Strage experience at Hertz MIA

Old Oct 1, 12, 6:21 am
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Strage experience at Hertz MIA

This was a first. for me, last week at MIA my name was not on the board.

The lady working the desk explained that they were out of cars and tried to upsell me on a Mercedes.

I explained to her my company policy would not allow me, but her reaction just floored me: She rolled her eyes and said, "Well, it you don't take the Mercedes, then you have to sit here and wait until another full size car is available".

Now I'm generally a cheerful lad, and after a confused minute I did my best to lighten the mood by cracking some jokes about renting the Ferrari they display upfront (which is $1800 per day by the way). But she was having a bad day, was having none of it.

I asked about getting an upgrade as a PC, and was told something to the effect of "that won't qualify you for the Mercedes".

So I sat there until a full size car became available, but somewhat saddened.

Edit: Seems I'm not the only one
Edit2: Worth clarifying, I was trying to point out the 'upgrade or wait' threat. 0: They gave no wait estimate. 1: My wait ended up unsubstantial, about 10 min, I was the first to get a car after sellout (straight from the wash). 2. There was a long line behind me. 3: The very next week I was auto-assigned a Volvo in the same prestige class as the Mercedes.

Last edited by hg‎; Oct 3, 12 at 12:29 am
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Old Oct 1, 12, 7:22 am
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The glorious delights of MIA!!! I have only ever had 1 good rental experience at this airport, the rest all went down hill....rapidly!!! due to members of staff.
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Old Oct 1, 12, 8:43 am
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What class had you booked? Full-size, or something smaller?

If you actually booked a full, then if nothing else this is worthy of a complaint to Hertz about not getting your guaranteed upgrade...
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Old Oct 1, 12, 10:51 am
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I'm not sure what you are thinking should have been different.

If they were out of cars then you need to wait for the next one to be available. It's not really that unusual for them to be out of cars from time to time, there are dozens of threads about it at various locations.

Did you expect them to give you the Mercedes or the Ferrari for whatever class you rented?
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Old Oct 1, 12, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
Did you expect them to give you the Mercedes or the Ferrari for whatever class you rented?
If that is the only car they have.. then yes I would expect a free upgrade to whatever was available. Offering a choice of a paid upgrade or no car is an insult. Not saying they were doing.. but what stops a location from claiming no cars were available in their class, just to force people who needed a car immediately to pay an absurd upgrade fee.
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Old Oct 1, 12, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by doctor15 View Post
If that is the only car they have.. then yes I would expect a free upgrade to whatever was available. Offering a choice of a paid upgrade or no car is an insult. Not saying they were doing.. but what stops a location from claiming no cars were available in their class, just to force people who needed a car immediately to pay an absurd upgrade fee.
That is not how it works. If they are out of cars, they are out of cars. They won't put you in whatever they have above what you rented for free.

They should have walked the OP to another rental agency if they wanted to be nice and the delay was excessive (they don't say how long they waited) but they will not give you the Mercedes instead.
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Old Oct 1, 12, 11:39 am
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My experience with several RAC companies is that they will give a free upgrade of a class or two if they are out of your reserved class, but it doesn't surprise me that the Mercedes falls outside that realm. Once on an economy res at Dollar, the agent tried to upsell me to a compact (Corolla), when I declined he admitted that they didn't have any economy and I got the Corolla at no additional charge. I have had several other similar upgrades, but generally without the upsell pitch.

I was at Avis in DEN once in the early summer, they had a car shortage but a huge surplus of SUVs. The agent apologetically asked if I would take a fully loaded Yukon on my intermediate reservation (I did). From the way he was asking, it seemed that a lot of customers weren't keen on SUV upgrades.
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Old Oct 1, 12, 12:45 pm
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Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
That is not how it works.
I don't understand why not. I'm often forced in to a car below what I reserved or not cleaned because that is all they have. Usually I don't even get any money back. I don't see why it should not work in the opposite way.

If they can't honor your reservation in the class you reserved; then it should not be on you to pay extra.
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Old Oct 1, 12, 3:06 pm
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Originally Posted by doctor15 View Post
I don't understand why not. I'm often forced in to a car below what I reserved or not cleaned because that is all they have. Usually I don't even get any money back. I don't see why it should not work in the opposite way.

If they can't honor your reservation in the class you reserved; then it should not be on you to pay extra.
I agree. If you make a reservation for a vehicle (at any membership level) and they run out of that vehicle then you should be upgraded to the next highest vehicle class. If Hertz is going to screw up and overbook their vehicles then they should be footing the bill, not the consumer. That is complete backward ideology if you think otherwise. On the flip side, I don't think anyone would be too happy if they booked the Ferrari for $1600 a week and were given a Toyota Corolla and had to take a loss because "Sorry, we don't have any cars left."
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Old Oct 2, 12, 10:41 am
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Originally Posted by doctor15 View Post
If that is the only car they have.. then yes I would expect a free upgrade to whatever was available. Offering a choice of a paid upgrade or no car is an insult. Not saying they were doing.. but what stops a location from claiming no cars were available in their class, just to force people who needed a car immediately to pay an absurd upgrade fee.
I do agree with you. I usually only rent prestige or adrenaline collections, just need to be sure what I'll be driving. But it wasn't possible in NPL last August, so I booked an automatic compact because of the huge lack of automatic cars in Europe. The only other one available was a Mercedes 220 CDI but terribly overpriced.

When I arrived at the counter, I was told my car wasn't there and they had no other automatic car. I got more than upset (long flight+wife and son under a 104F sun outside+ no car...) and let it know loudly. And guess what? A Mercedes became available right away with no upgrade fee.

