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DO NOT use Hertz car rental out of LAX

NC
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33 posts
6 reviews
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DO NOT use Hertz car rental out of LAX

Flew into LAX on the way to visit family and had a car reserved at the Hertz office nearest the airport. When my husband and I arrived at the location, there were about 80 people waiting for vehicles and 3 agents on duty. Okay, willing to wait, got in line and the 3 agents dwindled to 1 then that brave soul also left. It was 8:50 when we arrived and we were accompanied by all the other east coast flights, it is not like they did not expect customers at that time. So, 80 some people are standing in line with no agents at the counter. A worker who was there was questioned and he responded that the managers were aware of the number of people waiting and the lack of agents. in other words THEY DID NOT CARE AT ALL. We waited over 2 hours and finally another rental agent came to the desk and began processing the customers. If I had not prepaid through PriceLine, I would have taken a cab to another car rental company and happily paid more for a vehicle.

The absolute worst customer service I have ever experienced while traveling. I have traveled all over the US and Europe and never been subjected to the total lack of caring at this Hertz location.

Anaheim, California
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1. Re: DO NOT use Hertz car rental out of LAX

Alas, this is a common Rental issue, especially in California. The costs of Labor are going up and up, not just in wages, but in benefits, and more and more rules and regulations of hours works, required breaks, extra.

The best thing to do is try and get as much done ahead of time as possible, such as joining the frequent renter program, so your info, including drivers license number, credit card, and preferences in optional add-ons are already in the system, many times those folks can bypass the line completely.

But with a Priceline booking, you might not get that option, so maybe shop around online, look for discount coupon codes, etc, but book directly from one of the Three Major Rental Car Companies and their brands to also help avoid the lines.

If you did both 1 and 2, I am pretty sure you would have not even had to stop at the main office, but go straight to the car pickup area, and find your name and the space# your car is in.

Atlanta, Georgia
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16 reviews
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2. Re: DO NOT use Hertz car rental out of LAX

"If I had not prepaid through PriceLine"

I will never understand why people complain about standing in a line that they have basically volunteered to stand in. Mistake #1 - did not join the (free) Hertz frequent renter program that lets you bypass lines. Mistake #2 - prepaid through Priceline, so no other options available. Mistake #3 - blamed Hertz for your own lack of planning.

I use Hertz almost exclusively when I fly into LAX, mainly because it is a "Gold Canopy" location. Basically I input all my information (driver's license, credit card, etc) into their system, and let them know what flight I am on. Within minutes of landing, I get a text message telling me what kind of car I have and what space number it is in. I catch the free shuttle to the Hertz lot, walk to the car, and drive off into the sunset. I do not typically check bags when I fly, so the total elapsed time from when I deplane until I am driving off the rental lot is usually about 45 minutes. No lines, no talking to a rental agent.

Anybody can do this. Really. Anybody.

-JimG

Edited: 23 February 2014, 20:54
NC
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33 posts
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3. Re: DO NOT use Hertz car rental out of LAX

So it is my fault that Hertz in LA does not have enough employees or care about their customers? Ok then, my mistake.

Anaheim, California
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25,711 posts
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4. Re: DO NOT use Hertz car rental out of LAX

No (to the OP) it is not all your fault...

As stated earlier, Rental Car Companies in general are cutting back on Labor Hours.

But this Forum is designed to talk to tourists and give hints/suggestions, and as stated, doing as much as you can do prior to arriving at the Rental Counter will greatly help out your experience.

I think the one thing, it is not just Hertz that has the issue, I have seen similar complaints for Avis, Enterprise and many other major rental brands.

But there is the point of opting for a "discounted" price, there are always tradeoffs, so when you opt for something like Priceline, you are going to get the basic Hotel Room near the Elevator, and having no access to things like Frequent Stay/Rental programs, which is what the companies main bread and butter come from.

Edited: 23 February 2014, 23:10
Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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5. Re: DO NOT use Hertz car rental out of LAX

>>>Ok then, my mistake<<<

Yup, and JimGinAtlanta laid out why very nicely.

One of the places you should never, ever cut corners on a vacation is the rental car. Few things can ruin a vacation faster than a bad car rental.

And you should always belong to the rental car company's loyalty club so you can skip counters and go directly to your car off the airplane. Then it is irrelevant how many employees are working the counter.

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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6. Re: DO NOT use Hertz car rental out of LAX

Researching rental cars is the point, more or less, of these kinds of forums (rather than complaining about them afterwards - for which, go over to Yelp - where you'll also see some faint praise of Hertz LAX but mostly *exactly* the same thing as what you just said). Naturally, as Jim says, people who opt for better customer service through rewards programs get better service.

This question comes up all the time. Many a person has decided to leave LAX to go to the Marriott (I think it's Hertz that's there) where there are not nearly so many problems. Many people decide to hop a bus to Santa Monica and pick up a car there (it takes about 10 minutes to get there, and no one complains about the wait).

