Go Back   > > >
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Apr 21, 17, 11:05 am   #1
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Francisco/Sydney
Programs: UA 1K/MM, TK Gold, DL Silver, Hilton Diamond, Marriott/SPG Gold, Hertz PC, Avis First
Posts: 5,415
New Cancel/No-show charges?

Just making a "Pay Later" reservation for Las Vegas in a few weeks, and had the following come up when it got to the credit card page :



It then requires me to enter credit card details before I can book (I wasn't logged into my account at the time).

This wasn't for anything special - just a normal Intermediate.

If I go back to the homepage and do exactly the same search, and select exactly the same car, this time it gives me the final page without the need to enter credit card details, and no mention of a cancel fee. If I instead do a pay now booking I get the same window with different text but the same cancellation fees.

Anyone else seen this? I'm trying to work out if they are trying something new, or if this is just a website bug...
docbert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 21, 17, 11:35 am   #2
  
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Wanting First. Buying First.
Programs: Lifetime Executive Diamond Platinum VIP with Braniff, Eastern, Midway, National & Pan Am
Posts: 4,699
Quote:
Originally Posted by docbert View Post
Anyone else seen this? I'm trying to work out if they are trying something new, or if this is just a website bug...
I've been encountering this for a couple weeks now on anything higher than a full size car.
Herb687 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 21, 17, 12:01 pm   #3
  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Bristol, UK
Programs: Hertz Presidents Circle; SPG Lifetime Platinum; Hilton Honors Diamond
Posts: 652
I've not seen this, but it does not surprise me.

There are plenty of people who have told us - on these very pages - that they make a second reservation and then cancel if they don't like the car allocated to them, or if they have been offered a better upgrade from the other reservation, and they can do this in real time with no penalty. That leaves the rental agency with a car that they can only sell to a walk-in customer with no reservation. I doubt that they get that many of those for the higher category vehicles.

We the customers may not like it, but it is hard to argue against the logic in business terms. Let's face it, hotels have been doing this for years.
Red Scorpion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 21, 17, 12:20 pm   #4
Company Representative - Autoslash
  
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 2,069
Hertz appears to be A/B testing the idea of charging customers for cancels/no-shows on Pay Later rates. I ran a bunch of tests and it comes up sporadically. They are probably trying to gauge the reaction of customers to the concept.

Interestingly, the cancel penalties are exactly the same for Pay Now vs. Pay Later, so if you are being forced into it, Pay Now is often the better deal. That said, as the OP pointed out, you can just open a new browser session to get around it (for now), but you can also go and hit the Select Another Vehicle button as well and that seems to stop it from forcing the option on you. They probably figure that if you don't bite at first you're probably not going to, so better to back off than to lose the biz. I'm sure they're tracking exactly how many people click the Continue button vs. Select Another, as well as how many people eventually complete a reservation vs. drop out of the booking funnel.

Time will tell whether this is something that the rental industry can make stick to not. Despite the obvious business advantages of forcing cancellation penalties on their customers, they need to tread lightly, because if one of the big three goes down this road, but the other two don't follow ("caught with their pants down"), the leader could end up in a lonely place and see their bookings drop dramatically. That's one of the reasons you've seen hesitance in the past in this area.
AutoSlash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 21, 17, 12:22 pm   #5
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Francisco/Sydney
Programs: UA 1K/MM, TK Gold, DL Silver, Hilton Diamond, Marriott/SPG Gold, Hertz PC, Avis First
Posts: 5,415
Fully understand for a high-end vehicle, but this was for an Intermediate.

The odd thing is that the fees were exactly the same as pre-paid, which the more I think about it makes me think this was shown in error. I would expect a lower cancel fee (or less strict window) for "pay later", otherwise whats the point of having both options available?
docbert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 21, 17, 12:39 pm   #6
  
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,543
What do they do if you show up and the coupe you booked is not available and all they have is a minivan?
rickg523 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 21, 17, 2:07 pm   #7
Company Representative - Autoslash
  
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 2,069
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
What do they do if you show up and the coupe you booked is not available and all they have is a minivan?
Well in that case, assuming you did not find the Minivan suitable they would likely:

- Provide you with some sort of credit for the inconvenience of having to take a vehicle that was something other than what you reserved.

- Cancel the reservation without charging you any penalty for a no-show.
AutoSlash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 21, 17, 2:39 pm   #8
Company Representative - Autoslash
  
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 2,069
Quote:
Originally Posted by docbert View Post
Fully understand for a high-end vehicle, but this was for an Intermediate.

The odd thing is that the fees were exactly the same as pre-paid, which the more I think about it makes me think this was shown in error. I would expect a lower cancel fee (or less strict window) for "pay later", otherwise whats the point of having both options available?
First off, please understand that they are likely just testing the waters here, so it's not surprising that things don't totally make sense.

