Blatant Fraud by Hertz Agents - please help

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Mar 25, 2018
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#1
Hello Advocates,
My husband and I took a recent trip to Costa Rica where we reserved and rented a vehicle with Hertz. Upon arriving home, we found our credit card had been stolen and the unauthorized charges were piling up. We immediately contacted cc company and they canceled card. We began to think, where along our journey could our cc have been stolen (as we used it very little during our trip)?
We then remembered our experience with the agent at the Hertz rental car counter in Costa Rica, and recall several things that were "odd" about the entire transaction...
1. We noticed the agent put a blank piece of paper over the card and pressed the cc numbers into the paper.
2. The charges for the rental car were authorized by the cc company, but because I declined the Hertz insurance, the agent told us that they would need to put a $3500 hold on my cc until the car was returned safely. The cc company declined to authorize this charge. He then made me call my credit card company to ensure they authorized the $3500 charge.
3. The vehicle we were given was in a downgraded class from the vehicle we originally reserved and were still charged for the higher class of vehicle.
4. Upon returning the vehicle, the agent would not provide any paperwork, receipt or anything and said it was their policy to email this. I've never received anything.

At the very least, I would like to be reimbursed for charges of the downgraded vehicle and would like a detailed receipt of my rental.
Ultimately, I feel Hertz should make sort of retribution for the inconvenience and hardship I've experienced, although, I'm not sure how to put a price on that. Immediately upon my return from Costa Rica, I had to take a business trip and had no credit card to reserve and pay for my charges associated with that because my cc account had been closed and the new card hadn't arrived yet.
I do feel they have an obligation to make me whole in some way, as well as do some detailed employee reviews of their agents in Costa Rica.
Overall, my experience with Hertz felt more like a rape and less like a vacation transaction.

I'm unsure of the first steps to take here and would appreciate any advice you can provide. I'm also happy to answer further questions as requested.
Kind Regards,
KirbyBird
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,426
11,882
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
First- in Costa Rica it is required to have insurance. I am shocked they let you take the car. And most car rental companies require a large deposit if you do not take insurance so that piece is totally legitimate because insurance is mandatory in Costa Rica. You see the roads there- it’s very easy to damage a car especially in rainy season. Did you book your trip through a travel agent? They should have warned you about renting a car there.

However- the rest of the story is unacceptable. We have company contacts on top of our page. Carefully read the instructions on how to write and then get Hertz’s information and start writing.

Let us know the outcome.

Here is one of many articles about driving there.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_59dcfe0ce4b0eff4783a0007/amp
 
Likes: VoR61
Mar 25, 2018
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#3
I finally received an answer from Hertz and they sent a copy of my rental agreement. Of course they explained away all the fees, charges, etc I had questioned, which, ok, I accept. The one area where I'm still very bothered is their response regarding the imprint of my credit card into a blank piece of white paper.

Hertz's response: As per credit card requirement, we need to imprint customer credit card in the rental agreement, we do have a device to imprint the credit card, but some time it is been used by another counter so in order to save time, sales place a plain rental agreement over the card and rubbed the raised numbers into the rental agreement.

The agent wasn't using a blank rental agreement, but a blank piece of white paper - my husband and I both saw it happen.
It was my expectation that Hertz would take no responsibility. It appears to be my word against theirs. Do I have any recourse here at all?
 
#4
First- in Costa Rica it is required to have insurance. I am shocked they let you take the car. And most car rental companies require a large deposit if you do not take insurance so that piece is totally legitimate because insurance is mandatory in Costa Rica. You see the roads there- it’s very easy to damage a car especially in rainy season. Did you book your trip through a travel agent? They should have warned you about renting a car there.

However- the rest of the story is unacceptable. We have company contacts on top of our page. Carefully read the instructions on how to write and then get Hertz’s information and start writing.

Let us know the outcome.

Here is one of many articles about driving there.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_59dcfe0ce4b0eff4783a0007/amp
Neil, it's my understanding that the government liability insurance is absolutely required for any rental. However Costa Rican car rental agents are notorious for high pressure sales of collision, theft, damage, etc. insurance that is not mandatory and may be covered by your own policy or credit card. I'm sure this is what our OP was faced with. I was faced with the same kind of experience but managed to negotiate the extra fees down to a couple of hundred dollars and I paid just to get on the road. These agents are all persistent and some can be positively vicious.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,426
11,882
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#5
Neil, it's my understanding that the government liability insurance is absolutely required for any rental. However Costa Rican car rental agents are notorious for high pressure sales of collision, theft, damage, etc. insurance that is not mandatory and may be covered by your own policy or credit card. I'm sure this is what our OP was faced with. I was faced with the same kind of experience but managed to negotiate the extra fees down to a couple of hundred dollars and I paid just to get on the road. These agents are all persistent and some can be positively vicious.
That’s correct. But almost every car rental company puts a large hold on the credit card when insurance is declined.