Fuel charge fool

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Old Aug 28, 12, 3:25 pm
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Fuel charge fool

I have rented from Hertz for a couple of decades without stumbling into the fuel surcharge fee until two weeks ago at IAH. Due to a weather caused diversion I arrived four hours late. We picked up the car, a Nisson Sentra, and drove off to a restaurant (on the other side of town) and then drove back to the airport area and checked into our hotel. We checked out the next morning.
I filled up the car: $7.48 at about $3.80 per gallon. We returned the car to Hertz. The attendant asked if I had replaced the gas used. I said, "yes". No problem. Until I got home. In a few days I received a revised bill from Hertz with a refueling charge of about $19. According to them I drove the car for 95 miles.
I had filled the tank of the car until the pump went "click" which tells me the tank is full. I sent Hertz an email form letter from their website complaining about this charge. I received the computer generated acknowledgement but no other response. I read in another post here that it is a good idea to verify the outgoing mileage. I will now do this in addition to checking for damage before accepting the vehicle.
I figured they would check the mileage and gas gauge at that point.
Nothing is simple anymore.
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Old Aug 28, 12, 3:36 pm
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Looking at the specs of the Nissan Sentra at http://www.nissanusa.com/sentra/specifications.html , if I am reading it correctly, the consumption rate for town driving is 27 mpg and highway 34

based on 27mpg, the fuel used for 95 miles would be 3.5 gallons whereas you put just under 2 gallons in.

That would leave 1.5 gallons unpaid for , so not surprised that there may be a refuelling charge; how much is Hertz's refuelling rate at IAH? googling, I found a site that showed a rate in december at a hertz location of $9.50, so 2 gallons would come to about the figure charged which doesn't seem far off based on the mileage you drove if this figure is accurate
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Old Aug 28, 12, 3:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
Looking at the specs of the Nissan Sentra at http://www.nissanusa.com/sentra/specifications.html , if I am reading it correctly, the consumption rate for town driving is 27 mpg and highway 34

based on 27mpg, the fuel used for 95 miles would be 3.5 gallons whereas you put just under 2 gallons in.

That would leave 1.5 gallons unpaid for , so not surprised that there may be a refuelling charge; how much is Hertz's refuelling rate at IAH? googling, I found a site that showed a rate in december at a hertz location of $9.50, so 2 gallons would come to about the figure charged which doesn't seem far off based on the mileage you drove if this figure is accurate
+1 - The first "click" when refueling is about 1.0 gals to the top. OP likely forgot to top off the tank and that's what he got dinged for. Unfortunate, but with climbing gas prices, it's either Hertz or the next customer who eats that missing gallon or so.

Given that OP's a good customer, Hertz may well simply give him the credit, but to be frank, this sounds like one where he really made the mistake.
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Old Aug 28, 12, 4:35 pm
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Filling up to the first click is always allowed. No one at Hertz ever goes beyond the first click when refueling themselves.

It's probably a really simple mistake but so many of you want to have your conspiracy theories. Hertz, at least when I worked there, used a very dated program. The OP said he drove 95 miles. Well, with rentals under 100 miles, that can cause a problem. There are two questions that have to be filled out at return by the agent...if the customer refueled and whether or not the tank was on full. Well, if you put that the tank was on full but forget to change that the customer refueled because it is automatically a no...it charges a per mile rate. It does this because in theory, if it is a low mileage rental, then it can still be full even if the customer said he didn't refuel...so if the answer is still left at the default 'no' then it charges a per mile rate.

More than likely, it's an error on the return agent. Also more than likely, not intentional.
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Old Aug 28, 12, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by spades097 View Post
Filling up to the first click is always allowed. No one at Hertz ever goes beyond the first click when refueling themselves.

