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Forgot to Cancel my Reservation, Someone Drove as Me

Forgot to Cancel my Reservation, Someone Drove as Me

Old Jul 9, 07, 11:15 am
  #1  
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Billed for a car I did not rent - has this happened to you?

I had a one-day rental from Hertz at BWI on June 22, returning about 23 hours later on the morning of the 23rd. I was in the area for the whole weekend but only needed a car for one day, so I had also made a reservation for pickup on the 23rd/return on the 24th which I did not use.

Turns out I was charged for both my "real" rental on the 22nd and a phantom rental of a different vehicle on the 23rd, with pickup and return times matching exactly what I plugged into the reservation. Hertz shows that I drove exactly 100 miles, and I was billed not only for one day's rental charges and taxes/fees but $26.90 for fuel and service. The $86.34 charge posted to my credit card on the 27th, which of course is how I found out about the whole incident.

I highly doubt that someone drove off the lot fraudulently with the phantom rental (I would at least hope that Hertz checks Gold members' drivers' licenses carefully before letting us exit the garage). Seems like the numbers are so exact, i.e. 100 miles driven with a pickup at 1:30 p.m. and return at 10 am the next day, that either Hertz's computers or employees somehow failed to recognize I was a no-show.

Has this ever happened to you? This is the second major Hertz billing issue I've had in the past year (the other was a bogus fuel charge on a separate occasion, which I see is very common!) And the gentleman I spoke to at Hertz's customer relations department didn't seem to think the matter was very urgent, telling me that the "accounting department" has to take a look at its records and that they will e-mail me in 5-7 business days with their findings. When I asked if I could call the accounting department directly, he said that they "do not have a direct line," only e-mail and fax. I can always dispute the charge with Citibank, but I just wish Hertz had a little faster turnaround time on this.
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Old Jul 9, 07, 4:49 pm
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Happened to me at EWR. Emailed them and it was fixed in a few days.

What's the problem with their 5-7 business day estimate? Do you need the $86.34 that badly?
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Old Jul 10, 07, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Tummy View Post
Happened to me at EWR. Emailed them and it was fixed in a few days.

What's the problem with their 5-7 business day estimate? Do you need the $86.34 that badly?
Perhaps the OP does. But the problem is more general in my mind. They are quick to charge, but slow to refund. I've cancelled reservations and still had hundred of dollars charged/held on my credit card. Recently was $450ish because I was renting for a week.

Of course, when you are traveling, each travel provider places a hold on your card which can end up being several thousands on a long trip.
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Old Jul 10, 07, 5:40 pm
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Originally Posted by clarkef View Post
They are quick to charge, but slow to refund. I've cancelled reservations and still had hundred of dollars charged/held on my credit card. Recently was $450ish because I was renting for a week.

Of course, when you are traveling, each travel provider places a hold on your card which can end up being several thousands on a long trip.
I've never had Hertz put an authorization on my card until the rental agreement is made. I usually cancel long before that happens.

I think it's pretty standard for authorizations to stay on your card for several business days though and not specific to Hertz.
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Old Jul 11, 07, 8:45 am
  #5  
 
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I did have this happen and got the credit fairly quickly. Just called and pointed out that I didn't get the car (and even if I had I would not have PAID for the car they billed me for. A luxury LOL!)
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Old Dec 1, 16, 4:20 pm
  #6  
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Forgot to Cancel my Reservation, Someone Drove as Me

I was supposed to go to Kansas City two weeks ago. I had to cancel the trip last minute when I got stuck at work. I canceled my flights and meant to cancel my car but I think now I forgot. Last week I got a call from Hertz that I'd never returned my rental. I called back and was told the call was made to me in error. Today I got an email from Hertz with my e-mail statement of charges. Apparently they think I picked up a Hyundai Sonata at 12:30 PM Friday the 18th and brought it back Saturday the 19th after putting 473 miles on it. I was even thanked for using Express Return. Why the email only got to me today I don't know.

After calling Hertz they looked into it and reversed the charge thankfully but I wonder how someone was able to get the car out without them verifying they weren't me.
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Old Dec 2, 16, 9:42 pm
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Pretty sloppy on their part to let the car out of the lot without checking ID!
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Old Dec 7, 16, 8:16 pm
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Happened to me too at IAD this spring. I called , wrote and emailed but Hertz never refunded me. Never returned a call or responded to multiple attempts to reach them. So I disputed in with Visa and got my refund that way. In September, Hertz suspended my rental privileges, closed my Hertz rewards account. This is how Hertz treats Presidents Circle members in Washingon DC. Needless to say I only rent from National now. Hertz is a train wreck in DC.
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Old Dec 13, 16, 6:29 am
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Something similar happened to me in BOS in September. I canceled my Friday evening reservation on Friday morning, so you can imagine my shock seeing a statement of charges email as I'm waiting to board EWR-BOS 200 miles away from the car that I had allegedly just returned.

