How to complain?

Old Sep 7, 04, 1:43 pm
  #1  
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Thumbs down How to complain?

I had a reservation with Hertz in Oakland (booked through Priceline) for a full-size car from Friday through Monday of Labor Day weekend.

When we arrived at OAK's Rental Car Center, at 11:30pm, we found that, while all other agencies had little to no line, Hertz had a line of approximately 20 people and only two agents working the counter.

While I have a Hertz #1 Gold account, I typically do not use the #1 Club Gold line. In this case, I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask if I could use the #1 Club Gold booth. When I walked into the booth outside, the gentleman behind the counter brusquely told me the booth was closed and that I would have to use the counter in the Rental Car Center -- even before I could say a word. I make mental note of his name based on his rude treatment.

So I headed inside and began to wait. While watching the two agents helping other customers, I see that they are aggressively pursuing upsells -- to higher class cars, to purchase insurance, to purchase the fuel option -- significantly slowing the transactions while the line continues to grow.

About 30 minutes later, the same gentleman begins working inside and asks if there were any #1 Club Gold members. After he completes working with the customer who walked up, I politely state that I am a #1 Club Gold member but have a pre-paid reservation and ask if I was included in his call for Gold members. Without answering my question, he says he needs to help other people who have been waiting longer, but he will help me in turn. (Based on his answer, I'm not sure if he means after other Gold members or after waiting in the regular line.)

After each customer he works with leaves, I attempt to make eye contact with the agent who told me he would help me later on, only to be ignored and have him serve the next customer in line.

Finally, at 12:35am, I am finally helped by another agent when I reach the front of the line. (I won't delve into how I hand her my driver's license and credit card, only to have her ask me my name!) Based on the data in my #1 Club Gold profile, the transaction is completed in under 3 minutes.

As I walkaway, I see a sign listing the name of the manager on duty -- the same agent who had ignored me and treated me rudely both at the #1 Club Gold booth and the regular rental counter.

My issues with this rental transaction are as follows:
  1. The lack of proper staffing at the rental counter. (Hertz had to have known the rental volume they were expecting that evening, as everyone in line had a reservation)
  2. The aggressive upselling which delayed transactions even further. While I know this is part of the car rental business, at 12:30am on a holiday weekend, I think they should have toned it down knowing how many people were in line.
  3. The rude treatment on multiple occasions by the manager on duty.
  4. The total lack of apology from anyone regarding the wait encountered.

Do I have a legitimate gripe about the service? If so, who should it be directed to? (Complaining to the OAK location doesn't seem to be of much help, considering the treatment I already received from the manager!)

Your thoughts/opinions are welcome...

Greg
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Old Sep 7, 04, 1:56 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: New York, NY
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Originally Posted by GregL
I had a reservation with Hertz in Oakland (booked through Priceline) for a full-size car from Friday through Monday of Labor Day weekend.

When we arrived at OAK's Rental Car Center, at 11:30pm, we found that, while all other agencies had little to no line, Hertz had a line of approximately 20 people and only two agents working the counter.

While I have a Hertz #1 Gold account, I typically do not use the #1 Club Gold line. In this case, I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask if I could use the #1 Club Gold booth. When I walked into the booth outside, the gentleman behind the counter brusquely told me the booth was closed and that I would have to use the counter in the Rental Car Center -- even before I could say a word. I make mental note of his name based on his rude treatment.

So I headed inside and began to wait. While watching the two agents helping other customers, I see that they are aggressively pursuing upsells -- to higher class cars, to purchase insurance, to purchase the fuel option -- significantly slowing the transactions while the line continues to grow.

About 30 minutes later, the same gentleman begins working inside and asks if there were any #1 Club Gold members. After he completes working with the customer who walked up, I politely state that I am a #1 Club Gold member but have a pre-paid reservation and ask if I was included in his call for Gold members. Without answering my question, he says he needs to help other people who have been waiting longer, but he will help me in turn. (Based on his answer, I'm not sure if he means after other Gold members or after waiting in the regular line.)