They made a mistake so it's fair enough to get a free upgrade...
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Old Oct 2, 12, 5:14 pm
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Cordelli, your logic sucks... If when I showed up at the Ritz Berlin today (after 3pm) and I was told no rooms were available but a suite or club room (typically cost a couple hundred Euro more) and they told me to pay the price difference or wait until someone with a late checkout left and had the room cleaned I would be floored. As I am sure you would. (I got the club anyway)
I book a car if it isn't there they better give me whatever they have (They can attempt to up-sell but that's it) Up-selling shows that the MBZ isn't even on reserve. At the end of the day it's another car.. Nothing special at that. In MUC the other day my reserved MBZ C class wasn't available, so I got a new hell of a lot better Beamer no problem. (OK I know this isn't 'mercah here) Nonetheless, you book something with your credit card, and expect it you should get whatever they have, it isn't your fault they don't have the car.
I hope one day you find yourself in the same situation lacking the funds to upgrade, and have to wait.. Maybe even call off the event you are attending. Sorry to be so blunt about this, I just find it disgusting, and I know how crappy some Hertz employees are.
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Old Oct 2, 12, 5:27 pm
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Originally Posted by ryan754 View Post
Cordelli, your logic sucks... If when I showed up at the Ritz Berlin today (after 3pm) and I was told no rooms were available but a suite or club room (typically cost a couple hundred Euro more) and they told me to pay the price difference or wait until someone with a late checkout left and had the room cleaned I would be floored. As I am sure you would. (I got the club anyway)
I book a car if it isn't there they better give me whatever they have (They can attempt to up-sell but that's it) Up-selling shows that the MBZ isn't even on reserve. At the end of the day it's another car.. Nothing special at that. In MUC the other day my reserved MBZ C class wasn't available, so I got a new hell of a lot better Beamer no problem. (OK I know this isn't 'mercah here) Nonetheless, you book something with your credit card, and expect it you should get whatever they have, it isn't your fault they don't have the car.
Cars are not hotel rooms though. For a hotel usually it says that space is guaranteed for your reservation. That's not the case with airline tickets (they overbook seats all the time); I haven't read all the T&Cs, but I believe Hertz (and other car rental agencies) can overbook cars too. After all, a PC benefit is guaranteed availability -- as if this isn't the case for renters with lesser status (or none at all). (Although the OP is PC )

-J.

Last edited by GW McLintock; Oct 2, 12 at 5:53 pm
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Old Oct 2, 12, 5:50 pm
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Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
I'm not sure what you are thinking should have been different.

If they were out of cars then you need to wait for the next one to be available. It's not really that unusual for them to be out of cars from time to time, there are dozens of threads about it at various locations.

Did you expect them to give you the Mercedes or the Ferrari for whatever class you rented?
I most certainly would expect that (at least from Hertz-class companies), and have seen it happen many many times before. Happens all the time when they're out of compacts or midsize and put me in an intermediate or fullsize (sometimes an SUV). If that's what they have, it's what they have.

From what I've seen:

"First Tier" rental companies almost always do this without any issue.

"Second Tier" companies (e.g. Enterprise) first try to upsell you ("Sir, the compact really isn't very comfortable; are you sure you wouldn't like a midsize for just $5 more per day?"), then when you decline you find that all they have is the midsized car anyway and you get it for your compact price.

"Third Tier" companies (I saw this at Payless in PHX) will try to upsell, then if you decline make you wait until the class you reserved is ready, whenever that might be:

Incidentally, after waiting in line for 20 minutes while they pulled this on all 4 customers that got served in front of me (different car classes, so I think it was a standard "punishment" for not upgrading), I left the line and called Hertz, which had been sold out when I booked the trip a few days earlier, and they reserved me a compact car (which my company requires) on the phone. When I got to the garage, a few seconds of of hemming and hawing behind the counter, and I was sent to a spot with a Nissan 350Z...for the Compact rate.

Sounds like the MIA Hertz folks don't know whether they want to be first or third tier...
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Old Oct 2, 12, 6:49 pm
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Originally Posted by jzweighaft View Post
Cars are not hotel rooms though. For a hotel usually it says that space is guaranteed for your reservation. That's not the case with airline tickets (they overbook seats all the time); I haven't read all the T&Cs, but I believe Hertz (and other car rental agencies) can overbook cars too.
One problem car rental companies have that airlines don't is that customers don't always return cars on time. So overbooking is not the only reason cars aren't available. From what I have read, in some jurisdictions, hotels can't easily kick out guests staying past their reservation as long as they are paying, so a similar situation can exist there too.
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Old Oct 2, 12, 7:24 pm
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Originally Posted by djk7 View Post
One problem car rental companies have that airlines don't is that customers don't always return cars on time. So overbooking is not the only reason cars aren't available. From what I have read, in some jurisdictions, hotels can't easily kick out guests staying past their reservation as long as they are paying, so a similar situation can exist there too.
If a customer doesn't return a car on time, then that customer pays penalties. Why should Hertz get to double-dip by collecting those penalties AND demanding an upgrade fee to the vehicle that DOES happen to be available?

Fortunately for airline passengers, they usually WILL upgrade you (or someone) to a higher cabin if that's all that's left and you have a reservation. If they don't, there are specific penalties that they must pay by law. Not sure what federal agency regulates car rental companies, but perhaps they should get on a similar regulation.

I recognize however, that in many cases, a reservation is not a contract, since there has not been any consideration paid prior to the rental, so that may complicate regulation. On a pre-paid rental, however, I would be livid if they tried to charge me an upgrade fee if they didn't have my vehicle class available.
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