• Report: #365171

Complaint Review: The Hertz Corporation

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  • Submitted: Wed, August 20, 2008
  • Updated: Thu, September 04, 2008

  • Reported By:Carlsbad California
The Hertz Corporation
225 Brae Boulevard Park Ridge, New Jersey U.S.A.

The Hertz Corporation hertz rent car gas fillup fill-up rent-a-car Park Ridge New Jersey

*Author of original report: Told to pound sand by Hertz...

*Author of original report: 4th e-Mail followup with Hertz with my reply

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This is very simple. Hertz at the main Atlanta Airport overcharged on actual gas used by the vehicle.

I returned the car and forgot to fill it. The drop off center immediately took the milage and gave me a receipt. Hertz is "supposed" to charge you the prevailing rate in the area for a gallon of gas, plus a $6.99 fill up fee.

Instead of checking how much gas I actually used, they went to a rate card for the class of car I was driving and charged it an ESTIMATED amount instead of the actual amount of gas I used.

I drove the car strictly on the highway, and according to the onboard computer (the exact same computer I have in my personal vehicle) I used approxmately 11 gallons of fuel, but because Hertz did not charge for actual fuel used, but charged instead an estimated amount, I was charged for approxmately 16.5 galons of fuel. The prevailing rate in the area was $4.10, thus I was overcharged over $22 for the phantom fuel.

When I contacted Hertz Customer Service, Patty Wolfe, a Customer Relations Administrator, steadfastly stood by that I used 16.5 gallons and to "prove it" she quoted the automobiles estimated city MPG (15 MPG, but again, I drove freeway miles the entire time - and my car at home not only uses the same onboard computer as the rental car, but it has the same engine, so I am very familiar with what a Ford 4.6L engine gets for milage) - which divided by the number of miles driven (approcmately 250) and then multiplied by the prevailing rate equaled EXACTLY, down to the penny, the amount I was charged.

To add further insult to injury, I was charged a sales tax on the fuel charge - which is already figured into the rate (is georgia different, do they charge an extra "sales tax" at the end of fill up - or are they like everyone else, and ahve it already figured into the price of a gallon). The sales tax was over $7.00 extra. If they were going to charge a sales tax, should they not deduct this from the "prevailing rate" since this is included in that rate.

In a nutshell - I was charged over $22 for gas I never used and $7.00 for sales tax that should (and is everywhere else) figured into the price of a gallon of gas for a GRAND OVER CHARGE TOTAL of $29.00!!

I am not sure about you, but this scam really needs to stop. I am only one customer - multiply this by how many other customers have been overcharged like this and you soon see that Hertz has a pretty sweet racket going...

Bryan L
Carlsbad, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/20/2008 08:35 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/The-Hertz-Corporation/Park-Ridge-New-Jersey-07656/The-Hertz-Corporation-hertz-rent-car-gas-fillup-fill-up-rent-a-car-Park-Ridge-New-Jersey-365171. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Told to pound sand by Hertz...

AUTHOR: Bryan l - (U.S.A.)

Well, it seems I agitated Hertz enough to have them have their senior legal counsel, a Ms. Louise Anna Johnson, shoot off a letter to me. When I attempted to contact Hertz again about about issues she glossed over, and why I never received a copy of the paperwork showing the actual fuel refilled in the car, I was in essance told to pound sand... Without further ado is Hertz's final communication (I assume) as well as the copy of the letter sent to me by Ms Lawyer [I make comments in the letter in brackets like this].

The Hertz Corporation
225 Brae Boulevard, Park Ridge, NJ 07656
Phone: (201)307-2857 Fax: 201)307-2876

Louise Johnson
Senior Staff Council
Legal

August 25, 2008

Bryan Lxxxxxxxxxx
xxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx
Carlsbad, CA xxxxxxx

Re: rental 166942086; refueling complint - Atlanta (file FA9233)

Dear Mr. Lxxxxxxxxxxx

By email letter dated August 21, 2008, Hertz provided you with a comprehensive description of its refueling policy. This is in response to your August 22 retort. As previously explained, you are always free to refuel on your own. If you choose to have Hertz arrange for refueling, Hertz charges consistently with methods and fees stated in its rental agreement and posted at the rental counter. [just not explained by the counter person who said that I'd be subject to a $6.9 refueling charge and $4.10 a gallon, the market rate for the area] Enclosed with this letter is an Invoice Report showing the amount billed and the miles traveled, and pages from the Terms and Conditions folder as refueling charges.

