Worst Car Rental Ever: Hertz Elite Member Arrested 4 Times, Spent 30 Days In Jail And Had Miscarriage

Hundreds of Hertz customers are suing for false arrest, saying the rental car agency filed police reports claiming they had stolen vehicles that they had either legitimately rented, or had already returned and paid for. Readers of this site have reported their own horror stories.

Usually it seems that when a rental was extended, or a vehicle exchanged, Hertz failed to correctly log the change. While this explanation isn’t universal, it seemed to cover many of the instances. Even though their CEO admitted this was happening and promised to fix it, it continued to happen.

The rental giant explained they refused to drop charges against those that were falsely arrested because they felt that recanting false police reports would damage their credibility.

Hertz has offered settlements in some cases. But one challenge that’s been faced by many customers, seeking their day in court, is that Hertz has been through bankruptcy. So claims have been heard in bankruptcy court.

However 47 people are now filing lawsuits in state court after being given leave by the bankruptcy court to do so, since Hertz failed to provide properly discharge these claims as part of its bankruptcy proceeding.

Some of the stories from this group are shocking (though admittedly no less shocking than stories we’ve already heard). Cars that had been reported stolen but were still in Hertz’s possession and being rented, handcuffed in front of their kids, and perhaps most shocking – a Hertz platinum member who was arrested four times:

  • Bianca DeLoach, who police arrested while she purchased gas, placing her in handcuffs and putting her into a patrol car in front of her 10- and 12-year old children. DeLoach spent nine days away from her children behind bars, despite showing she paid Hertz almost $4,000.
  • James Tolen, whose rental car Hertz reported as stolen three months before then renting it to him.  At the time of his arrest, Tolen stated, “it was just terrifying. It was bad. Actually, I was really thinking that I wasn’t gonna make it home.”
  • Antwanette Hill, a Hertz platinum member, who police falsely arrested four times between 2018 and 2020 after Hertz failed to resolve a false police report the company filed. Hill spent more than 30 days in jail and suffered a miscarriage while imprisoned.

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 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. Just rented a pickup truck from Enterprise (while existing car was being repaired) where from the 2nd day noticed a slight smell of weed smoke. Getting worried about being accused of using it in their car and fined for it upon return (I’ve never smoked anything in my life!). I thought of reporting it to the agency but am worried this will bring attention to it and what if they dont believe that it wasnt from me!

  2. I was previously a loyal Hertz customer. Never again. Never. Good luck emerging from bankruptcy, Hertz!

  3. I hope they have to pay these victims big time! This isn’t just horrible, it’s downright evil!

  4. Why does CapitalOne Venture X even have a relationship with Hertz? Not a benefit you’d want to necessarily have.

  5. Isn’t filing a false police report an offence? It’s a very sad story for Antwanette but the millions that she will get should soften the blow. Hertz’ Executives should all be jailed. The judiciary already know Hertz’ track measures and so they should be in a position to stop any shenanigans before it starts. Further, the Executives should be stripped of all and any bonuses.

  6. Is this happening in a certain location or region? Or are all Hertz locations just horribly run?

    Also when will all these poor victims file a massive class action lawsuit?

    How pathetic of Hertz

  7. @JorgeGeorge Paez – the majority of the suits will be dismissed with no damages paid since they would have been filed before Hertz declared bankruptcy and any claim would fall into the “unsecured creditor” category. Even for post petition claims (or ones the bankruptcy judge allowed to be filed in other venues) all Hertz has to do is declare bankruptcy again due to total amount of potential claims, restructure and come out the other side.

    There are many ways for companies to avoid even paying a judgement

  8. “19 Things I Love About The Capital One Venture X Card” by Gary Leff on May 13, 2022

    17. Hertz elite status. While some United elites may be unhappy about losing Hertz status, this card comes with complimentary Hertz President’s Circle status which is their top public tier. This benefit is for primary cardholders, authorized users and account managers. Meanwhile Capital One offers additional benefits with National Car Rental, Avis and Silver.

