Hertz Goes After Another Reader Claiming They Stole A Car

I’ve heard from several readers whom Hertz claimed stole cars, when all they did was rent from Hertz. For instance a reader wrote in about Hertz sending their ex-fiance to jail over a fully paid and returned rental car, and another reader reported being threatened with criminal prosecution over a car he never rented.

There have been numerous stories of Hertz customers, pulled over by police – with guns drawn – and incarcerated because, they say, Hertz reported cars they’d rented stolen when Hertz simply hadn’t logged them back in correctly when they were returned by a previous renter along with other similar stories of incompetence.

Hertz’s CEO admits mistakes and promises false arrests of customers won’t happen again yet it does seem to keep happening. It always seems, though, like ‘something that happens to other people’ rather than something we’d worry about. And Hertz often shows up being the cheapest!

Except it doesn’t just happen to other people, it seems, it happens to readers of this blog. And keeps happening to readers of this blog. At least one commenter on a post this week shares tht it just happened to them. Phil B. writes,

I just got a letter today from Hertz claiming I still have a vehicle I returned last week and threatening me with arrest. No previous communication prior to the letter. President’s Club, no rental extension, picked up and returned at the airport. Thankfully, I took a photo of the dash when I returned it, for mileage and fuel record, and that’s geolocated to Hertz airport rental office.

Offshore call center agent said they’d “look into it.”

I’m done with these guys. They can keep my 10k points.

I wrote about another Presidents Club elite member arrested a couple of months ago. Phil has Presidents Club status, too. So do many readers, and it appears ‘not being baselessly threatened with criminal prosecution’ isn’t an elite benefits with the car rental company.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I have said it before, to clarify – in light of the never ending episodes of renters being arrested and jailed because of false reports by Hertz – just why would anyone consider renting a car from them?

  2. The CEO of Hertz needs to be doxxed so any complaints can be handled at the highest level instead of an off-shore call center. What Hertz is doing is illegal and they should be held criminally and civilly liable.

  3. David Miller, sometimes you’ve got no choice. Convenience beats all. Hertz could be the only player in the whole region and let’s face it the odds of having an actual problem are negligible. You’re more likely to get into a collision in your rental than be arrested for it.

    Ritz, our government and prosecutors have no balls. We need to go to mainstream media. Heck, there are a lot of bored high school kids out there. Some of them shitpost on travel blogs using a chocolate anus profile picture. Why not galvanize this cohort into picketing at Hertz locations?

  4. When is the massive class action lawsuit going to land?
    The attorneys must be salivating
    (for justice to be served of course).

    Oh, and there is a Hertz banner ad at the bottom of this article!
    Eh Tu, Gary?

  5. I stopped renting from hertz a long time ago. Chances may be negligible, but they are still greater than zero. I’ll stick to Avis and national.

  6. Happened to us recently. We are Hertz Five Star members. Received text messages and a letter in the mail threatening arrest/legal action. We are 5 star members, and there was nothing abnormal about the rental whatsoever. I called customer service and they saw the rental was closed properly, and agents at the location itself saw the same. Only Hertz vehicle control did not. While Vehicle Control said it must be “just a mistake”, they refused to send me any documentation confirming this, continuously claiming they “did not have the resources to provide us anything like that”. We had to get a manager at the rental location to at least send us an email stating that the Vehicle Control messages were incorrect, and our contract had been closed.

  7. On the other hand…

    Rented from Avis this week. If the car broadcasts its data, they use it.

    My car “knew” it went out less than full, and geolocation automatically checked the car in for return at Newark, the guy with the thermal printer said: “You’re all set!”.

    When I checked the eBill, it even gave me credit for the difference in gss because I did return the car in full.

    That’s a frictionless transaction!

  8. People that rent from Hertz these days should know better. Would they fly Spirit or Frontier? Of course not.


  9. What reciprocal jail-side benefits are there for President’s Club members? Any kind of room upgrade or free breakfast?

  10. The insanity here is that they acknowledged the issue & it keeps happening. The negligence is amazingly in plain sight. How the hell do these folks running this outfit still have jobs? Idk how much cheaper it is. If it’s my only choice, I’ll Uber, public transport, rent a U-Haul, buy a bicycle, roller skates, etc.

  11. Happened to me in 2009. Presidents #1 Gold Member. Arrested 2.4 months after I turned in Hertz rental. Spent 5 days in 3 jails, transferred in shackles. My teenager had to drive me around in our new car, I was in therapy, and dealing with an inept criminal justice system in Atlanta. Like they worked for Hertz, and I still have a criminal record 13 years later, re-traumatized every time I hear another story about Hertz customers getting Falsely arrested.

  12. For business travel, Hertz is the most consistently available service with cars. I preferred National but when our company switched to Hertz we had to use them. I also take photos of the mileage/gas every return.

  13. I’m with Sam. The fact they obviously don’t care makes it clear you’re not safe renting from them, and really it’s long past time for police departments to stop believing them.

  14. There are serious legal counter measures available. File a false arrest report with the Local Police agency naming whomever’s name is on the letter OR the name of the local Hertz manager. File a criminal fraud complaint with your local district or state’s attorney. File a criminal fraud complaint with the US Postal Inspector’s Office if you get such a letter. False legal claims through the US mail are criminal offenses. Law Enforcement will take these issues seriously and it will tie up HURTZ lawyers big time. Also file fraud complaints with State and local Consumer Protection offices. If enough people file, HURTZ will wake up.

  15. I have stopped renting from Hertz after 3 shameful experiences with them. The cars I rented were not what I had paid for after requesting and paying for a midsize I was given a Compact twice. I was also renting from an off airport location and each time the car was not available when I arrived, causing a wait time for the car to be 1 to 2 hours. The location was not open on Sunday, however, I advised them that I had a very early flight out on Monday so I would be returning the car to the location early on Sunday. I was advised each time that was fine and to just drop the key in the deposit box by the door and leave the car in the spot outside and there would be no additional day charged for Sunday. Each time, I was charged for Sunday and had to battle with their so called Customer Service. The location Manager should not have advised me that the extra day would not be charged if I dropped the car off early Sunday morning. The issues involving Hertz should have been addressed and fixed long ago. Just not worth the hassle to deal with them anymore.

  16. Not defending Hertz but Avis is also involved in some rather odd antics. I rented an Avis vehicle in mid November for 4 days. Returned it without issue. In April they started calling me and telling me there was damage on the vehicle and I owe them $3400.00. Again, I rented it in November and they contacted me in April!! And, of course, there was no damage when I returned it, lol. They are harassing me every week demanding money or to submit an insurance claim. I am clearly laughing at them and telling them to suck wind.

  17. Several years ago, I received a ticket for 30 euros from Portugal. The ticket had a time stamp after my flight had left the country so clearly Hertz was in possession of the rental when the the infraction occurred. Fought for quite some time with both Hertz and the Portuguese courts and provided documentation without success. Finally paid the 30 euros and gave up. Argh!!

  18. All it takes is one arrest that end up like George Floyd, and Hertz will be in the history books.

  19. I have had a cat 5 years straight. The thing with hertz is they don’t value customers. They stole my gift cards and put me on the DNR list . And sent me a letter saying that I did not cooperate with claims about an accident who can I talk to about the class action lawsuit?

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