You would like to quibble bout the miles per gallon that you personally claim to have achieved for your 246-mile rental transaction [no, I''d like to pay what I owe, not be ripped off $30.00 extra dollars for phantom fuel]. Hertz is not in the business of selling fuel [actually Hertz
is, this was an option I was offered - than God I did not take it, I can only imagine what kind of fictional price gouging I'd have been subject to then]. As such Hertz is not legally obligated to make fine adjustments for unique mileage patterns [such as charging for the actual fuel used], or rely on any measure other then the odometer or fuel tank gauge. Hertz will charge based on either the miles driven or the portion of the tank remaining [well, not really, because there was a
lot more gas remaining in the tank then Hertz states]. The election of the mileage-method or the tank-method is based on whether you purchased fuel during your rental, so as to give you credit for fuel
contributed to the tank. Hertz has selected an objective and published standard for mileage consumption, which supports its mileage conversion. We understand that if you were operating Hertz, you might organize the business differently [you betcha! I'd not routinely overcharge customers, then lie to then, and then sick the legal council on the over $30.00], and assume that all rentals achieve the best possible mileage [again, no, I'd only charge for the fuel they used, unlike Hertz]. This is not realistic or reasonable. [I see no unreasonableness in running a company ethically, but o teach their own]

You point out that the actual price for the Fuel and Service Charge is higher than the local pump price because the additional $6.99 Refueling Charge.[um, no I didn't,I actually stated that this was a reasonable charge, didn't you actually read what I wrote??? I pointed out that the p
rice is higher because I was charged for fuel never used - phantom fuel, to the tune of $30.00] It is true that the effective rate is greater then the unit price, given the additional charge.[um, this is a red herring, it is ignoring the reality of the blatant overcharge] However, we reject your specious calculation that Hertz is effectively charging $7.00 per gallon, rather then the stated $4.10 per gallon plus tax [um, but you did - i was charged $81.57. If you minus out the $6.99 charge, then this is $74.58. I used 10.7 gallons of fuel - this I was charged an effective rate of $6.98 a gallon.] Hertz is legally required to charge 10% sales tax for rental services which includes refueling services, and so Hertz complies with the law by collecting and remitting such tax to the local and state government [this totally discounts the fact that your per gallon rate comparison of $4.10 is a per gallon rate that already includes all sales taxes. Thus Hertz pockets the difference - pretty slick way to pick up an extra 10%]. Many customers have found that Hertz's revised refueling pricing to be a great benefit and improvement over the previous pricing, where there was no Refueling Charge, but the unit price was much higher. [actually as I pointed out, it is still around $7.00 per gallon.] We regret that the new pricing does not appeal to you [actually being lied to, and cheated out of a 30.00 overcharge doesn't appeal to me], or that you are troubled that the transaction is subject to sales tax. You are free to reject Hertz's refueling by fueling on your own, or by renting from another company. [I do not wish to reject Hertz, all I am looking for is a refund of the $30.00 by Hertz]

Very truly yours,
Louise A. Johnson

======================================================

Since the lawyer did not leave an e-mail address, I attempted to contact Hertz again via their customer service e-mail:

sent 9-2-09

Hi,
I have not yet received a reply from you. I have received a reply from Louise A. Johnson, legal council for hertz, however, from her letter it is obvious she did not comprehend what I was asking. I am asking for the ACTUAL paperwork that showed how much gasoline you ACTUALLY put in the car. It is also a spurious argument that she said that I quibbled about the 6.99 refueling charge, I did not (if she had ACTUALLY READ the message, she would have seen that).. As stated before, hertz is engaged in a systematic method of overcharging for their fuel. All I am asking is that hertz uphold their side of the bargain, that I be charged $4.10 a gallon (an ad valorem comparison rate I might add) plus the reasonable $6.99 refueling charge. If Atlanta chooses to charge tax on this fuel, then your comparison rte, obviously, would be reduced to reflect this. Obviously, I caught you overcharging me an effective rate a $6.88 per gallon effective rate, all I am asking for is for you to refund the difference of the overcharge. Mrs. Johnson sttaed that hertz doesn't quibble about their fuel overcharges, but it is obvious that hertz is intent on pocketing some extra money at my expense. It is also puzzling that she stated that the amount of gas actually used doesn't matter - this is surprising since I was told that I would be charged $4.10 for a gallon of gas...
======================================================

Hertz's reply of 9-3-08 was basically "pound sand"...


Subject: Hertz Customer Relations, File #FA9233/RR #166942086
To: xxxx@xxxx.com
From: Linda L Baker
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 16:15:55 -0500
X-HzLegalBoiler: dclnpsm3 v2007-05-lx-01-ry-sm3 TXT Fri Jun 10 11:54:02 2005
X-HzReceived: from usokchb2.hertz.com (usokchb2.hertz.com [xx.xx.xx.xx]) by dclnpsm3.hertz.com (8.14.2/8.14.2/v2008-05-lx-01-ry-sm3) with ESMTP id m83LFuoQ020672

Dear Mr. Lxxxxxxxxxx:

We received your September 2 email, which follows Hertz's August 25 letter and August 21 email.

The reason you did not receive a response from me was because this matter was turned over to Louise Johnson in our Law Department. As such, your concerns were thoroughly addressed in Ms. Johnson's August 25th letter.

We're sorry that you continue to be dissatisfied with our answers. There
appears to be nothing further that we can provide that would be fruitful,
other than to remind you that you are always free to refuel on your own if you dislike the other options that Hertz provides.

Sincerely,

Linda L. Baker
Supervisor, Customer Relations
The Hertz Corporation
P.O. Box 26120
14501 Hertz Quail Springs Parkway
Oklahoma City, OK 73134
U.S.A.