  9. Hertz’s problems continue to mount. I believe the end is near. Why would anyone rent from them? They have so many other issues also from offers that do not work, website problems and of course the occasional arrest of a customer. I would think most people are now too scared to even consider using them.

  10. You’d think the law enforcement agencies would have a notice posted nationwide about this and err on the side of the citizen. But no, they’re generally as incompetent and stupid as the morons at hertz. Just “Government Workers” with a badge and too often on a power trip. They actually like arresting people if you haven’t noticed.

  11. I still rent from Hertz. Yeah, I’m probably taking a huge chance, but I’ve never had an issue with them and I get the best rate compared to all the other companies. I do take a picture of the vehicle, the VIN, and the mileage when I return. I file the pics in a folder—just in case. Don’t ask me why—I have other weird habits to go with this. Too many days on the road…

  12. Bianca can afford a $4000 rental but can’t afford bail to get out of jail? Something smells foul.

  13. I wonder how the local or state DA is feeling about Hertz killing a fetus/baby/person. It’s a murder charge now…..

  14. Not quite as severe but I had a Hertz rental a few weeks back where I returned it, they checked it out and said good to go. But then 8 hours later I got an email saying my car was just returned and I was charged an extra day and had to fight to get that back. Overall it was an awful experience.

  15. This is insane.

    Gary,

    Out of curiosity, have you tried contacting the US AG’s office and/or state Attorneys General or something like the National Association of Attorneys General about this? With this being a well-known, well-reported, and even admitted problem that has been going on for years, it seems unconscionable that a report from Hertz is still being considered to constitute probable cause on its own. In my opinion, every one of these warrants should be quashed for lack of probable cause.

  16. The US legal and law enforcement community does not know this the way us Gary readers knows. Most probably have never heard of it so when a vehicle plate comes up as stolen that cop isn’t going to do research about Hertz – they are just going to arrest you and you are in the system. Dropping charges later still doesn’t erase the trauma of the arrest. Hertz execs need to be charged for company policies of false police reports and the board of directors held accountable. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen so Avis it is. Or Enterprise; they will pick me up.

  17. So the reality is that Avis could well be en route to the same craziness. I have spent the last two months dealing with an issue with them. Six months, yes, six months, after returning a vehicle they contacted me to tell me I owed $4K for damages to a vehicle. I told them to suck wind. They then went to my insurance company that handles rentals (not even sure how they found out who it is) and harassed them. I told the insurance company that if they pay this I will drop all of my corporate policies as it’s pure extortion. There were no issues with the car when I returned it, was driven all of 80 miles, and parked in a private secured driveway for two nights total. My insurance company pushed back and demanded to see proof. The best they could come up with was a filed report done 60 days after I returned the vehicle!!

    Rental car companies (many are also franchises don’t forget) have found an easy route to harass people enough that they can extort your private insurance to pay for false damages, etc. My insurance company was ready to pay it, as it’s easier than fighting it, as they deemed it not worth going into investigation. This is what Avis, Hertz, etc bank on, that it’s an easy money grab. Further, they don’t even do the dirty work, this was handed over to some outside agency that took over the claim and gets a percentage if those that are successful.

    With rental cars these days get photos at the start, demand the return agent looks over the vehicle, and document everything.

  18. Let me add, my speculation is that if a damage on a car at some point is noticed over time they go back to the records and look for anyone that did not take out the insurance offered by the rental car company. At that point they target those people to get a claim as there is no point if its their own insurance and it’s often an easy path out to go after others.

  19. You have to wonder how long the judicial system will allow this to continue.

    Maybe it’s time to buy 100 shares of Hertz and start filing derivative actions. Or find a state AG that is more interested in pursuing justice than a political agenda.

  20. Thy Keystone Cops are just as liable. American police are so ignorant. Does anyone do any real investigation before arresting people? American cops are a joke. They have become their stereotype. Fat and lazy. Try and research before arrest.

