Dear Hertz – An Open Letter


Big Thank You to Hertz for taking time to research and address the concerns I noted in the letter I posted. In the end, we used a few points, had the right amount of money credited and 100 dollars in coupons to use on future rentals have been provided.  G.C. is once again a happy Hertz customer.

Great work Hertz – Thank you – and Jimmy, the gentlemen who gave me a call and sent an email, was wonderfully professional in his approach when we spoke.


**Original Post Below**

This was sent to Hertz on August 20th around 12.45 pm central time and was written on a flight between MDW and CLE – where I would be renting from Hertz upon arrival. Rarely do I complain to companies but this seemed like a perfect opportunity to share my opinion with a business whose services I use weekly – this would be just a poor service experience, not worthy of a note or blog post, had there not been an issue with what was charged in dollars and points…No response from Hertz as of this posting and just posting this for fun, since I haven’t shared in a while.  

Arriving at Denver International airport the morning of Saturday, August 10th without the somewhat familiar “Carfirmation”  was not a huge surprise.  When I arrived the Hertz location, not seeing my name on the board was also not surprising, just disappointing as I was ready to hit the road.

Onward to the gold desk where the surprises began to manifest as if I had just entered the nine levels of car rental hell.  It was as if Dante himself were using this as his basis for Inferno.


My guide through this hell was Makheem.  Not sure if this is the exact name but his name was something similar to this…so I’ll refer to Makheem as Virgil moving forward for clarity.

Chillin @ Work

Surprise #1  – Virgil could not find my reservation.I explained I booked a car with points for the week and if he couldn’t find it, lets just put a new one in, apply some points and I’ll be on my way

Surprise #2 – He couldn’t do that.  I needed to call the gold number to arrange that. (I’m standing at the hertz counter…)

Surprise #3 – The nice lady at the end of the gold line explained I needed a new reservation and I no longer had enough points to use…you see, I made a reservation and 5000 points were deducted from my account so I only have around 4500 left.  The points applied to the mysteriously vanishing reservation no longer counted.  I was informed for the best service, I should call back during the week as more helpful people are available at that time, but she would log my concern about the points deducted and applied to no reservation at all.

Surprise #4 – I had to make a new reservation, on line, as Virgil claimed that would be easier as he couldn’t seem to find a way to make even a basic reservation…at the counter…he was wearing a Hertz shirt, standing behind a Hertz computer which manages reservations…Weird.

Made reservation online  – confirmation #F92819…

Surprise #5 – My new reservation now in place, Virgil gives me the new contract as he can now look this up in his system.  I proceed to my spot and it’s a Mercedes GL something.  I happily accept this upgrade and assume it is because I’ve spent 45 minutes at the gold counter calling the gold desk and booking a car myself while cursing Virgil for spending this time surfing Google + trying to decide what level of car rental hell he needs to guide me to next.

Surprise #6 – Virgil found a new level.  It seems Virgil didn’t understand that last names often have more than 3 letters and handed me a contract for another customer who had rented the Mercedes whose last name also started with the letters “CAN”.  I was turned around from the exit to go back to the Gold Counter to clear things up with my guide.

Surprise #7 – He didn’t get it.  He just couldn’t understand what occurred even when comparing my confirmation number and the differing contracts.  In the end, he said he had it taken care of, indicated that I could keep the nice car and all was good.

I get to leave…and so far had the most unique/poor service story to tell from Hertz to date.  (I agree, I figured there would be more since I have rented at least once a week for many years but, overall its been a pretty flawless relationship.)

Surprise #8 – Get to my destination about three hours outside of Denver and notice my contracted rate is not what was booked. I think I’m driving a nice upgrade – I’ve been upgraded to a Mercedes before which is why I was not surprised (SFO Rental, December 2012.) – but Surprise #8  is that I’ve been charged for a full rental of the Mercedes…I’m assuming this was easier for Virgil than just saying, take that nice Malibu or Kia Soul around the corner sir…

Merc Upgrade

As instructed, I call the gold counter during the week when people who could help me are available. I explain the entire situation and am informed that she can assist in resolving the points issue but cannot credit the points toward my current rental or make any pricing changes until this rental is over.  (I take a deep breath to calm myself – worried I’m about to be stuck with an  850 dollar tab… and loss of 5,000 points)  And we move on to getting my points back.

Surprise #9 – I’m informed 2,890 points can be credited to my account.  Really?  I “used” 5000 points for a mystery rental but I get 2,890 of those back so 2,190 are just my loss? (That is like 87 rentals.)  Interesting I say and calmly explain I see that 5,000 points were deducted, these have not been used to lessen the monetary impact of my current rental and if you are crediting points, please credit my 5,000 points and all will be good.

After about 30 minutes on the phone, 5,000 points are credited and I thank the woman on the line for her assistance.

FYI – As of 8.20.2013, 0 points have been credited to my account and the balance is 4326 when it should be at least 9750. (As of this posting, on 8.24.2013, 0 points credited.)


This note about the nine surprises experienced in Hertz Car Rental hell are fun to write but its really just a below average blog post/open letter which leads to a question – how do we resolve the cost for this rental?

Aside from the confusion, here are the facts based on my reality –

  1. New rental, assumed cost was to be 381.96.
  2. Actual cost was 854.09 upon return of the car.
  3. No points used, initially wanted to use 5,000 to lessen the cost of a 9 day rental to around 75 dollars.

Emotional Facts not often used by the author but I feel like pulling these out now for some reason like I’m one of those guys waving his gold card at the poor person behind the desk who really could give two shits that the guy with the gold card is frustrated but I’ll be that guy today since I have never done it – not even at a hotel – (I know, shocking.  Those people get status cards in the face all the time…) And I’m going to do this because I really do not want to pay 854.09 for this rental…when I was expecting to spend less than 100 dollars.

  1. I would like to play the poor service card for Virgil – something I have never experienced with Hertz. Are you guys serious with this guy on the gold counter at DEN?  I mean, I made my own reservation on line while he stood there.
  2. I’ll also play the customer confusion card due to the issue with points being deducted for a mysterious reservation and initially I wasn’t even offered a full return of my point balance – not classy Hertz.
  3. The big one, Hertz Gold Customer/I was/maybe I’m still presidential circle…?…whatever that means other than I rent a lot of cars.  I’ve rented many cars over many years in many countries from Hertz and I trust this relationship must mean something for continued customer satisfaction?


Considering these factors – what can we do to make this current bill as low as possible?  In my mind, we should be able to do one of the following –

  1. Charge me based on the rate I booked online while standing at the gold desk – 381.96 – no points applied to rental – credit 472.13 based on current charges and I’ll take my 5,000 points back please.
  2. Apply 5000 points to the 381.96 rental fee and credit the dollars appropriately based on the points used. (Around 75 dollars total billed or credit of 780 dollars.)  This is of course after the full 5000 points are applied to my account as promised.
  3. <Insert Hertz Customer Satisfaction Option here>

Please note, I’m following instructions as noted when I called on the phone and am making this request during the business week, after the rental has been closed.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter – G.C.

And for something fun and positive, 3 hours outside of Denver you can go to the top of a mountain and get this kind of picture – Now this is an $854.90 view from 14,265 feet – 

Mount Quandrary


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3 Responses to “Dear Hertz – An Open Letter”

  1. August 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    Good job. Be sure and let us know how Hertz responds and what adjustments they make on your behalf.

  2. Mom
    August 24, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    Great letter GC! I just know Hertz will do the right thing!

  3. Jeanie Short
    October 10, 2013 at 9:07 pm #


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