Reader Says Hertz Sent His Ex-Fiance To Jail Over A Fully Paid And Returned Rental Car

Hertz is accused of falsely reporting cars stolen on a number of customers – and the customers wind up in jail. This appears to have been going on for a couple of years at least. Hertz has been sued for the practice. And yet it seems to continue.

The stories have a common thread involving switching out of the originally-assigned vehicle, or extending a rental, where Hertz employees didn’t properly complete the paperwork for the transaction.

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. Need I remind you that Hertz was promoted for years by O.J. Simpson?

A reader now shares the story of what they say happened to their ex-fiance’ on New Years Eve.

My former fiancé is currently in jail in Oklahoma County Oklahoma awaiting extradition to Tarrant County, Texas for a paid-for Hertz Rental which she extended over and over and over again. It’s been paid in full yet, she [was] arrested on New Years Eve.

…I had to contact her mother in Texas to drive to Oklahoma (5 hours) to get to her grand daughter because her mother was arrested, her privately-owned Mercedes was being impounded. The courts in Texas say they’ll be transporting [her] around 01-18-2021. That’s almost a month in jail for a car that’s been paid for.

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.

The once-great rental car giant is currently in bankruptcy with debtor-in-possession financing and is expected to file its reorganization plan by August.

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. Scary
    I had them bill me thousands of dollars in damages years ago for a car I returned to the Atlanta Airport saying I totaled it
    Except for the fact I returned the car with a full tank of gas in perfect condition and flew home
    First thing I said was if I totaled it how did you close out my contract upon return of the vehicle and then fly home? That’s when it started to make sense something was off
    It took some back & forth but eventually it all got worked out

  2. Five years ago, I returned a car to Washington Union Station on a Saturday evening. There were no employees there at that hour and the sign said to put the keys and contract in a lock box which I did. Weeks later I got a call from the “vehicle recovery unit” wanting to know why I still had the car. I told them the story and they basically said “prove it.” Luckily for me, when I called the Union Station counter, I got a guy who remembered that it had processed the return the following morning (what are the odds of that) and gave me the information to give to the recovery folks. Wonder how often things like that occur.

  3. 1) There need to be severe penalties for the individuals filing these reports. They’re false and truly a waste of state resources, and this is clearly a systemic problem.
    2) Don’t rent from Hertz.

  4. Hertz is the absolute worst. It took three days to actually get the rental the people working in the office was blaming corporate for not knowing rules and vice-versa neither had a clue of what the one was saying. on the first night I went there I was dropped off by a friend who had to go to work .The young man who was working was completely incompetent, rude ,honestly scary. He started freaking out about not enough help and how he lives 30 minutes away and just acting very crazy and erratic no one seemed to care about that. He then left me there.So I had to cancel the plans I had way I had been under the impression I would have a rental vehicle that night for something importing I had a confirmation number and everything. I then had to wait almost an hour later sitting in the hot sun in a urine scented bus stop and took a bus to the bus terminal and then had to walk the rest of the way none of this would have happened had Jay just gotten all their facts straight they wouldn’t even try to deal with the situation now while the hour I was waiting for the bus I was then again on the phone with corporate office went through all the same mumbo jumbo again but this time they also added on a credit check which the day before on the phone number didn’t mention anything about it however apparently you have to have a certain credit score all that was fine .Next day I went back, same issue. Long and behold I finally got the rental, with no apology nor and you weren’t even seem to care for all of the troubles that I had already dealt with. I was not told when I want to extend it from Thursday to Monday that if I just kept it until the following Thursday it was actually only an $11 difference I was a little upset about they’re not telling you that however I ended up keeping the car for about 7 weeks I believe back they charge me way overboard and charge me for things they said they wouldn’t it was insane and they did nothing about I have emailed them many times I’ve gotten a few emails that they were going to look into it and get back to me nothing has been done.NEVERRRRR AGAIN!!!

  5. With all the law suits resulting from incompetent service, it’s little wonder they are bankrupt.

    Why the O.J Simpson reference though?

