(Please scroll to bottom to see the final outcome. Bottom line, they handled very professionally, thank you!)
Posted 4:00 PM, EST on 1/19/16
Hertz Car Rental – Las Vegas, Nevada
First, not a huge traveler, but I do rent cars about 40 days a year, mostly for business. I have “status” with all the major Car Rental Companies, Avis, Budget, Dollar… Just last year I became a “Gold” member of Hertz.
What follows is my personal story about my Hertz Car Rental Experience – Las Vegas, Nevada 1-11-2016 to 1-13-2016. All the opinions I express are my personal opinion. As they say, take what you need, leave the rest.
On January 11th, 2016 I rented a Rogue from Andrew, at the front counter of Hertz in Las Vegas. He was nice, professional and informative. I declined the insurance and the gas option telling him, “I am only using the car to make one or two close stops, then returning”.
Car was fine, starting mileage, 47530. At 7:06 PM on my car return day of Jan 13th, I went to the Chevron Gas Station, near the Marriott, Residence Inn I stayed at, to fill up the tank. A grand total of $5.79 for the 39 miles I drove. As normal, I did not get a copy of the receipt. Why should I? As I know it will be on my American Express statement.
Here is the receipt copy I downloaded from Amex on the 16th of January.
18 minutes later I returned this rental to Hertz. I’m told by the attendant that, since I drove less than 75 miles (39 total) I have to have a gas receipt showing the purchase. As I didn’t have the receipt, and clearly the tank is full (see image), I ask to speak to a manager. “Shawn”, the manager, is standing right there involved in a “mini-conference” with an employee. He tells me I must have the receipt, no exceptions. He refuses to look at the gas gauge saying “it doesn’t make a difference what it shows, it can be wrong”.
Here is an image of the actual gas gauge upon my return.
I ask Shawn if I can call American Express to verify the charge done 20 minutes earlier. He says if I can get an American Express rep on the phone to verify that I purchased gas, he would remove charge. Unfortunately, Amex was extremely busy at that time, I couldn’t get anybody on the phone, so I opted to deal with this later.
I have gone back and looked at the rental agreement. They are correct, it does show that you must have a receipt if you drive less than 75 miles. Look at this image here to see exactly where in the SIX page contract it is.
Needless to say, I am extremely unhappy with Hertz customer service. And it seems I am not alone. I looked at the Hertz “Open Tell” posted reviews, for just a couple days, here they are:
Want to see current Las Vegas, Nevada, Hertz reviews, click here.
My personal thoughts on this whole situation:
First, I understand the need for a receipt is stated (though hidden) on the contract, at the counter and on a sign as you leave the building. Based on all the negative feedback Hertz / Las Vegas is receiving, I would suggest making it mandatory for all employees to verbally point this out to customers. Especially those that state they are “barely going to use the car”.
Second, as a consumer, I find it interesting that “Shawn the Manager” told me the gas gauges “at this level are not always accurate”. If that is true, how do I know that the gas tank is actually full when I rent it? I know the gas gauge looks full, but if it Hertz themselves do not trust the gas gauge, why should the consumer? Maybe we, as consumers, should ask for a copy of the receipt showing the car was filled with gas just prior to a rental?
Third, amazing that “Shawn the Manager” was willing to take the gas station purchase confirmation from an American Express representative on the phone, but not from a (new) Hertz Gold Member. Really? So you refuse to look at the gas gauge, which clearly shows full, but you will accept a verbal authentication?
Forth, remember earlier I stated “Shawn the Manager” was in a mini-conference with an employee when I arrived to return my car? Come to find out, guess what it was about? As I double checked the car to make sure I didn’t leave anything, I heard Shawn behind me proceeding to tell this employee how to handle customers upset about the receipt needed for driving less than 75 miles. I actually thought it was a joke, but sadly, it was not. They have such a problem with mad customers the managers are giving training sessions on how to handle upset customers.
Fifth,I understand why Hertz implemented this “receipt needed for driving less than 75 miles”. I understand that some people will try and skirt the system, only adding enough gas so the guage shows full. I get that. Just for this example, let’s say 10% of the people do that. You are going to piss off the remaining 90%? Really?
Amazingly, when I told Shawn how upset I was over this and stated that I would be saying so in my Hertz Feedback, his response was “yea, you and everybody else”. Judging on the reviews posted and the fact that Managers have training sessions with staff on how to handle, I guess I am not the only one voicing my frustration.
I have no problem with requiring a receipt, provided it is pointed out to me when I rent the car. What I have a problem with is the fact that “Shawn the Manager” refused to override the policy. Clearly he had the option to do so as he stated so when I attempted to call American Express. He couldn’t look at this gas gauge, look at this pissed off customer and do a courtesy override? Instead making me go to the length of writing this really pissed off blog? All over the $15.67 Fuel Service Charge?
I will NEVER rent from Hertz in Las Vegas again. When possible, I will not rent from Hertz period. I will tell anybody and everybody I know this is how I feel. And this is only my opinion(s) and how I remember it. Period.
5:15 PM Cell phone call from Alex (F), the head of Hertz North American Customer Service. SHE apologized and said they are making changes to the process. I thanked her for her concern…