It's probably a really simple mistake but so many of you want to have your conspiracy theories. Hertz, at least when I worked there, used a very dated program. The OP said he drove 95 miles. Well, with rentals under 100 miles, that can cause a problem. There are two questions that have to be filled out at return by the agent...if the customer refueled and whether or not the tank was on full. Well, if you put that the tank was on full but forget to change that the customer refueled because it is automatically a no...it charges a per mile rate. It does this because in theory, if it is a low mileage rental, then it can still be full even if the customer said he didn't refuel...so if the answer is still left at the default 'no' then it charges a per mile rate.

More than likely, it's an error on the return agent. Also more than likely, not intentional.

I disagree that it is likely an error by the return agent based on the description given by the OP of miles driven and quantity of fuel purchased together with the consumption rate of the vehicle from the manufacturer of the vehicle.

The car is not listed as having a consumption rate of 48 mpg which would cover the journey , but only 27
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Old Aug 28, 12, 4:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
I disagree that it is likely an error by the return agent based on the description given by the OP based on miles driven and quantity of fuel purchased together with the consumption rate of the vehicle from the manufacturer of the vehicle.
Well, I'm simply saying that is how the system works. If the rental is over 100 miles then it doesn't matter how you answer "Did the customer refuel?" because it only cares about what the fuel level is. The field is usually irrelevant.

If the rental is under 100 miles and if the default "N" is still in there then it doesn't matter what the fuel level is because it is going to charge you a per mile rate. He said he was charged $19 & his rental was 95 miles. It's $0.20 per mile. They always like to say that the fuel & service per mile rate comes out to about the same as per gallon but it never does. 20 cents sounds about right, actually it sounds a little under.
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Old Aug 28, 12, 4:52 pm
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Originally Posted by spades097 View Post
Well, I'm simply saying that is how the system works. If the rental is over 100 miles then it doesn't matter how you answer "Did the customer refuel?" because it only cares about what the fuel level is.

If the rental is under 100 miles and if the default "N" is still in there then it doesn't matter what the fuel level is because it is going to charge you a per mile rate. He said he was charged $19 & his rental was 95 miles. It's $0.20 per mile. They always like to say that the fuel & service per mile rate comes out to about the same as per gallon but it never does. 20 cents sounds about right, actually it sounds a little under.
Based on what I found the published refuelling rate to be at one location in december ... if this is still accurate and applicable for Houston.. then the amount charged seems to be consistent with the refuelling charge

I don't see a conspiracy, all I see is a case where someone did indeed not replace all the fuel used
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Old Aug 28, 12, 4:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
Based on what I found the published refuelling rate to be at one location in december ... if this is still accurate and applicable for Houston.. then the amount charged seems to be consistent with the refuelling charge

I don't see a conspiracy, all I see is a case where someone did indeed not replace all the fuel used
In all of my time at Hertz, I never saw one person ever fill it up beyond the first click. I find it highly unlikely that a VSA (AKA a car cleaner) is filling it up beyond the first click until he can't get anymore fuel in. In fact, had I ever seen an employee fill it up beyond the first click then I would have told them not to do it again.
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Old Aug 28, 12, 4:58 pm
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This is a bit OT, sorry, but could someone perhaps link me to something that explains more about this "first click" not being full thing? It's actually the first time I'm learning about it, and a quick search on google didn't yield anything relevant.

TY!
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Old Aug 28, 12, 4:59 pm
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Originally Posted by spades097 View Post
In all of my time at Hertz, I never saw one person ever fill it up beyond the first click. I find it highly unlikely that a VSA (AKA a car cleaner) is filling it up beyond the first click until he can't get anymore fuel in.
Do you agree that based on the distance travelled and the published consumption rate that the person could well have used about 3.5 gallons and that based on his admission that he put a bit under 2 gallons back in?