  21. Stop blaming only Hertz. Hertz does not arrest people: cops do. Nothing will change until cops are personally held accountable for their actions. It is sickening how we’ve been conditioned not to blame the actual people doing the physical violence and harm. Cops choose to arrest and hold people based on false claims. These people shouldn’t focus on Hertz. They should focus on individual officers who wronged them.

  22. Sorry Jackson but you’ve got it wrong. If a warrant is outstanding it’s the job of police to make an arrest. Hertz is entirely at fault because they are the ones who are claiming a crime has been committed when that’s not true.

  23. Mr. Waterston: I’m all for holding cops accountable (the shit they get away with is putrid) but their unions are just to strong. Here in supposedly liberal Austin we can’t contain the beast (and pay millions in settlements as a result). What is too be done?

  24. Hertz does not exist. If the only car available is from Hertz, no car is available. Good catch by those who commented on the CapOne “benefit.” I need to look into whether they gave any of my information to that criminal company.

  25. The EXECUTIVES at Hertz who are responsible for filing the police reports need to be punished publicly and severely. HUMANS are filing these police reports. Arrest them. These Hertz goons should have been hauled out of their corporate offices the very first time it happened. They should have done the perp walk with all the media in attendance. Where is the Attorney General of the states in which people have been arrested? There is no excuse for this to happen even once. As for someone dumb enough to allow herself to be arrested four times … you can’t fix stupid.

    I had a horrendous experience returning an Avis vehicle at MSP, this afternoon, the garage agent couldn’t give me a receipt for some reason that made no sense, said I had to go ‘over there’ to get a receipt. I took the keys with me. The agent over at “Preferred” couldn’t do anything because the car had already been ‘automatically checked in’ and her printer was down anyway. She wouldn’t even sign off on the original contract so I had something to show I had returned the car. She just kept mumbling about automatic checkin. She thought that showing me her screen that she had sent me an email was enough. Then she told me to ‘get out of her space’ when I again requested that she sign off on the return. Both women were right on the border of hostile and made no effort. Some guy wandered in with no ID that he even worked for Avis. He scrawled something on my original contract. I have never been treated like that in all my years of renting cars.

  26. One additional fact that I think is at the root of all these issues with the rental car companies is WHO handles these cases for them. In my case, highlighted further up the comments, the claims are “sold” to a collection agency who then goes after the consumer. I was repeatedly harassed by a company named Viking Services in Minneapolis. This is actually a full blown collection agency and not an insurance company for Avis – nor an Avis subsidiary. Avis simply sells them cases for pennies on the dollar and the collection agency does their thing: repeatedly calling and even digging in and harassing your insurance company in hopes of getting a quick settlement.

    I would assume that Hertz does the same. Just hands things over to shady collection companies who are experts at harassment and intimidation. They don’t care if they get you arrested by filing charges.

  27. Any Hertz employees here? Wonder what Hertz corporate has communicated to its locations regarding these matters? You’d think Hertz would be telling its people to hold off on reporting vehicles stolen for a bit. Just another sign on how bad travel has gotten these days. Maybe time to start renting from rent-a-wreck again !

  28. WAIT A SECOND . . . after being arrested three times, who in their right mind rented from Hertz yet again . . . only to be arrested a fourth time? Why would it not one-and-done for any person?

  29. huey judy, if it happens again, take a video of your return process with your phone. take a picture of the return agent and that person’s ID badge as well as the car’s license plate.

  30. The woman arrested four times was arrested for the same rental. It wasn’t cleared up so she kept getting arrested. She did not have multiple rentals causing multiple arrests.

  31. A. Lawsuits and press releases are only one side of the story. Although there’s not much defense for Hertz here, some of the details MAY be exaggerated. They are certainly one-sided.
    B. The lawsuits are led by the same lawyer that sued Led Zeppelin for supposedly stealing “Stairway To Heaven” from a nobody group called Spirit. He lost, but it took 8+ years, and he generated a whole lot of publicity and press coverage. Maybe he’s right, but I’d take anything that comes from him with a grain of salt.

