Saturday, November 19, 2005

Thanks for Nothing Hertz Rent a Car

I got a call from my Dad last night. They were stranded in Ann Arbor Michigan and were trying to rent a car. Actually they were only in Ann Arbor for the evening then they were going to get a plane ride to Cedar Rapids IA today. They had gotten to Ann Arbor on an Angel Flight so Mom could see her doctor there. Unfortunately they had to stay longer than expected and their return Angel Flight was canceled. The folks at Angel Flight assured them that they would get them home but it might take several days. They had transportation arranged to Cedar Rapids but would be unable to get them back to Cheyenne before Thanksgiving. So Dad decided that they could drive from Cedar Rapids if he could get a rental car.

Since Mom and Dad's funds are limited Dad had been shopping around for a good rate for a car. The cheapest one way rental he could get was at Hertz. I have used Hertz a lot for business travel and never had any trouble with them. But Dad did. They would not rent him a car with his debit card. Due to issues that I'm not going to go into here, Mom and Dad don't have any credit cards.

Dad called me last night and asked if I could get him the car. He gave me his reservation number and I gave Hertz a call. Once I got connected to a human being I explained the situation and said I wanted to put the charges for Dad's rental on my Credit Card.

Hertz just flat refused to do that. I was told that they would not rent a car to anyone, under any ircumstances, that did not have a credit card in their name and in their position at the time they picked up the car. I asked how I was able to get off a plane in Washington DC then, ride their bus to the Hertz parking lot, tell the driver my name and gold club member number, and get dropped off at a car that I could just get in a drive out of the lot. They let me rent that car without ever seeing my credit card.

I tried to explain the special circumstances involved in this case but the cold hearted bitch that I was talking to didn't care. I then told her I wanted to rent a car for myself out of Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, I was a gold club member and I wanted to list my father as an alternate driver. She refused to rent me the car. So I guess this gold club membership of mine is useless since they won't rent me a car when I need it.

When I asked what my options were to get my parents out of Cedar Rapids next tuesday she told me to buy them a bus or plane ticket. I explained that the chemo my mother's illness is requiring her to undergo will not allow her to ride on commercial air or ground transportation. Then this woman told me "I don't care what happens to your parents because they will not be renting a car from Hertz." Then she hung up on me.

I called dad back and told him that Hertz wouldn't rent him a car without a credit card. He is going to see what his other options out of Cedar City are and get back to me tomorrow. I told Dad he could try taking Mom down to the local office and make sure she throws up a couple times while there. Then tell them that since they are stranded there they would love to rent a car and leave, but they only have a debit card and are not sure what to do. He said he hopes it won't come to that.

So, thanks for nothing Hertz. Here is also a friendly warning for the rest of you. Don't ever let yourself get into a situation where your transportation needs depend on Hertz. They cannot be depended upon. Especially if you don't happen to have a credit card on you at the moment. I guess they don't believe that old slogan on the cash in Dad's pocket - "Legal tender for all debts public and private." Funny, I don't remember ever seeing that written on any credit card I've ever owned.

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