If not, I would like to see where I went wrong in my calculations , cos I may have made a mistake somewhere

If the fuel used was more than that purchased, is it not correct that he was charged the refuelling rate

He may indeed have filled to the click, but at what point in the 95 miles did that occur ; if the refuelling took place after leaving restaurant, it could have had close to 50 miles before being returned to rental location; also , I have come across petrol pumps at stations click off early for some reason

The only query I see is whether the amount charged is correct for fuel rather than whether it was less than full
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Old Aug 28, 12, 5:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
Do you agree that based on the distance travelled and the published consumption rate that the person could well have used about 3.5 gallons and that based on his admission that he put a bit under 2 gallons back in?

If not, I would like to see where I went wrong in my calculations , cos I may have made a mistake somewhere

If the fuel used was more than that purchased, is it not correct that he was charged the refuelling rate

He may indeed have filled to the click, but at what point in the 95 miles did that occur ; if the refuelling took place after leaving restaurant, it could have had close to 50 miles before being returned to rental location; also , I have come across petrol pumps at stations click off early for some reason
I can buy that there was the problem with the OP's pump. At the same time, I can also buy that the renter before him filled up beyond the first click and that would explain your extra gallon.

Either way, it's really not something to get into a fight over a customer with. If we were talking about a quarter of a tank then fine but we're talking about a gallon...okay, maybe even two. If the gauge says full then that is all that you can reasonably expect from a customer. I also saw plenty of times where you would fill up certain cars and the gas gauge just wouldn't be consistent even after you went beyond the first click. Cars have flaws. It's all part of it.

Now, if he filled up 50 miles before the airport then yeah but I don't get the impression that is what he did.
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Old Aug 28, 12, 5:09 pm
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Originally Posted by spades097 View Post
I can buy that there was the problem with the OP's pump. At the same time, I can also buy that the renter before him filled up beyond the first click and that would explain your extra gallon.
What extra gallon? I calculated that he was down just over a gallon and a half; what I don't know is what that location's charge is per gallon; if it is $9.50 a gallon , then it isnt far off being correct

Originally Posted by spades097
Either way, it's really not something to get into a fight over a customer with. If we were talking about a quarter of a tank then fine but we're talking about a gallon...okay, maybe even two.
1.5 - 2 gallons under is more than enough to justify charging imo; 2 or 3 litres, no, but once at 6-8 litres , that is a significant percentage of the tank regardless of how the needle shows it
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Old Aug 28, 12, 5:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post


1.5 - 2 gallons under is more than enough to justify charging imo; 2 or 3 litres, no, but once at 6-8 litres , that is a significant percentage of the tank regardless of how the needle shows it
Considering Hertz charges significantly more than a lot of it's competition at airports & that a large percentage of their customers are business accounts...I wouldn't get into a fight with a customer over $5-7. But hey, what do I know? I also couldn't convince them that it was idiotic to buy tan interiors, run them to 35,000 miles, and then wonder why the car looks like trash. Oh, no, no, no...rubber floor mats?! Absolutely crazy! On my last Avis rental...rubber floor mats. Go figure.
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Old Aug 28, 12, 5:44 pm
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Originally Posted by spades097 View Post
Considering Hertz charges significantly more than a lot of it's competition at airports & that a large percentage of their customers are business accounts...I wouldn't get into a fight with a customer over $5-7. But hey, what do I know? I also couldn't convince them that it was idiotic to buy tan interiors, run them to 35,000 miles, and then wonder why the car looks like trash. Oh, no, no, no...rubber floor mats?! Absolutely crazy! On my last Avis rental...rubber floor mats. Go figure.
I don't see what any of that has to do with whether the renter either had or had not refuelled the vehicle to cover the journey travelled and whether the amount charged ( if under ) was correct in accordance with Hertz's fees

Whether Hertz rental rates are more or less than the competitors and what vehicles they buy is irrelevent

At the moment, it still seems to me that the OP was under on fuel by own admission but whether $19 is a correct charge for the refuelling is uncertain
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Old Aug 28, 12, 7:22 pm
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I guess we wait and see what OP says.
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