faulsly accused and charged!

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Dec 31, 2017
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#1
I have been falsely accused and charged for a smoking fee from hertz rental company for my rental car, $300.00 was the amount. I only had the car 24 hours and I absolutely did not smoke in the vehicle! Before the lady was even done explaining her reasons or "evidence" she found she had charged my account even before showing me her "evidence" I would really appreciate your help that was my rent money and I'm so frustrated because I know in my heart and soul I didn't smoke in this rental I've rented here before for an even longer period of time and I've never had this problem! The hertz location was in New York on Burnett ave. She claims there was one ash between door n driver seat it was the size of a salt particle. Nowhere else in the car was there any ashes not by the stick shift nowhere on the window Ledges not in the backseat no where where if I was smoking ashes would have fell so the little tiny Speck of a ash she saw by the door easily could have blew it the car from smoking right before jumping in why would I risk $300 for a 24-hour rental! I absolutely did not smoke in their car! I'm so frustrated! HELP!
 
Apr 3, 2016
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#3
It sounds like you are a smoker and smoked right before getting into the car (your reference to the ash). If you got in the car right after smoking, the smell can permeate the car from your clothes. Then when you return the car, it smells like cigarette smoke. I think most rental companies will charge the cleaning fee if the car smells like smoke, whether you actually smoked in the car or outside of it. They still need to get the odor out of the car.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#4
It sounds like you are a smoker and smoked right before getting into the car (your reference to the ash). If you got in the car right after smoking, the smell can permeate the car from your clothes. Then when you return the car, it smells like cigarette smoke. I think most rental companies will charge the cleaning fee if the car smells like smoke, whether you actually smoked in the car or outside of it. They still need to get the odor out of the car.
Very true- and they HAVE to get the smell out in case the next renter has an allergy.

You may not think it leaves an odor behind but it does. Plus the smell is on your clothes while you are driving.
 
Aug 29, 2015
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#5
Very true- and they HAVE to get the smell out in case the next renter has an allergy.

You may not think it leaves an odor behind but it does. Plus the smell is on your clothes while you are driving.

This! It is called third-hand smoke and can cause asthma attacks in some people.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#6
If Hertz does not want people to smoke before getting into a car then they should only rent to non smokers. What if someone says goodbye to a person who is smoking and ash gets in the car? Or is at the home of a smoker or in a bar that still allows it -- in NYC there are still cigar bars where smoking is permitted.

The rental car company said nothing about smell just one piece of ash. While smoking may be ill advised it is still legal.

I have a lot of overseas colleagues and friends who still smoke -- European and Asian.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,982
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
If Hertz does not want people to smoke before getting into a car then they should only rent to non smokers. What if someone says goodbye to a person who is smoking and ash gets in the car? Or is at the home of a smoker or in a bar that still allows it -- in NYC there are still cigar bars where smoking is permitted.

The rental car company said nothing about smell just one piece of ash. While smoking may be ill advised it is still legal.

I have a lot of overseas colleagues and friends who still smoke -- European and Asian.
I think we are just telling our writer how the odor of smoke can be in the car even if they didn’t smoke in it.

I think our writer needs to use our company contacts us and go up the executive chain of the car rental company and appeal to them. Or do a cc dispute.
 
Likes: VoR61
Sep 19, 2015
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#8
Sorry Neil I did not mean to sound defensive. I have a European colleague coming to NY in late January and I was considering renting a car for a road trip -- and said colleague smokes. I would hate to be hit with a charge just because he smells of smoke. I am now looking into the train and car services. Said colleague is higher up in the food chain so I have to be diplomatic ....
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,982
12,231
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
Sorry Neil I did not mean to sound defensive. I have a European colleague coming to NY in late January and I was considering renting a car for a road trip -- and said colleague smokes. I would hate to be hit with a charge just because he smells of smoke. I am now looking into the train and car services. Said colleague is higher up in the food chain so I have to be diplomatic ....
I don't think I'd worry - I'd just make sure he didn't smoke even in the vicinity of the car. I find it hard to believe that this "agent" found an ash speck in the car. Who could see a single speck? I think this agent sounds a little nutty to be honest.

