Hertz Holds Your Rental Hostage For Cash Deposit, To Be Returned In 2 Weeks

Ryan’s wife is currently traveling alone with their 3-month-old son on the way to an unexpected funeral near Salt Lake, Utah. Despite the fact that she paid for the rental up front as part of an Orbitz package, the local Hertz jerks are refusing to give her the car unless she goes to an ATM and brings back $200 cash, which they say they will mail back in check form a few weeks after she returns the car. Even Hertz says this isn’t their policy, but they can’t seem to stay on the phone long enough to help Ryan and his wife.

Hey guys, I wanted to relay an experience I’m having right this moment with Hertz, the rental car agency.

My wife’s cousin passed away very suddenly this week, and so my wife needed to fly to Salt Lake for the funeral. I booked a package for her with Orbitz that included flight, hotel, and car, and the car happened to be from Hertz. We travel very frequently, both domestically and internationally, and we’ve never used Hertz before, but I didn’t worry about it.

I was unfortunately unable to attend the service due to work commitments, so my wife had to go by herself with our three month old son. As any parent knows an infant is plenty of work with two people, not to mention one, so by the time my poor wife got to Salt Lake she was understandably tired.

She got her baggage, proceeded to get the rental car that we had already paid for, only to be told upon running her debit card that she did not have sufficient credit to rent the car. Now, we have perfectly decent credit. It isn’t crystal clear, but it’s fine. So, whatever, they want to charge us $200 as a deposit, which I don’t even particularly care about. However, they refuse to take a debit card. This is a debit available balance of at least $8,000, and they’re flat out refusing to take it, and insisting that we go to an ATM and get $200 in cash, and bring that to them as deposit. The kicker is that we will not get our deposit back upon returning the car in good condition, we get the deposit as a check in the mail, some undefined number of weeks later.

We’ve rented over a dozen cars in the last year, usually paid a deposit, but always in the form of a hold on a debit card, which is released upon the return of the vehicle. They’re asking us to pay the extra $2.50 or whatever in ATM fees (just annoying), and accept that we won’t see our money for several weeks, which is just unacceptable. I’m also totally uncomfortable with the lack of record of the cash handed over, and the fact that physical checks can be delayed, lost, etc, which I’m sure would put us in a holding pattern indefinitely before we see our money back.

Orbitz was unable to help with getting a different agency to give us a car, since they apparently do not do “day of” reservations. So, if my wife, who is completely grief stricken due to the loss of a close family member and carrying around a 3 month old baby, wants to drive to her cousin’s funeral, she has to fork over $200 in cash that we won’t see back for god knows how long. They are the only rental agency that does this in my experience, and it’s just ridiculous.

I called Hertz corporate and was actually told that it was not their policy by a seemingly nice representative, and that they should accept the debit card at their Salt Lake location, but the representative promply put me on hold and transferred me to roadside assistance, who OBVIOUSLY couldn’t help me, who then transferred me back to the beginning of the 20 minute hold queue. I then got ANOTHER representative who flat out hung up on me, and I’m now on hold yet again.

I’m pretty damned frustrated, and I’m never using Hertz again. Who the hell uses checks these days?

Based on this study, we’re guessing the Hertz staff member who’s doing this needs the cash to pay for online porn.

(Photo: stevendamron)