  6. The most disgusting on Hertz.
    I was a Gold Membership.
    If you have a Membership they give for you a car higher!!!price.
    Log in your account,and you got almost 30%!!!higher price!
    Log out ,the price going down!!!!
    Shit company,with lazy without any self responsibility employees.

  7. Their employees would be better off managed by robots. The people Hertz promotes to managers usually know less then the people they are managing

  8. I hope the party jailed gets a good attorney and sues the hell out of them for wrongful imprisonment and emotional distress and anything else that is relevant. Glad I have no need to rent. Most definitely never will from Hertz.

  9. I have a similar story. I called several times to return a car to DAL airport instead of DFW because my flight was cancelled. They never answered I get to DAL the guy said it was fine, at most $20 different drop off location fee. Mind you the airports are about 15 minutes apart a $20 at most Uber fee. A few weeks later they charged my card $1400 additional for a different return location saying $400 a day for $140 total 3 day rental. I called to understand because when I looked online it said $160 total for same amount of days and location they said the best they could do was $100 credit. Mind you I have rented from them for 10+ years and a gold member. I disputed it with my card, speaking of I need to follow up. They are completely immoral and I’ll never rent from them again.

  10. Rented a car from them. Due to “non-payment” they repo’d the vehicle in the middle of the night from me with all of my things still inside the car. The service shop guys at the RDU airport location stole most of my belongings including my 2 yo daughter’s car seat and Christmas presents as well as all of our portable chargers and expensive devices. Then they force charged $4000 to my debit card which means they were paid in full. That charge closed my debit card account and puts me at risk of being sued by the debit card company now. You can’t say I didn’t pay and then charge me $4000 and make excuses like it’s my fault that Hertz employees stole my belongings. Shame on them!

  11. I’ve had 2 bad experiences with Hertz, both international. I rented a vehicle in Frankfurt, Germany and when we returned it they signed off the car had been returned and accepted. 6 months later they hit me with $600 in damage to the vehicle. I disputed it on my AMEX card and they turned it over to a collection agency here in the US. I told them to take a hike and sent them a letter telling them to leave me alone and if they tried to hit my credit report I’d sue them. Crickets

    Rented a car in Lisbon, Portugal. 18 months later they sent me a bill for $150 in toll fees. They didn’t even try to charge the card.

    I’m traveling next week and now I don’t know if I want to rent from Hertz or not. I’ve been using them for over 25 years. What a mess traveling has become.

  12. They claimed I did not modify a reservation and charged me over a 1000 for one day. I disputed it and they lied to my credit card company saying I had not modified. I had written proof via email. Still had to fight like hell. Never again with this company.

  13. They need to go out of business recently had a rental with them and my experience were terrible with them from the customer service to returning it… it were terrible

  14. On April of 2020 I rented a car (one way) for one day in Orlando airport and returned it the next day. Since the local office was closed that day due to covid-19 I left the key in the drop off box and the car sat in their lot for 21 days and I got a bill for $2,183 . when I called to dispute the charges they kept saying that I never returned the car even though their own records showed the car was only driven for 79 miles. It took me almost 4 months to get my money back. NEVER AGAIN.

  15. Im a former uber driver that rented my car from hertz. They charged me 1700 total since mt acct closed out with them 10/29/20. I am currently disputing this bull. They giving me thw run around too

  16. Fifty-seven years ago, this Hertz commercial from 1964 was ahead of its time. The commercial says, “you get a rest” It should have said, “you get arrested.” This commercial should say, “Let Hertz put you in the driver’s seat AND jail.” Other commercial gems, “Take up to 20 months to pay with the new Hertz revolving credit plan.”

    Go Hertz class (or go Greyhound).

    Has anyone accepted the Hertz credit offer to pay a $9.95 car rental over 20 months?

