Hertz Should Stop Filing False Police Reports Against Customers

Hertz charged a reader full price for a car rental even though he redeemed points. A man spent 5 years in prison because Hertz wouldn’t produce the receipt that proved his innocence. But perhaps the most systematic problem at Hertz is sending customers to prison for stealing cars that they actually returned.

From reviewing cases reported on in media, and the cases I’ve heard about from readers, it appears that there’s an issue when customers change vehicles or extend rentals but the changes don’t get reflected properly in Hertz’s systems.

One customer was held in jail for 40 days over a rental that occurred eight years earlier Another reported renting a car that Hertz had already reported stolen. It clearly wasn’t stolen because they had it in their possession and rented it.

Now an attorney representing people who rented from Hertz and wound up in jail for it is objecting to Hertz’s bankruptcy exit, saying they should have to solve these systemic issues prior to emerging from court supervision.

“What we have seen is that all of these police reports are unverified, all of them have false information including back dating rental extensions and falsifying payment information.”

Hertz has a scheduled hearing this week as part of the bankruptcy case, but Malofiy’s objections include that Hertz allegedly deletes relevant records to cover false police reports and never pursues or withdraws prosecution, leaving plaintiffs in limbo.

“Hertz has broken standard operating procedures, they have broken computer systems and they also don’t want to spend the time to verify police reports,” he added. “People are going to jail wrongfully and it’s so bad that the head doesn’t really know what the tail is doing . But it costs too much to fix their problems so what Hertz is doing – they’re basically cutting costs to increase profits at the expense of human life.”

The rental car company for its part says none of this is true.

Hertz strongly disputes the claims and continues to vigorously defend against them. Overall the claims in the lawsuits that have been previously brought by this group of attorneys have involved baseless accusations and wild exaggerations. The vast majority of the allegations involve renters whose temporary detainment or arrests resulted from their failure to return rented vehicles for weeks or months past their due date, in violation of the rental agreement and despite our repeated attempts to communicate with them about the status of the vehicle.”

Alerting the authorities is always a last resort but sometimes necessary after all options have been exhausted to retrieve a vehicle from a customer who has refused to return it. Alerting the authorities typically only happens at the end of an extensive, multi-week process that includes phone calls, texts, emails, and certified letters asking the customer to return the vehicle.

Despite Hertz’s protestations, this position wasn’t found credible in a 2017 jury trial.

Hertz was once the rental company for business travelers. In this extended montage from Up in the Air when George Clooney is grounded in Omaha he wants to buy a Chrysler Sebring from Hertz. The part they didn’t show was Clooney getting arrested when Hertz failed to file paperwork on the sale.

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 appreciate these apologies–especially if they stick and I don’t get any other letters asking about this vehicle–but the opening notice of an overdue car really shouldn’t include a threat of felony charges. On the other hand, I recognize that this could have gone much worse. […]


  1. Hertz used to be my go-to rental company. Sadly, over the past few years they slipped more and more with every…single…rental.

    The final straw for me was on my last trip to California and I only needed a 1-day rental from LAX. The “Manager’s Special” was almost 3 times higher than the “Manager’s Special” at Midway. No brainer. But the surprise for me was (1) the seamless transfer from terminal, to shuttle, to the counter – even during Covid. (2) Friendly and attentive employees. (3) This may have been a fluke but my car was upgraded to a brand spanking new SUV.

    Sad to see Hertz in the news this way as I was a loyal customer for years but times change. It’s the same reason I’m burning through AAdvantage miles and switching my loyalty to UA with DL a close 2nd.

  2. I dropped Hertz and they were my go to car rental. When they filed bk they removed my corporate code given to me by IBM which gave a good rate but waived one way drop fees. I did/do consulting with IBM so one of the managers gave me the code. Now it seems you need to call Hertz to add the codes and some 22 year old decides if it is available to you. Besides the rates in LAX where I Trave most are sky high. Done with them.

  3. Yes, Hertz sucks but what about a society that uses it’s police powers to enforce the interests of a terrible, confused corporation with a proven record of dozens of false accusations over the liberty of it’s living, breathing citizens?

