What has happened to Hertz???

Old Apr 21, 2024, 3:35 am
  #1  
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What has happened to Hertz???

Years ago when I worked for a major investment bank, I had to travel and rent cars almost weekly. My company had a Hertz account, and their service was just fine in general. Once I left and started my own small business, I didn't travel much for work, and when I did I used cheaper alternatives such as Enterprise if I needed a car. Fast forward to 2024 when I've started trying Hertz again, because Delta Diamond gives me free "President's Club" status, or whatever they call it.

Hertz is now a total disaster IMO. I feel like I'm dealing with the California DMV or the police in a third world country.

Reservations which I prepaid in full, I arrive on my flight and the Hertz counter rep informs me they are out of cars. Small airport/town so no other cars from anyone else either, and Ubers were not plentiful. Missed an important meeting and had to try to Uber everywhere for 3 days. Not even an apology from the counter reps, who just shrugged and told me their reservations system doesn't always work. This same scenario has happened twice in a month.

Try to use their website to modify a reservation.....windmills or gives fault messages maybe 30% of the time, can't even log into my account.

Try to call them instead, routine 20+ minute wait times, even at odd hours. Then get an agent overseas somewhere whose English is so bad it can be hard to try to communicate a simple transaction.

I thought Hertz was supposed to be the premier rental company, that charged more but gave better service. What the heck happened? What company should I switch to for rentals?
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Old Apr 21, 2024, 4:57 am
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Where do we even start? Hertz has been all over the news the past few years. They went through bankruptcy during Covid, had their customers arrested, and then bought way too many EV and screwed up their fleet mix which screwed their customers. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

If you want service like you used to have with Hertz, use National. Don't want to pay National's inflated prices (hey, you get what you pay for), use Enterprise, Alamo, Avis, or Budget. They're all pretty much fine.

You can sign up as a member of Avis's loyalty program and skip the counter. You can do the same with sister company Budget, but it isn't as seamless as their premium brand Avis.

Enterprise owns National and they generally run a solid operation but skipping the counter at airports isn't always as easy. We like Alamo a lot since you can check in online to skip the counter or use the kiosks at the airport to do the same. Alamo is quite underrated. It's like renting with National except without all the bells and whistles, but their prices are usually way less.

If you want to save money book through AutoSlash, or at least, book wherever you like, and then track your rental with AutoSlash for price drops. Trust us, you'll thank us,

Last edited by AutoSlash; Apr 21, 2024 at 1:43 pm
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Old Apr 21, 2024, 5:29 am
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Originally Posted by AutoSlash
Where do we even start? Hertz has been all over the news the past few years. They went through bankruptcy during Covid, had their customers arrested, and then bought way too many EV and screwed up their fleet mix which screwed their customers. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

If you want service like you used to have with Hertz, use National. Don't want to pay National's inflated prices (hey, you get what you pay for), use Enterprise, Alamo, Avis, or Budget. They're all pretty much fine.

You can sign up as a member of Avis's loyalty program and skip the counter. You can do the same with sister company Budget, but it isn't as seamless as their premium brand Avis.

Enterprise owns National and they generally run a solid operation but skipping the counter at airports isn't always as easy. We like Alamo a lot since you can check in online to skip the counter or use the kiosks at the airport to do the same. Alamo is quite underrated. It's like renting with National except without all the bells and whistles, but their prices are usually way less.

