One Customer Has Been Arrested Three Times When Renting From Hertz

Hertz IT and business processes seem to be a mess. Their customers keep winding up in jail. The rental giant reports cars stolen that have been properly rented. Or they think cars that have been returned were stolen, even though they keep renting those cars out.

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. Hertz’s CEO has acknowledged problems, and claims they’re fixed, but we keep getting new stories about it still happening. And they don’t withdraw false police reports, saying that if they did, the police might stop believing them.

There are several new stories that are coming out about Hertz customers being arrested for stealing cars they had rented. One customer was even arrested three times – although it’s worth noting that’s not a record, since one elite member chalked up 4 arrests spending 30 days in jail, where she suffered a miscarriage.

  • Connie Totman, who rented a car from Hertz in South Carolina and returned the car in Georgia. Hertz subsequently overcharged Ms. Totman in error and falsely reported the vehicle as stolen to South Carolina police. Because of this false theft report, Ms. Totman was then arrested on three separate occasions, twice in Georgia and once in South Carolina, over the course of a year. Charges against her were ultimately dismissed.

  • Ameerah Singleton, who rented a vehicle from Hertz through State Farm. Despite State Farm handling the rental vehicle’s extensions and payments, Ms. Singleton’s rental was towed by Hertz. About a month later, Ms. Singleton was arrested and jailed for four days for “stealing” her insurance rental car. Charges against her remain pending to this day, more than 1,581 days since her arrest, and she continues to live in fear as she waits for the charges to be officially dismissed.

  • Saleema Lovelace, who was arrested at gunpoint two days before the date on which she had agreed to return her rental car to Hertz. Despite paying for her rental in full, Hertz reported the vehicle as stolen after deleting records of Ms. Lovelace’s payment and of her rental extension agreements. Ms. Lovelace remains under ongoing prosecution today.

I’ve been tracking the mess that Hertz has made of itself and for customers for years now, and with each new story words fail.

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, 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 did answer, but apparently reading comprehension is not your strong suit.

    You know someone is losing the argument when they no longer deal with what you’re writing, but instead question the motivation for what you’re writing.

    “So what you’re saying is…” Google “Cathy Newman”.

  2. C_M: do you know how the bankruptcy would affect liability from lawsuits that stemmed from actions before the bankruptcy? Does it wipe out possible obligations from tort-able bad things the company did? The bankruptcy is a reorganization and Hurtz will still be in business. What if a person filed the lawsuit after Hurtz exited bankruptcy?

  3. C_M __ You are a liar. I did not ask you what you would do, I asked you how would you “feel” — try comprehending that. By the way, I did not know that this was an “argument”, I was under the impression it was a discussion – needless to say, whichever it was – you lost. Try Googling – How to admit being wrong. Now, go back to your job defending Hertz.

  4. @JorgeGeorge Paez – Excellent question. I am not a lawyer, let alone a bankruptcy lawyer, but my resident lawyer has at least had a bankruptcy class way back in law school. Let’s just start off by saying bankruptcy definitely complicates things.

    Anyone with a tort against Hertz is an unsecured creditor, which means they get subordinated to secured creditors. Those who filed before bankruptcy are ahead of those who filed after, but all are unsecured. Those who had violations after the bankruptcy are last in line. All of this is controlled by the bankruptcy court, which is federal, in this case in Delaware. Torts are normally heard in state courts. There was a ruling by the bankruptcy court in early June that some cases could be heard in state courts, but even if you get a judgment, you’re still an unsecured creditor.

    Some of this is to Hertz advantage, as of course they’ll say “You can take this amount now, guaranteed, or you can get in line with your million dollar award, and maybe get nothing.” It’s also a publicity headache for Hertz, so they won’t lowball people too much, but I expect most of these will be settle for the low six figures at most. You have to show consequential damages like emotional distress, loss of reputation, etc., and unless something really bad happened to you, it’s not a million dollar case. That would be punitive damages, and you can’t collect against a company that has no assets, or you’ll be fighting against all the other unsecured creditors for your pennies on the dollar.

    Once the bankruptcy is closed, yes, no new lawsuits about cases originating before that date can be filed. The company is a completely new entity. It would be like filing as case against Joe Hertz Jr. after Joe Hertz, Sr. died and his estate had been distributed. They might have the same name, but Joe Hertz, Sr and his estate no longer exist.

    If anyone has a case, they need to bring it NOW. And they need to talk to a real lawyer, not some internet travel blog. As the law often says, time is of the essence.

  5. I have two things to say that apply here: 1. The first time you are falsely arrested for renting a car legally shame on Hertz. After that it’s shame on you. And 2. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different result.

  6. I know everything isn’t because of race or gender but from the names it seems that all three are female and/or Black.


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