Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

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CFIT
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Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by CFIT » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:20 am

Yesterday I flew into the Salt Lake City airport where I met my elderly father, uncle, and his wife as the first step of our vacation. My dad had reserved a car from Hertz, an Infiniti QX70. At the Hertz counter the clerk gave us the standard upsell to a larger vehicle, a Land Rover Discovery for $35 more a day. We declined this, took the key to the Infiniti, and headed into he garage with all of our luggage, When we reached the vehicle it was a QX30, not a QX70, and it was immediately clear that it was too small.

We returned to the Hertz counter and started a long back-and-forth with the clerk, who said that no Q70's were available and that the Q30 was in the same class. On the Hertz website the two vechicles are shown as being in different classes ( https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/vehicleg ... Collection ).After some unpleasant back-and-forth Hertz refused to provide us with either the car we had reserved or one similar in size so we cancelled the reservation, walked over to the Dollar Rental counter and rented a suitable car from them.

It is all water under the bridge and my dad didn't lose any money. Still, I'd like to make what complaints I can about this. My uncle is a Hertz member, so I'll ask him to contact the company as will I. Any other suggestions?

Thanks!

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Flymore
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by Flymore » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:51 am

Had same issue with Budget.
Same argument at the counter, explained to the guy that I couldn't buy the larger car for the price of the smaller car, therefore was not the same car!
Wife and I got the stuff in the smaller car, and eventually got a refund from Budget for the smaller car.
Have never rented from Budget again.

typical.investor
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by typical.investor » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:08 am

Got free gas from Enterprise when I had to drive a minivan instead of an intermediate SUV. They'd obviously overpromised though and there was a long queue of people waiting. Never seen anything like that at that location before ... or maybe it was the holiday weekend or combination of promotion and holiday.

BBQ Nut
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by BBQ Nut » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:25 am

Maybe watch the classic Seinfeld Rental Car scene and just have a laugh?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T2GmGSNvaM

123
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by 123 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:28 am

I would write a letter of complaint to the president of the board of directors of the airport demanding the the airport cancel the airport space lease for Hertz (and its affiliated companies) due to its failure to meet its commitments to customers. I would also request that the airport bar Hertz (and its affiliated companies) from operating or participating in any passenger shuttle service between airport properties and off-site car rental locations. I would also request that the airport cancel and bar Hertz from any on-premises airport signage or advertising on an on-going basis.

Mention that the actions of Hertz (and its affliated companies) are not the type that foster the sense of a welcoming airport that travelers find attractive.

You could "cc:" a copy of the letter to the president of Hertz.
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sperry8
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by sperry8 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:35 am

123 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:28 am
I would write a letter of complaint to the president of the board of directors of the airport demanding the the airport cancel the airport space lease for Hertz (and its affiliated companies) due to its failure to meet its commitments to customers. I would also request that the airport bar Hertz (and its affiliated companies) from operating or participating in any passenger shuttle service between airport properties and off-site car rental locations. I would also request that the airport cancel and bar Hertz from any on-premises airport signage or advertising on an on-going basis.

You could "cc:" a copy of the letter to the president of Hertz.
That would get OP nowhere, except for your cc suggestion. An airport is not kicking Hertz, the #1 car rental company off its premises because it was out of a certain car class.

OP - if you truly want to be heard write a letter to the President: http://ir.hertz.com/executive-officers She likely won't read it, but her executive asst will and will forward it to the right people. You will likely get something towards a future rental (~$50). But more importantly I guarantee this letter will make it to the Area Manager of that Hertz location and complaints like this are how these area and station managers are judged. They take complaints like this seriously and if they receive too many are 'relocated' or 'reassigned'.
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8foot7
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by 8foot7 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:38 am

123 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:28 am
I would write a letter of complaint to the president of the board of directors of the airport demanding the the airport cancel the airport space lease for Hertz (and its affiliated companies) due to its failure to meet its commitments to customers. I would also request that the airport bar Hertz (and its affiliated companies) from operating or participating in any passenger shuttle service between airport properties and off-site car rental locations. I would also request that the airport cancel and bar Hertz from any on-premises airport signage or advertising on an on-going basis.

Mention that the actions of Hertz (and its affliated companies) are not the type that foster the sense of a welcoming airport that travelers find attractive.

