Letter: Hertz 24/7 treats customers like crap

Have you been mistreated by Hertz 24/7 employees?

Hoboken411 reader Andrew recently had some tough times with Hertz 24/7 here in Hoboken.

“I’d like to share an awful experience with the Hoboken community regarding Hertz 24/7.

Hertz 24/7My personal vehicle was totaled in Hurricane Sandy and my fiancee and I decided to subscribe to the Hertz 24/7 program rather than replace our car. The pricing seemed a bit better than ZipCar so we decided to give it a shot. It has been an awful experience and we’re canceling our membership immediately. Here’s what happened to us to push us over the edge.

Two weeks ago we had planned to visit my brother and his family in New Rochelle to celebrate Christmas together. We’d booked a car in advance under my fiancees account and the night before they canceled it on us. When we called they said there were mechanical issues with the vehicle. They couldn’t get a replacement vehicle for us, the best they could do is find a car in Paramus for us to use (how the heck am I going to get to Paramus to get this car?) After screaming at their customer service rep we were offered a $25 credit for our inconvenience (gee thanks). Had to cancel on my brother and his family because the PATH was still down and taking a bus to Port Authority then train from GCT just was too much for us, we needed the convenience of the car.

So we finally had rescheduled to visit my brothers family and celebrate Christmas, and once again, Hertz 24/7 comes through in the clutch with a giant let down. Our car we booked, which we booked well in advance was scheduled to be on First and Washington. My fiancée received an email stating it would be in the parking garage at 215 Hudson (no problem I understand concerns with New Years Eve and people parked wherever they wanted in town). So we went to the garage at 215 Hudson and we searched up and down all 5 floors of the garage 4 times, and our car was not there! My fiancee called customer service and they said “our GPS is indicating the car is there, sorry.” After searching one more time up and down 5 floors, all while carrying heavy Christmas presents for my nieces, we did not find our car.

“Sorry, there is nothing I can do,” – Hertz blames customers

Hertz 24/7“My fiancee is really ticked at this point so I call customer service to deal with this. I asked them to put me in another car in Hoboken “Great no problem, there’s a Jeep on 1st and Jefferson I can put you in. The difference for this vehicle is an additional $58.” Ok why should I have to pay more than my original booking? It’s not my fault the car I reserved isn’t located where it should be, so I’m being penalized an extra $58, I could’ve just rented a car from Enterprise Rent a Car for the day if I was going to spend $108. The customer service rep replied “I’m sorry there’s nothing I can do in the system to credit you, and it’s not our fault your car isn’t there, it’s the previous driver’s.”

Ok at this point I didn’t care about anything I feel like I’m running out of options and I just want to go see my family, brace yourself, you’re going to be amazed with the quality customer care from these people:

I told the rep to just book it, whatever I’ll pay the additional $58, I just want to go see my family. “I’m sorry I can’t book this for you unless you have another form of payment because our computer won’t authorize 2 bookings at once.” So due to their archaic booking system I couldn’t even book another car to replace the reserved one that didn’t exist. So I asked them to book it under my account and this is the best part of the whole story, the customer service rep replies “Ohh the existing reservation you’re trying to find is not under your name? We’re sorry, for security reasons we’re going to have to suspend both you and your fiancées accounts.”

As somebody who works in customer service I couldn’t believe how worthless these people were in helping us. Not to mention were subscribing to this program as people who suffered the loss of our car after Sandy, and trying to get together with family for the holidays, it’s not like I just needed the car to go grocery shopping. After trying to explain our situation to the customer service rep she simply replied, “I’m sorry Sir there’s nothing I can do to help you”.

I’m not sure what types of experiences other people have with Hertz 24/7, but please feel free to post my story to your website and pass along to any and everybody in the Hoboken community, I wouldn’t wish this terrible experience on anybody.”

Now do you see the problem with “car sharing?”

We will never live in a perfect world, where everyone acts the same, thinks the same, and behaves according to the rules – which is why car-sharing programs like Hertz 24/7 and ZipCar are very prone to problems. At least Avis bought Zipcar for $500 Million recently – so perhaps they will expand more in town to give drivers improved options – and maybe the increased competition will help services.

The issue with this “just in time” scheduling of cars is that there is very little room for human error – and while maintaining the ability to provide good customer service. This is why Hertz 24/7 employees are probably such assholes – because they’re working within a FLAWED system, and are simply frustrated with the irate customers it creates. If Hertz covered all contingencies for mistakes – the hourly cost would go up tremendously. I’ve already seen the prices creep up steadily. Very costly to rent on the weekend for longer periods.

Have you had issues with Hertz 24/7? How about compared to Zipcar?

8 Responses

  1. NorthKrissy says:

    At least a couple times a month we see a corner car customer having problems with someone else taking the spot. The police have to get involved and becomes very inconvenient. Why do these cars have to be on the street and not in some private garages?