Second, it's not about high-end vehicles. Putting the most recent changes aside, Hertz as well as the other major rental companies have been requiring a credit card guarantee for higher demand periods for a long time. For example, try to make a reservation with National in NYC over Memorial Day weekend for a Compact car and you'll see this message:

Quote:
Payment Information

To guarantee availability of the car class you requested, you must provide a credit card. Your card will not be charged today. National will authorize your card to guarantee vehicle availability. Click 'Add Payment' to continue.
This most recent development though is for any vehicle at any time. Hertz (as well as the other major rental companies) would like to become more like airlines where you will pay a fee anytime you want to change or cancel a reservation. The no-show rate in the rental industry can be as high as 30% which obviously makes inventory management difficult and leads to:
This makes a ton of business sense for the industry, but it's just something they've tried in the past but not been able to make stick. This is yet another attempt, even if it is just testing the waters.

As far as fees being the same, it kind of makes sense. They give you a discounted rate for Pay Now vs. Pay Later--not better cancellation terms. Maybe they will do that down the road, maybe not. Now it's easy to get around entering your CC for Pay Later at the moment, but maybe down the road it will be required across the board. Then again, maybe not. Time will tell...
AutoSlash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 21, 17, 4:45 pm   #9
  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York suburbs
Posts: 3,025
If true for normal cars, such changes will push even more customers to other forms of transportation. For short distances, which are presumably the most profitable for the business, the biggest direct threat would be the likes of Uber.
Auto Enthusiast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 24, 17, 6:29 am   #10
Original Member
  
Join Date: May 1998
Location: New York, NY, USA
Programs: AA 2MM, Hyatt Glob, SPG LTP, Hilton Diamond, National EE
Posts: 10,347
Confirmation email from European reservation made earlier this year contained the following:

Quote:
NO SHOWS / LOST RENTALS - If you pay at location, fail to cancel your reservation and do not collect the vehicle on the pick up date, we reserve the right to make a No Show / Lost Rental Charge of EUR 65.00, GBP 65.00 (or the equivalent in the destination currency, exclusive of VAT) which recovers our administration costs. This will be taken from the credit card you used to make your booking. Currently applicable only to rentals in Europe and where the reservation for that rental was also made in Europe or in the United States.
seawolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 27, 17, 2:33 pm   #11
  
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 49
One concern I have is whether I am protected if my flight in is cancelled due to weather or something.
dansachs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 27, 17, 2:58 pm   #12
  
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NYC
Programs: DL PM, SPG Gold, Hertz PC
Posts: 5,089
Quote:
Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
Confirmation email from European reservation made earlier this year contained the following:
This sounds like the pretty standard terms for a non-prepaid hotel reservation - cancel by 6PM day of arrival, or we charge you for the first night's stay.
cestmoi123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 28, 17, 8:09 am   #13
  
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Programs: AA Gold,DL Gold
Posts: 850
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auto Enthusiast View Post
If true for normal cars, such changes will push even more customers to other forms of transportation. For short distances, which are presumably the most profitable for the business, the biggest direct threat would be the likes of Uber.
Are you aware that Uber charges a cancellation fee???
flyingcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 28, 17, 9:15 pm   #14
  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, California
Programs: IHG Spire Elite, Marriott Platinum Elite, Hilton Diamond, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 3,185
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingcat View Post
Are you aware that Uber charges a cancellation fee???
ONLY once you have been connected to a driver. There is no cancellation fee prior. That's nothing like this.
https://help.uber.com/h/63165ec1-091...f-0b8d8df1a605
CalItalian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 30, 17, 11:24 am   #15
  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: BOS
Programs: UA MM
Posts: 1,226
Hmm I wonder if you can modify a reservation and get a new price, without need to cancel, when rates go down? My usual habit is to book the car when I pay for the air, and then watch it every now and then. When rates drop, I make a new res and cancel the old. This is different from a no-show of course - Hertz still rents the car, I just get a better rate.

I think Autoslash does this automatically, but not sure whether it's on the same reservation or they make different ones, or if they just track rates and tell you when something is cheaper?

Interestingly, sometimes these various cancellations still appear in their system. Recently on exiting LAS, where you now pick up the RA at the exit booth, the guy said "Oh which reservation is this?" When picking up at a franchise location in BZN, I had to pull my printout from my pocket with the res number and say "use this one" to get the one with the cheapest rate. I have no idea why they keep the cancelled reservations in their system.
MojaveFlyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Thread Tools
Search Thread
Go to Top
Forum Jump
Contact Us - FlyerTalk - Archive - Top