If you rent a car from Hertz and you miss your return flight, the company will charge you $200 in cancellation fees. However, if you drive the car for more than 12 hours, you have to pay $150. When you leave the car in another state, you have to pay an additional $50 per night. You can also be charged $50 if you hand back the car to them without any damage.

A reader wrote me in November, 2017, to ask the question: “Are you aware that Hertz is threatening him with criminal prosecution over a car he didn’t rent?” It was at first difficult to take the threat seriously, since the alleged offender in question is a complete stranger. But it is not as unusual as it might seem, since Hertz was smart enough to find the man’s name in public records and send him a threatening letter. The reader is being threatened with a $20,000 fine, which would be paid into the general fund of the city, if the man doesn’t pay up before January, 2018. The letter includes a copy of the warrant against him, that

A Reader Is Being Threatened With Criminal Prosecution By Hertz Over A Car He Never Rented

A reader is threatened with a lawsuit by Hertz for a car he never rented

Gary Leff 10. July 2024

I argued that Hertz needs to do something very basic, which is to strike the right balance between the number of cars it owns and the number of rentals it takes on, and expand its fleet to meet demand. Hertz needs to stop filing false police reports against its customers. They have a new edition now that I haven’t seen yet, but it’s consistent with everything we’ve learned about Hertz the Basketmaker.

Hertz charged the reader the full rental price of the car, even though he had used points. A man spent 5 years in jail because Hertz did not issue a receipt proving his innocence. But perhaps the most consistent problem with Hertz is that customers are sent to jail for stealing cars they actually returned.

This is what usually happens,

  • The customer changes the vehicle or extends the rental period
  • Changes are not displayed properly in Hertz systems
  • It appears that the customer did not return the vehicle when he should have.
  • Hertz files complaint with police
  • And it remains true to its history

A reader told me he had been accused of car theft by Hertz. This reader received a letter dated the 29th. June, who said he bought the car on June 24 at the Las Vegas airport and did not. This reader told me that he has not left the state of California since pandemicbegan. It’s been a long time since you rented a car from Hertz and it’s been a long time since you’ve been to Las Vegas.

He also shares,

Four people I know but don’t communicate with received text messages with my name and information about rent arrears and a warrant for my arrest.

They’re trying to contact Hertz. They face uncertain waiting times and their emails go unanswered. I advised,

  • Write to Hertz via the delivery service and receive an acknowledgement of receipt
  • Let them know they are talking to the wrong person about the missing rental car, that that person did not rent the car (and was not in Las Vegas before that, nor did they rent any other cars from Hertz).
  • And bringing the problem to their attention will prevent it from getting worse.

I asked them to collect credit card statements and other documents to prove they were there at the time of the rental. (To make matters worse, Hertz didn’t tell them the start date of the rental agreement, only the date the car was to be returned, the VIN number, and the fact that it was a Cadillac with Hawaiian license plates.)

I suggested capturing as much information as possible about the locations, both about the encounters (people who can confirm) and about the routes (possible cameras). Gather as much evidence as possible that renting this car would have been impossible. But for that, he needs to know when he was hired.

What additional measures would you take?

Lake View from the Wing

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