Learn From My Stupid Mistake: Ask For Total If Hertz Offers You An Upgrade

Jon made a Hertz reservation through Hotwire.com, and his grand total was to be $110. At the counter, they offered him an upgrade, for $123. Here’s the problem, and what he wants to warn the Consumerist community about: he failed to clarify that the upgrade would be for $123 more than the original total, not a grand total of $123 and an upgrade fee of only a few bucks per day.

I recently had some trouble with Hotwire and Hertz. The trouble was my fault for not paying close attention at the Hertz counter, but it’s a tricky something for readers to watch out for.

Over the holidays, I booked a car through Hotwire for $110. At the Hertz counter, they offered me an upgrade and said it would be $123. I assumed my new total would be $123, because who in their right mind would pay an additional $28/day to go from a Corolla to an Altima, but Hertz considered this a new charge–meaning the total cost of my rental would be $223.

The point of confusion is that my receipt at the counter didn’t say “$110 + $123 upgrade,” it just said “$123.” To be fair to Hertz, they did offer me a $20 coupon for the confusion. I know it’s my fault, but it’s left a really bad taste in my mouth that it cost me more than $50/day to rent a utilitarian sedan. A hundred bucks for two extra cylinders in the engine!