    • oramaVO5 says:

      I had to utilize Hertz On Demand in August when my car was being repaired. The CSRs at that time were exemplary – they helped me through a couple of issues quickly and professionally. My beef was with idiots taking the parking spot in the evening, had to drop the car off at 215 Hudson instead, which was a slight inconvenience. Andrew, unfortunately you were just a repeat victim of the hurricane, sorry about your troubles.[quote comment=”218964″]At least a couple times a month we see a corner car customer having problems with someone else taking the spot. The police have to get involved and becomes very inconvenient. Why do these cars have to be on the street and not in some private garages?[/quote]

  2. NJDiver says:

    I’m a member of both Hetrz & Zipcar for a few years now and have never had a serious issue with either service. Zipcar does business out of the garage @ 215 Hudson Street but I wasn’t aware that Hertz does as well.

  3. inquisitivemind says:

    Zipcar, in its very early stages as a company, was great. Partly because 5 years ago the price of oil wasn’t high enough long enough for people to really NEED the services yet, everyone I know that tried it back then loved it. The 2 cars parked at Stevens were used by the college kids there, and the others around Hoboken seemed to also work out. The problems with zipcar over the years I noticed were: they picked one week night to go around Hoboken and clean all of the cars. So no car was available from something like 4 pm to 8 pm anywhere in Hoboken on that night. Second, zipcar had/has a “tattle tale” system where if the driver before you didn’t refill the gas or made a mess, you must call and tell them, or the driver after you would and you would get blamed and hit with the fees. This resulted in way too much “tattling” time on the phone with zipcar making sure you didn’t get blamed and charged for something you didn’t do. It came to a head when one of the cars parked on the street at Stevens got hit by a regular driver: zipcar wanted to charge my friend the $500 insurane deductible for the damage. It got proven somehow that my friend wasn’t to blame, he didn’t hit anyone driving, someone driving by hit the parked zipcar hours after it was returned. Finally, if you left something behind, like your sunglasses, you had to pay for the minimum time to use the car to unlock it and check for your property, which may or may not be there. This seemed unfair to me that a rep wouldn’t unlock the car with you on the phone to check for 30 seconds if you left something. That all being said, the customer service reps were polite, reasonable, and resolution oriented from what I recall and not this stupid, “there is nothing I can do” attitude the Hertz customer is reporting.
    Now, what I will say is anyone shopping for a new car should join zipcar for a month and test drive all of the cars they have. One of the unexpected happenings is a friend of mine drove a Mazda 6 zipcar, fell in love with it, and bought one. So it is a great way to try cars you never thought would be right for you.

  4. Chow says:

    Andrew – you sound like a complete A-hole – ” They couldn’t get a replacement vehicle for us, the best they could do is find a car in Paramus for us to use (how the heck am I going to get to Paramus to get this car?) After screaming at their customer service rep we were offered a $25 credit for our inconvenience (gee thanks). ”

    Do like getting yelled at?

    Several options for getting to Paramus:
    1 – ask a friend to drive. [Probably not an option because you yell too much];
    2 – New Jersey Transit – I went on their website and getting to Paramus is not that difficult –
    Depart : HOBOKEN TERMINAL at 3:10 PM
    Board : Bus No 126 toward NEW YORK-Exact Fare
    Arrive : PORT AUTHORITY BUS TERMINAL at 3:32 PM

    Depart : PORT AUTHORITY BUS TERMINAL at 3:45 PM
    Board : Bus No 165P toward PARKWAY EXPRESS WESTWOOD
    Arrive : GARDEN STATE PARKWAY UNDER RIDGEWOOD AVE at 4:24 PM

    Looks like mass transit would take you less than 90 minutes. Ohhh, the horror.

    • john14 says:

      Train to very near Paramus is just a about a half hour. No need to go to NYC either. Straight from HOB terminal.[quote comment=”218970″]Andrew – you sound like a complete A-hole – ” They couldn’t get a replacement vehicle for us, the best they could do is find a car in Paramus for us to use (how the heck am I going to get to Paramus to get this car?) After screaming at their customer service rep we were offered a $25 credit for our inconvenience (gee thanks). “Do like getting yelled at?Several options for getting to Paramus: 1 – ask a friend to drive. [Probably not an option because you yell too much]; 2 – New Jersey Transit – I went on their website and getting to Paramus is not that difficult – Depart : HOBOKEN TERMINAL at 3:10 PM Board : Bus No 126 toward NEW YORK-Exact Fare Arrive : PORT AUTHORITY BUS TERMINAL at 3:32 PM Depart : PORT AUTHORITY BUS TERMINAL at 3:45 PM Board : Bus No 165P toward PARKWAY EXPRESS WESTWOOD Arrive : GARDEN STATE PARKWAY UNDER RIDGEWOOD AVE at 4:24 PMLooks like mass transit would take you less than 90 minutes. Ohhh, the horror.[/quote]

  5. piper712 says:

    I think this couple forgot about Hurricane Sandy that destroyed so many rental cars in the entire area. I couldn’t get a rental car for weeks, and you’re complaining about getting to Paramus??

  6. 1Username says:

    I attempted to utilize Hertz on Demand prior to the hurricane and had similar issues. I don’t blame them for complaining at all. You pay a membership fee to reserve a car blocks from your home so you can pick it up and use it. You don’t pay to call a company and tell them their other client screwed you over and that you need to take public transport for 3 hours round trip to drive a car back into Hoboken to get your belongings which required a car pick up in the first place.

    Their system is flawed and instead on implementing more stringent fees for other members not returning cars on time or to the right location they just fail to deliver what is promised.

    Zipcar is a delight.

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