Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

The Reason Why I Am Giving Hertz Another Chance

Is Hertz actually improving?

An employee of the location at which I was to rent a vehicle from Hertz contacted me 39 minutes before the start of the rental to let me know that not only did they not have a vehicle available to rent at that moment; but that a vehicle would not be available until several business days later and no vehicle was available from any other location as well — despite the fact that I paid $319.17 in full well in advance — so what is the reason why I am giving Hertz another chance for my business?

The Reason Why I Am Giving Hertz Another Chance

a two white desks with computers and a black sign on the wall
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

The article that detailed my most recent experience with Hertz was published on Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:03 in the evening Eastern Daylight Time. On Friday, June 28, 2024 at 2:39 in the afternoon Eastern Daylight Time, I unexpectedly received a telephone call from a member of the executive customer care department of Hertz with whom I conversed for twelve minutes. She addressed the poor customer service that I experienced and listened to what was on my mind. She acknowledged several items:

  • Hertz should have been able to follow an existing procedure and furnish a vehicle from a different location — even from the airport
  • Because I paid $319.17 in full well in advance for the rental, a vehicle should have been available to me
  • Confirmation that I would have been charged for the rental had the situation been reversed, as I already paid for the rental and could not cancel it without a penalty
  • If I was willing to try Hertz again, I would be given enough Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points to rent a car for a week
  • That as a customer with President’s Circle elite status, I should have been treated better

I politely took issue with the last statement, as no customer deserved to be treated the way I was treated during my experience — regardless of elite status. If a customer pays for a product or service in advance, the responsibility is on the provider to fulfill the contract by providing the customer with that product or service in a satisfactory manner.

Final Boarding Call

Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Getting enough Hertz Gold Plus Rewards points to rent a vehicle for a week is not the reason why I am giving Hertz another chance — although it certainly does not hurt. Rather, the reason is because an employee of the company proactively reached out to me to address the issue and correct it.

Things go wrong. Nothing is 100 percent perfect. Satisfactory treatment of customers when things go as planned is easy for most companies. Service recovery is important to a business because that is what gives a company a true opportunity to differentiate itself from its competition. Companies fail at service recovery more often than they should, in my opinion — and proper service recovery is neither expensive nor all that difficult to do.

In my opinion, Hertz did the right thing. Most everyone deserves another chance when an effort is undertaken to correct what was wrong…

…and yes, the thought did cross my mind that I was contacted by Hertz eight hours and 36 minutes after the aforementioned article was published. Did someone at Hertz read the article — or was it merely a coincidence?

I initially did feel uncomfortable about the possibility that because I write for an established weblog that I may have received special treatment of some sort — but then I read of at least one other account of someone who was also proactively contacted by someone at Hertz recently. I cannot find it at the moment; but when I do, I will amend this article to include that information.

Rather, I want to believe that the new management which is currently running Hertz is doing what they can to turn the company around and improving the rental car experience for all of its customers…

All photographs ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

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  1. I do like your point to them about whether you are President’s Circle or not, they shouldn’t treat anybody like that.

    I will admit I have a lot of industry contacts and people who owe me favors. But I don’t like to phone a friend until I’ve run all options a normal person would have. I had an airline COO say to me recently “Why didn’t you just call me?” Well, I thought I’d let your customer relations department tell me to pound sand and refuse to follow contract of carriage first. Because how many times is this happening that you don’t know about?

    Knowing at least one of the new execs at Hertz, having worked for him directly before, I have high hopes. Hertz used to be the reliable and trusted one. Long way to go to get back on that horse but I hope they’ll try.

    1. I could easily rely on contacts in the industry to significantly improve my travels, NedsKid — but I do not for two reasons: I do not like to take unnecessary advantage of them; and most times I would not be able to report reliably on my experiences.

      I want you to read about my experiences with an idea that you will experience something similar and that you know what to expect. On occasion, I will take advantage of a press tour or a sponsored trip — but I always disclose it. Those help to get more information that typical customers do not receive; and I hope that additional information is useful to readers.

      By the way, the person at Hertz who called me said that I can call her anytime I have an issue. I replied that I will not abuse that offer and that I hope to never call her with another issue…

      1. I have a lot of respect for your approach. Any company doing right should see no difference in how they treat a customer regardless of who they know.

  2. You got special treatment, which one would hope given the blog, nothing wrong with that.

    I was and still am PC member, and three years ago got stood up at an HLE location when attempting to rent a van for a long distance move. I diligently checked with the location to confirm availability by phone and in person a few days ahead of time, got lied to twice by the manager, and finally had an underling tell me the truth (no vehicles, they were all rented out to delivery companies) the third time when the manager stepped out. I had two days to get a substitute vehicle from Penske which was much larger than I needed and was an extra $600-$700.

    For my efforts, I got a lousy $100 voucher. No one contacted me. I had to email and call to get it. I did get the manager reassigned. I have not used Hertz since and will never again.

    The new management talks a big game about how things have changed because they are no longer calling the cops on their customers. I doubt it. The newest management is a CEO from Delta who is just bringing over all of his former Delta colleagues to feast on the carcass of the recapitalized Hertz before it slides into bankruptcy again in the next downturn. What must be emphasized is that NONE, absolutely NONE of these buffoons has any idea or interest in how fix Hertz’s problems. They got fat with the credit card mileage and government bailout waves that saved the airlines’ balance sheets and postponed the reckoning in that industry. Now they are going to get fat on the refinancing of Hertz’s fleet. When that money is gone and the downturn hits, they are gone. Please understand this is the economic model, and the only economic model, for car rental, for hedge-fund controlled hotel chains, and ultimately several years from now, for the airlines. Exhibit A: Southwest will be trying to squeeze every dollar out under threat of Elliott Management, service be damned. It will all come crashing down (literally in the latter case) as the competency crisis accelerates and parasitic management jumps ship.

    1. I dislike special treatment for the most part because it is not realistic for readers to experience something similar, TD. I want you to know what to expect if you have a similar issue to one which I experience. I am sorry to learn of your bad experience. You should have been compensated significantly more than what you got.

      On occasion, I will take advantage of a press tour or a sponsored trip — but I always disclose it. Those help to get more information that typical customers do not receive; and I hope that additional information is useful to readers.

      I cannot argue with you about what you explained as the current economic model, which is bad enough when airlines, lodging companies, and rental car companies take advantage of it — but when Boeing admits to taking advantage of it and gets a slap on the wrist as punishment — well…

  3. “Did someone at Hertz read the article — or was it merely a coincidence?”
    I vote for the first option.

  4. If I were given those rewards points, I would use them as quickly as possible because Hertz points disappear quickly, and are gone forever if you don’t use them in a very short period of time. They expire faster than you can imagine.

  5. I love the term “parasitic management” commenter TD used, because it seems that’s the current trend in travel. Top management at most major travel brands no longer come up through the ranks. They are either recruited from elsewhere or are imposed by mergers or acquisitions. It’s all about squeezing the last dollar of shareholder profit out of the company before discarding the carcass and moving on to the next victim.

    1. I agree, TravelPro

      …but travel companies are far from the only businesses that are engaged in the practices of “parasitic management” these days…

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