    View the video:

  17. Cardinal Rule with rent a car, video the car inside and out both on collection and delivery. Make sure you get a printed receipt and film yourself dropping the keys at an unattended location. Buy your fuel before drop off and keep the receipt. Shouldn’t be necessary all this but it is for the reasons explained above

  18. If this is happening repeatedly then why are employees at Hertz not being criminally charged for filing false reports? They have an obligation to double check before they go reporting a stolen vehicle to police. Also, why does law enforcement continue to make these arrests without properly investigating ahead of time and asking for additional confirmation. Hertz has shown its not trustworthy and I would think law enforcement would be on the hook for just taking Hertz at their word without doing some follow-up investigation to confirm the allegations prior to throwing someone in jail.

  19. I typically rent from hertz. Never had any of these issues with my rentals. I only rent domestically and often from neighborhood locations. In the future given Hertz’s current financial state I will likely look into other rental companies, because I don’t think Hertz will be having the newest cars anytime soon.

  20. I’ve actually had fairly good service with Hertz. I’ve rented many years at LAX and also LAX Hilton along with other rentals throughout the US and some international (Italy, France, Germany, Canada, Costa Rica and Switzerland). If there were concerns they were addressed promptly. I reserved a Mustang convertible for the Concours de Elegance in Monterrey and they had a gold Buick 4 door for me. Unacceptable! The manager found me the car I reserved within 15 minutes.
    I will continue to rent from Hertz as they have always been better than most of the others, including Avis.

  21. I drove for Lyft and rented through hertz with the affiliate program. I was pulled over by 6 police cars and held at gunpoint due to hertz reporting car stolen. I was transported to the jail where I suffered from a high blood pressure episode of 212/156 and was immediately transported by ambulance to local hospital. They released me from the hospital. Six months later I received a notice to appear for felony embezzlement. I have emails from Lyft showing the date scheduled date car was to be returned which hadn’t psssed. I then have a bill from Hertz that shows the car was returned before I was pulled over which it wasn’t because the date to return hadn’t even passed and i still had the car per Lyft. Also, the morning of being pulled over I received a deposit from Lyft now keep in mind the rental payment is automatically deducted from drivers earnings. So obviously the rental had been paid for. I appeared in court was scheduled a later appearance day and appointed a public defender. I couldn’t afford to hire an attorney at that time and freaked out over the thought of going to jail got something I did not do! I now have a warrant for my arrest and a felony embezzlement charge for this mess! I have children that need me, I didn’t steal Hertz car and I paid thrn to use it! I know will lose my real estate license and my life is ruined and every day I want to literally die!

  22. I rented from hertz a few years ago and had called to extend my rental. However, I received a call the following day saying they had called and reported the vehicle stolen because I had not called to extend rental agreement or returned vehicle according to rental agreement. I had paid for vehicle upfront along with all their deposits, fees and charges. Absolutely was at a loss and scared, never have I been in a situation like this. Never rented from company again and was sure to tell my family and friends!!!

  23. Hertz is the worst car rental i have ever encountered and I concur with all here. The customer service is irresponsible and haphazard and did a lousy contracting process. Didn’t explain on liabilities and I was first timer in US.

    The car was only briefly after previous renter (5mins) and was passed to me for use. I noticed the breaks and types were faulty after driving for few miles but too weary to go back. And regretted so, as it occurred the brakes caused an accident on the road 2 days later.

    Even after filing the incident report for them to collect the car from the body shop, they hadn’t picked it up even after 2 months and the contract stayed open. I had written bad feedback on their services and discourage anyone from renting from Hertz. Avis is a whole lot better.

  24. Terrible customer service. I called for road assistance to be put on hold for over an hour twice. Never received a call back or anything. Called customer service and told them I wasn’t going to sit there and wait until it was dark and she told me I would be responsible for the vehicle if I left after waiting for two hours of no help or phone calls. I had to have someone follow me home. They never called til this day and wanted to bill me for the vehicle not being turned in. Completely the worst experience ever. If you deal with Hertz ONLY USE PRIVATE OWNERS!

