Letter: Hertz 24/7 gives On Demand Headaches in Hoboken

I’ve been hearing about the frustration that the Hoboken Hertz 24/7 program has given residents since it’s inception. Not sure if the core problem is with the fundamental flaws of socialized transportation, or that the “work force” is getting younger and just plain stupid. Hoboken resident Dan said they cause great inconvenience for something that was simple to resolve. Read his complaint (and Hertz’s response) below.

Hertz 247 On Demand Headaches in Hoboken NJ

Hertz 24/7 Complaint in Hoboken, NJ

To whom it may concern,
On Saturday evening 1/18/2014 I made a reservation for the following morning 1/19/2014 To rent a car for 2 hours. The car was located 4 blocks from my billing address. A half hour before I was due to pick up the car, I receive an alert that the reservation has changed, as this car was not available. The new car was an additional 2 blocks away. This was fine, and I understand that these things happen, as cars aren’t always returned on time, or are parked elsewhere due to their space being occupied, etc. However, when I got to the new location, the vehicle was nowhere to be found. The only hertz car in that location did not match the model or tag. I was able to get inside (either my key fob worked for that or the door was left unlocked) but was unable to start the car.

I called customer support, and the person on the phone was indeed as polite and helpful as one could be in this situation. She told me the car I was supposed to get (the second car) was in another location. However she was not sure if it was in a hertz spot, a garage, etc. I asked if she could just give me the car I was sitting in, as I was in a rush to get my sister to the airport. She tried, but was unable to get the car to communicate. I told her I was unwilling to pay to get your car out of a garage, if that was indeed where it was at. I know I would get the money back, but this should not be my burden. She told me the next closest available car was a half mile away. I had to walk 8 blocks back in the direction I came from (passing where I started from) and then a few blocks back to get this car. A half hour of my rental time had passed by the time I got the car.

I order to guarantee I got the car back in time (as I’m sure I would be automatically billed for overages) I had to take the toll road to the airport. Instead of being able to enjoy the last bit of time I got to spend with my sister, whom I see once or twice a year, it was a stressful rush to scramble and make sure she made her flight. To top it off, I actually passed a car that wasn’t being used on the way to the car I finally got, but was not given that option. I can’t see any justification in being charged for this rental. Not only did I not to use the rental for 1/4 of my rental time that I paid for, but you had me walking one direction and then completely back the opposite direction during the half hour it took to straighten things out. On top of that, instead of doing the right thing and giving me the nearest available car and making arrangements to get another car available to the person that would have been renting that one, you chose to make me run back across town. I request a full refund, and an explanation of how this happened, and how I can be reassured that when I rent a car from you in the future I can depend on having a car to get me where I need to be. Enterprise CarShare is bringing a similar service to my neighborhood… Thank you.

Dan

P.S. It’s very reassuring to be put in a car that has a notification on the display saying that maintenance is needed.

Hertz Response in Hoboken

Hello Dan,

I have reviewed the reservation history for reservation # XXXXXXX. I was able to find that the original re route was done because the car was missing from it’s location, which could have meant that the vehicle was not returned in a timely manner. I am unable to look up a past locate on any of our vehicles, as all locates are current time. Unfortunately, I am unable to give you an explanation as to what happened with the second vehicle due to this.

Unfortunately, if issues do arise with the vehicles, we are unable to essentially kick a member out of a vehicle and place another member into that vehicle. While this does seem like an easy solution, unfortunately is not possible with the way that our system has been put into place.

I have also reviewed the notes on the account and unfortunately it does not mention that we provided the option of taxi fare reimbursement. This definitely should have been offered to you, as the vehicle was some distance from where you were. Please be advised in the future, that if this occurs, we reimburse cab fare in the amount of $50, excluding any tips or tolls.

Because you did have use of the vehicle, we are unfortunately unable to compensate you for the entirety of the reservation. I do, however see that you had not entered the vehicle until 10:30 AM, which is 30 minutes after your original start time. At this time the reservation should have been extended for you at no additional cost by thirty minutes to make up for that time lost.

I have refunded you for thirty minutes, in the amount of $6.82. Please allow 3 to 5 business days for this credit to appear in your account. This amount is for the total cost of thirty minutes of use and the 7% tax rate in your area.

Thank you for choosing Hertz 24/7 !

All that headache for a $6.82 refund? Do you think mega-corporations who have their hands in the pockets at City Hall can do better to keep their customers happy?