A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a maddening case with Hertz where the car rental company claims that the car was returned late when it was turned in two hours early, and the entire rental had been recalculated price tripled in the process.
You can access Hertz here.
Email From The Reader:
Here is a summary of the story, if you find it interesting, I can send you a full description and all the supporting documents.
I rented a car for 20 days at Hertz in Germany, picking up the car at Dusseldorf airport and returning it at Munich airport. The last day (returning day) I was supposed to return the car at 12:00pm per contract. I returned more than 2 hours before (around 09:20am). Please note that in Munich you have to leave the car with the keys at the parking lot because there are no employees that receive the cars. There is one company that handles the returns for all rental car companies…
So I left the car and went to take my flight. After coming back home I checked my credit card statement and I found that Hertz was charging more than triple the cost of my contract. I was supposed to pay 640 euros in total and they charged me 1,868 euros. When I contacted them, they told me that this was because I returned the car late (@ 01:16pm) so the system recalculated the whole contract automatically.
Please note that I can prove that I left the car @ 09:15am because before 10am I was at the Vip lounge. Besides, I could have never returned the car @01:16pm because my flight departed from MUC at 12:15pm.
After several emails and calls, customer service says that they need 3 weeks to check this and I have to pay the credit card in the meantime. They say that they have to check with the company that handles the returning cars and the their management is located in Asia.
The person from Hertz customer care that talked with me told me that this is a common situation there.
Of course I refuse to pay and will observe the charge with the credit card company.
I really can’t believe that this can happen with Hertz in a country like Germany. And would like to aware your public that they should be careful and go to the Hertz counter anyway to close their contracts even if they say that this is not necessary.
Now I am also seeking for a lawyer to sue Hertz in Germany because this whole situation is crazy.
One Of The Emails From Hertz:
We apologize that you have not received an answer yet!
According to our system, your reservation was for 20 days. The rental has been closed on 14 May 2022 after noon, this is why 3 weeks have been calculated – this changed the price (weekly rate 285,00 Euros plus insurances etc.).
We will contact the service company ASSURED and ask them for the correct check in time of your rental car.
We apologize for the inconveniences, and we kindly ask you for your patience!
I am always very hesitant to leave a rental car on a return or other lot without getting a closed contract to avoid situation like the reader is having.
Avis refused to close the contract in Chile when I returned a car because they claimed they were inspected outside the airport. There were no extra charges, but how easy it would have been then to claim that there would have been something.
It is crazy that the company that Hertz uses to deal with car returns in Germany processes the return at a time when they get it to, even if the renter may have left it in the lot hours earlier.
I could swear that these car rental companies business is nothing more than to scam extra fees that are their profit drivers.
Have you ever heard that a car rental company would have charged less by mistake? All these cases benefit only one party, and it is not the renter.
Hertz has been in the news lately in the United States, where it has not been able to process returns properly and had reported renters for stealing cars when, in fact, they had been returned. There are hundreds of such cases, and some had been arrested for days while Hertz figured out they had the cars in question that they had reported stolen.
I used to rent cars frequently, but nowadays I only do if I absolutely have no other choice. I have no patience dealing with inspections and imaginary scratches that you cannot dispute.
What experience have you had lately with car rental companies?