  4. What always frustrates me about that additional footage from the movie is that it contextualizes his encounter with her at her house much more clearly. I wonder why it was left out of the final cut.

  5. Hertz is so sad. Before, it was the PanAm and TWA of car rental. PanAm and TWA ruled the skies internationally. OJ Simpson was their man. Then the cracks started to form. OJ murdered two people but had to go to jail instead for robbery. Then Hertz’ performance dropped. Then bankruptcy. I haven’t used Hertz for nearly two years. I have yet to find a good replacement. National and Avis are possibilities. Sixt is ok but too small. Silvercar is practically dead.

  6. This summer and fall holiday season is setting up to be a shitshow, with airlines literally being the only places masks are required, packed things everywhere, rude and disrespectful infrequent travelers, and the hellhole car rentals have become. Good luck getting a reservation at a National Park or even a campground. Grandma and grandpa who were responsible for shutting down the entire world economy now want to spend their Biden bucks driving their RV’s to the Black Hills and Utah. But yea, America needs more people in it. We don’t even have enough housing or cars for the people here. Let’s let in 100k+ more people a month and see how that works out.

  7. I purchased one of the 200k rental cars that Hertz was forced to sell to exit bankruptcy. It was a great deal but later discovered undisclosed damage that was never clearly self-repaired and never reported to carfax. The used car lots were all permanently shuttered the day after I signed the paperwork. No loss.

    As noted above Hertz really was #1 during the 70s and 80s, but they could now be featured in the book “From First to Worst” (similar to AA)

  8. Ultimately, those with complete and total responsibility for this injustice are cops and jailers who use force or threats of force with guns to take people and cage them. It’s the cop who will pull someone over by threat of violence or who breaks down a door that is 100% culpable for injustice because they are the ones using physical force to do so. Hertz and their employees should not be submitting false information to the police/courts/prosecutors. But the absolute responsibility lies with the cops who actually take people and jailers who actually hold people in a cage. Just following orders is not a valid excuse. There is currently no personal responsibility. In my book the only fair system is if cops and their immediate families are held personally accountable for their actions. If cops knew their families will be treated by the public a certain way, they will stop enforcing abusive laws like the war on drugs/speech laws/leftist gun control/court orders for forced integration and will stop arresting people for claims where the evidence is not absolute. At best victims of injustice receive a settlement. Even reducing qualified immunity means just bankrupting a cop (with their pensions/401ks-iras-homestead exemptions untouched). This won’t end until cops and their families and jailers feel the same consequences as their victims. This is why rioting and destroying private businesses makes no sense. If your problem is with the actions of a cop, a private business or neighborhood has nothing to do with it.

    I wish Republican leaders stop worshipping the very people enslaving us with leftist laws and mobilized to force a severe change to the current system of injustice. Cops should be replaced in every conservative majority county with loyalists who pledge never to enforce a leftist law and never to arrest people unless claims are verified and substantiated to an absolute degree (probable cause and beyond a reasonable doubt are leftist concepts. Either there is absolute proof or a person should never be held ).

    Part of the problem is the warrant system where people are not properly notified a claim exists against them. Then 8 years later a person can be pulled over randomly and spend 40 days in jail because of a ridiculous bail system and not being able to prove their innocence (not that they have to. The burden is on the government but the government thinks it’s acceptable to jail people before trial).

  9. Using law enforcement, which job are created via taxation. Hertz is using a system that has no connectivity to avoid looking in your own inventory requiring up-to-date access to each and every vehicle in there yard. Because of a system that says that you are innocent until proven guilty which actually means you’re guilty until you prove yourself innocent
    With all the gratuities that the government is offering businesses they found a way to circumvent those conditions we’re by essentially making a claims to anything and everything.
    Our system is based on keep an honest man honest but hertz has found that to be contradictory to keeping sub standard businesses.
    What happened to all those in “alienable rights “

  10. I am now going through the same issues as some of the folks in article….I rented a vehicle from Hertz in March 2021..returned vehicle on June 3 2021 as promised …rental paid in full .vehicle cleaned better than I rented…Hertz is taking monies from my account that doesn’t belong to them ..I have paperwork showing rental paid in full

  11. Sorry but there’s something a little odd about some of these stories. First, on the 8 year old case,it would seem the Statute of Limitations would have negated any prosecution. In other cases, why wouldn’t anyone falsely accused of “theft” file both criminal fraud AND civil charges against Hertz.
    These claims need more research.