You could "cc:" a copy of the letter to the president of Hertz.
I assume this is written tongue in cheek. If not, this is a prime example of why it seems nobody takes complaints seriously anymore.

sport
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by sport » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:49 am

Many years ago, I had a similar problem. I was renting a car from Hertz in northern Indiana in the winter. I had specified snow tires in my reservation. When I arrived at 10:00 PM, the car they had for me did not have snow tires. When I complained, the response was "do you want the car or not?" Since it was late, and I did not know if any other car would be available elsewhere, I took the car. As it turned out, a blizzard hit while I had the car, and I had to drive the rear-wheel vehicle a long distance without the snow tires I wisely specified. Fortunately, I made the trip safely, but I have tried to avoid Hertz ever since.

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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:51 am

This stuff happens. Let it slide off. Be slippery. Do nothing.

Typing the post up was good "venting". Not worth spending more time on.
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michaeljc70
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:52 am

You can complain if it will make you feel better, but that (and maybe a form letter apology) will likely be the extent of what you gain.

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whodidntante
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by whodidntante » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:56 am

Reservations don't mean much at rental car companies. It's more like an advance request. A complaint will get you a voucher at most.

cutehumor
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by cutehumor » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:32 am

8foot7 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:38 am
123 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:28 am
I would write a letter of complaint to the president of the board of directors of the airport demanding the the airport cancel the airport space lease for Hertz (and its affiliated companies) due to its failure to meet its commitments to customers. I would also request that the airport bar Hertz (and its affiliated companies) from operating or participating in any passenger shuttle service between airport properties and off-site car rental locations. I would also request that the airport cancel and bar Hertz from any on-premises airport signage or advertising on an on-going basis.

Mention that the actions of Hertz (and its affliated companies) are not the type that foster the sense of a welcoming airport that travelers find attractive.

You could "cc:" a copy of the letter to the president of Hertz.
I assume this is written tongue in cheek. If not, this is a prime example of why it seems nobody takes complaints seriously anymore.
I agree. One person can't demand all of that. It's unreasonable request

Thegame14
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by Thegame14 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:43 am

I have seen some people get good outcomes using social media for this type of issue. I tried it once, but the company didn't respond. I was told that when you pay for extra toppings at pizza hut, they put less cheese on the pizza. To me if you pay for an EXTRA topping, they should put the same amount of cheese as a plain cheese pizza and then the Additional topping that you paid extra for. If the extra topping means less cheese, that is a substitution not extra.

Leesbro63
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by Leesbro63 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:47 am

whodidntante wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:56 am
Reservations don't mean much at rental car companies. It's more like an advance request. A complaint will get you a voucher at most.
To be fair, car companies are one of the few remaining places where you can make a non-binding reservation with zero penalty. You don't even have to cancel...just refrain from showing up and you'll never hear from them again. I'm not sure that business model is sustainable, but it's how it is today.

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sperry8
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by sperry8 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:04 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:47 am
whodidntante wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:56 am
Reservations don't mean much at rental car companies. It's more like an advance request. A complaint will get you a voucher at most.
To be fair, car companies are one of the few remaining places where you can make a non-binding reservation with zero penalty. You don't even have to cancel...just refrain from showing up and you'll never hear from them again. I'm not sure that business model is sustainable, but it's how it is today.
Bold my emphasis... it's been this way since at least 1990. 28 years. I'd call that sustainable.
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lightheir
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by lightheir » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:25 pm

This happened to me at Budget car rental. I can't say I was surprised, but my wife was furious that they were trying to give us a gargantuan van or a compact sedan instead of the midsize SUV we had specifically rented in advance for driving along mountain roads. We ended up waiting nearly an hour for them to find one for us - and that was after a cross country flight, so we were not happy campers at all.

It wasn't easy, but she managed to calmly but forcefully argue that we should receive compensation for our lost time - they comp'd us one day of the rental fee, which was close to $100 for this vehicle and season. I have to admit that I wouldn't have done that, because I likely would have failed as the negotiator, and/or felt too badly about building up a line at the counter (the negotiation took nearly 20 minutes.)

I do think these car companies have to be more careful about these bait n switch tactics in this age of social media. You can imagine how bad it would have looked if we or similar posted about the family trip where the greedy car company made the poor tired 7-year old and her sweet mom wait in a dark parking lot for an hour after a long x-country flight because they didn't properly reserve the vehicle.

