I think this will be my first time blasting a company for shady business practices and not making it right. I hope it will be my last.
Update: As a result of this post, the manager of the Vancouver Airport Hertz location emailed me and honored the original booking rate. Still annoyed it had to come to this, though.
I went to Vancouver, BC this weekend on a last-minute wedding anniversary trip with my husband. They don’t have Uber, and I soon found out that it was likely because the local taxis and car rentals are so inexpensive, that Uber would have a hard time surviving.
As I was perusing car rentals, I first checked my favorite, Costco Travel. I found a great Alamo deal for CA$41.02 (about US$30) for 2 days. That’s like $15 per day – insane! Most of the other companies were not significantly higher than that price. And it was truly last minute — the rental was to start the next day!
As I was booking my flights on United, it gave me an opportunity to book a car rental with Hertz as well, so out of curiosity, and because I have Hertz President’s Circle Status (thanks to Marriott Platinum), I checked the price. It was a total of CA$51.17 (about US$37) for the 2 days, plus it would give me a bonus of 1000 United miles! I value United miles at more than 1 cent per point, so this made the Hertz deal much more appealing, and I booked it.
The Rental Experience
The rental went smoothly. They gave me a new white Hyundai Elantra, which was a great car. We were very happy with it. Spent a total of US $8 on gas for our 2 days.
Returning The Car
We drove the car to the return area at the YVR airport, and the lady was unable to find my reservation in her system, so she wrote down the mileage and the fact my gas was full and told me to go to the counter to get my receipt. She said everything was perfect about the car. We returned the car 1 hour and 10 minutes early.
I went to the counter, and had to wait like 15 minutes for two very slow customers in front of me, one of whom was yelling at the staff for some overcharge.
When I got up to the counter, the staff was unable to find my reservation either, so they made a copy of my contract, and said the manager would take care of it and I would receive my receipt in my account or by email. I said, okay no problem, and rushed off to clear security and customs and enjoy the lounges.
Getting Charged Over 3X
Well, I got my receipt in my email, and was absolutely shocked when I saw the total charge of CA$174.78 (about US$128) on it!! HUH????
I immediately contacted their Twitter concierge with screenshots of both my reservation price of CA$51.17 and the final receipt of CA$174.78. At first, they responded, “What charges don’t look correct?”
I explained that my reservation was for CA$16.20 per day, and that the receipt stated that it was CA$54.99 per day.
I’ll let you read the rest of the conversation.
This whole experience has left a bad taste in my mouth, and their team’s resolution of giving me a partial refund and giving me a final price of nearly double what I was supposed to be charged is ridiculous (they are still charging me an extra CA$36.87 over my original booking price, making the reservation a total of CA$88.04 or US$64.66).
This was my very first Hertz rental in over 5 years. I usually go with Alamo, Enterprise, National, Dollar, Thrifty, and have NEVER had a final charge post significantly higher than the quoted total at time of booking (and I’ve never had any issues with those companies either in terms of their cars or customer service, either). I don’t know if this issue is commonplace with Hertz where you get a bunch of extra undisclosed taxes and fees added after your rental has been completed. If it is, I will for sure never book with Hertz again, even if I have Shpresident’s Schmircle Shtatus with them.
In the grand scheme of things, paying nearly $30 extra is not breaking the wallet, but…if I had known that this would happen, I wouldn’t have minded saving that $30, thank you very much. Or if I had received significantly more amazing amenities or service for my extra $30, that would be fine too. But instead, I am experiencing quite the opposite.
Anyone want to bet whether my 1000 bonus UA miles will post without intervention or not? 😛 (I think it will…)