Letter of Complaint

Trip Start Mar 11, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Having worked in corporate for way too long I have a keen sense of how things work - the politics, the hierarchy, the fact that crap falls harder from a greater height. That's why when we experienced consistently poor service from Hertz I addressed my letter of complaint to the Internal Head of Customer Service at Hertz Corporation. That's how to get a satisfactory resolution!


Dear Terry
I feel aggrieved by the quality of service I received at Hertz Tallahassee, FL branch today (Tuesday 23rd August 2011) at approximately 2pm.  I returned a faulty car 3 days after hiring it in Homestead, FL for a week. The A/C system was faulty - not always cooling properly, leaking water under the dash on the passenger side and causing condensation on the window screen. You can imagine what an impact this has especially considering the 95+ temperatures at this time of year. Plus the engine was regularly missing a beat, an indication of an imminent problem.
It's not in my nature to throw a tantrum nor to put up a scene although I've witnessed many customers get their way by doing this. But I don't believe that I should therefore settle for inferior service as I experienced in this instance. I was happy to accept the same class of car with a working A/C and not even mention the petrol required to return the car prematurely and veer off our path to New Orleans. Returning the car required a detour into the traffic jams of Tallahassee city centre. I'll never get the time wasted back, especially time while on vacation! 
All they apparently had available was a hatchback in the same class. This meant significantly less luggage space. At no point was there is any apologies from any of the 3 people on duty - not for the faulty A/C nor for not having a sedan available. Plus they were unwilling to upgrade to the next available class of sedan, and expected me to pay the $20 difference. And I'm sure the cost to Hertz is even less. How much do you think the petrol to detour into and out of Talahasee cost? But they seemed indifferent and unempathetic to the inconvenience I had been put through. And we ended up worse off! And out of pocket, with time wasted on vacation.
They seem to believe that it was just an exchange so the hatchback was fine as it's the same class. But it's not simply an exchange! It was the return of a FAULTY car requiring a waste of time and money on my, the customer's, part! They by no means were the cause of the problem but as reps of Hertz they have the power to remedy the situation. They chose not to.
So when we finally squeezed all our luggage into the tiny boot and started the car, we discovered that the tank was less than full. Again, something I would normally let slide but by this point I was extremely annoyed. Quite fed up actually. So back inside I trekked to tell them. Lets hope the note they made on my account is visible when we return the car, stating that we will return it less than empty.
Now compare this to my experience hiring a car twice with Alamo last month. Relatively the service was great! Effortless, uneventful, courteous, and caring. They simply did what they said they should do, nothing extraordinary. So after this experience I am hesitant to use Hertz again, nor to recommend them to anyone. Even when collecting the car there were issues. Only one person was on duty on a Saturday which meant no one was available to do a pick-up. As we were unfamiliar with the area we got lost walking there on foot in the heat, following directions on Google maps. It turns out that this is an ongoing problem and that customers often get lost at an intersection 5 miles away from the actual office. All this I was willing to forgive, but this is just too much now.
Please let me know how you will make recompense for this experience, and if not, to whom I can escalate the matter.
Thanks in advance
Deidre Lee


Reply from his P.A. 7 days later:

Dear Ms. Lee

Your recent e-mail to Mr. Terrence Graham regarding your rental in Homestead has been forwarded to me for review. 

First of all, I hope you will accept my sincere apology for the difficulties you have experienced with this rental.  You have every right to expect to receive a vehicle that has been properly cleaned, serviced, and in good mechanical condition.  The fact that you experienced problems is unacceptable and I am sorry for the inconvenience this caused you and your family while trying to enjoy your vacation.  Your entire experience with Hertz relating to this rental is both disappointing and concerning, and is in no way indicative of the high standards of service we strive to maintain.   

In light of the poor service you have received, I have authorized a credit for $100.00.  This will be posted to your American Express account in 3 to 5 business days.  I understand the credit in no way make up for the poor experience with Hertz.  However, we very much value and appreciate your business and hope you allow us the opportunity to regain your confidence in Hertz.   

Ms. Lee, although difficult to hear, feedback such as yours provides us the opportunity to improve our service, so I want to thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. 


Sharon Rose 
The Hertz Corporation 
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