Vehicle Break Down Issue

Old Oct 19, 11, 8:15 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Diego
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Vehicle Break Down Issue

I have never posted on this board before as I am a very infrequent vehicle renter and am not a member of any car rental loyalty schemes. Nevertheless I hope someone can offer me some advice on my situation.

In August I rented a car directly through Hertz. There were some pretty major issues getting the car on arrival as the booking had been lost, but that was not the real problem.

On the final day, a few hours before our return flight, we loaded up the car and attempted to drive to the airport. However the car would not start. An error message came up every time that said (in German) "No Key".

This had happened once before on the trip and was resolved by removing the key and reinserting it in the ignition. This second time, no amount of jiggling about would remove the error message and so the engine would not start.

We had no time to call Hertz and arrange for an alternative vehicle if we were to have any chance of making our flight, so we ditched the car and got a taxi to the airport instead, which cost 45 euros. We explained what happened to the agent and left him the key with an address for collection and boarded the flight just as the doors closed!

On my return to the UK I was billed 45 euros plus VAT for the fuel that I had used, which I was unable to buy myself for obvious reasons. There is also a 35 euro charge identified as DLC which, according to the email, seems to be a collection charge (but I might be wrong on that).

I contacted Hertz in the UK and said I wanted either a refund of the fuel cost or my taxi fare as I didn't believe it was fair that I ended up paying for both. A part of me thought Hertz should really be liable for both because of the inconvenience caused but I was trying to be realistic.

This request was followed up with an email showing the invoice with a bit more detail (but still nothing more than acronyms I am not entirely familiar with) and not mentioning a refund. Responding directly to that email has not garnered a response at all.
  • Am I correct in assuming DLC is a collection charge?
  • Am I being unreasonable in my request?
  • Who should I follow up with now that my call and email have not been sufficiently responded to?

Many thanks!
spanishflea is offline  
Old Oct 20, 11, 10:03 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by spanishflea View Post
On the final day, a few hours before our return flight, we loaded up the car and attempted to drive to the airport.

Originally Posted by spanishflea View Post
We had no time to call Hertz and arrange for an alternative vehicle if we were to have any chance of making our flight, so we ditched the car and got a taxi to the airport instead, which cost 45 euros.

While I feel for you, I also feel that you should have handled things much differently.


Why did you not call Hertz immediately upon discovering you could not start the car? -- You claim that you attempted leave for the airport "a few hours before our return flight" Judging by a $45 cab fare, you could not have been too far away. -- You also had time to call for a taxi, why not at least try and call Hertz?


In my two experiences dealing with their emergency assistance, they were able to get a tow truck and/or service vehicle out to me within 30 minutes of my call. --- Had you actually called them, they could have given you information about what to do. --- Which could have been what you indeed did (leaving car secured, and getting to airport), or they may even have been able to dispatch a tow to you to transport you (and the vehicle) to the airport returns center without much delay.


That all said, Hertz should definitely reimburse you the cost of the Taxi to the airport, and also refund the fuel refill service fee. As far as the actual cost of the gas, I see no reason Hertz should refund that, as you actually did use gas. --- Unless of course they charged you a non-market price for gas.
kwildnj is offline  
Old Oct 21, 11, 9:29 pm
  #3  
 
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I probably would have done the same thing, it seems like you were overseas or in a different country.

Using your mobile phone to call back to Hertz cost cost several dollars a minute if you are "roaming?

All you can do is email them, but be prepared for them not to refund the charges.
AndDee is offline  
Old Oct 24, 11, 1:38 am
  #4  
 
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Nonsense! You are a customer and didn't sign up for any "correct procedures"
They gave you a broken car so it's their responsibility. If they don't respond to you, call your credit card company and report a fraud.
aces_high is offline  
Old Oct 24, 11, 2:23 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 24
Originally Posted by spanishflea View Post
I have never posted on this board before as I am a very infrequent vehicle renter and am not a member of any car rental loyalty schemes. Nevertheless I hope someone can offer me some advice on my situation.