  12. @Jerry: see someone about your anger before you become the next mass murderer. The world still doesn’t spin around you. There are billions of people and all have the same right to enjoy life.

  13. @Jerry

    Dude, you lost me about 3 sentences into your rant.

    You don’t get invited to get-togethers much, I’m guessing.

  14. I used Hertz over Christmas 2020/New Years 2021 for 10 nights with my wife and kids in Vegas and they were great. I’m President’s Circle I just went right over and picked my SUV.

    Of course, when I wanted to use them again for June, I didn’t because like other rental companies, they jacked up their prices.

    I paid $346 for 10 days last Christmas in Vegas. They wanted $850 for 7 days in Orlando.

    That’s not Hertz but demand and inventory.

  15. @Jerry

    You sir are correct on every point. There is a severe overpopulation problem. Resources are finite. We certainly don’t need more people. We also don’t need more development. Until Yellowstone blows we need to think about long term sustainability. We don’t need to become like India or China. 330 million is enough. It’s unfortunate that should be having the least amount of kids have the most and the good ones have the least. I don’t blame you for feeling perturbed at what has happened to America over the last 50 years. It hasn’t been pleasant.

  16. @Jerry: what hasn’t been pleasant in the US all took place from 2016-2020 when (I will use one of my favorite Southern expressions here) “showing your ass” became popular with 1/2 the country (looking right at you Trumpsters).

  17. I’ve had problems galore with Hertz but have to use them as that’s who we have a corporate account with. Sadly I can relate to many of the issues described above. Hertz is the worst and it doesn’t matter what you’ve documented or who you spoke with, nobody wants to or has the ability to resolve. Hertz is a total sh*t show.

  18. Happened to me just now on the big island. They switched my car from the original reservation, I returned my rented car on time.
    Weeks later, received a letter telling me to return my car (the original one I never picked up).

    Called in, explained it was a mistake on their part. Got another letter. Made another call.

    Now keeping records in case.


  19. Gotta love Hertz. In 1985 I received a fifty cent bill from them a few weeks after my honeymoon in Hawaii. It seems that the agent on Kuai miscalculated on the handwritten rental form and they REALLY need that $.50 even though I paid the original bill as calculated. If you can’t be petty, what’s left?

  20. Alamo has been my go to car rental company for the last 10 years. As for Jerry, holy s#it, dude…. you need to see someone….. that manifesto is wild.

  21. @Jackson Waterson

    You do realize that leftists are the ones that want to severely curtail police power to prevent abuses like this, right?

  22. What do people recommend as defense measures if they rent from Hertz (eg corporate travel policy says I must use them) ? Perhaps take a photo of the car that I am picking up, a photo of the key they give me to show that this is truly the car they gave me, a photo of the car when I return it in their garage, and a photo of handing the keys to the person behind the counter?
    What else?

  23. Hertz is now the most customer unfriendly company to work with at all levels. The only thing they do well is Gold aisle ease. That doesn’t make up for this non functioning company. They are a complete disaster. If you have a problem with the car mid rental (good chance with these older cars ) forget about finding any help.

  24. Is it kind of weird that I find all these Hertz stories therapeutic. As many here have previously stated;HERTZ was practical my exclusive rental resource during my 42 year career of domestic , North & South American business travel. I 100% dropped them in 2012 after a rash of billing errors, false charges, lost reservations and the final straw when they sicced a collection agency on me for a $18 additional charge from a rental that was documented as paid in full eight months prior- No warning, no phone calls no letters until the aggressive collection agent began calling. I guess I felt they were picking on me? Anyway – just an observation-Just an observation, my experiences with chronic issues with HERTZ began shortly after private equity acquired HERTZ –

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