Maya1234
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by Maya1234 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:35 pm

Twitter is one of the best ways to reach a company with a complaint. I find I get responses most of the time. Probabky 80 percent. It works best though if you have a number of followers. If you don't but you have a an teen/ adult kid who does that can work too. If not I'd try it yourself

RudyS
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by RudyS » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:05 pm

I have had good luck with National as an Emerald Club member (free). Reserve an intermediate, go to the emerald aisle and select any car there. They DO salt the aisle with a few higher class cars. Once I actually had to get an SUV due to insufficient trunk room in the sedan I had reserved. Of course, in real busy times the choices might be limited.

But I digress. To answer the OP, a letter to management has a good chance of being read, and may result in a credit voucher of around $50. Been there, done that with other companies. And yes, social media have their uses too.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:11 pm

I once heard from a rental car manager friend that the code of all rental companies is "Book, don't look" meaning that even if the lot is empty and you want to rent a red Mustang convertible, the reservation goes through and when you get off the rental bus from the airport, you're not getting a red Mustang convertible unless someone with one coincidentally pulled in a half hour before you arrived and they had no other customers at the counter in the last half hour.

I'm a grand pubah member with all the rental companies. Doesn't mean a thing.
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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:17 pm

RudyS wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:05 pm
I have had good luck with National as an Emerald Club member (free).
Free, yep, but holy cow... I took a look at signing up for Emerald Club, and balked when I saw the "terms and conditions" literally spanned 272 pages! I'm not sure I'll live long enough to read and understand their terms.
:annoyed
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

FunnelCakeBob
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by FunnelCakeBob » Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:03 pm

Years ago I had an unpleasant incident with Hertz where the agent at the airport tried to double the rental rate on me even though I presented the printout clearly showing my reservation and rate. Instead of then giving me the rate, she repeatedly tried to haggle. When I wouldn't budge and threatened to call corporate customer service while standing at the counter, she finally backed down.

When I got home, I detailed the incident to Christopher Elliott's website. He was able to reach the right people at Hertz. They sent an apology letter and comp'd the rental. Give him a shot or any other consumer advocate with a large audience.

If you don't receive a decent response from Hertz, try detailing your experience with the state attorney general or consumer agency. They're pretty responsive when consumers have credible complaints about deceptive and abusive business practices as well as false advertising.

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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by TropikThunder » Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:29 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:47 am
To be fair, car companies are one of the few remaining places where you can make a non-binding reservation with zero penalty. You don't even have to cancel...just refrain from showing up and you'll never hear from them again. I'm not sure that business model is sustainable, but it's how it is today.
whodidntante wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:56 am
Reservations don't mean much at rental car companies. It's more like an advance request. A complaint will get you a voucher at most.
Cause, meet effect. The reason they don't have your car is they overbook, and the reason they overbook is that people don't always show up. So they take 25 reservations for the 12 midsize SUV's they have on the lot, and the 13th person to arrive gets the subcompact. :(

Gnirk
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by Gnirk » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:07 pm

FWIW- We have seldom received the car we reserved, from any of the car rental companies. I always try to reserve a Toyota product because the seats are comfortable for my DH and me. We cannot sit comfortably in a Ford or Chevy because of the way the seats slant, which results in my knees being higher than my hips.

It’s not just Hertz that doesn’t deliver the car that was reserved.

Mingus
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by Mingus » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:14 pm

Why is everyone so ready to get outraged so easily?

Everything worked out by walking across the way to a competitor. Move on. It's not worth the energy.

seychellois_lib
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by seychellois_lib » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:26 pm

8foot7 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:38 am
123 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:28 am
I would write a letter of complaint to the president of the board of directors of the airport demanding the the airport cancel the airport space lease for Hertz (and its affiliated companies) due to its failure to meet its commitments to customers. I would also request that the airport bar Hertz (and its affiliated companies) from operating or participating in any passenger shuttle service between airport properties and off-site car rental locations. I would also request that the airport cancel and bar Hertz from any on-premises airport signage or advertising on an on-going basis.

Mention that the actions of Hertz (and its affliated companies) are not the type that foster the sense of a welcoming airport that travelers find attractive.

