copy of letter sent to Hertz etc.

Dear Hertz,

I am writing to express my anger over a charge I that has been made to my credit card for a ‘one way’ car rental I made in Spain recently. The total rental charge is 968 Euro (Eu). I expect this to be refunded ASAP.

The situation was that I was in Barcelona on holiday, and needed to get to France to collect a pre-booked rental car from Hertz (through drive away holidays). I looked into several forms of transportation to France to collect the car from Hertz, and decided on booking a 1 day rental car from Hertz, which I was quoted 40Eu from the Hertz internet site. A copy of the confirmation email from Hertz is attached.

The following day I picked up a Fiat Punto from one of your down town Barcelona offices. The girl on desk was very helpful and I was more than happy with the service. In fact I was so happy that I gave her the remainder of my un-used Metro tickets. I had explained to her we would be dropping off the car in Perpignan, and even gave her the Hertz confirmation email for the car I needed to get to using the Auto I was getting from her. I remember giving her the paper because I was worried about not pronouncing Perpignan correctly. I left there with the confirmed understanding that she did not care what time in the following morning or where I dropped to car off, and that all was, or seamed fine.

I drove the car to Perpignan, France and after finding it very hard to find the Hertz office I was told there was no car for me and I would need to go to the airport to get my car. On getting to the airport I was given an Opel Zafria though I had booked Peugeot 406. I had booked the 406 because it has a concealed boot, and therefore safer for storage of bags etc. I was not happy with the Zafria as it has an open hatch and also uses a lot more fuel. It also became obvious that we were given the Opel because it was the only car left over due to some sort of error by Hertz. I assume this because the car was filthy, the fuel was only 2/8 full & the car had damage on both sides of the rear bumper. I was made aware of the fuel before I took the car and was reimbursed the extra fuel on return, but it is still a little annoying to have to fill a car up as soon as you get into it.

The Hertz staffer at Perpignan was also very helpful and at the time and should also be commended on her friendly & efficient service. My only issue is that she also knew I was dropping the car off from Barcelona and never mentioned anything about the extra charge. Again, due to a possible language barrier, I gave her a copy of my rental receipt for the Auto I was dropping off which clearly had Barcelona as the pick up location. I also asked the question “40Eu is that it? Nothing more to pay?” the answer was “yes sir, 40 is all” I asked this because a German fellow had just asked the same question when he had dropped his rental off.

As I mentioned before, prior to making contact with the girl at the Perpignan Airport I had attempted to pick up and drop of the car at the Downtown office to no avail. There to I haded over all receipts to make sure all was worked out correctly and explained it to the girl there. Again there was no mention of an extra fee as I was just told to go to the airport to pick up my other car.

So at this stage Hertz staff had 3 opportunities to mention the fee but had not. If anyone at all had explained it to me by this stage I would have still been in the position to drive both cars back to Barcelona (with help from girlfriend) to drop the Fiat off and avoid fee. But in fact the first I knew of the penalty was about 5 days later via a phone call from the Barcelona office asking where the car was. I mentioned that I had dropped it off in Perpignan as arranged before only to be told I would be charge a fee of around 350Eu for not returning it the car to Barcelona. As you can imagine I was shocked and very angry and told the girl that I ‘did not authorize Hertz to take the money from my account’. I also contacted a girl in (German) customer service named Kirsten and was told that she would sort it out once I had faxed through a story of the situation. I did this at my own cost and time to never hear anything back.

Since returning to Australia I have found that not only had the charge been put through but it was well over 350Eu and was about 920Eu! As you can guess I am very disappointed about this because not only do I feel deceived by the staff, I also feel like Hertz have taken the chance to rip me off. The charge I assume is for transporting the car back to Barcelona? If I remember correctly it was about a 300km drive? That’s 30Eu per Km! A little extreme I feel! Also if I can put this in perspective for you – 920Eu when converted to $AUS is about $1700, or roughly the same as the average Australian MONTHLY wage after tax.

Drawing to a close I would like to apologise for not being able to give you more concise rental/contract details, but as I mentioned before the girls at each office kept them at each change or drop off. I also trust this fee will be refunded quickly as I don’t think I am, or can be held responsible for it when I was never told about it until after the fact.

Also I would like to point out that I have copied many organisations to this letter. I have done so because I only use Hertz due to your partnerships or affiliations of these other bodies in some way. For example, Qantas is who I use, and always have used to fly. If Hertz do not help me out with this misunderstanding I will be forced to break my ties with Qantas and their partners. After all I only use Hertz because Qantas recommends them. If this is the way Hertz treat their customers then the others must or could be the same. I have used Hertz in the past many times but naturally will not use you in the future if I am not refunded the amount of the penalty in full. I, and friends, are looking into our next two trips over the next two years already. At this stage it looks like there will be about A$3500 in car hire for these two holidays alone.

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Regards,

Matthew Allanson
(618) 82603333