Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hertz: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

A bunch of years ago, my husband and I flew into LAX and rented a car from Budget. It was cheap. The experience was awful. We said never again...we got what we paid for.

Fortunately we don't have to rent a car too often but this year has been different. I've been to Florida twice to visit my Dad (who now no longer drives), we went to a wedding in LA that called for a rental car, and then our stop in Denver on the way back from LA meant another one.

My first Florida experience was fine. Ditto for the rental experience at LAX. Actually that turned out to be great as the agent asked me if we'd like to have a free upgrade to a Prius. That was The Good.

Then it started to get Bad and Ugly. When I got to the counter in Denver I learned that I had been 'upgraded' from a sedan to an SUV. Not a problem until I took a look at the car and saw that it had no 'window shade' to cover whatever was in the trunk. All of our luggage, etc would be exposed to anyone who might walk by. Not good. Back I go to the rental counter. I had to wait while they cleaned one but I can get a sedan.

The Denver car is fine except I didn't notice until we were well on our way that all of the extra keys I was given were all together on a keyring that wouldn't open. So much for a spare key that my husband could carry. Not to mention the weight of all those keys that I was now carrying around.

Fast forward to Florida. This time I used the check in kiosk at the Hertz airport counter. Mistake. I didn't notice until I got onto the shuttle bus that I had been 'upgraded' to a Trailblazer. I took one look at the vehicle, with a running board to climb to get into the car, and decided this was not going to work for my 88 year old Dad or my 86 year old step-Mom.

Back I go to the rental counter and nicely explain why I need a sedan. A very understanding agent immediately got on the telephone to get a newly washed sedan for me.

I want to know why Hertz (or any other car rental company?) automatically upgrades a customer. Perhaps, as in my case, there is very good reason why I reserve a specific type of car.

Oh...and this sedan that I got ... with only 2400 miles on the odometer....the remote doesn't work......

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