You could "cc:" a copy of the letter to the president of Hertz.
I assume this is written tongue in cheek. If not, this is a prime example of why it seems nobody takes complaints seriously anymore.
You know, I have gotten very very robust and satisfactory responses after writing an e-mail to the CEO of Fidelity (same day response) CEO of Schwab (next day response - my complaint was made late in the day) and CEO of Lowes (same day response) every one of them called me. Of course not the CEO but President's office staff. I presented myself as a happy customer who was deeply disappointed in one aspect of service. In every case the issue was resolved in a satisfactory manner. Schwab even sent my Wife and I a Harry and David gift box with a batch of goodies. Given the money I had with them, that was a really good idea. It was a major hit with my Wife.

Find their e-mail addresses online. I look up the CEO name and start searching, you can usually find one. This gets you around the infernal "contact us" forms which will get you nowhere.

The point is, a reasonably formulated complaint can get you some mileage - no pun intended.

lazydavid
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by lazydavid » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:32 pm

I've completely given up on Hertz, after three consecutive years where their "Reserve this EXACT car" program utterly failed. The third and final time, I had reserved a Porsche Cayenne, and they gave me a 4-cylinder Chevy Equinox that got 13mpg and disabled its AC when the fuel got below 1/4 tank. In Las Vegas. In July.

So starting in my mid-30s, I've sworn off Hertz for life. I'm not what I would describe as a frequent traveler, but still have about 45 days/year of car rentals. All of that business now goes to National, Enterprise, or Sixt.

dknightd
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by dknightd » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:34 pm

CFIT wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:20 am

It is all water under the bridge and my dad didn't lose any money. Still, I'd like to make what complaints I can about this. My uncle is a Hertz member, so I'll ask him to contact the company as will I. Any other suggestions?

Thanks!
Why? As you say it is water the bridge. Are you just bored and want to make trouble?

tim1999
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by tim1999 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:03 pm

Reserving a specific make and model of car, unless it is part of an "exotic" collection like a Porsche (and priced accordingly) isn't the way the business models of big rental car companies work. I don't care if the reservation agent in a call center somewhere says they will reserve you a Mustang convertible, if Joe at the airport just gave someone the last one on the lot that day, you're out of luck.

If they they only have a more expensive class car than what you reserved, you should get the upgrade for free, if they only have a cheaper car, you should get the cheaper rate and possibly some kind of other concession (free days?), same class of car but not a model you had wanted, I think you are out of luck unless you really feel like arguing with them. If none of those options appeal to you, cancel or just forget about the reservation and rent from someone else, there is almost never a penalty to walk away or cancel unless it's some kind of prepaid cheapo hotwire-type deal.

RudyS
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by RudyS » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:20 pm

"Walk away to a competitor" isn't always a good option. Ever show up in Orlando on a summer weekend? See the lines? And what would you pay? But if you CAN make it work, it becomes a viable option. BTW, having those memberships lets you avoid those lines.

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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by PugetSoundguy » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:33 pm

Yes, car rental agencies are hard core criminals for the most part and I have plenty of experience to back that up.

But, once in a great while, they are OK so I have to tell this quick story. It was the early 1990s and I flew into Dulles to visit my youngest brother and his family in Charlottesville, a couple of hours or so away. My plan was to rent a car from Hertz and drive. Well, somehow I had managed to misplace my driver's license and the guy at the Hertz counter was nice, but said there was just no way he could rent to me without seeing a driver's license. Reasonable enough, but I told him I was truly screwed. "Where you going?" he asked. "Charlottesville," I said, and explained that my brother and his wife had a new baby and I was dreading calling them to ask for a multiple-hour round-trip ride.

"Hold on," he said. "I got a buddy." He called his buddy, who worked for United Airlines, and explained the situation. He hung up and said, "Go to the counter and ask for Roscoe. He'll take care of you." So I did and Roscoe got me a ticket on United's commuter line, the outfit that flew little propeller jobs into places like Charlottesville, at least they did back then. "How much will it be?" I asked. "Nah, no charge. We got room on the plane. That seat was going to be empty anyway. You've been through enough." I couldn't believe it. So I got on the little plane and flew to Charlottesville.

And when I got home a week or so later, there was a letter waiting for me. Some guy found my driver's license on a seat on the jet I flew into Dulles and mailed it to me. Sometimes things just work out. And I did write some letters...nice ones, for once!

Madbull
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by Madbull » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:43 pm

Interesting to see the two camps on this one. We’ve got the ‘You reserved x, you didn’t get x, you should get compensated’ crowd, and then we have the ‘you reserved x, you didn’t get x, get over it’ crowd.