If you want to save money book through AutoSlash, at least, book wherever you like, and then track your rental with AutoSlash for price drops. Trust us, you'll thank us,
Thanks for all that info! I will try National and the others you recommend. I've generally had very good experiences with Enterprise, but they often don't serve some of the smaller airports I fly to, and even at larger ones sometimes are far enough off-site to be a bit of a hassle.
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Old Apr 21, 2024, 6:53 am
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Autoslash, I wince when I read your statement that National has inflated prices, and then you say, "hey, you get what you pay for". Sorry, although I agree with the former statement, the latter statement is not acceptable (to me) to give National my business regardless based on that oft repeated generic phrase. I'm not employed by a large corporate company offering a large expense bankroll that perhaps could allow me to just shrug the former statement off... as for Alamo, I use to be a very frequent user, almost never had an issue, but post COVID, their prices have been "reimagined" and never dip into the zone where I can rationalize it... so I unfortunately find myself with, and more often than not, without your (AutoSlash) assistance, finding those "pockets" of pricing and reliability that do work for me. In some cases that means reducing my length of rental and using alternative means, like Uber/Lyft. But I'm not at a point where someone tells me that XYZ is fantastic, but overpriced, but I should use them regardless... that mindset may work for you and others who can "afford" it either due to financial position, affiliations or "connections", but it doesn't work for most (of us), and I find it rather elitist coming from you, a company that makes a marketing thing of searching for the best prices, and then offering tracking if they drop. I still find your service of value (but not as much as in the past after your altercation with Hertz), but your quotes are filled with companies with the very lowest prices and not surprisingly the highest dissatisfaction, so if you really feel you "get what you pay for", why even give those companies a platform on your site and let those with less experience and knowledge, suffer the consequence?
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Old Apr 21, 2024, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by randix
Autoslash, I wince when I read your statement that National has inflated prices, and then you say, "hey, you get what you pay for". Sorry, although I agree with the former statement, the latter statement is not acceptable (to me) to give National my business regardless based on that oft repeated generic phrase. I'm not employed by a large corporate company offering a large expense bankroll that perhaps could allow me to just shrug the former statement off... as for Alamo, I use to be a very frequent user, almost never had an issue, but post COVID, their prices have been "reimagined" and never dip into the zone where I can rationalize it... so I unfortunately find myself with, and more often than not, without your (AutoSlash) assistance, finding those "pockets" of pricing and reliability that do work for me. In some cases that means reducing my length of rental and using alternative means, like Uber/Lyft. But I'm not at a point where someone tells me that XYZ is fantastic, but overpriced, but I should use them regardless... that mindset may work for you and others who can "afford" it either due to financial position, affiliations or "connections", but it doesn't work for most (of us), and I find it rather elitist coming from you, a company that makes a marketing thing of searching for the best prices, and then offering tracking if they drop. I still find your service of value (but not as much as in the past after your altercation with Hertz), but your quotes are filled with companies with the very lowest prices and not surprisingly the highest dissatisfaction, so if you really feel you "get what you pay for", why even give those companies a platform on your site and let those with less experience and knowledge, suffer the consequence?
We never said to use National regardless. We only said that their prices were very high but that in terms of service, they are at the top of the heap. We also don't think it's worth paying double or whatever, to rent with them over someone else, but to each his or her own.

As far as Alamo goes, everyone had their own experiences. We can tell you that our customers complete tens of thousands of rentals each year and we almost never hear of problems with Enterprise, National, or Alamo, and our own personal experiences are in line with this. If your personal experience doesn't track with this, we respect that. We're just providing an observation from our own perspective, albeit one that takes comes from a wealth of experience and feedback (and sometimes lack thereof which can also be instructive).

As far as your last question, if we removed every single company that we get complaints about, then the only companies that would be left in our quotes would be Enterprise, National, and Alamo. We provide star ratings for every company we offer. Some folks are on a budget, so if say, Easirent (a deep-discount brand with a questionable reputation) is $100 for a 4-day rental, and the next best company is say Thrifty for $250, then who are we to hide Easirent? Maybe the person requesting the quote wouldn't be able to rent at all since $250 is out of their budget. We believe in being as transparent as possible and leaving it to the customer to make an informed decision. Is that elitist?
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Old Apr 22, 2024, 5:05 am
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With regard to Alamo, I never said Alamo had any issues (not in my experience nor have I heard any issues from others). All I said was, I use to be a frequent Alamo user, but since COVID their prices in particular have been "reimagined", to a degree it doesn't work for me given their rates.

With regard to companies like Easierent, and with all due respect, I take exception to your explanation that you list companies like Easirent on your platform to give everyone a choice, when I suspect you know that those who would opt to rent from those type of places, don't have the information to make an "informed decision". They choose simply by price alone. You could include on your site a mission statement that you exclude certain companies if you don't believe they meet minimum standards of customer care. No one is talking about removing every single company where a complaint exists, that's a "straw" argument and distracts from the point. Course perhaps those kind of folks are not your real market, so why pay any attention to the issue, other than throw it out as a choice knowing the likelihood that they will probably incur issues from the moment they approach the counter.

As for National, I thought your response was pretty clear, National is the best but their prices are inflated in comparison to others, but "you get what you pay for"... ???
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Old Apr 22, 2024, 10:06 am
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Totally agree that Hertz has gone from what used to be one of the best, if not the best, rental car companies to their current dumpster fire condition (and has been for a few years now).