  32. C-M — your “B” comment has nothing to do with the actions by Hertz – no matter who is bringing litigation. But it is noted, for whatever perceived value it may or may not have.

  33. @AC: Since you can’t even spell “judgment” correctly, please try not to make us stupider with your legal analysis.

  34. @ Ray – Poor baby! You, your lovely family or your wonderful, law abiding friends clearly have had bad experiences with law enforcement! That’s so sad, but you can help! Become a cop! After all, you’re already an expert on police procedures. And, as you know, law enforcement agencies in Everyone’s Oppressed Land only hire aggressive, loud-mouthed, presumptuous, contentious dolts because they make the best cops! You’d be perfect! Heck, with your expertise, you could skip right over patrol work and apply to be a Chief!

    For the enlightenment of those who aren’t LE experts like Ray, when a vehicle is reported stolen a report is taken from a complainant who swears or affirms they own the vehicle and it really was stolen. The vehicle’s identifying information is then entered into the National Crime Information Computer (NCIC) and the state’s crime computer.

    When a cop gets a “hit” on a vehicle that’s in NCIC as stolen, a traffic stop is made and any cop who wants to live to go home that day will follow standard protocol, which is to assume a criminal with unknown intentions, possibly armed, is driving the vehicle. That usually involves a “felony stop”, which involves ordering everyone out of the car at gunpoint via the patrol car’s public address system while using the patrol car as cover. The occupants who exit are ordered to lie on the ground and are handcuffed to assure they can’t harm the cop(s) making the stop. Then, and ONLY then, do the cops begin an “investigation” that experts like Ray think should have taken place by magic before all this happens.

  35. And you know what’s crazy about the Antwanette Hill story…if you google her name and Hertz, there is not one single story on the WHOLE INTERNET that has been written about it (sans your article). No one knows and no one cares. That’s a tragedy!

  36. @Steve

    Cops don’t have to do anything. Just following orders is not a valid excuse. The Soviets were just following orders leading people to the gulags. They choose to blindly enforce warrants. That’s the problem. Instead of blaming the system, blame individual cops for not verifying the legitimacy and veracity of evidence before arrest. Cops should not be blindly enforcing warrants. They have the ability to let people, especially for out of state warrants which is the bigger problem as most people can be bailed out for an in state warrant in a day. We should not be excusing cops or defending them. That only allows them to continue to operate.

    @Jorge

    The solution to the problem is not within the system. That doesn’t mean a solution doesn’t exist. It’s up to victims to pursue justice on their own. Unions are irrelevant. Cops are individual people. No one has ever held a cop personally accountable for his actions. If that changes, cops may change how the operate and what laws they enforce. They might not find it appropriate to blindly enforce warrants or leftist laws from gun control to speech control to taxes.

  37. @Steve

    *Let them go. Cops don’t have to arrest people but just notify them of the warrant and let them be on their way. Cops can always say they weren’t able to verify if the person is the same for the warrant as many people have the same name. They can make any excuse they like as long as they don’t arrest people blindly.

    @Jorge

    Right now cops have blind support by many dumb conservatives. If those conservatives are awoken to the fact that Cops are the government, things can change. Cops would no longer have defenders or people who aid and abet them.

  38. Is there some valid reason why the entire Hertz Board and every single C-suite executive isn’t behind bars right now? Seriously, in any sane country these people would be literally staring at a concrete wall and iron bars.

  39. Police officer to Hertz “So Joe Smith stole a 2022 White Kia Forte with VIN ……2225? I see a White Kia Forte out there. What is the VIN? Don’t you put trackers on your cars now? Lets see where the tracker shows it….huh…..it shows the car right over there. Hmmm, are you sure it is stolen?

    I mean Hertz doesn’t even know where its own cars are? They reported a car stolen they they have in their own possession and even rented to someone else? I thought there had to be proof of theft. Where is their proof? And how on earth does someone end up in jail for 30 days over a false accusation?

    As for the Bankruptcy, just put them into Chapter 7 and be done with it.

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