IMO, Car reservations are not a guarantee that’s what you’re getting. I’m fairly certain every company has virtually the same copy/paste caveat on the bottom of the reservation stating such. The magical ‘or similar’ phrase, which is purposefully vague & open to their interpretation, not yours, and the ‘subject to availability’ phrase. More than once I’ve had to accept something I wasn’t planning on driving. Whether it’s due to lack of inventory, too many down for mechanical reasons, or a rash of bookings, I take what has four wheels and drive.

It’s a rental for x days, not the end of the world. (And certainly not a reason to contact the state’s AG as someone mentioned, who would laugh because there’s no breach of contract or illegal bait and switch due to lack of inventory, nothing for them to even look into, what the heck...).

Too much wrong with the world these days to stress over piddly cr*p like this. :beer

Beehave
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by Beehave » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:01 pm

I've rented from Hertz for years. Most cases are okay and as advertised. A few are blood-boiling. A few have great extra perks tossed in. My personal experience has been that the only effective complaining is if you happen to be successful right on the spot. My experience (emphasis on my ) is that writing usually does not accomplish anything. And "complaining" is probably the wrong word - - it's more explaining (especially if you are a long-term customer) at the counter why their deviation from the normal and expected is really a problem for you. My experience with Hertz is that if they have something else that's suitable available they will give it to you. Not sure if they had a Land Rover not-yet-spoken-for to offer you why they did not just give it over, or offer it for, say ten or fifteen bucks a day more instead of $35.

increment
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by increment » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:25 pm

Mingus wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:14 pm
Everything worked out by walking across the way to a competitor.
In this case, not really a competitor: Hertz owns Dollar.

typical.investor
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by typical.investor » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:40 pm

Madbull wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:43 pm
Interesting to see the two camps on this one. We’ve got the ‘You reserved x, you didn’t get x, you should get compensated’ crowd, and then we have the ‘you reserved x, you didn’t get x, get over it’ crowd.

IMO, Car reservations are not a guarantee that’s what you’re getting. I’m fairly certain every company has virtually the same copy/paste caveat on the bottom of the reservation stating such. The magical ‘or similar’ phrase, which is purposefully vague & open to their interpretation, not yours, and the ‘subject to availability’ phrase. More than once I’ve had to accept something I wasn’t planning on driving. Whether it’s due to lack of inventory, too many down for mechanical reasons, or a rash of bookings, I take what has four wheels and drive.

It’s a rental for x days, not the end of the world. (And certainly not a reason to contact the state’s AG as someone mentioned, who would laugh because there’s no breach of contract or illegal bait and switch due to lack of inventory, nothing for them to even look into, what the heck...).

Too much wrong with the world these days to stress over piddly cr*p like this. :beer
I disagree. They state their class of cars and charge you by it.

The OP was offerred a lower class at seemingly the price of a higher one.

I can understand my car not being there. I can even understand nothing in the class being there. I can’t understand being asked to pay for something I didn’t receive.

And I don’t believe they have authority to arbitrarily decide what is similar, when in fact they have drawn up categories and charge by them.

I would simply write and ask what the policy is on such a case. I’m pretty sure the answer will be that the counter wasn’t in line with the policy. Maybe the manager is pushing the counter to be aggressive about sales, and I’d want corporate to know local isn’t in compliance.

CFIT
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by CFIT » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:47 pm

Water under the bridge, it's true, but if I can do something with minimal effort on my part that causes the tiniest bit of unhappiness for them I'm up for it. They lied to my face and that makes it personal to me.

michaeljc70
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:43 pm

CFIT wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:47 pm
Water under the bridge, it's true, but if I can do something with minimal effort on my part that causes the tiniest bit of unhappiness for them I'm up for it. They lied to my face and that makes it personal to me.
How many complaints do you think Hertz gets a day? The people that will respond do that all day and won't be unhappy. It is their job.

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dm200
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by dm200 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:48 pm

CFIT wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:20 am
Yesterday I flew into the Salt Lake City airport where I met my elderly father, uncle, and his wife as the first step of our vacation. My dad had reserved a car from Hertz, an Infiniti QX70. At the Hertz counter the clerk gave us the standard upsell to a larger vehicle, a Land Rover Discovery for $35 more a day. We declined this, took the key to the Infiniti, and headed into he garage with all of our luggage, When we reached the vehicle it was a QX30, not a QX70, and it was immediately clear that it was too small.