Since they filed for bankruptcy during covid its been horrible. Bad leadership, horrible IT, poor customer service, questionable fleet decisions, and high prices. They regularly still try to charge a premium over other companies, but provide a crap experience throughout the whole thing starting from their horrendous website. Its no wonder why my Hertz rentals have gone down to only a few a year and other companies are getting my business.
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Old Apr 25, 2024, 11:27 am
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Last week at EWR, I rented from Hertz. I too was fairly horrified by the experience, mainly the price gouging aspect. While the service, in the sense of receiving and returning the car quickly, was fine, we ended up paying a ridiculous amount for the rental due to what I found to be bait-and-switch pricing and some deceptive smooth-talking by the woman at the counter. Not only that, but they wanted to charge us $13/day for a second driver (Mr. travelmad478), despite the fact that weíre married and living at the same address. Absolutely no other company Iíve used in years charges for that anymore. We declined, and I ended up driving the whole time (not a tragedy in this instance, but just annoying).

I rent almost exclusively through AutoSlash, and in rare cases Turo when pricing gets extreme with the mainstream car rental companies. I tend to view the big companies, kind of like legacy airlines, as all more or less the same from a service point of view, but I guess thatís not true these days.
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Old Apr 25, 2024, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by travelmad478
Last week at EWR, I rented from Hertz. I too was fairly horrified by the experience, mainly the price gouging aspect. While the service, in the sense of receiving and returning the car quickly, was fine, we ended up paying a ridiculous amount for the rental due to what I found to be bait-and-switch pricing and some deceptive smooth-talking by the woman at the counter. Not only that, but they wanted to charge us $13/day for a second driver (Mr. travelmad478), despite the fact that we’re married and living at the same address. Absolutely no other company I’ve used in years charges for that anymore. We declined, and I ended up driving the whole time (not a tragedy in this instance, but just annoying).
Are you not a Gold Rewards member, or why did you go to the counter in the first place?

My understanding is that spouses are automatically authorized drivers without fee or requirement to add them to the contract.

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Old Apr 25, 2024, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff
Are you not a Gold Rewards member, or why did you go to the counter in the first place?

My understanding is that spouses are automatically authorized drivers without fee or requirement to add them to the contract.
I am indeed a Gold Rewards member. I went to the counter because (a) there was no pre-check-in notice sent to me and more importantly, (b) I never remember that it's possible to skip the counter --just like I never remember that there's such a thing as digital key cards for hotel rooms! I am not a Hertz loyalist--I rent from the cheapest decently-rated company that AutoSlash finds for me, and that's rarely Hertz, so I don't really have much familiarity with their process. I do know that Avis usually sends me an email to check in before I arrive, which I do, but Hertz did not send anything, so I had to go to the counter.
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Old Apr 25, 2024, 1:29 pm
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Originally Posted by randix
With regard to Alamo, I never said Alamo had any issues (not in my experience nor have I heard any issues from others). All I said was, I use to be a frequent Alamo user, but since COVID their prices in particular have been "reimagined", to a degree it doesn't work for me given their rates.

With regard to companies like Easierent, and with all due respect, I take exception to your explanation that you list companies like Easirent on your platform to give everyone a choice, when I suspect you know that those who would opt to rent from those type of places, don't have the information to make an "informed decision". They choose simply by price alone. You could include on your site a mission statement that you exclude certain companies if you don't believe they meet minimum standards of customer care. No one is talking about removing every single company where a complaint exists, that's a "straw" argument and distracts from the point. Course perhaps those kind of folks are not your real market, so why pay any attention to the issue, other than throw it out as a choice knowing the likelihood that they will probably incur issues from the moment they approach the counter.

As for National, I thought your response was pretty clear, National is the best but their prices are inflated in comparison to others, but "you get what you pay for"... ???
I *really* donít understand what youíre all tied in a knot about. Yes, National is the best. Yes, they are often the most expensive. That offends you?
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Old Apr 25, 2024, 2:44 pm
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I've rented from Hertz regularly since my first road-warrior job in the 90's. I was President's Circle from the day they launched the elite tiers in 2000-ish. Hertz used to be amazing - well ahead of its peers including National and Alamo. They always had good cars, usually well-trimmed models thanks to their Ford relationship, while Avis and National had a *lot* of stripped down Pontiacs and Buicks, even for their Preferred/Emerald renters.

By the early 00's and 10's, I felt like Avis and National/Alamo (pretty much a combined operation by then) had reached parity, but all three were pretty good.