After each customer he works with leaves, I attempt to make eye contact with the agent who told me he would help me later on, only to be ignored and have him serve the next customer in line.

Finally, at 12:35am, I am finally helped by another agent when I reach the front of the line. (I won't delve into how I hand her my driver's license and credit card, only to have her ask me my name!) Based on the data in my #1 Club Gold profile, the transaction is completed in under 3 minutes.

As I walkaway, I see a sign listing the name of the manager on duty -- the same agent who had ignored me and treated me rudely both at the #1 Club Gold booth and the regular rental counter.

My issues with this rental transaction are as follows:
  1. The lack of proper staffing at the rental counter. (Hertz had to have known the rental volume they were expecting that evening, as everyone in line had a reservation)
  2. The aggressive upselling which delayed transactions even further. While I know this is part of the car rental business, at 12:30am on a holiday weekend, I think they should have toned it down knowing how many people were in line.
  3. The rude treatment on multiple occasions by the manager on duty.
  4. The total lack of apology from anyone regarding the wait encountered.

Do I have a legitimate gripe about the service? If so, who should it be directed to? (Complaining to the OAK location doesn't seem to be of much help, considering the treatment I already received from the manager!)

Your thoughts/opinions are welcome...

Greg
You can email [email protected] or fax a complaint to 800-654-9925. If you prefer speaking with someone, you can try 800-654-4173, but that is more for billing issues.
sucker777 is offline  
Old Sep 7, 04, 2:04 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by GregL
I had a reservation with Hertz in Oakland (booked through Priceline) for a full-size car from Friday through Monday of Labor Day weekend.

[snip]

While I have a Hertz #1 Gold account, I typically do not use the #1 Club Gold line.
Just curious as to why you declined to add your #1 Gold number to your reservation and denied yourself the service you are entitled to? At the very least, it would have saved you standing in line for as long as you did (behavior by the staff at OAK notwithstanding).

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Sep 7, 04 at 2:06 pm
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Old Sep 7, 04, 2:06 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by FlyinHawaiian
Just curious why you declined to add your #1 Gold number to your reservation and denied yourself the service you are entitled to? At the very least, it would have saved you standing in line for as long as you did (behavior by the staff at OAK notwithstanding).
My understanding is that you can't add a #1 Club Gold number to a Priceline reservation.

Greg
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Old Sep 7, 04, 2:33 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by GregL
My understanding is that you can't add a #1 Club Gold number to a Priceline reservation.

Greg
Ah sorry - should have read the other threads - I thought you could. FWIW, I've never enjoyed my rentals from Hertz OAK - same complaints about lousy customer service. I had a pretty good experience at SJC this weekend, so I think it's probably something wrong with the station at OAK.
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Old Sep 11, 04, 5:27 pm
  #6  
 
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Hertz C/S issues

I almost always have issues when renting with Hertz. You can email them or call the location where you had your problem and ask to speak with the City Manager. They usually get back with you.
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Old Sep 12, 04, 9:21 pm
  #7  
 
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I rent from Hertz about once a week, and have been doing so for the past several years. For the very first time, my experience made me mad enough to email with a complaint. (I had reserved a full size car, but they did not have any when I arrived - exactly at my reservation time. They offered me a mid-size car instead, but after 15 minutes to bring it down in their elevator, it turned out that the car was due for service and they would not give it to me. They then proceeded to find me the next best car they had, which was a compact Ford Focus. So, as a President's Circle member, I was given a 2 car class downgrade, and made to wait over 30 minutes.)

Enough rambling . . . The point of this story is to say that when I did complain, the Hertz customer service representative responded to my email within 2 hours. She forwarded my email and her response to the station manager here in NY, to the district manager and to the head of the entire customer service department. She reimbursed me for the entire cost of that rental, and apologized profusely. In my opinion, your situation is of similar significance and created similar inconvenience for you. I am not sure how they could reimburse you for trouble with a Priceline reservation, or if they do this at all, but I would certainly send an email about this.
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Old Sep 13, 04, 4:30 pm
  #8  
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Thumbs up Follow-up

I wrote to the [email protected] address last night and received a reply this afternoon. The reply letter was copied to someone in Oakland (the city manager?) and someone in "N. Pacific Area Operations".

