Hertz Has The Most Insane Reason For Not Dropping Charges After False Arrests

Hertz has developed a reputation for sending its customers to prison. Eventually there’ll be no one left to rent.

Usually – but not always – this seems to happen when customers either extend a rental, or change vehicles, and the contract doesn’t get recorded properly.

The rental company first said having their customers arrested for no reason was not a big deal because only a small percentage of customers get sent to jail, but finally came around claiming they’ve fixed the problem and would make things right with victims. Except incidents keep coming up after the problem was supposedly fixed. And they haven’t dropped any of the charges.

The reason Hertz gives for refusing to drop charges against any of the victims, even after acknowledging filing false police reports that have led to customer arrests, is insane. According to Hertz they can’t tell police they made a mistake or else police won’t believe them in the future.

“In the rare instances this happens, if you report a crime, and you later say it didn’t happen, then law enforcement tends not to believe you if you retract it or say you were mistaken,” a spokesperson told the Inquirer. “Hertz’s continued good relationship with law enforcement is important.”

Hertz apparently doesn’t realize that this ship has sailed. They’re already the rental car company that cried wolf. Their CEO has admitted it on television. Somehow Hertz doesn’t realize that compounding false police reports with a refusal to keep their CEOs word to fix things is actually worse for their credibility.

Instead, it seems, Hertz believes that sticking even harder to discredited stories will somehow make them more credible.

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. […] Hertz is a very badly run company. They hired Palantir to help them because they cannot track their fleet of cars. They regularly think their cars have been stolen, and have reported them stolen, when they still had the cars and were renting them out. That got their customers arrested, sometimes at gunpoint, and then they’ve been unwilling to retract false police reports out of fear that the retractions would lead police to stop trusting their false reports. […]


  1. OMG. The only thing I can say is if anyone has any stock in them, get rid of it asap. I don’t anticipate they will around much longer…and if they think they will be…well…

  2. I had to extend a rental and just decided to return and start a new contract. The agent was really annoyed that I didn’t just extend, and he said, those people who got arrested for “reasons”. Whatever man, don’t want to be THAT guy.

  3. Oh good, that’s right up there with, “She made me so mad it’s her fault I had to hit her.” My wife recently suggested renting from Hertz. I just looked at her and laughed, then explained what was going on. So they’ve lost two more customers. But supposedly Americans are almost twice as likely to tell others (one study claimed 16 vs. 9) about their bad service experiences. If just a thousand people were falsely arrested and they warned 16,000 more who each told multiple others…you’re right Gary, soon there will be nobody left to rent from Hertz. Is this company really that stupid?

  4. You can rent from Hertz in Denver- police don’t do anything to investigate or prosecute for stolen cars anyways.

  5. California Penal Code §148.5 states that “every person who reports to any peace officer…the Attorney General, or a deputy attorney general, or a district attorney, or a deputy district attorney that a felony or misdemeanor has been committed, knowing the report to be false, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

    MisD. are punishable in the state by up to one year in the county jail and a $10,000 fine…per occurrence.

  6. Legal defense for above post (immediately above by Jason Brandt Lewis). At the time Hertz reported the alleged car theft, they believed it to be true. The quoted law doesn’t require Hertz to update its report to the police. Saying nothing is not a crime. Terrible.

  7. Hertz does not exist as far as I am concerned. If the only car available is from Hertz, there is no car available. It is a criminal organization, and it’s time for the CEO and board of directors to go to prison, rather than their customers.

  8. If you are avoiding Hertz keep in mind they own dollar, thrifty and firefly. These companies never seem to be competitive in terms of rates with the exception of firefly which seems to have poor reviews. Will avoid them all.

  9. Thrifty rates used to be good now they are hertz rates. Lost me as a customer never once have I rented from hertz their rates are always the highest. Hertz in Ireland wanted not only my first born but my pension also

  10. @Jerry — police in one municipality may do nothing, but when a car is reported stolen, every police force in the country receives the information in their database, and automatic license plate readers in every cop car will be on the lookout.

  11. First of all, Hertz should not be in a position to drop the charges. When it has already been confirmed that the reports were erroneous, then no probable cause exists and the DA should immediately drop charges regardless of whether Hertz tells them to or not. If they don’t, the DA should be at least fired if not charged themselves. There needs to be a lot more accountability on when charges are brought. When charges are brought without probable cause, there should be legal consequences. DAs should not be able to operate with impunity.

    Beyond that, though, at this point, it’s clear and well-reported that these incidents have been common, specifically from Hertz. As such, USAG and state Attorneys General should send out guidance to DAs that a report from Hertz is not sufficient to establish probable cause and no warrants should be requested on those grounds alone at least until this is really resolved and these incidents stop happening.

    Gary, being in a position with some influence in this field, have you tried or could you try contacting the U.S.A.G.’s office and/or the National Association of Attorneys General about this? If USAG and/or NAAG tells Hertz that no more warrants will issue on their reports until this stops, I’d bet that would greatly accelerate putting a stop to it.

  12. With the IBM code getting cancelled in June, my time renting from Hertz might be up.

    On a related note, anyone have the new IBM code for Hertz?

  13. @Julian, yeah, here it is.


  14. Gary,

    More importantly have you reached out to Hertz and asked them their stance on abortion?

  15. Clowns are played by billionaires and their paid for pols to vote against their own interest. Learn to vote for the least worst. But no, we must be tribal and get distracted by the two minutes of hate

  16. The lawsuits write themselves. Hertz continuing to press charges after they KNOW the charges are false? The words “bad faith” leap to mind. Wow. Hertz needs new lawyers. Badly.

  17. Dollar recently neglected to check my car back in for FIVE DAYS after I dropped it off at the airport — and the agent said just to leave the keys in the car and I would get my statement by e-mail. They tacked an extra $500+ onto my bill. And after I provided a picture of the odometer with date and time when I dropped it off, customer service still maintained that it was my fault for returning the car late, which I didn’t. A supervisor started to pay attention only when I disputed the charge. No one seemed interested in finding out where that car had been for five days. So what happened in this report could have happened to me. There is a certain point when bad customer service becomes criminal negligence.

  18. Ferdinand Magellan:

    “There is a certain point when bad customer service becomes criminal negligence.”

    That seems more like a statement of hope than of fact, because this has been going on for years and still continues.

    Hertz will continue filing their false allegations and face no consequences.

  19. Why TB12 agreed to use his image with Hertz is mind-boggling to me. Did his team not do any online research and discover how Hertz treats its customers. No amount of money from Hertz is worth representing this mafia-like public company.

  20. If the madness of false police theft reports ever stops, Hertz would do itself a favor and have a name change. The damage to the Hertz name will live on for years to come. Hertz should also change its CEO and Board of Directors. What a bizarre way to run a company. As to a class action mentioned above, Hertz has already privately settled with those who were taken to jail or arrested on false (erroneous) reports made by Hertz employees. Hence, a class action would not work.

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