Telephone: 405-775-4040
Fax: 405-290-2720
Email: lbaker@hertz.com
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#2 Author of original report

4th e-Mail followup with Hertz with my reply

AUTHOR: Bryan l - (U.S.A.)

I will still need a copy of the contract as well as the receipt with the actual fuel charge broken out. As I have thought, and as you admitted, you did not charge for actual fuel used, but based it on a calculation of miles driven divided by the lowest stated EPA MPG of the vehicle. Sweet racket - by doing this, and adding the extra tax, you in effect gained $30.00 extra that your company is not entitled to.

According to the [E]PA, this card gets 15 MPG city and 23 MPG highway. I have the very similar engine in my Ford Mustang GT (4.6L V8) so I am very familiar with what type of mileage these engines get. My Mustang and this Grand Marquis also share the exact same trip computer that estimates how much gas you used, the most I have ever had mine off was 0.1 gallon. I remember the last I checked right before turn in, it was between 10 and 11 gallons of gas used (indeed, 246 miles divided by the 23 MPG freeway comes out to 10.7 gallons of gas used). At first when I brought out the discrepancy, patty Wolfe kept insisting that I had used approximately 16.5 gallons - NOW HERTZ IS CHANGING THEIR STORY... HOW CONVENIENT...

Now, down to the math. hertz now states that they charge a comparable rate to the local area, is that true? The rate they came out with in the Atlanta area was $4.10/gallon (this comparable rate already included the tax)... So, with the reasonable $6.99 refueling charge, the total "should" have come out to $50.86... HOWEVER, Hertz now claims that in the fine print of their paperwork, they don't have to charge for the actual gas used - that they can now easily overestimate the gas used instead, thus I was charged $81.57 - a fraudulent overcharge of $30.71.. If the city of Atlanta forces you to charge 10% tax, then the area comparable rate should be 10% lower since it already includes this tax. Thus according to the math, Hertz charged me $6.88 / gallon!!!

APPARENTLY HERTZ HAS NOT CHANGED AT ALL - YOU HAVE JUST FOUND OTHER WAYS TO EFFECTIVELY CHARGE $7.00/GALLON!!! I cannot imagine why anyone would opt for your fill-up option, since it is plainly obvious that you charge way more then actual fuel needed to top the tank...

Again, I will still need a copy of the contract as well as the receipt with the actual fuel charge broken out. I would also like a copy of the paperwork form when the car was refilled to how much gas WAS ACTUALLY put in the tank (I can always ask, but I doubt Hertz would be willing to give up that information)...

Linda, is it RIGHT that Hertz should be allowed to continue in this blatant, grossly unfair, fraudulent behavior?


===========================================
At 11:54 AM 8/21/2008, Linda L Baker wrote:
Dear Mr. Lxxxxxxxxx:

Thank you for your e-mail regarding your rental in Atlanta. We take your comments very seriously and have carefully reviewed your concerns.

As you know, if Hertz refuels the car for you after the rental, the
refueling charge will be based on the fuel gauge reading or the miles
driven. If you have not refueled at all during your rental, your fuel
charge is based on miles driven. Otherwise, Hertz will examine the fuel
gauge and charge according to the portion of the tank that has not been
replaced. In your rental agreement, the refueling charge is expressed in
two ways, as a per gallon charge or as a per mile charge. In addition,
Hertz charges a flat Refueling Charge. In calculating the conversion factor from gallons to miles, Hertz uses both the vehicle tank size and the miles per gallon rating according to published statistics by the federal EPA for city driving. Individual fuel consumption can vary based on individual driving habits and the type of driving that is done.

We have confirmed that you were charged consistently with that stated in your rental agreement. According to your rental record, Hertz agreed to charge $4.10 per gallon or $0.273 per mile. The mileage conversion was correct, since the Mercury Grand Marquis has a 19-gallon tank capacity and is rated to get 15 miles per gallon for city driving. You may recall that the Hertz Instant Return Representative asked you whether you bought gas during the rental. Based on the 246 miles that you drove, and no fuel contribution during the rental, you were charged $67.16 for refueling plus the flat Refueling Charge. This was correct, and consistent with your rental agreement. For future reference, when you may be doing alot of driving, such that you may consume almost a full tank, the Fuel Purchase Option may benefit you. Under this choice, you purchase a full tank up front at a per gallon price that is less than the nearby pump price, but there is no refund for unused fuel and no flat Refueling Charge. Of course, you are always free to refuel on your own, and pay a local gas station for the fuel.

You were also concerned about tax on the refueling charges. While most
states have Ad Valorem charges built into the per gallon price of fuel, the
rental transaction is subject to an additional tax for rental charges and
services. For that reason, the State of Georgia imposes a tax on the
refueling charge. This tax is collected and remitted to the State of
Georgia.

We appreciate the opportunity of clarifying this matter.

Sincerely,




Linda L. Baker
Supervisor, Customer Relations
The Hertz Corporation
P.O. Box 26120
14501 Hertz Quail Springs Parkway
Oklahoma City, OK 73134
U.S.A.

Telephone: 405-775-4040
Fax: 405-290-2720
Email: lbaker@hertz.com
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