Hertz Still Hasn’t Made Changes To Prevent Customers From Being Arrested, Sent To Jail

Rent a car, go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go, do not collect (much devalued) loyalty points. That seems to be the message from Hertz. One Hertz elite member chalked up 4 arrests, spending 30 days in jail where she… suffered a miscarriage.

Much of the time, though not all the time, the problem seems to be with cars a customer swaps out midway through a rental (preferring a different vehicle) or where a customer extends a rental and the company doesn’t record the change properly. And they don’t withdraw false police reports, saying that if they did, the police might stop believing them.

Two things currently stand out about the issue.

  1. There are currently 40 active prosecutions of Hertz customers. According to attorneys representing customers suing the rental car giant, this is “because Hertz refuses to cooperate with investigators.” That’s not surprising when Hertz is facing numerous lawsuits over these arrests, but they’ve pledged to clean up their act.

  2. Hertz has not announced any actual changes to policy, technology, or procedures. Hertz’s CEO has acknowledged problems, and claims they’re fixed, but we keep getting new stories about it still happening.

    And most importantly the rental chain has not outlined things they are actually doing differently, so it seems like lip service.

When news broke that the Biden administration’s nominee to head the FAA was served a warrant in a criminal investigation this week, one commenter immediately responded “I believe the issue is he previously rented from Hertz.” The company has allowed itself to be branded as so incompetent its customers go to jail for doing business with them.

That’s an issue for investors and the company’s board, because they’re certainly losing out on rentals as a result of the stories. Even if risk of imprisonment is small for any given rental, it’s the sort of long tail risk you don’t normally associate with reserving a rental car. And the consequences are bad enough, a certain segment of customers simply look at Hertz and say ‘why bother?’ That doesn’t just mean fewer transactions, it means lower prices to induce make up demand.

Hertz needs to speak clearly to this issue and explain how they’re going to stop it from continuing, and then they need to back it up with action.

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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Comments

  1. How has the Hertz CEO or Board of Directors not resigned over this shameful scandal? And, moreover, why doesn’t some politically astute local prosecutor bring charges against Hertz for filing false police reports? Shame on Delta, Marriott and others that continue sending their customers to Hertz via status matches.

  2. I stopped renting from Hertz because of this. Still have enough points accrued for one or two free rental days, but it’s not with the $80/days savings to risk using those free rental days at this point.

  3. @ Gary – After being a 100% loyal Hertz customer for 15 years, we’ve been perfectly happy renting with Budget and Avis. Hertz is no longer an option in our world. Intead, they are pariahs.

  4. There has to be a prosecutor someplace willing to bring criminal charges against Hertz executives for this conduct. Especially during an election year…

  5. If the only car available is Hertz = NO CARS AVAILABLE! I would never rent from Hertz due to this issue.

  6. “And they don’t withdraw false police reports, saying that if they did, the police might stop believing them.” Anyone at Hertz who backed this particular policy should be fired. Not only that but if they discovered information that invalidated there initial report and refused to withdraw the report they should be criminally prosecuted for filing a false report and put in jail. It is such a despicable policy and to me the police really should refuse to take action on ANY Hertz complaint until all the information is vetted and confirmed, including but not limited to contacting the renter. The company has shown that it can not be trusted to provide an honest accounting.

  7. Hertz does not exist. I have a couple dozen car rentals coming up in the next months. If the only car I can get is a Hertz car, there is no car available. I truly don’t think they will stop it until a court of law insists upon it. I hope the person you mention in the first paragraph gets a seven-figure judgement. She deserves it. Pathetic, dreadful company.

  8. As this continues, Hertz is going to be left mostly with tourists renting from whatever is the cheapest option. Business travelers, which are a significant portion of rental car consumers, will likely continue to join the “anyone but Hertz” group. I for one have been offered Hertz by our corporate travel team and have told them to find another option or I’ll use Uber, even if it’s more expensive.

  9. We have stopped renting from chains entirely, preferring Turo as much as possible. You are in charge of the exact car you get -and there is transparency in pricing – no surprises.
    This was especially helpful during a recent trip clearing out a storage unit. We had to have a large vehicle to do this and it really is rolling the dice no matter what you reserve at a chain these days.
    Plus no one will haul us off to jail.
    The only downside is that most credit card secondary insurance – as far as I am aware – will not recognize Turo as a rental company so that coverage isn’t valid, but purchasing Turo’s insurance is reasonably priced and one extra click in their booking process.

  10. Hertz will now grant tier status based on the number of rentals and arrests combined.

    Hertz will stop having customers arrested when Hilton and Marriott start recognizing tier benefits.

    A Hertz customer walks into the Post Office and sees his picture up on the wall.

    A Hertz customer walks into a biker bar and everyone shudders with fear and awe.

    Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I’ll be here all week. Tip the waitresses.

  11. I booked a a Hertz luxury-class car for pickup last week at the Denver airport. I have President’s Circle status for whatever that is worth. When I arrived no car was assigned and I was instead directed to the President’s Circle aisle. There wasn’t a single luxury car on the lot. Only a bunch of Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5 and Ford Edge crossovers. I went inside and the counter supervisor laughed when I complained that none of these cars were “luxury-class.” He claimed they were are “upgrades.” Thankfully as I was inside, my wife spotted a Suburban Z71 being dropped off and quickly jumped inside. They had dozens of Chevy Suburbans, Ford Expeditions, and Ford Mustangs in the hold area. They just didn’t want to put them in the President’s Circle aisle.

  12. I am not big on the “put everyone in jail” thing every time something bad happens in the world, but anyone at Hertz directly involved with filing police reports at this current point in time should be criminally prosecuted and sued in civil court by the victims, and even one additional false police report being filed now should result in the CEO being put in jail. I bet that would get this to stop. It’s insane this keeps happening. Absolutely insane.

  13. “And most importantly the rental chain has not outlined things they are actually doing differently, so it seems like lip service.”

    Wrote to Hertz a few weeks ago and asked them to delete all our data in their system. Happy to sacrifice the Gold Rewards points as Hertz just won’t apparently ever be a decent company and we don’t want to get caught up in their crackadoodle dragnet.

  14. Why would anyone rent from Hertz with the possibility of being arrested! Stockholders be prepared, I see Bankruptcy in Hertz’s near future. It’s cancel culture for You. Hertz, you have been dismissed.

  15. Used to like Hertz but will never rent again until management and practices are overhauled. Why would anyone knowingly take the risk?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.