We returned to the Hertz counter and started a long back-and-forth with the clerk, who said that no Q70's were available and that the Q30 was in the same class. On the Hertz website the two vechicles are shown as being in different classes ( https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/vehicleg ... Collection ).After some unpleasant back-and-forth Hertz refused to provide us with either the car we had reserved or one similar in size so we cancelled the reservation, walked over to the Dollar Rental counter and rented a suitable car from them.

It is all water under the bridge and my dad didn't lose any money. Still, I'd like to make what complaints I can about this. My uncle is a Hertz member, so I'll ask him to contact the company as will I. Any other suggestions?

Thanks!
No rental expert, but I never recall reserving a specific make and model car - always was a class or category of car.

scophreak
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by scophreak » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:07 pm

dm200 wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:48 pm
No rental expert, but I never recall reserving a specific make and model car - always was a class or category of car.
I think this is the magical "or similar" language. A quick look at the Hertz website does show that one can reserve an Infiniti QX70 "or similar" (which is listed as category W4) as well as an Infiniti QX30 "or similar" (which is listed as category W4). Quite clear that these vehicles are categorized differently.

Interestingly category Z4, which includes the Land Rover Discovery, also includes the Infiniti QX60. Sounds to me like the counter was trying to pull a fast one.

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dm200
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by dm200 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:11 pm

scophreak wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:07 pm
dm200 wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:48 pm
No rental expert, but I never recall reserving a specific make and model car - always was a class or category of car.
I think this is the magical "or similar" language. A quick look at the Hertz website does show that one can reserve an Infiniti QX70 "or similar" (which is listed as category W4) as well as an Infiniti QX30 "or similar" (which is listed as category W4). Quite clear that these vehicles are categorized differently.
Interestingly category Z4, which includes the Land Rover Discovery, also includes the Infiniti QX60. Sounds to me like the counter was trying to pull a fast one.
Love this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBSqJbo ... e=youtu.be

arf30
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by arf30 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:19 pm

Here's a secret - rental car companies are a mess. I did a few years as a consultant and IT - fleet management in particular - was always a disaster compared to other industries. It's a slowly shrinking market due to disruption from competitors like Uber/Lyft and Zipcar and the best minds have long since left.

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dm200
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by dm200 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:23 pm

arf30 wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:19 pm
Here's a secret - rental car companies are a mess. I did a few years as a consultant and IT - fleet management in particular - was always a disaster compared to other industries. It's a slowly shrinking market due to disruption from competitors like Uber/Lyft and Zipcar and the best minds have long since left.
On several occasions in recent years, we had very good experiences with Enterprise.

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Artful Dodger
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by Artful Dodger » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:19 pm

CFIT wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:20 am
Yesterday I flew into the Salt Lake City airport where I met my elderly father, uncle, and his wife as the first step of our vacation. My dad had reserved a car from Hertz, an Infiniti QX70. At the Hertz counter the clerk gave us the standard upsell to a larger vehicle, a Land Rover Discovery for $35 more a day. We declined this, took the key to the Infiniti, and headed into he garage with all of our luggage, When we reached the vehicle it was a QX30, not a QX70, and it was immediately clear that it was too small.

We returned to the Hertz counter and started a long back-and-forth with the clerk, who said that no Q70's were available and that the Q30 was in the same class. On the Hertz website the two vechicles are shown as being in different classes ( https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/vehicleg ... Collection ).After some unpleasant back-and-forth Hertz refused to provide us with either the car we had reserved or one similar in size so we cancelled the reservation, walked over to the Dollar Rental counter and rented a suitable car from them.

It is all water under the bridge and my dad didn't lose any money. Still, I'd like to make what complaints I can about this. My uncle is a Hertz member, so I'll ask him to contact the company as will I. Any other suggestions?

Thanks!
That stuns me. We rent from Hertz all the time, and usually get free upgrades. Two weeks ago in Seattle, we had reserved a basic model SUV, expecting a Hyundai Tucson, and instead they gave us a Chevy Tahoe, which was nice as we had a lot of rainy hilly driving to contend with. They waived fees for an extra driver, and total cost with taxes & fees was $150 for a week. I use them a lot because they give AAA members an additional discount, but I've also used Enterprise and have been happy.