I think our letter writer needs to appeal to Hertz corporate.
 
Likes: VoR61

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#10
Yikes! Finding a single ‘ash’ does not translate to someone smoking in the car.
Did said ‘agent’ pick up the ash and perserve it? Is everyone positive it is an ash? Maybe they can send it to a lab. LOL.
As in rental car damages, ask to be shown the proof, i.e. pictures w/time stamps, fleet utilization logs, etc.
See how far they can go proofing the charge.
 
Jul 27, 2016
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#11
I would bet that, while the agent pointed to the "ash" as evidence, the charge was initially put in place because the agent smelled smoke.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#12
To ascertain what evidence Hertz looks for I located their non-smoking policy:

How is it determined that a vehicle has been smoked in?
A Hertz employee must either:
  • Witness the customer smoking in a vehicle, or
  • Find evidence of smoking, such as ashes, cigarette butts or burns, or
  • Smell smoke within the vehicle
So, one challenge is that they can charge a renter even if they "smell" smoke. Thus, as already stated by other advocates, you need to obtain and review their inspection report to determine what they actually "recorded" in discovery. If it is indeed only the ash particle, your appeal may easily succeed. If the report reflects the smell of smoke, your appeal will be more difficult having admitted to smoking outside the car just prior to entering the vehicle.

For future rentals, I suggest you review the company's policy before you pick up the vehicle so you can minimize the risk of being billed later for cleaning ...
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,982
12,231
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#13
ash she saw by the door easily could have blew it the car from smoking right before jumping in why would I risk $300 for a 24-hour rental! I absolutely did not smoke in their car! I'm so frustrated! HELP!
I bet Just A Guy is right. It sounds like the l/w is admitting that he/she smoked right before getting in from right outside the car. If the odor is in the car from that- it very well could require a cleaning to get it out.

Our letter writer has not come back to clarify .
 
Likes: Just A Guy

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#14
I question the smell of smoke in a rental car coming from someone's clothes. I think you'd have to smoke several cigarettes with the windows rolled up in order to create enough odor in a car for someone to smell it. Same with a hotel room, one cigarette would probably not leave much evidence. Would be good to do a study and see ... but we all know that the rental car companies will continue to bonus their employees on additional revenue created by things people may or may not be doing in a rental car.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#15
I question the smell of smoke in a rental car coming from someone's clothes. I think you'd have to smoke several cigarettes with the windows rolled up in order to create enough odor in a car for someone to smell it. Same with a hotel room, one cigarette would probably not leave much evidence. Would be good to do a study and see ... but we all know that the rental car companies will continue to bonus their employees on additional revenue created by things people may or may not be doing in a rental car.
You'd be surprised.
I used to smoke. After I quit, and enough time went by, the people I knew that did smoke REEKED. I didn't realize how nasty I smelled when I was a smoker. As a smoker, you just don't smell it.
Then, if you have someone who smokes over a pack a day, they are saturated, smelling like an ash tray, and they transfer it to things they come into contact with, fabrics, etc

At this point in my life I avoid anything that emits smoke because my hair captures the smell and then I have to wash it. Uck!
 
Jul 4, 2016
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#16
I question the smell of smoke in a rental car coming from someone's clothes. I think you'd have to smoke several cigarettes with the windows rolled up in order to create enough odor in a car for someone to smell it. Same with a hotel room, one cigarette would probably not leave much evidence. Would be good to do a study and see ... but we all know that the rental car companies will continue to bonus their employees on additional revenue created by things people may or may not be doing in a rental car.
You'd be surprised.
I used to smoke. After I quit, and enough time went by, the people I knew that did smoke REEKED. I didn't realize how nasty I smelled when I was a smoker. As a smoker, you just don't smell it.
Then, if you have someone who smokes over a pack a day, they are saturated, smelling like an ash tray, and they transfer it to things they come into contact with, fabrics, etc

At this point in my life I avoid anything that emits smoke because my hair captures the smell and then I have to wash it. Uck!
Same here. I am an ex-smoker, and I can tell when a smoker walks into the same room I am in. It seems some ex-smokers are more sensitive than normal to the smell of smoke.