unannounced major rate increase

Old Nov 17, 18, 5:51 pm
  #1  
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unannounced major rate increase

Several months ago, my wife and I booked a car at EWR for Thanksgiving Day and the following two days. We were quoted a weekend rate of $145 and change, and only checked back on the reservation today, in preparation for our upcoming Thanksgiving visit to NJ.

Now the rate is shown as $553 and change! Nothing else on the reservation has changed, including the booking number. We called Hertz and were told to bring the email noting our rate at the time of booking and that "everything would be adjusted" back to the original rate at the counter.

My wife and I rarely rent cars, and our last transaction with Hertz was for the exact same Thanksgiving plus two day period in 2017. That time, everything worked smoothly - no surprise rate changes.

Any advice from the FT sages on how to handle this at the counter in Newark and what to do if the adjustment to our original rate doesn't go smoothly? We have a Gold card from Hertz, linked to our Amex Platinum card, which we'll use to pay for the rental.
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Old Nov 17, 18, 7:42 pm
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You didn't go in and change your dates did you? That's one of the times that a rate change would occur. But if you did not do that just bring your original e-mail receipt that you were given and all should be fine.

You are in President Circle aren't you? I'm just assuming because of your 1K status with UA.
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Old Nov 17, 18, 7:47 pm
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We've seen this sort of thing before with Hertz unfortunately. The CDP you used on the reservation may have has the rate plan change which can cause a price change. Really nothing to do except to follow Hertz's advice and argue your case at the rental counter. It's a pain, but better than the alternative.

You might also just use the link below to track the rental to see if any lower rates are available. It's a long shot this close to the holiday honestly, but we do have some pretty deeply discounted prepaid rates, so worth a shot.
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Old Nov 17, 18, 10:53 pm
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Originally Posted by skyccord View Post
You didn't go in and change your dates did you? That's one of the times that a rate change would occur. But if you did not do that just bring your original e-mail receipt that you were given and all should be fine.

You are in President Circle aren't you? I'm just assuming because of your 1K status with UA.
We did not change anything on the reservation. I am not actually in the President Circle, because I don't drive. My wife is the driver in our family and she has whatever status comes with Amex Platinum.

Originally Posted by skyccord View Post
You didn't go in and change your dates did you? That's one of the times that a rate change would occur. But if you did not do that just bring your original e-mail receipt that you were given and all should be fine.

You are in President Circle aren't you? I'm just assuming because of your 1K status with UA.
Originally Posted by AutoSlash View Post
We've seen this sort of thing before with Hertz unfortunately. The CDP you used on the reservation may have has the rate plan change which can cause a price change. Really nothing to do except to follow Hertz's advice and argue your case at the rental counter. It's a pain, but better than the alternative.

You might also just use the link below to track the rental to see if any lower rates are available. It's a long shot this close to the holiday honestly, but we do have some pretty deeply discounted prepaid rates, so worth a shot.
I'm not sure I understand what the "rate plan change" means in the CDP. We used the Amex Platinum CDP, and are still active cardholders. I don't see what could have changed.

We looked online just for a back-up plan, and there are no cars showing available (at least through Costco's portal) at EWR.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Nov 18, 18 at 4:47 pm Reason: consecutive posts merged
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Old Nov 18, 18, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
I'm not sure I understand what the "rate plan change" means in the CDP. We used the Amex Platinum CDP, and are still active cardholders. I don't see what could have changed.

We looked online just for a back-up plan, and there are no cars showing available (at least through Costco's portal) at EWR.
I think what they are saying is that factors outside of your control can cause a change because of the CDP you used. I've personally never had that happen, I'm assuming you picked the pay later option? If so, get ready to argue I guess.
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Old Nov 18, 18, 6:14 pm
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Originally Posted by skyccord View Post
I think what they are saying is that factors outside of your control can cause a change because of the CDP you used. I've personally never had that happen, I'm assuming you picked the pay later option? If so, get ready to argue I guess.
Yes, indeed. "Pay later" will now become "Argue later." I will report back, after Thanksgiving.
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Old Nov 18, 18, 7:20 pm
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Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
We did not change anything on the reservation. I am not actually in the President Circle, because I don't drive. My wife is the driver in our family and she has whatever status comes with Amex Platinum.

I'm not sure I understand what the "rate plan change" means in the CDP. We used the Amex Platinum CDP, and are still active cardholders. I don't see what could have changed.

We looked online just for a back-up plan, and there are no cars showing available (at least through Costco's portal) at EWR.
Something may have changed with the way that Hertz coded the Amex Platinum CDP in their system. That's what we meant.

Costco may not have inventory but other sites might. See the link below to enter a quote or tracking request. Nothing to lost other than a few minutes of time to double-check.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 7:11 am
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Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
Yes, indeed. "Pay later" will now become "Argue later." I will report back, after Thanksgiving.
Have a look at car rental through Qantas - they have a midsize car from Thrifty for $187 for the three days. No status upgrades of course and a little more money, but a lot less stressful than an argument over $400.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 10:37 am
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Originally Posted by Cymro View Post
Have a look at car rental through Qantas - they have a midsize car from Thrifty for $187 for the three days. No status upgrades of course and a little more money, but a lot less stressful than an argument over $400.
Thanks, but I'm going to take my chances with Hertz and Amex Plat. If they don't honor the original rate at the counter, then I'll dispute the charge with Amex. We have clear proof of the original rate on the booking confirmation.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 11:12 am
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Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
Thanks, but I'm going to take my chances with Hertz and Amex Plat. If they don't honor the original rate at the counter, then I'll dispute the charge with Amex. We have clear proof of the original rate on the booking confirmation.
Do your best to get the rate honored by Hertz. As annoying as it is, and even though you are right - a chargeback will most likely put you on the DNR list.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by klanfa View Post
Do your best to get the rate honored by Hertz. As annoying as it is, and even though you are right - a chargeback will most likely put you on the DNR list.
If DNR means "do not rent" then if I have to go through the chargeback process, I will put Hertz on my personal DNR list before they put me on theirs. If I cannot count on a rate that is booked on a confirmed transaction, then what is the point of doing business with a company?
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Old Nov 19, 18, 1:52 pm
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This has happened to me several times before and the location has always honoured the original rate.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 7:36 pm
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I, too, have had several instances of being told a higher rate at the counter, pulling out my printed email reservation info, and getting the rate I reserved. Enough so that I always look at the rental agreement before I leave the lot.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 11:44 pm
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Did the rate code change? I’m confused because if the rate code is the same on the online booking versus the email confirmation, couldn’t you just Photoshop or Adobe acrobat PDF edit the page so you get an even cheaper rate than what was in the confirmation email?
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Old Nov 20, 18, 5:15 pm
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I am in the same boat with a rate booked through Autoslash/Priceline using the Amex Platinum CDP.
Really don't look forward to spending time arguing over this at the gate with my family in the car on Thanksgiving morning.
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