• Mar 15, 2007
Imagine you're on vacation. You rent a car for your month-long stay in Mexico. You feel pretty comfortable passing on the optional insurance and go along on your merry way. All goes well until one stormy evening. Somewhere in the night you have a blowout. You phone it in and the people at Hertz tell you, "No problem, just bring it back and we'll replace the tire." Done. Report filed, agent tells you no worries again, there won't be any charges.

You finish your vacation and return to the airport to drop off your little blue Chevy. But there's a slight hitch. The manager now insists you fork over an additional $60 for the tire damage. Not wanting to miss your flight, you agree and go on home. You probably see how this is going to end up. Rather than adding $60, which was already more than you felt you should have had to pay, the final charge for the rental shows an additional $499.48. Zoinks!

This very sad tale was recently reported by one unhappy customer identified only as Kathy on the consumer advocate site, Consumerist. When the inflated bill arrived, she contacted the company and Hertz allegedly told her that it is fully in keeping with standard practices of the car rental industry in most countries. Oh really? $500 seems a bit steep for a tire, even in Mexico. And for a manager to say $60 and then charge $500? We don't suspect that is standard operating procedure for any rental agency.

As far as we know the issue hasn't been resolved, but suggestions have been made to contact her credit card company and possibly approach the problem as fraud, because the employees had said no charge, then $60 before charging an unauthorized $499.48. Perhaps this serves as a warning to carefully consider rental insurance options, especially while abroad, or maybe just to steer clear of Hertz and its impressively expensive tires.

[Source: Consumerist]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      No Bob. It's idiotic to criticize a poor country that you've only heard about on the news, most time made by a Big Brother that paints your country as the redeeming and merciful one and blame all the bad things on the mexicans.

      Yes, I know, I certainly know, that some inmigrants have played a bad paper portraying our society. But, do you know who are the buyers of all the drugs sold by those "murdering drug cartels"? Yes, you know. The most are Americans. And not because of that, I'm generalizing that aaaall americans are drug addicts, I know those are a few, like in every country.

      And talk about trying to be a tourist in a foreign country. Try to pass the american frontier just to visit Disneyworld or Six Flags and have fun *as a mexican*, that doesn't even look like a "potential illegal", that makes more money than the average american, that lives a decent life in it's country. Try that. You'll get the most despective treatment, the customs agent will shout at you, and will literally throw your papers back to you after "reviewing" them.

      That's why I can call some comments here racists. I know, not all the Americans are like that. I respect and admire your country, your achievments, your techology; but some comments just confirm that everywhere's the same:though the most population is good people, there will always be ignorance. Everywhere.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I rented a car in England for a week - cost me approx $450 for the rental, and they charged me UKP250 for the insurance. Scary. Rough figures, but my memory is failing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I am very sorry to agree with the coments that say, "What do you expect, it is Mexico?" Such nice people, but so unwilling to do much about corruption.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hertz hurts!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hopefully this bad press will make them backpedal, and issuing some vapid apology saying this was unintended.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I used to work at Hertz in Canada a few years ago and here's something I learned. If you bring back a car with damage and are charged for it you have the right to contact Hertz to see that the damage has been repaired. If it hasn't been repaired within a reasonable amount of time (I can't remember if there is an exact time frame) you are entitled to your money back since they can't charge you for damage that they aren't going to fix. The only reason they are charging you for damage is to fix it, and if they aren't going to you are entitled to get your money refunded.

      Something to keep in mind next time you rent. Not sure if it's company policy, or law, and if applies to all rental companies, but that's the way it worked when I was there.
      • 7 Years Ago
      -- WOW!!!!!!!!!!! Really defensive -- but I am back to calling your comments idiotic, sorry, because you dare to presume I have only heard of Mexico on the news. And even more idiotically, you convert MY mentioning only good things about the immigrants, bad things about the reputation of Mexico, to my coloring Mexico with the bad actions of immigrants -- DO NOT REPEAT ME INCORRECTLY, PLEASE.
      So:
      1-- IGNORING AND PRETENDING DO NOT MAKE PROBLEMS CEASE TO EXIST -- in fact, I am sure that good Mexicans with your attitude are corruption's best friends.
      You attack the U.S.'s many flaws in retaliation: this is like a cheating husband yelling at his wife about her bad cucina when she brings up his girlfriend -- it does not answer the problem.
      2--"Racism" means degrading people by their blood. I made it clear that I was talking about nationality, not race. All of us in California have heard before some Mexican telling us how many French, and so on, are in Mexico. Since I do not see whether the people pulling the bad stuff are white, brown, or green (unless their photo is in the newspaper), we are discussing a well known reputation of a country, not a race.
      Might I point out that I might expect equal bad behavior at a Hertz in Russia, which is mostly fair skinned Caucasians, Mexico and Russia and Nigeria are famous for certain behaviors -- pointing these out is not racist, but turning all criticism into racism talk IS unfair mention of race.
      • 7 Years Ago
      just avoid mexico if you can
      • 7 Years Ago
      As mean as it sounds, I agree...it's Mexico. Every time I've been there the business practices have been...shall we say, shady? They can spot a tourist a mile away and milk them for everything they've got. Forget about consumer protection...it's just not there.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's racist, offending and ignorant to blame Mexico for these situations that can happen anywhere. I've lived in this country all my life and haven't been victim of any situation like this. It's sad to see the ignorance of *some* of you, americans,saying that 100 million people, just because they are in the same country, are all thiefs or scammers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hurtz is no different than all of the other horse thieves in this industry. By signing their rental agreement you basically exchange keys. You get the keys to a nicotine infused Taurus in exchange for them getting the "keys" to your bank account.

      Happy motoring!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yeah, there's another Hertz scam too. I discovered it in Cancun, MX. The rental agent opens the trunk for inspection (when is this ever done?). The car trunk doesn't lock with the power doors or automatically locks on closing. You must insert a key and turn it. They show you the spare, a cheap 13" tire on a steel rim. Then they ask you where you will be garaging the car.
      When you return the car, the spare is missing. They charge you $250 to replace this. The local Sears charges 29.99 for the same tire, and $19.99 for a 13" steel wheel. You have no time to go and buy one. They charge your card. Fortunately, AMEX didn't buy their story and refused to pay the charge after I filed a complaint. My credit may be ruined at Hertz in Cancun. Oh well.
    • Load More Comments