Hertz has displayed poor service from top management to the lowest employee on the rung.
Upon arriving at the PHL airport location I was greeted with the longest, slowest-moving line I have ever endured at a car rental location: one hour to get to a representative. This was only the beginning.
Once I do reach an assistant I still do not immediately get assigned a car. "Try again, " I hear my rep tell the guy on the other end of her headset. As I wait, a distressed female employee behind the counter asks another employee what to do. They don't, she says, have enough cars for all the reservations. I wait patiently. My fiancée who has been standing outside with our luggage, calls me to find out what is taking so long. I tell him they seem to be low on cars. Then, miracle of miracles, I am assigned a car, handed a contract and told to exit behind me and pick my car up curbside. I go to fetch my fiancée & luggage outside the other exit. I find him on the phone with my nephew; he hangs up and follows me to the pick-up area. Arriving at our car we find another couple loading their things in the car assigned to us. After comparing contracts we find that we were both assigned this car. I go back to the rep. A different rep takes over and says that he will get us another car and personally escort me to it. That seemed nice, I thought. It wasn't.
The rep escorts us past the pick-up line and into the lot itself. There was a line of cars poised to go somewhere behind a row of cars in parking spaces. We are escorted behind the cars in spaces, next to the line-up of poised cars with keys in the door. We stop behind a black Ford Fusion which was first in the line, without a car in front of it. The rep says "Here you go, take it and run, " he says before handing me the contract and damage sheet and taking off. I laugh. I'm still not mad. Tired and frustrated, but not mad. That changes as we load ourluggage into the Ford.
A worker on the lot runs over to us and tells us that we can't have that car, "it doesn't belong to you." I tell him that we were escorted personally to this car after an agent double-booked our original car. He (a guy named Joseph) asks to see our paperwork. This Ford is apparently a new return awaiting detailing. I hand over the contract explaining that I never looked at the contract because we were personally escorted here. Joseph shows us to a white Gallant parked in a space diagonally from the Ford. My fiancée starts snapping photos of the fiasco. Another yellow-shirt wearing man joins Joseph to make sure we get out of the Fusion. I tell Joseph that this is my first Hertz experience and I am not impressed. Could things get worse? Funny you ask.
Joseph tells me that there is no need to inspect the car for damage because it is brand new. I insist. When I walk to the front I notice deep scratches and a pushed-in lower grill. When I point it out, Joseph marks it down saying that "it must have happened on the carrier." As if that would explain his trying to stiff me with the damages. Then Joseph goes away along with his co-worker. My fiancée turns to get his phone (a new iPhone 4) that he had just used to take photos documenting the situation from the black Ford Fusion. The Ford is gone and so is his phone.
Greg yells for the return of the car. Joseph and the other guy are nowhere to be found. A nice lady employee attempts to help us but she doesn't really know what's going on. No one knows what Ford Fusion we are talking about. "It was just here, " we say, "waiting to be detailed." again we tell our story. Eventually Joseph returns telling us that there is no way to know what car that was since we didn't ever have the paperwork for it. He says that they have "lots" of black Ford Fusions with buttons above the door handle. Obviously, Joseph didn't know that I knew that there weren't enough cars on the lot for all the reservations and that cars were revolving from return to was to new renter. He refused to help in this regard. Greg asked to see the lot cameras in that case--track the car--but Joseph says the cameras don't reach that far. Joseph told us to leave and it will turn up in lost and found. I then see the still-wet Fusion pull to the loading curb. I run as Joseph tells me I can't--that might not be the same car, he says.
I insist on looking through the newly detailed car and there is no phone. My fiancée gets furious, refusing to leave without his phone. Joseph says he'll get it back to us. We leave--knowing the phone is there somewhere-- because we can do no more. Needless to say lost and found never located the phone. With an astronomical resale value on eBay and Craigslist due to jailbreak-ability, I know someone at Hertz kept the phone. The cost to replace the (uninsurable) iPhone was $599+tax+cost of new software (to locate the phone in the event of another incident like this)=$792.88.
We spoke with Hertz customer service at their main headquarters and was refused reimbursement for the phone due to the fact that we sign a contract making Hertz not responsible for "lost or stolen items." They offered a very modest discount on a future rental. We obviously declined. As if we would use Hertz again.