  25. So reading this has brought back memories of what happened to me 7 years ago, I rented a car from Hertz because my personal car was giving problems and I send it to the shop in which is rented for two weeks but ended up extending for two months. Anyways, one night I was pulled over by police in Queens New York for a legal left from the conduit onto Springfield that ended up with me being super enemy of the states. I was told the rental car was reported stolen minutes after Hertz pulled $2857 from my bank account which is absurd because I drove to Canada and back and I was paying for my time but I had ended up in jail regardless so I know just how messed up Hertz are. I hope she win the case and sue them for every cent.

  26. I bought a car from Hertz and it took them 4 months to transfer the title to my name and give me the tags. According to the law in TX they have one month. After that month I was driving an untitled car with expired tags. The inspection expired and I had to have it re-inspected. I fedexed the inspection to them and 2 months later it still was not done. Only the fact that the state had stopped enforcing because of covid-19 saved me from getting pulled over. After months of calls back and forth with their title department in OKC most of which were never returned, I filed a complaint with the TX State DMV. They investigated and found that Hertz was in violation and turned it over to the state’s attorney. So not only don’t rent from them, don’t buy from them either.

  27. Law enforcement is to blame for accepting a criminal complaint for what clearly should be filed as a civil suit and allow a judge to sort out the facts. If even half of these stories are true, Corporate America is running amok and the legal system isn’t doing its job.

  28. Hertz was very unpleasant, unprofessional and simply rude. Once I rented a corvette in SFO on my business trip. My security deposit was 900 dollars . When I had noticed in a month that my security deposit waant refunded , I had to call them for a week. Luckily I was sent to sfo for work again , but when I talked to their manager , the guy tried to blame my bank , tried to lie that it was them who didn’t accept the refund. Lol even had a nerve to suggest to switch to wells Fargo or bank of America. Very bad experience….AVIS is way better. Even national is better . I’m so disappointed in hertz that I wont buy their stocks if they will fall to 0.001 usd

  29. I bought a BMW from Hertz in June. They were supposed to send me the paperwork to buy the car. It never shows up. I email them in July, August, Sept. no response in October, they call and ask if I have their car? Am I planning on paying for it? Sure, send me the paperwork. Paperwork shows up in November. Thanks for a free 5 month rental!

  30. Oh great! I’m currently renting a car from Hertz because I was in an accident and my car is still in the shop. Due to covid, the repairs to my vehicle are taking longer than anticipated and I have called Hertz three times now to extend my rental. Haven’t had any problems yet… But now I’m nervous! I’m due to return the car on Monday.

  31. I have booked Hertz for my customers, at least over 5,000 bookings in the last 3 years, and never had any problem like this. International travelers visiting the U. S.

    With covid-19 we had to extend several rentals for 2-4 weeks at first but as the lockdown continued, we had to repeat extending until it became 2 – 6 months. Rentals reaches a maximum allowed extending option after which we had to book a new reservation, booking the same car type, and they were able to keep the same vehicle most of the time.

    The extension were made online but some required extending over the phone. The extension lengths varied since Hertz was selling a lot of his cars in 2020 and some clients had to return their vehicle because it had been sold by Hertz.

    I hope i never get a call that one of them is in jail.

  32. Rented a vehicle from them for a month , had issues with credit card covering entire Bill up front , Hertz representative suggest we rent one week then keep extending the rental each week. So I return the car after the fourth week , and I’m expecting to get a receipt for like $1,600. I’m told there’s an issue because the they didn’t do the extraction correctly on the 4th week , so the rental changed itself to a monthly charge , and now they asking me for $2,400. I called every regional manager and corporate manager, and each one was just as nasty as the last insisting that it’s my bill, even though it makes no sense when we extended the rental, and the fact thst if you rent a car for a month it’s less than renting for 4 weeks smh, they straight wanted to rip me off , and had the slightest bit of courtesy for the paying customer. So what I did was explain it to the bank , the bank disputed the original rental contract, and gave them only that amount. They lost a customer for life , and if I can prevent anyone from getting robbed from them I will. I’m glad to see them lose their ones, they are crooks.

