• Jul 20th 2011 at 2:54PM
  • 14
Remember Connect by Hertz? Well, it's gone and it is being replaced by Hertz on Demand. And no, it's not just a name change.

Hertz on Demand is an innovative program offered by Hertz that redefines "car sharing, making it less expensive, easier, more flexible and more satisfying to get a car and go." What this means is that Hertz on Demand aims to take car sharing to another level by eliminating membership fees, expanding one-way service, adding more electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles at select locations, simplifying the vehicle reservation process and focusing on "unparalleled" member service including 24/7 live, in-car assistance. In short, it's a comprehensive attack on independent carsharing companies like Zipcar.

We could ramble on all day trying to detail the nuances that make Hertz on Demand stand out against Zipcar, but, in all honesty, Hertz' handy chart (pictured above) almost says it all. What's not mentioned in the chart is that Hertz on Demand members receive a smart chip-enabled card which allows keyless entry to any reserved vehicle at any location. Also, Hertz has installed membership kiosks in select cities that enable people to immediately become a Hertz on Demand member – free of charge, of course. Interested in joining? Click here to enroll.

[Source: Hertz]
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Innovations, unparalleled technology-driven program enhancements and a new name reflect Hertz's commitment to redefine car sharing, making it less expensive, easier, more flexible,
and more satisfying to get a car and go.

PARK RIDGE, NJ, July 12, 2011 – Hertz (NYSE: HTZ) unveiled its strategy to redefine the car sharing experience and grow its business by lowering costs, enhancing member benefits, adding new vehicles and locations, and deploying the latest in-car and customer support technology. As part of the strategy, effective immediately, the company's car sharing service is named Hertz On Demand (www.HertzOnDemand.com), formerly Connect by Hertz reflecting increased customer control over the car sharing experience utilizing industry-leading technology. In the past few weeks, Hertz has implemented several break through initiatives designed to empower consumers, including: elimination of membership fees; expanded one way service; guaranteed availability Monday through Thursday in New York City, more car and SUV options including the addition of electric vehicles (EV's) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV's) at select locations; a simplified reservation process for booking in any country/city where available; and a continued focus on unparalleled member service including 24/7 live, in-car assistance. The company has promised additional program enhancements in the weeks and months ahead.

"Hertz On Demand reflects our commitment to radically improve the car sharing experience and take it to the next level by providing our members with lower costs, greater choices, further simplicity and unequalled customer service," commented Mark P. Frissora, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Hertz Corporation. "Our approach to car sharing reflects a commitment to offer member-centric services, utilizing best-in-class technology, which no competitor is matching, backed by the resources of the leading global car rental company. This really is the future of car sharing available now and nobody else has it."

Hertz On Demand provides an economical, convenient and socially conscious alternative to car ownership. The service is a pay-as-you-go system, providing members with 24/7 access to vehicles strategically located throughout their city. It has approximately 40,000 members, is available in six countries and on approximately 60 university campuses. Hertz On Demand offers its members products and services that are unmatched in the car sharing industry, including:

The elimination of all membership and renewal fees in the U.S. and Europe. The company has also introduced membership kiosks in New York City, enabling customers to join free of charge and immediately enjoy Hertz on Demand car sharing experience.

· Guaranteed vehicle availability Monday through Thursday in New York City.

· One-way car sharing rentals between 175 locations in the Northeast U.S.

An expanded car sharing fleet with new vehicles added to the service. The U.S. fleet has been refreshed to include luxury cars. Approximately 100 vehicles have been added to the New York City fleet, including the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia; and cars suitable for moving, including the Ford Transit Connect and the Nissan Titan pick-up truck. Hertz On Demand also just added the Ford Transit in Germany, and will also add 50 Fiat 500's in the U.S. next month. Additionally, a variety of electric vehicles are available at select locations, including the Chevy Volt, Nissan LEAF, and smart fortwo electric drive. In Europe, Fleet options include: Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Mitsubishi i-MiEV (London) and Ford Transit High Roofs (London and B&Q Countrywide), Opel Meriva and Opel Corsa (Paris), Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta, BMW Mini and Nissan Pixo (Berlin), Toyota Yaris and Toyota Verso (Madrid).

Simplified reservation process. As part of the launch, Hertz On Demand has a newly redesigned member website, www.HertzOnDemand.com, with a simplified reservation process, including one way map routing and reservations, enhanced search capabilities, faster page load times and enhanced details about car makes and models.

Unparalleled Member Service. Hertz On Demand's industry leading, proprietary in-car technology provides members a safe and superior car rental experience. Upon enrolling, members receive a smart chip enabled card which gives them keyless entry to any reserved car. In the vehicle, a hands-free audio kit connects members to an in-house Member Care Center representative - available 24/7, 365 days a year - should they have questions, need assistance or need to extend their reservation. Hertz On Demand is able to "communicate" with the vehicle, enabling representatives to unlock, engage and locate vehicles and cars are equipped with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, for hands free driving, as well as EZ Pass transponders.

In Europe, Hertz On Demand signed a three-year agreement with the UK's leading home improvement and garden center retailer, B&Q, to bring short term van rental to customers looking for an alternative delivery option. The Hertz On Demand vans are available at 137 B&Q stores across the UK. Hertz also launched a partnership with Castorama in France in pilot stores, providing short term van rental to Castorama customers.

