiate the complaints and collect evidence. Not enough to conduct the followup suggested by my passenger - too bad because for sure that would have ensured immediate management attention and a real investigation.

    I will say, Hertz ops at LHR and EDI have been very good. Maybe because they employ Hertz staff to manage fleet, returns etc. I have had no such problems with numerous vehicles rented and returned to these locations... nor @ contract locations such as MEX, SSA, GIG, GRU, LIM, FCO, MXP and many others worldwide.

    MAN was a horrible experience. My worst in some years of renting. It is very damaging to the Hertz brand, but - at best - inadequate oversight brings these problems on. It might be worse than just poor oversight, given the circumstancial evidence and previous form in other cases.

    Renters, you have been warned!

    Hertz management, take this seriously and clean this problem up, now. Your company is responsible for these activities and will be held to account. I'm going to have this investigated one way or another. This will not go away or be brushed under the carpet.
     
    iolaire likes this.
  2. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Yesterday, I was contacted by email by Hertz management Europe about my complaint.

    I will say, at the least, this represents corporate management taking this situation seriously. I will follow up here when I have talked with them.
     
  3. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Update: fair enough, corporate did take this seriously.

    Today I did receive a call at home in Sharkville from a Hertz executive in DUB as arranged via email. The results of the convo were good; in the first case, since there are clear inconsistencies in VCR standards between locations and at this location, the wheel mark assessment will be dropped. In the second case, Hertz corporate have taken operations at MAN back in house. Apparently the change has occurred this week. I have confidence this direct management of operations will change the culture at the location and ensure a fair and transparent process and consistent handling of VCR/assessment. I also asked the exec to review damage assessments and procedures at GLA.

    He also apologized offered me some Gold Points for the inconvenience. Fair enough, although that wasn't the point of my complaint.

    He covered the other strange event, which was being directed to a specific bay to rent a brand new car that I was then informed could not leave the lot. Apparently, it was not registered and could not leave the lot (although, why, then was the car a. parked in the numbered bay ready for rental and b. why was I directed to this stand?). Anyway, he acknowledged the entire experience did not match the desired Hertz standard and he was specific in his responses to each item in my complaint. He ensured a clear resolution was reached with respect to each and promised email followup to confirm.

    Compared with normal corporate followup on customer complaints, I would say this has been handled promptly, professionally, and effectively.

    Hertz - and no doubt other car companies - are sensitive to CMA interventions, given recent events, so if anyone reading this experiences problems of this type, do not roll over and take it. Do not allow local branch to diffuse/absorb the complaints - that way, nothing ever makes to corporate via the opaque and impenetrable website CR feedback forms and even if it does, these units have no power to address/solve the issues.

    This event needs to be a chapter in the book:

    "How Outsourcing Will Destroy your Brand and Business: Case Studies"
     
    iolaire likes this.
  4. Counsellor
    Original Member

    Counsellor Gold Member

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    First, thanks for the warning and information.

    Hint: If using unusual acronyms (VCR, CMA) that are not recognized by Inside Flyer's software, it helps us to understand if you spell them out the first time you use it in a thread, and then add the acronym in parentheses. I infer that VCR means vehicle condition report (or something similar) instead of video cassette recording, but I haven't the foggiest as to what CMA means
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  5. ajlex

    ajlex Silver Member

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    thanks for the warning.
    will be taken and i suggest others to pay attention.
    i had EXACTLY the same problem with hertz frankfurt airport 2 years ago.
    it took 2 years to finally get it resolved and had ot make a lot of noise before Hertz corporate got involved. well done
     
  6. Selwyn Garraway

    Selwyn Garraway Silver Member

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    This fraudulent practice is not limited to Hertz MAN. I had the same problem a few months ago with a company called Payless Car Rental in New York City. I rented a vehicle through this company for pick up at La Guardia Airport in NYC. When I arrived at the desk, the agent insisted I sign a Vehicle Damage form before I even inspected the vehicle. I then walked around the vehicle and made note of damage I observed at the time. Also because I declined Payless damage coverage, I was told that if the car is returned with any damage, Payless will bill my Amex card directly. I found this to be highly unusual and suspect. So Payless concludes that the onus is on the customer to identify all damage to the vehicle at pick up, whether there was prior damage by a previous renter. This I found also quite sketchy. No other Payless employee walked around the car with me to verify any prior damage. After I left the airport and was en route to my destination, I observed damage in two other places on the front of the vehicle that I overlooked at the airport. Once I returned the vehicle, and pointed out the prior damage to the car, the Payless employee wiped his hands clean and had me return to the airport return desk. There I was told to fill out a vehicle damage report. I requested a vehicle prior damage report but this request was refused. I protested at first and then filled out the form after writing in bold Letters that I was filling out the form in protest since I had no damage to report that I was liable for. A few days later I receive a damage claim from Payless insurance Co. Sedgwick demanding $1,200 for damage to the vehicle recorded on the day I returned the vehicle to the airport. I disputed the charges in my claim to Amex Premium Car rental insurance and they are now investigating the claim. I advised Amex not to pay the claim. So be for warned that this is definite scam perpetrated on innocent customers whose insurance carriers are expected to pay these false damage liability claims whether you caused the damage or not. Since Payless has you sign a damage form before han, this becomes an admission that you are liable for any prior damage. It is a rip off and fraud. So do not rent from Payless if you don't want to be snared in this reprehensible practice.
     
    Counsellor likes this.
  7. MildSoft05

    MildSoft05 Active Member

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    OMG. Is this even real?
     

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