In August I rented a car directly through Hertz. There were some pretty major issues getting the car on arrival as the booking had been lost, but that was not the real problem.

On the final day, a few hours before our return flight, we loaded up the car and attempted to drive to the airport. However the car would not start. An error message came up every time that said (in German) "No Key".
I am sympathetic. As soon as I saw this, or had a similar problem, i would have tried to go back to switch the car out after the first time.


This had happened once before on the trip and was resolved by removing the key and reinserting it in the ignition. This second time, no amount of jiggling about would remove the error message and so the engine would not start.

We had no time to call Hertz and arrange for an alternative vehicle if we were to have any chance of making our flight, so we ditched the car and got a taxi to the airport instead, which cost 45 euros. We explained what happened to the agent and left him the key with an address for collection and boarded the flight just as the doors closed!

yes you should have called hertz. you are on a euro phone, can you use a british phone in germany for the same price as making a regular phone call? if it costs more (like a lot more) because of roaming charges, you could have used a land line and just made a local call. Were you in some sort of hotel, or a friends house? t

they would let you use their land line for a local call( hopefully some of you know what a land line is) if you would have had asked.

On my return to the UK I was billed 45 euros plus VAT for the fuel that I had used, which I was unable to buy myself for obvious reasons. There is also a 35 euro charge identified as DLC which, according to the email, seems to be a collection charge (but I might be wrong on that).

I contacted Hertz in the UK and said I wanted either a refund of the fuel cost or my taxi fare as I didn't believe it was fair that I ended up paying for both. A part of me thought Hertz should really be liable for both because of the inconvenience caused but I was trying to be realistic.

This request was followed up with an email showing the invoice with a bit more detail (but still nothing more than acronyms I am not entirely familiar with) and not mentioning a refund. Responding directly to that email has not garnered a response at all.
  • Am I correct in assuming DLC is a collection charge?
  • Am I being unreasonable in my request?
  • Who should I follow up with now that my call and email have not been sufficiently responded to?

Many thanks!
when did you call them? earlier you said that you contacted them, but then they emailed back. did you call them? or email them? both?

I would try calling, either the UK or the German hertz number) ask what the dlc charge is, give them all of the details that you included here. If one of them gives you resistance, try calling the other.

If you try calling them, i am guessing you can get compensated for the gas, or for your cab. Also, you might have better luck contacting the actual location where you rented the car.

for the future, i would just suggest swapping out the car if you have a problem with the one they gave you. "i had trouble starting the car with the ignition key", should be enough.
masterthespian is offline  
Old Oct 24, 11, 5:22 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by aces_high View Post
Nonsense! You are a customer and didn't sign up for any "correct procedures"
They gave you a broken car so it's their responsibility. If they don't respond to you, call your credit card company and report a fraud.
They did not give a broken car out on purpose!

It happened, and the correct procedure is to call Hertz and await them to come and assist.

Instead, the original poster decided to get to the airport themselves!

While I would have done the same thing (give the lack of time) Hertz is lucky to only have charged you 35 Euro plus fuel!

The car was not returned with a full tank of fuel, and it was not returned to the original location.

Not at all fraud, in fact Hertz is probably fulfilling the terms of the contract!
AndDee is offline  
Old Nov 20, 11, 11:27 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Originally Posted by AndDee View Post
They did not give a broken car out on purpose!

It happened, and the correct procedure is to call Hertz and await them to come and assist.

Instead, the original poster decided to get to the airport themselves!

While I would have done the same thing (give the lack of time) Hertz is lucky to only have charged you 35 Euro plus fuel!

The car was not returned with a full tank of fuel, and it was not returned to the original location.

Not at all fraud, in fact Hertz is probably fulfilling the terms of the contract!
Tough to gauge if Hertz's reaction to the OP's problem would have got him to the airport on time.

The OP should be billed for the gas usage, although the refuelling surcharge should be waived.

Curious to know how the situation turns out.
Spunwasi is offline  

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