She is sending me a $60 Customer Service Certificate, which fully reimburses me for the cost of my rental. I hadn't asked for anything in compensation. I was pleasantly surprised by their offer.

Greg
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Old Sep 14, 04, 12:52 am
  #9  
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Hi GregL

I have a Hertz rental in my possession for approximately 300 days per year (various locations). I have had similar problems (or worse) than what you have encountered and when I do file a complaint, the CR department does an excellent job at resolving it. I'm glad it worked out for you as well.
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Old Sep 15, 04, 2:48 pm
  #10  
 
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Hertz



Twice in the past 2 weeks I have been overcharged for the car I rented. It also happened about 3 months ago. The first was because the return agent didn't apply the PC code correctly so I had to follow up w/ cust service to get it taken off and the second and third were express returns where they failed to apply the PC codes. They have credited me back the correct amount. Kind of frustrating to have to always make a complaint.
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Old Sep 16, 04, 9:39 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by GregL
I wrote to the [email protected] address last night and received a reply this afternoon. The reply letter was copied to someone in Oakland (the city manager?) and someone in "N. Pacific Area Operations".

She is sending me a $60 Customer Service Certificate, which fully reimburses me for the cost of my rental. I hadn't asked for anything in compensation. I was pleasantly surprised by their offer.

Greg
Good news. I too received today a $100 certificate to compensate for multiple break-downs during a 10-day rental, although that is only about 1/4th the cost of my rental.
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Old Sep 16, 04, 3:08 pm
  #12  
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Just to let you know I received the certificate today -- pretty fast, considering this had to flow through the mailroom at work

Greg
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Old Sep 18, 04, 4:46 pm
  #13  
 
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Hertz is to the car rental business what Ritz-Carlton is to the hotel business: a company that offers a fairly standard and widely-available product but charges a premium for it based on predictably exceptional customer service and a complete lack of hassle and b.s. If there's a customer service failure for either company, it's a very serious threat to their very lucrative business model, because when the exceptional service doesn't happen, they're no different than the lower-priced competition.

Whenever I've complained to Hertz (and I agree that a City Manager is a good person with whom to start) I've always been treated very well. As one Hertz employee told me (as she was knocking $25 off my rental because my car was given to me with soda spilled all over the interior), "If you leave here unhappy, we know you won't come back, and we just can't afford to let that happen."
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Old Sep 28, 10, 7:43 pm
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by GregL View Post
I had a reservation with Hertz in Oakland (booked through Priceline) for a full-size car from Friday through Monday of Labor Day weekend.

When we arrived at OAK's Rental Car Center, at 11:30pm, we found that, while all other agencies had little to no line, Hertz had a line of approximately 20 people and only two agents working the counter.

While I have a Hertz #1 Gold account, I typically do not use the #1 Club Gold line. In this case, I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask if I could use the #1 Club Gold booth. When I walked into the booth outside, the gentleman behind the counter brusquely told me the booth was closed and that I would have to use the counter in the Rental Car Center -- even before I could say a word. I make mental note of his name based on his rude treatment.

So I headed inside and began to wait. While watching the two agents helping other customers, I see that they are aggressively pursuing upsells -- to higher class cars, to purchase insurance, to purchase the fuel option -- significantly slowing the transactions while the line continues to grow.

About 30 minutes later, the same gentleman begins working inside and asks if there were any #1 Club Gold members. After he completes working with the customer who walked up, I politely state that I am a #1 Club Gold member but have a pre-paid reservation and ask if I was included in his call for Gold members. Without answering my question, he says he needs to help other people who have been waiting longer, but he will help me in turn. (Based on his answer, I'm not sure if he means after other Gold members or after waiting in the regular line.)

After each customer he works with leaves, I attempt to make eye contact with the agent who told me he would help me later on, only to be ignored and have him serve the next customer in line.