  33. I rented a chevy malibu for a week a few months back and the paperwork said a woman’s name. I pointed it out to employees and they didn’t care. I called a few times and they were clueless as to what my name was. I extended the rental and received a call that I needed to return the car or else the car recovery team would collect the car. I almost didn’t care because it wasn’t in my name so I thought how will they put me in collections if I simply keep it a few more days and drop it off since they didn’t allow me to extend my rental. I did return the car and I did pay the bill with the card on file but they are a wreck I’m not one bit surprised to read this.

  34. They charged me $600 for a rental that they already had but didn’t process it till a week after I turned it in saying I was late and that I smoked in da car which was a total lie…… They even charged me for a whole day that it was in da shop. I took the car back the nexted day cause after I had picked it up as I was pulling into my driveway my sister pointed out the tire had a bubble so I parked it waiting till morning and went to take it back…. I got there and they said I would have to take it to the shop so I did I got there at 9am and didn’t leave till 7pm and if I wouldn’t have been on they’re ass they probably would have given it back the next day… So I don’t feel bad bout them going bankrupt

  35. When returning a rental car I ALWAYS take a picture of the mileage to prove what I drove. I’ve had to use that in the past. AND I take a video of the car walking around it and save it in case I have to prove no damages if needed..

  36. I rent from LAX Hertz location several times per year. Open 24/7 days per week. Simple. Easy. Affordable. I never have a problem. All the employees I’ve ever interacted at this location have been cordial, professional and extremely helpful. At this location, when you rent a vehicle you get to choose any vehicle you want from a “class” of vehicles. Always new and low mileage too It’s super fast and convenient. The return of the vehicle is equally fast and convenient too. I’ve never experienced anything remotely close to the negative comments on this site.

    Go figure. Is it just plain dumb luck or are some/most of these negative comments an exaggeration of extreme bizarre weirdness that most ordinary people will never encounter when renting a car from Hertz? I think it’s the later, you’re rental car transaction with Hertz will be seamless, fast and enjoyable at both pick-up and return.

  37. I really didn’t understand the OJ Simpson reference and what in the hell that had to do with the story. He wasn’t responsible for people being arrested.. Unnecessary comment in the story.

  38. Happy With service; Sounds like you got PAID for that endorsement. In reality, most of these experiences are very sad and true. I have rented from several different car rentals, and most of them have horrible service stories. Some I have personally experienced. The main problem is they don’t care about customer service. They are just out to get paid as much as they can get away with. They realize you are the one in need. Some companies act a fool more than others. They do not pay their associates much more than minimum wage. So you get what you pay for…
    It’s hit or miss. Problem with Hertz it’s USUALLY MISS. And jail time for a clerical mistake is outrageous…

  39. Hertz did this to me years ago. Returned car but garage was full. Told to park on the next floor up. Return is processed. 3 weeks later a policeman comes to my office asking why I stole the car. We walked over to the garage and there it was. My return receipt even said right on it what space # the car was in. Did Hertz apologize? No. Never rented from them again.

  40. I once rented a car from Hertz in Tennessee. I never left Tennessee and just drove from the airport to the town I was staying in. I later received a bill from Hertz for a parking ticket in Atlanta. While I cannot explain the parking ticket, I was thankfully able to point to the miles I drove during my rental being inconsistent with having been able to get to Atlanta and back. I just lucked out to have that evidence. They accepted that, but it caused me stress and hassle.

  41. Hertz is an excellent business school case focusing on the importance of company culture.

    There are just so many horror stories related here or elsewhere in the press that point to the failure of the Hertz executive leadership. The senior executives and board members of the failed Hertz organization need to be called out publicly and shamed for their negligence, poor leadership and lack of responsibility.

    If you are not convinced yet, here is a government press release issued last year:

    Washington D.C., Aug. 13, 2020 —The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged former Hertz CEO and Chairman Mark Frissora with aiding and abetting the company in its filing of inaccurate financial statements and disclosures. Frissora has agreed to settle the charges and repay Hertz nearly $2 million in incentive-based compensation.

    Everyone who ever worked for Hertz is stained by these revelations. But the people at the top who tolerated this evil are most to blame.

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