ED Magedson – Founder
Hertz Car Rental - The Hertz Corporation - Hertz Global14501 Hertz Quail Springs Parkway Oklahoma City, Oklahoma United States of America
Stay away from Hertz's British car rental agency, which we booked via American Airlines' Travel department. We picked up the first rental car at Heathrow at 8:30 am, 8/25/09. It had 5286 miles on it when we took it out and 5386 miles when it broke down a total of 100 miles that we drove. The clutch balked each time it was used. When it balked before we even left the Heathrow lot, we should have known it was bad, but we chalked it up to unfamiliarity with this manual-drive car.
We drove immediately onto the M4 highway, where the clutch was rarely needed, and got off the highway at about 9:30 am at Swindon to visit the main post office downtown (to exchange currency). Then, with the clutch still balking, we left Swindon heading south.
We no sooner got across the M4 when the clutch started burning as well as balking. We got onto a back road, where it quit entirely (at about 10:20 am) That was when we learned that Hertz's "emergency" number, on their car keys, is for their contractee, the British Automobile Association, and that we had been given NO Hertz phone number that could help us get a second car.
After a two-hour wait, an Automobile Association mechanic answered our emergency call and towed us and the dead car to the Swindon Volkswagon dealer (because its still under warrantee, he was told). In his tow truck, since the phone was on speaker mode, we heard the Swindon Hertz Rental manager, say she had one car on the lot but she wouldnt let that one go to us: she was saving it in case someone walks in.
We sat in the VW lot in the broken-down car while the mechanic attempted all day to find another Hertz dealer who was willing to bring us a replacement car. We asked about another car rental agency and were told then that Hertz is the only car agency whose contract with Automobile Association specifies that only another Hertz car can be substituted.
We tried phoning Hertz but the phone number on the Hertz rent-a-car form had been changed and that number got us to someone at the Heathrow Hertz rental desk. He said he was just a rental desk clerk, had no phone that could make calls, and didnt know how he or we could reach anyone higher up who could help us. We then phoned the US to American Airlines Car Rental, through which we made this car rental, and got us another car reservation.
Though she promised the car for 9 am the next morning, Swindon Hertz, where evidently the rental reservation was forwarded, did not deliver that car until almost noon on 9/26 despite our pleas with the manager. This first replacement cars left front tire was marked by Hertz on its pre-inspection form as scuffed, and with only 5mm tread.
As we drove the car, it kept steering leftward needing constant, vigilant correction for three days. At some point we were forced into a curb, nicking the rim. It then leaked air, but unnoticeably slowly at first because we were doing very little driving on 8/27 and 8/28. But when we got on the M6 highway on 8/29 on our way from Stratford to Blackpool, the leaking of the tires air accelerated and it flattened noticeably.
We stopped at Exit 15 M6 Service Station at 4:30 PM and discovered that the car held no spare tire. By luck Automobile Association mechanic Dave was in the lot picking up another disabled car. He phoned for help for us. At 7:30 pm another mechanic finally arrived. He phoned around and found that the nearest place where we could get another Hertz car was Manchester airport.
He towed the broken-down car and us to the airport, where we arrived at 10:30 pm. We were exhausted (again) from a day of keeping this cars bad steering from causing an accident and then from sitting for hours in a parking lot, missing dinner reservation at a posh resort and a paid-for after-dinner show in Blackpool which had been contemplated as a big highlight of our trip through England. At the airport Hertz we signed all the forms for yet a third car.
After an hour and a half of searching it couldnt be found. At nearly midnight we got a fourth car. It was there and it was in working order. The rest of the trip, we had no car trouble.
Were told that Hertz UK advertises its policy as if your rental car breaks down well bring you another one right away. With us, Hertz violated this policy not once but twice. Hertz ruined three days out of the ten days of our ten-day B=England driving trip and caused us frustration, exhaustion and untold anguish for the entire ten days of car rental. We claimed compensation for lost reservations, lost travel time and wear and tear. We got NONE despite having names, dates, and all other corroborating evidence. All Hertz did was reverse the charge they'd erroneously put on our credit card for the broken clutch!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/21/2010 11:07 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Hertz-Car-Rental-The-Hertz-Corporation-Hertz-Global/Oklahoma-City-Oklahoma-73134/Hertz-Car-Rental-The-Hertz-Corporation-Hertz-Global-Hertz-Corp-Hertz-UK-Hertz-provid-557893. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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