I’m Glad I Didn’t Call Hertz Roadside Assistance For An Actual Emergency

For a recent trip, Michael rented a car from Hertz. It was a hatchback. He had a tiny problem: the key he had opened the doors and started the engine and everything, but didn’t open the hatch. He tried a few different ways to contact customer service, but couldn’t find anyone to help him or didn’t receive an answer. He never needed trunk access during his trip…but what if he had?

Through Priceline, I rented a Hertz car for [redacted] Airport on December 21, for a week. After renting the car, I found I could not open the hatchback with the key. So I called Hertz’s roadside service number. Put on hold and then assigned to a place in queue, I gave up after 10 minutes. Then I called customer service, after 10 minutes spoke to an agent, who connected me again to the unresponsive roadside assistance number. RA advises to call the local rental agency, but that number isn’t published. I gave up and sent email to the customer service. After 3 days, no response.

So, not a big deal. I just didn’t use the hatch area. I re-test the lock every day, fail every day. What if I had a serious problem?

Priceline’s advice: don’t use the bid process, because I’ll then risk getting Hertz again. I will never rent from Hertz, ever.

Hertz probably responds to more important queries in proportion to their importance, assuming that you’re able to find the phone number for the local agency. It’s still dismaying to know that he was driving around without access to it, though. What if he had been hit with a sudden bout of shopping fever, or needed to pick up groceries?

It didn’t matter in the end to Michael, but had he really been in a bind, he could have called the airport’s main number and asked how to get through to the Hertz counter. Maybe that number would just kick him back to the regular customer service queue, but it’s worth a try.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.