Finally, at 12:35am, I am finally helped by another agent when I reach the front of the line. (I won't delve into how I hand her my driver's license and credit card, only to have her ask me my name!) Based on the data in my #1 Club Gold profile, the transaction is completed in under 3 minutes.

As I walkaway, I see a sign listing the name of the manager on duty -- the same agent who had ignored me and treated me rudely both at the #1 Club Gold booth and the regular rental counter.

My issues with this rental transaction are as follows:
  1. The lack of proper staffing at the rental counter. (Hertz had to have known the rental volume they were expecting that evening, as everyone in line had a reservation)
  2. The aggressive upselling which delayed transactions even further. While I know this is part of the car rental business, at 12:30am on a holiday weekend, I think they should have toned it down knowing how many people were in line.
  3. The rude treatment on multiple occasions by the manager on duty.
  4. The total lack of apology from anyone regarding the wait encountered.

Do I have a legitimate gripe about the service? If so, who should it be directed to? (Complaining to the OAK location doesn't seem to be of much help, considering the treatment I already received from the manager!)

Your thoughts/opinions are welcome...

Greg
Let me tell you my experience with Hertz, my first time rental car experience.

I’m a customer who was sent to get a loaner car from my car dealer through Hertz Rent-a-Car South Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL.

But unfortunately, when the sales person explained to me about their LOSS DAMAGE WAIVER (LDW) costs $19.99 and PARTIAL DAMAGE WAIVER (PDW) costs $31.99 policies. She used the Misleading and Dishonest Sales Presentation.

False: 1. She tried to mislead and confuse me that I had to accept either WAIVER above, which means I CAN’T decline both.

Truth: 1. Actually, I do have the right to decline both of them, they are OPITIONAL.

False: 2. She dishonestly lie to me that both WAIVERS above will be ONLY charged when I hit something besides human, such as Door, Tree and Wall etc, which means I DON’T need to pay any payment unless I hit something.

Truth: 2. I ended up to be charged LDW $19.99 which I forced to pick by dishonest presentation. The whole story suddenly changes after I signed the paper when she did mislead me to.

False: 3. As a sales representative, she NEVER acknowledge client that these policies will be charged immediately, therefore it causes me can’t realize in time that everything that she explained were all misleading to misunderstanding.

Truth: 3. The LDW or PDW will be charged immediately no matter you hit something or not.

False: 4. After this happened; there is NO Branch Manager to call back for details. All it’s happened is just let her to call me back for another dishonestly explanation. Without any apologies and she even threat me to let me take 3 options. First: accept $10.00 credit back. Second: accept $25.00 Gift Certificate. Third: GET NOTHING. She actually threatened client for her mistake and let client shut the mouth up or get lost. This behavior was completely against a business regulation in any type of industries in any countries, especially in a democracy country like United States.

Truth: 4. That’s a Hertz Rent-a-Car which is big and famous in their business field. But for what their staff did was totally unprofessional and unacceptable. Other clients like me should have rights to know what really happened and deserve a fair justice.

Her colleague and somebody else, even you might ask why she would do this. Because she heard my conversation with another clients that I came from another foreign country and it is my FIRST time to rent a car. That could be or actually was her original intention which she just wanted to simply take advantage of people who like me.

Then again, even I’m a new comer (the truth is I have been US for years) and I’m a new user for rental car (because I always have my own car) should NOT give her any chances or excuses not to only do the business by cheating and misleading, but also for her horrible and insulted way to deal with the issue caused by her during the after sale service.

For what she had done went a way too far and it does cause the damage of trust and Hertz’s reputation.

I hope my experience can help to do warning for all of the FIRST TIME USER or the INTERNATIONAL CLIENT to watch out what you are going to go through.
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Old Sep 28, 10, 8:35 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,090
All rental contracts in the US state that loss damage waiver is optional. All rental contracts would list loss damage waiver charges, if accepted, on your bill that you sign. Furthermore, for insurance replacement rentals, it would list a bill-to amount for your insurance company along with a bill-to customer portion which would include loss damage waiver charges. Next time do yourself a favor and read what you sign.
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