Hertz rental car breaks down — and so does communication with the executives

By | December 29th, 2016

When your rental car breaks down, what should the rental car agency do to assist you? Elaine Deutsch would like to know.

Question: I booked a car through Hertz in Kauai. The car broke down and almost stranded us in Waimea Canyon. We finally made it to the airport, but no one at Hertz was able to help us get the car to the airport.

I sent the Hertz CEO a letter to the address on the company contacts listed on your site. The envelope was returned unopened, with the address scribbled over, with “unable to deliver” and “return to sender” on it.

I am a longtime Hertz customer and just wanted to let Hertz know about the bad service. But they wouldn’t even open the letter. Can you help me contact Hertz? — Elaine Deutsch, Oakland, Calif.

Answer: You engaged in self-advocacy and were proactive in your attempt to contact Hertz. In every case, self-advocacy should always be your first step to a resolution. In your case, your effort was unsuccessful and the letter you sent to Hertz was returned unopened. You then turned to us for help.

But what could you, as your own self-advocate, have done differently?

You could have begun by contacting Hertz customer service directly. Hertz lists customer service contact information on its website. You could have submitted your comments to Hertz through its website. If that were unsuccessful, you could have escalated your effort to contact Hertz by sending an email to one of its company executives. We also list an email address for Hertz company contacts on our website.

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You also could have posted your question to our help forums to see if company representatives who read the forums, subject matter experts who volunteer to assist consumers, or other consumers who’ve experienced difficulty contacting Hertz could offer some suggestions.

Trying to reach Hertz through its website, or through an email to a company executive, may have been successful for you. These are two steps that you could have taken as a self-advocate, before contacting us.

Our advocates contacted Hertz on your behalf. You told us that Hertz didn’t explain why your letter was returned, but it had sent you an apology by email and had credited your account with Hertz Rewards.

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