Since customer care was closed for the weekend already and that was supposedly the only department who could help (huh?), I went to Hertz as soon as I arrived in BOS to sort out the charges. No one had any power to wipe away the fraudulent record, but the shift lead zeroed the balance on the rental so I wasn't charged.

A call to customer care the following Monday also didn't get the record cleared, and just as I feared, I was charged for tolls several weeks later. A few weeks going back and forth with @Hertz on Twitter finally got the toll charges refunded.

The closest that I got to an explanation in BOS was that they had "System issues" that kept associating the same car with multiple reservations that day. At some point, customer care even confirmed that their car records show that I was not the driver of the car in question, a point that I can't possibly believe given the toll charges. The simplest explanation, which is a few mistakes in a row (car associated with canceled reservation, ID not checked when exiting lot), makes much more sense.
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Old Dec 13, 16, 7:23 am
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Sounds likely inside jobs were either the staff or friends of the staff are taking cars where they know the renter hasn't turned up.
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Old Dec 13, 16, 7:39 am
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Originally Posted by Supers54 View Post
Sounds likely inside jobs were either the staff or friends of the staff are taking cars where they know the renter hasn't turned up.
Possible; however, it should be easy for the rental agency to verify which staff member rented the vehicle. There would need to be initials and signatures on the rentsl document and the person erroneously billed should be able to prove their location at time of rental. This would be a criminal act on the part of the employee at worst and gross negligence at the very least.

I think its more likely their computer reservation system has "issues".

When I cancel a rental car reservation I have always received an "automated" email notification recognizing that cancellation. It provides acknowledgement by the rental agency AND a time stamp.

Is this not a typical practice for any of you?
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Old Dec 13, 16, 8:29 am
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I had a somewhat similar situation at a small station (and it was National, not Hertz). But in this case, I did not cancel the reservation, and when I showed up, the agent said, "But you already took your car." After assuring him that I didn't, he was a bit nervous. He had manually rented all the cars that were dispatched that morning, and it was pretty clear that my ID matched my name, and he did not recognize me as being any of the earlier renters.

In the end, I made sure that I got the rental agreement with my name, and it turned out fine. I have no idea how it worked for the unknown person who was driving the rented car.
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Old Dec 13, 16, 8:39 am
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Slightly off topic, but I noticed that many others had issues getting Hertz to respond to or even acknowledge emails and phone calls.

I dropped al my business with Hertz last year due to this complete inability to answer calls or emails after multiple issues with Hertz locations in Manhattan. I took my $5-10,000 / year annual car rental spend to Avis and have been much happier with them (although Avis' "rewards" system is a joke).

It's astonishing to me that a company the size of Hertz appears to have diverted all their customer service resources to twitter and expects multi year five star gold members to discuss rental issues in 140 character bursts over twitter rather than responding to emails, phone calls, or letters sent to them in the mail.
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Old Dec 13, 16, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by RaoulM View Post
Slightly off topic, but I noticed that many others had issues getting Hertz to respond to or even acknowledge emails and phone calls.

I dropped al my business with Hertz last year due to this complete inability to answer calls or emails after multiple issues with Hertz locations in Manhattan. I took my $5-10,000 / year annual car rental spend to Avis and have been much happier with them (although Avis' "rewards" system is a joke).

It's astonishing to me that a company the size of Hertz appears to have diverted all their customer service resources to twitter and expects multi year five star gold members to discuss rental issues in 140 character bursts over twitter rather than responding to emails, phone calls, or letters sent to them in the mail.
Couldn't agree more- I sent an e-mail to Hertz 2.5 months ago, which went unresponded. I sent 3 more during that time, each one opening a case in their system, but no replies.
The thing that made me blow a gasket was that at some point I received a survey request with them "regarding your recent Customer Service experience with Ramona"- needless to say no one ever spoke or wrote to me.

Their Customer Service is simply non-existant, no matter if you're PC, 5 Star or POTUS.
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Old Dec 13, 16, 3:21 pm
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I had the opposite situation happen once with Avis. I didn't like my assigned car and the agent reassigned me a different one (not in the exchange aisle, but in a regular row). I went through the gate, showed my ID, and they waved me through. The next day, I got a standard courtesy email from Avis telling me they were sorry I had no-showed my reservation. I called in to confirm that I did in fact pick up my car, and learned that my car was marked as checked out to someone else. To make matters worse, I am a female and the person whose car I took was named something like David, so pretty obviously a male! Complete fail with the ID check that day. They got it worked out without my having to return to Avis, but I always wondered what would have happened if I hadn't said something and never went back
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