As the only leading global rent-a-car company to also offer a car club, Hertz is ideally positioned to offer companies tailored solutions which are designed to meet the demands of today's businesses. Businesses can reduce expenses and control costs by converting fixed fleet costs into variable costs by only paying for per trip usage. Shared cars can be used for professional purposes, including trips to nearby offices and off-site business meetings. Additionally, businesses can give employees a money-saving perk by offering Hertz on Demand cars at work, making cars available for personal usage. Hertz on Demand is able to place cars on corporate sites and also offer corporate members the added benefit of classic rent a car services. Businesses, government entities with fleet operations, and even companies operating residential buildings, such as apartment blocks, can all benefit by offering employees and tenants car sharing services. Hertz on Demand also serves businesses and organizations including Marriott International, BAA Airports Ltd. and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

Hertz On Demand is the new, global brand identity for Hertz's car sharing club (formerly Connect by Hertz). The rebrand includes a new look, logo and marketing collateral and is a reflection of the company's commitment to evolve and enhance member benefits.

For more information, visit www.HertzOnDemand.com or follow Hertz On Demand on Facebook [www.facebook.com/hertz] or Twitter [www.twitter.com/hertz].

About Hertz On Demand

Hertz On Demand has more than 800 vehicles available to drive from more than 250 locations worldwide, including corporate offices and universities. Hertz On Demand offers vehicles equipped with keyless entry, and benefits covered by the competitive hourly rate including gas, insurance, GPS turn-by-turn navigation, 24/7 roadside assistance, 24-hour in car Member Care Center communication, and, in the US, 180 free miles per 24 hours. For more information, visit www.HertzOnDemand.com or call Member Care Services at 877-654-4400.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      This started out well, but has completely gone downhill. Terrible website...doesn't function correctly, HORRIFIC customer service...combative, argumentative and no training in how to treat a customer or resolve issues. Cars not always available when you go to pick them up...great news when you are trying to make a flight. They need to retrain their employees and start over! Fix their website and make more cars available. Avoid the grief...go somewhere else. I guess one gets what they pay for!!!!! This company sucks!!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      The $5 is only on paper, once you sign up and you start checking location by location the Smart is nowhere to be found, only cars that are $15-17 per hour, yeah, just amazing deal. The only thing that is better with Hertz is the one way service but you cannot do that in all Hertzondemand locations.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I live equi-distant from both and I've been disappointed waaay too many times with ZipCar. Plus they are super expensive and the cars are filthy, no free GPS, no one way service (this alone will save tons going to airport!). I'm going with Hertz!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Companies like Zip Car provide very little customer service and hurt locally owned companies like www.peterfuller.com There cars are dirty and its hard to get a truck or a passenger van from them.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hertz On Demand is a total scam. Everyone should avoid this "business". See their reviews on yelp and their facebook page. nothing but bad news.
      Larz Larzen
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks like Hertz will take a short-term loss in order to force Zip out of business so that the big guys can take the niche over. Then they'll raise rates.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would encourage people to give Zipcar and others some credit for good customer service and not necessarily jump straight to a big old rental car company. I have not used the Hertz service, but you get a pretty dismal outlook from the first two yelp reviewers here in SF: http://www.yelp.com/biz/hertz-on-demand-san-francisco Here's a sample: "1) Arrive at address which is a 10 story parking garage. There is NO indication where the car may be parked - no note on the reservation or website, no signs in the garage, etc .2) There was no gas card - by the reaction of the customer service rep it seemed to be jacked by the prior customer. 3) I tried to leave the parking garage and could not exit without paying the $10 parking fee." and from the other person: "Third rental: I again received notice that the car I reserved had been changed to the same Toyota Camry for "logistical reasons". My girlfriend called Hertz On Demand to see about not getting this car due to all the problems we had with it. The representative was argumentative from the beginning"
      • 2 Years Ago
      Zipcar's customer service is terrible. The cars are always dirty and badly maintained. They are quick to want to cancel your account I changed banks, did not update my information with Zipcar,right away and they sent me THREE e-mail notifications back to back --all during Hurricane Sandy when I had no power whatsoever or phone service!! Zipcar then canceled my account without further notice. Will not restore it and all for $17.00 which I recently found out was actually pad just paid 5 days after their notice! Horrible service. I'm glad there are better options out there as Hertz on demand!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Here in NYC, I just signed up.
      • 4 Years Ago
      and twice more expensive cars, I'll stick to Zipcar and Mintcar tahnk you very much
      • 3 Years Ago
      They have some inherent problems. There is no guarantee that the car will be at the location you reserved it at because it is a car sharing program. They will not take responsibility if the car is not there or even if it is not function at the time of your rental. They will direct you to another one of their cars if it is available, but if not then they'll give you two hour driving credit for all of your troubles. Hertz on Demand as poor customer service which makes the entire thing not worth it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can walk to my nearest ZipCar, not so much with Hertz. And with ZipCar, you know the car is there, and you know what it is. Unlike Hertz, which will definitely have 'a' car, but probably not the one you wanted.
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