Quite frankly, it's getting harder and harder to get people to work in the airport area. There are a few housing tracts nearby, but mostly, it's highly industrial and commericial for quite a large area around the airport, and no one wants to live underneath the flight path. Public transportation in L.A. is slow. Gas prices are high. Would you actually want to work at LAX if you could find a job closer to home - one you could walk to? There are, in general, no shortages of minimum wage jobs in LA. Most of the airport concessionaires must lure people to work with benefits and higher than minimum wage - but that's reflected in their prices.

Whereas, bargain hunters who go on Priceline get exactly what they pay for. There's almost always a reason why something is underbooked/cheap. Now, having said that, the business model for most car rental agencies is to overbook (both in terms of number of cars available and in terms of number of employees). Makes more sense to them. People who have prepaid (and I'll bet that's almost everyone standing in that line - who in their right mind would wait that long if they hadn't? Would be faster to hop the shuttle back to the airport - after contacting another car rental agency by phone - and take a city bus to that other agency).

I'm guessing that if those rental agencies passed the true cost of proper staffing on to their customers, many fewer people would be all excited about their "cheap deal" at LAX.

Atlanta, Georgia
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7. Re: DO NOT use Hertz car rental out of LAX

"So it is my fault that Hertz in LA does not have enough employees or care about their customers?"

No, it is your fault that you put yourself in a position where the lack of staffing created an unnecessary delay.

You keep focusing on what Hertz did or did not do, when instead you should be focusing on what YOU could have done to avoid the problem in the first place. What's done is done - instead of complaining about what happened, learn from the experience so that you don't repeat the same mistakes next time.

-JimG

San Francisco
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36,629 posts
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8. Re: DO NOT use Hertz car rental out of LAX

You get what you pay for. And with rental cars that "deal" oftentimes doesn't turn out to be so good.

Priceline for hotel rooms? Generally OK although some people say you get the worst rooms that way too. But still, a rose is a rose is a rose, the inside of most rooms is standard and everyone has to check-in to the hotel.

For rental cars? Not such a great idea. As you found out.

If you had asked here first you would have gotten advise that would have prevented that pain point in your holiday. Which I hope was otherwise lovely.

Los Angeles
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for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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9. Re: DO NOT use Hertz car rental out of LAX

This is probably a good time to reassure LibraryLady that many, many (legions) other people have made the same mistake. From what I can tell, the car rental situation at LAX is as bad as ever - or worse. It may be the worst car rental customer service (for the prepaid folks) of any airport in the world - I'm sure it's in the running.

I hope you didn't have one of those itineraries where every second mattered and you thought you'd be halfway to Grand Canyon within 4 hours of landing. We try to tell people how unrealistic this is - unless they have a Gold Level Membership in Hertz (or some other company) and even then, the average time of waiting is apparently still 15-20 minutes.

We haven't had this happen at Hertz, but we have been *astonished* at the lack of customer service at two rental car agencies local to us (out in the suburbs). Fortunately, they do have one employee that's higher than minimum wage and she works diligently to get the line to move (which is usually 3-4 people deep but takes FOREVER because the employees disappear from their counter, go to the computer to do what-not or go outside to do the carside paperwork and have a 45 minute long conversation with the customer - who is often a salesman trying to give them a pitch before doing his traveling salesman thing). One day, I waited for 45 minutes behind one salesman (who was selling monthly "all you can use" dry-cleaning services - and the car rental guy was *interested* (they wear suits, in theory - but the service also included, for a small extra fee, the laundering of dress shirts).

So, it's not just you - and maybe, in NC, it's different (but I'll bet that more tourists rent cars in L.A. than in NC, maybe not).

The failure of people to return their cars on time to LAX is legendary (given that people give themselves 5 days to see Grand Canyon, Page, Zion, Las Vegas and Death Valley...with activities at each place...)

Edited: 24 February 2014, 00:30
West Hollywood...
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for Los Angeles
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10. Re: DO NOT use Hertz car rental out of LAX

I'll take a separate tack (although I don't disagree with much of what has been said). When the clerks disappear (I've seen it happen at a number of offices) it USUALLY means that they've run out of cars. It's easier for them to just keep you waiting than to repeat over and over again: "We don't have cars" and cause a number of people to walk away. Keep in mind that MOST people do not pre-pay for their rentals so if they knew that there were no cars, they would be tempted to leave. So, Hertz (and others) just delay (but cutting back on staff) so that the truth doesn't come out. Over time, more cars are returned so the shortage is usually short-lived.

The reason this happens is because, as said, most people don't pre-pay so therefore, some people fail to appear to get their cars. Since the car rental companies know this, they deliberately accept more reservations than they have cars. If fewer people than normal 'fail to show' one day, there can be a temporary shortage of cars. I'm guessing that's what happened in your case. Sadly, these fluctuations are hard to predict.

I do think it's a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to say "do not use Hertz at LAX' based upon one experience, though -- anymore than you'd say: "ALWAYS use Hertz" [because you had a great experience]

I hope your next car rental experience is better!