Write a letter to them, or call and get the number for an area manager, whoever would be over the location you visited.

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celia
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by celia » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:48 pm

In this case, I don't think a complaint will do any good. You got where you wanted to go and back without any problems, right?

Let me add that I had two trips back east this summer and rented from Budget and Hertz. After a 5-hour+ flight and a 3-hr time zone change, there aren't many cars left in the lots when you fly east and land late in the day. Both companies said on their website that you are reserving a car in a specific category, not a specific car. Of course, my preferred car was not available either time I landed. On the first landing, I didn't like any of the car choices, but it was just staring to rain and got dark so I just picked a car to get out of the rain. On the second trip, there were 5 cars of the same model for me to choose from--so not really any choice and I couldn't tell the colors much in the dark and again it was starting to rain.

This summer I noticed that airfares are becoming unbundled. You have to pay attention when booking online to see if a carryon or seat of your choice is included or costs an extra fee. (Now I have stories for that too.) My point is that the travel industry is changing and we need to adapt or find ways to help it change for the better.

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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by lazydavid » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:55 pm

dm200 wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:48 pm
No rental expert, but I never recall reserving a specific make and model car - always was a class or category of car.
Several agencies, including Hertz, do have some categories that are labelled "Rent this EXACT model". Normally this is higher-end selections, but I have seen it for a Camry before.

Here are a few that are listed as "Rent this exact model" at the McCarran Airport Hertz:

(U4) Chevy Camaro SS Convertible (Group U4) XTAR
(L6) Porsche Cayenne-DREAM CARS (Group L6) GFDR
(X4)Range Rover Sport-DREAM CARS (Group X4) XFAR
(V4) Dodge Challenger R/T (Group V4) ISAR
(H) Mercedes C63 AMG - DREAM (Group H) RSAR
(H6) Mercedes CLA45 AMG - DREAM (Group H6) GSAR
(W6) Ford Mustang GT Premium (Group W6) PXAR
(D5) Hertz 100th Corvette Z06 (Group D5) USAR
(V) Jeep Wrangler 2 or 4 dr. (Group V) IJAR

The QX70 that the OP requested is class: Infiniti/Cadillac Crossover (Group K4). I'm not surprised that they didn't have a QX70, as it was discontinued two years ago. I would think the Cadillac equivalent would have been the XT5, though acceptable substitutes would include things like the Volvo XC60.

staythecourse
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by staythecourse » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:08 pm

sperry8 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:35 am
123 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:28 am
I would write a letter of complaint to the president of the board of directors of the airport demanding the the airport cancel the airport space lease for Hertz (and its affiliated companies) due to its failure to meet its commitments to customers. I would also request that the airport bar Hertz (and its affiliated companies) from operating or participating in any passenger shuttle service between airport properties and off-site car rental locations. I would also request that the airport cancel and bar Hertz from any on-premises airport signage or advertising on an on-going basis.

You could "cc:" a copy of the letter to the president of Hertz.
That would get OP nowhere, except for your cc suggestion. An airport is not kicking Hertz, the #1 car rental company off its premises because it was out of a certain car class.

OP - if you truly want to be heard write a letter to the President: http://ir.hertz.com/executive-officers She likely won't read it, but her executive asst will and will forward it to the right people. You will likely get something towards a future rental (~$50). But more importantly I guarantee this letter will make it to the Area Manager of that Hertz location and complaints like this are how these area and station managers are judged. They take complaints like this seriously and if they receive too many are 'relocated' or 'reassigned'.
Agreed. Why would the airport care? They are a landlord. As long as the tenant is paying rent they don't care what happens unless they are breaking the law (if you think that is the case the state's AG is the go to person).

Also agree the president is the best place to go. I would make sure you get the person's name you interacted with and their boss (if you escalated it that far). CC both of them as well. I'm pretty vindictive regarding these issues. If someone is not going to be fair and give appropriate customer service it is their choice, but we live in a 360 degree evaluation world. So no reason they shouldn't have their bosses know about your bad experience. Hate to say I would rather them suffer from their poor service. Hopefully saving someone down the road of a similar fate if they keep in mind they may be evaluated by everyone. Folk's today give such bad customer service and I assume they think story will not get back to their bosses. That is worth more then a lousy $50 "buyoff".