But now, Hertz is an outright dumpster fire. My worst rental ever was this year, when I returned a car to LAX and, along with about a dozen other returning renters, couldn't find an employee anywhere to process the return. OK, this has happened before, I didn't worry too much. It was raining, a bus driver was there, so I just got on board and figured the email would come coon. Three days later, I start getting nastygrams about returning the car. Knowing that it's all-too-common Hertz practice to report the car to police as stolen, even when it's sitting on their lot, I started making calls. Eventually they located it - sitting on their lot - and closed out my rental, charging me for three extra days.

When I asked the charges to be reversed, I was literally asked if I had video proof that I returned the car on time. Thinking it was a bad joke or they misunderstood something, I emailed a called a couple more times and got the same answer every time. No gas receipt, no airline mileage statement showing I'd actually flown across the country shortly after dropping off the rental car. They wanted a video.

No, I didn't video myself pulling into the Hertz lot. When was the last time anyone did this? And even if I did, wouldn't they just say I could have edited the timestamp? The irony is, HERTZ is the only one with the video evidence, as I'm sure the LAX rental facility is bristling with cameras covering every vehicle movement on the lot. But that's irrelevant - they know it's an impossible request to for a renter to comply with, and that is indeed the entire underlying fraud.

As this was going on, I had completed a couple more (thankfully normal) Hertz rentals. I know I can't contest the charges with my credit card without getting the banhammer from Hertz and every other agency it owns. So I'm just out $150 or so - but now consider Hertz my absolute last resort, after every other third-tier agency, after Turo, after Ubering, in some cities after cycling/scooters, after literally any other transportation option there is.

Hertz is terrible. It's a great case study in how to thoroughly trash a once-premium brand.
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Old Apr 25, 2024, 7:03 pm
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Originally Posted by travelmad478
Last week at EWR, I rented from Hertz. I too was fairly horrified by the experience, mainly the price gouging aspect. While the service, in the sense of receiving and returning the car quickly, was fine, we ended up paying a ridiculous amount for the rental due to what I found to be bait-and-switch pricing and some deceptive smooth-talking by the woman at the counter. Not only that, but they wanted to charge us $13/day for a second driver (Mr. travelmad478), despite the fact that weíre married and living at the same address. Absolutely no other company Iíve used in years charges for that anymore. We declined, and I ended up driving the whole time (not a tragedy in this instance, but just annoying).

I rent almost exclusively through AutoSlash, and in rare cases Turo when pricing gets extreme with the mainstream car rental companies. I tend to view the big companies, kind of like legacy airlines, as all more or less the same from a service point of view, but I guess thatís not true these days.
Thanks for your business. It's worth signing up for Hertz Gold Rewards and entering your member number on the checkout page when you booked through us. Not only will your spouse be able to drive for free, but you'll also be able to skip the counter and those smooth-talking agents trying to price gouge you.
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Old Apr 25, 2024, 8:42 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped
But now, Hertz is an outright dumpster fire. My worst rental ever was this year, when I returned a car to LAX and, along with about a dozen other returning renters, couldn't find an employee anywhere to process the return. OK, this has happened before, I didn't worry too much. It was raining, a bus driver was there, so I just got on board and figured the email would come coon. Three days later, I start getting nastygrams about returning the car. Knowing that it's all-too-common Hertz practice to report the car to police as stolen, even when it's sitting on their lot, I started making calls. Eventually they located it - sitting on their lot - and closed out my rental, charging me for three extra days.
Yet Hertz still claiming they can cut out $500 million of costs this year... Stock is on the express train to 0 thanks to their EV misadventure, they lit over $700 million of cash on fire in the 1st quarter.
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Old Apr 26, 2024, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by xienon
Stock is on the express train to 0 thanks to their EV misadventure, they lit over $700 million of cash on fire in the 1st quarter.
The wild thing is....when Hertz first announced the big EV initiative, I was impressed that they were innovating - taking the lead.

Then I actually rented one in a city where I didn't know where chargers were and didn't have access to an overnight charger. And I immediately realized that while EVs have great promise for the future, rentals...for now....are a lousy use case for them. Most renters *don't* have access to overnight chargers, so they're either charging them during the day (a bad user experience that makes people unlikely to rent them again) or bringing them back with low charge, taking them out of the ready-to-rent fleet until they can be recharged.

I've still rented them occasionally when there was a great promotion AND I knew I was driving less than one full charge. The $25 fee for bringing it back "empty" is reasonable enough. But from their business perspective I don't see how it makes sense. They'd have been better off expanding their hybrid fleet in places where fuel costs are high and high MPG is a competitive advantage.

And that's before taking into account that people are morons and wreck EVs because they don't know how to drive them.
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