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Old Mar 5, 10, 4:11 am   #1
 
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Thumbs down WARNING - Hertz charging for car wash

I rented a car for one day, returned it to their garage at LIS in the wee morning hours. They were still closed, so I left the keys in the box. Much to my surprise, when I review my receipt online it shows a charge of 6€ + VAT for "car wash". What???

So I called customer service to complain about this. I am told that I ws obligated to return the car in the same condition that I received it, as stated in the terms of the agreement. They say it was dirtier than when I received it, so they had to wash it. They would not budge on the charge.

For the record, I made normal use of the car. Drove it during the day on city paved roads, parked it overnight in a garage. It was not unusually dirty, in fact it was quite clean. I have received many Hertz cars dirtier than the condition I returned this one it.

Washing vehicles has always been part of the service that car rental companies provide. In hundreds of rentals over the years from Hertz and others, I have never been charged for washing a car. Has any of you been charge for a car wash?

I am mad at Hertz for this. This will cost them a lot of my business. I have fired off a formal complaint to customer service in Portugal and Oklahoma City. And if they don't reverse this charge, my next step will be a dispute of the charge on my credit card.

Last edited by CaptainMiles; Mar 5, 10 at 5:14 am.
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Old Mar 5, 10, 4:32 am   #2
 
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Here is what I wrote to Hertz in Portugal
Quote:
Dear Sirs,

I am writing to complain about a charge for cleaning a vehicle I returned to your LISBON AIRPORT location. This is RA # 999999999.

The vehicle was returned to Hertz in substantially the same condition of cleanliness that it was received in, after having been used for only one day in normal city driving and parked overnight in a garage. I do not agree with the cleaning charge, and hereby demand an immediate credit of €7,20 (€6.00+VAT) to my MasterCard.

I will also be forwarding this complaint to Hertz in Oklahoma City, and on my next trip to Portugal I will make sure to write in your "Livro de Reclamações" about this abominable practice.

Sincerely,

C. Miles
Hertz #1 Club Gold # 99999999

and to Hertz in the U.S.
Quote:
I was appalled to find that Hertz charged me 6 euros + VAT (total 7.20 euros) for cleaning the vehicle upon return. The vehicle was returned in normal conditions, after normal use for one day in city driving conditions and overnight garage parking. I returned it quite clean, even cleaner than many vehicles I have received. This is a totally irresponsible charge, and has eroded much of my confidence in Hertz as a reputable company. I recommend that your sternly reprimand Hertz management in Portugal for this abominable practice the tarnishes the image of Hertz as a premier car rental company.
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Old Mar 5, 10, 4:59 am   #3
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I don't remember where I was, it was in the US, not even sure it was Hertz, but did notice the airport had imposed a car wash fee at their return facility. I thought that was strange, and apparently after a bit of googling, they farmed the car wash out to a central facility and the county or whoever gets a cut of each $2.50 fee they impose on the rental agencies, and require them to add the fee to the rentals like all the other taxes and fees. It was just a pass along in that case. Not saying it's the same in your situation, but it could be something they have no control over.
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Old Mar 5, 10, 6:35 am   #4
 
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Not the same in this case. No such requirement to charge for a car wash. It's Hertz's decision.
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Old Mar 5, 10, 7:33 am   #5
 
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It has not happened to me but I'll be prepared if it does. I will not pay such a charge. I'll fight, They have the miight, but I'll still fight, because it's not right.
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Old Mar 5, 10, 8:27 am   #6
 
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Normally hertz outsource the valet of their cars so if that company has charged hertz then they will pass that cost onto you.
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Old Mar 5, 10, 8:30 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sticks View Post
Normally hertz outsource the valet of their cars so if that company has charged hertz then they will pass that cost onto you.
That should be included in the base rate, not tacked on as an additional line item. When my company subcontracts services for one of our customers, we bill the customer a consolidated rate without a separate "fee" for services rendered by a third-party.
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Old Mar 5, 10, 8:54 am   #8
 
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If someone states I must return the car in the condition that it was rented, and they wash it when I return it, then I expect a repeatable measurable indicating the condition when it left.
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Old Mar 5, 10, 10:51 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilDog438 View Post
That should be included in the base rate, not tacked on as an additional line item. When my company subcontracts services for one of our customers, we bill the customer a consolidated rate without a separate "fee" for services rendered by a third-party.
Yeah. What's next, a fee for an oil change if you're the lucky customer to go over a 3000-mile-mark?
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Old Mar 5, 10, 12:54 pm   #10
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Originally Posted by dtremit View Post
Yeah. What's next, a fee for an oil change if you're the lucky customer to go over a 3000-mile-mark?
Just hope you don't get the car right before it needs its 30,000 mile service!!
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Old Mar 5, 10, 1:44 pm   #11
 
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hertz doesn't change their oil in their cars until 5k-7.5k
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Old Mar 7, 10, 10:02 am   #12
 
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Cost estimate at reservation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainMiles View Post
... when I review my receipt online it shows a charge of 6€ + VAT for "car wash".
I am curious whether you had an online reservation and cost estimate?

About 20% of the time that I rent a car, there are discrepancies between online estimates and actual charges. With the estimate, the problems are often resolved quickly.
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Old Mar 7, 10, 10:14 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilDog438 View Post
That should be included in the base rate, not tacked on as an additional line item. When my company subcontracts services for one of our customers, we bill the customer a consolidated rate without a separate "fee" for services rendered by a third-party.
What I was trying to point out was that if the company who valet the cars charge for a full valet instead of the normal vac and wash before rent then of course it will be passed to the customer because they clearly have not returned it in the condition it went out in!
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Old Mar 7, 10, 1:21 pm   #14
 
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On a couple of occasions I have managed to find the one available space left in a car park . When I have returned to the car I suddenly realise why I've been so 'lucky' , a quick look at the car and immediately the bird-roost above, confirms why no one else parked there.
In these circumstances I do clean the car before returning it.
However I've never been charged by Hertz (or National for that matter) for car cleaning , whether this is dependant on CDP and the amount of business that comes from my company, could be a factor. Some cars ,especially in the Winter, go back caked in grime.
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Old Mar 8, 10, 1:22 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sosafan View Post
I am curious whether you had an online reservation and cost estimate?
Yes, I do have the estimate. The final bill is exactly €7.20 higher than the estimate, which is their €6.00+20% VAT car wash.
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