Just my 2 cents.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

michaeljc70
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:18 pm

Those cars are different classes (W4 vs K4). If they couldn't provide something similar (in the same class) they should have given a discount.

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CFIT
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by CFIT » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:50 am

Thanks very much for the advice and insights! I'll post again later and report what headway, if any, I make.

an_asker
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by an_asker » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:07 am

CFIT wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:20 am
Yesterday I flew into the Salt Lake City airport where I met my elderly father, uncle, and his wife as the first step of our vacation. My dad had reserved a car from Hertz, an Infiniti QX70. At the Hertz counter the clerk gave us the standard upsell to a larger vehicle, a Land Rover Discovery for $35 more a day. We declined this, took the key to the Infiniti, and headed into he garage with all of our luggage, When we reached the vehicle it was a QX30, not a QX70, and it was immediately clear that it was too small.

We returned to the Hertz counter and started a long back-and-forth with the clerk, who said that no Q70's were available and that the Q30 was in the same class. On the Hertz website the two vechicles are shown as being in different classes ( https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/vehicleg ... Collection ).After some unpleasant back-and-forth Hertz refused to provide us with either the car we had reserved or one similar in size so we cancelled the reservation, walked over to the Dollar Rental counter and rented a suitable car from them.

It is all water under the bridge and my dad didn't lose any money. Still, I'd like to make what complaints I can about this. My uncle is a Hertz member, so I'll ask him to contact the company as will I. Any other suggestions?

Thanks!
Wow! We had a similar issue with Hertz three years ago in Las Vegas. There were no humans customer service reps on site (IIRC) - and I had to talk with someone on the phone. Don't recall if the size was exactly what we'd originally requested. I am pretty sure it was not, though I cannot really be sure anymore. Anyway, the five of us and our luggage somehow squeezed in - just about barely. Thankfully, the drive from the airport to the strip is not that long, so we weren't super uncomfortable for too long.

an_asker
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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by an_asker » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:10 am

dm200 wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:48 pm
CFIT wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:20 am
Yesterday I flew into the Salt Lake City airport where I met my elderly father, uncle, and his wife as the first step of our vacation. My dad had reserved a car from Hertz, an Infiniti QX70. At the Hertz counter the clerk gave us the standard upsell to a larger vehicle, a Land Rover Discovery for $35 more a day. We declined this, took the key to the Infiniti, and headed into he garage with all of our luggage, When we reached the vehicle it was a QX30, not a QX70, and it was immediately clear that it was too small.

We returned to the Hertz counter and started a long back-and-forth with the clerk, who said that no Q70's were available and that the Q30 was in the same class. On the Hertz website the two vechicles are shown as being in different classes ( https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/vehicleg ... Collection ).After some unpleasant back-and-forth Hertz refused to provide us with either the car we had reserved or one similar in size so we cancelled the reservation, walked over to the Dollar Rental counter and rented a suitable car from them.

It is all water under the bridge and my dad didn't lose any money. Still, I'd like to make what complaints I can about this. My uncle is a Hertz member, so I'll ask him to contact the company as will I. Any other suggestions?

Thanks!
No rental expert, but I never recall reserving a specific make and model car - always was a class or category of car.
True, but as OP wrote - and someone else pointed out - a QX70 is not the same as a QX30. It's like getting a Nissan Sentra when you've paid for a Nissan Altima.

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Re: Best way to complain about Hertz bait-and-switch?

Post by seychellois_lib » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:57 pm

dm200 wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:23 pm
arf30 wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:19 pm
Here's a secret - rental car companies are a mess. I did a few years as a consultant and IT - fleet management in particular - was always a disaster compared to other industries. It's a slowly shrinking market due to disruption from competitors like Uber/Lyft and Zipcar and the best minds have long since left.

That's an interesting observation. With respect to business travel in particular I could see the hailing services almost eliminating the need for a rental and the associated hassle. I recall any number of business trips when I got the car, drove to my hotel and then spent the remainder of the trip driving a couple miles between the location I was visiting and the hotel. Just before I retired an entire business activity was conducted at my hotel. It involved long hours. I literally drove the rental from the airport to the hotel and back to the airport. That was it. Put about 40 miles on the vehicle over 5 day work week. I should have done Uber.

This is probably not so true with respect to the travel/leisure markets. But as the business market shrinks we can probably expect more issues like that experienced by the OP.

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