Just had an eye-opening experience at the Newark Airport Hertz. For the record, I live in NYC and maybe rent a car once or twice every couple of years. Normally I will Zipcar for my needs. So I am not a seasoned traveler when it comes to rental cars.
Like most people, when looking for this kind of service logically you want to get the best price you can when renting a car in the Tri-State area. For those of you who don't know NYC has THE most expensive rates for cars in the country. So if you live here you inherently know the rates are better at airports and out of state like Newark Airport in New Jersey. Anyway, I found a great deal on a vehicle on Hotwire for an Intermediate SUV for $25.99/day. You prepay for the length of the rental when using this service. No problem. You can also add insurance at an extra $9/day which I declined since I was using the benefits from my credit card.
I show up at Hertz Newark to get my vehicle. The person at the counter was pleasant and helpful. I stated to her I did not want to add any insurance to the vehicle since I was using my CC for this purpose. So far so good. She needed to take a deposit of which I gave her my bank card for. This is explained on Hotwire that the car co. would do this. No problem. She puts up on the screen all the insurance that I declined. I signed at the bottom and off I went not thinking another thing of it. I return the car 8 days later. On the receipt I see the amount that I had paid on Hotwire plus what I thought was additional taxes. No red flags at this point because I wasn't sure how the billing works between Hotwire and Hertz so I thought nothing of it.
A few days go by and I'm looking at my bank account and I see a charge for the same amount as what I paid Hotwire for the car. I called the 800 number but was told Customer Service isn't open on the weekends. I call back on Tuesday to let them know it was an error and I needed to be credited. NOW is when things went off the rails. It appears that I was charged $29.99/day for Loss Damage Waiver to the tune of $239.92 plus tax.
Putting aside my stupidity for not noticing when I picked up my car the error that had been made. In the world of logic why on earth would I knowingly do that? Why would I knowingly ok something that would cost me more than the cost of the rental to begin with. If I wanted extra insurance I would have bought the $9/day version on Hotwire. Customer Service (Dee or Bree) explained that they only deal with the contract and it stated I signed for the extra LDW. I asked her what possible sense that would make. She told me it makes sense to have protection on their vehicle. Which tells me she was more concerned with the company than of being any service to me. She stated there was nothing she could do. When I asked for the person who ran the department she would only give me the corporate HQ general number. She also pushed me off to the Newark Hertz branch and to talk to the station manager.
I called the Newark Hertz and spoke to Derek a manager. Not the station mgr but he seemed willing to help at least. He stated that he was sorry for the inconvenience but because the contract was closed out he could only offer a gift certificate. He explained it would be very difficult to refund anything. At this point I wasn't going to argue with him. Even though they only give a maximum of $50 on a GC he would send me an amount for the total of the error.
Thanks Derek. At least he was doing something. But I decided this was not going to satisfy this issue. Once I receive the GC I will send it back because this is wrong. This should have never happened to begin with and while I hit myself for not reading the ENTIRE Rental Record and deciphering what I had agreed to. Hertz's response was not exceptable. I see where we BOTH were at fault but I don't see how I should bear the financial burden of the mistake. Gift Cert. means you have to do business with them again in the future if you want your money back. Not something I will be doing. Next step will be to write to Hertz HQ.
Never have I needed to write a review like this. Thank you for taking the time to read it. I hope it may help others in the future.