Reserved Minivan Not Given

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Jan 5, 2015
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#1
I booked a Hertz car rental reservation for my parents on July 13. They reserved a minivan for a four week trip out west. Today (9/2), when they went to pick up the rental, the lot did not have a minivan. They were offered a Nissan Armada. Their biggest concern with the Armada is the increased gas mileage. This is a big factor for a very long trip out west. Plus, they were offered the car when it was unclean, covered in dog hair, and smelling pretty badly.

They were willing to accept the Armada as long as Hertz would discount the reservation by $200 to cover the excess fuel costs.

It being a holiday weekend, I have not had very much luck in getting quick responses. I have talked to someone at an 800 number. I have also had a Facebook conversation with Hertz.

The Bowling Green location closes in 2 1/2 hours, so my mother just texted me that she is going to go ahead and accept the reservation, but she has hopes that they will credit some money back for the inconvenience.

If there is anything that you can do or suggest, we would greatly appreciate your help.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#2
I wouldn't take it without being guaranteed a discount before they leave. Oncvrueyvtauebir it's too late

Unfortunately, not all locations have mini vans available when you arrive especially with families traveling for Labor Day.

Did they ask Hertz to call another location to see if they have anything available?

If they walk away without getting a compromise in writing first, no guarantee if Hertz doing anything later.
 
Jan 5, 2015
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#3
I called several area locations (many were not open) and only one location had a minivan, and it was reserved. If only the Bowling Green location had been as competent!

I called a national Hertz number and had them look around Nashville also but had no luck.
 
Jan 5, 2015
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#4
I wouldn't take it without being guaranteed a discount before they leave. Oncvrueyvtauebir it's too late

Unfortunately, not all locations have mini vans available when you arrive especially with families traveling for Labor Day.

Did they ask Hertz to call another location to see if they have anything available?

If they walk away without getting a compromise in writing first, no guarantee if Hertz doing anything later.
I called around for them. Nothing else was available. Hertz did clean the Armada up, and they have rented it. Would it be unreasonable to write to a Hertz executive to ask for a discount on the rental?

They will, in all likelihood, be driving over 5,000 miles. We did a similar road trip, albeit only 2 weeks long, in 1998, and it was a little over 5,000 miles. The vehicle that they received is from the T class of Hertz vehicles and is supposed to over 15+ mpg. The Nissan site says 14-19 mpg. The vehicle class that they had reserved (R minivan), is supposed to be 24+ mpg. They did not have another option beyond taking the offered vehicle.

If they drive 5000 miles, looking at the worst possible mpg, that would be between 333 and 357 gallons of fuel in the Armada at 14 or 15 mpg. The same distance in the advertised minivan class would be 208 gallons of fuel. Assuming that gas is $2 a gallon (a cheap estimate these days), they would spend between $666 and $714 dollars in fuel using the Armada versus $416 dollars in the reserved minivan.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#5
What percentage of the total rental is $200? An Armada is an extremely comfortable truck and I'd be thrilled to drive one instead of a minivan on a long trip.
 
Jan 5, 2015
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#6
What percentage of the total rental is $200? An Armada is an extremely comfortable truck and I'd be thrilled to drive one instead of a minivan on a long trip.
The rental was for $886.58. I'm not discounting the fact that an Armada is a comfortable ride, but it will cost them over $200 more to drive this thing around than the vehicle that they reserved almost 2 months ago.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#7
I think their best bet is to write to the execs, one at a time, asking for a credit toward a future rental anywhere there is a Hertz office. You have a sound argument regarding the fuel consumption and added cost. @jsn55 has a good counterpoint about comfort. I think a credit of anywhere from $250-500 is a reasonable request, in my opinion.
 
Jan 5, 2015
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#8
I think their best bet is to write to the execs, one at a time, asking for a credit toward a future rental anywhere there is a Hertz office. You have a sound argument regarding the fuel consumption and added cost. @jsn55 has a good counterpoint about comfort. I think a credit of anywhere from $250-500 is a reasonable request, in my opinion.
I hope that they will be willing to credit $200 back to my parents. As it stands, they have no intention of using this particular branch again in the future, and it is the closest to their home.
 
Jan 5, 2015
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#9
We just sent the following email to Gregory Crum, Senior Director of Customer Care. I did not include anything about the rudeness of the representative or the initial offering of a dirty vehicle, but instead focused on the greater-than-expected fuel costs:

Dear Mr. Crum,

Hello. I am writing for help with a minivan reservation at the Bowling Green, KY, Hertz location. On July 13, 2017, I reserved a minivan for 9/2/2017 to 9/30/2017. When I arrived this morning (9/2) to pick up the minivan, I was instead given a Nissan Armada.

While many people would be happy to drive the Armada, it gets much worse gas mileage than the advertised minivan. An Armada gets 14-15 mpg on the low end, and the advertised minivan gets 24+ mpg. We will be driving over 5,000 miles. This means we will have to purchase, at worst, 333 to 357 gallons of fuel in the Armada, compared to 208 gallons in the minivan. That will end up costing us over $200 more in fuel costs that we had not budgeted for.

I appreciate that the Armada may be considered a nicer vehicle, but the minivan that we booked was perfect for our needs and fit into our budget.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could discount or refund $200 from our current rental. This would close most of the gap in fuel costs.

Thank you!

******** ******* (Mom's name redacted for now)
***-***-**** (Phone number redacted)
 
Nov 14, 2016
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#10
The Armada averages about 19 MPG on the highway. Most minivans average somewhere around 26 MPG highway. That's only 7 miles per gallon difference. The price of gas is $2.59 per AAA (national average). $200 in gas is 77 gallons. To make up the difference at 7 mpg, your parents would have to drive 4,063 highway miles. I understand it's a 4 week trip but that's a LOT of miles.

One other thing to consider is that the Armada is a substantially better vehicle than a minivan. More space, better ride and costs significantly more. I don't see where they were inconvenienced by getting an upgrade. If you decide to ask for some money off because they didn't have a minivan, that's entirely up to you. But personally I think this is much ado about nothing unless the car wasn't cleaned prior to them driving it away. Otherwise, the price of gas is going to be negligible unless they're planning on driving about 150 miles each and every day for the next 4 weeks.
 
Likes: jsn55

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#11
The Armada averages about 19 MPG on the highway. Most minivans average somewhere around 26 MPG highway. That's only 7 miles per gallon difference. The price of gas is $2.59 per AAA (national average). $200 in gas is 77 gallons. To make up the difference at 7 mpg, your parents would have to drive 4,063 highway miles. I understand it's a 4 week trip but that's a LOT of miles.

One other thing to consider is that the Armada is a substantially better vehicle than a minivan. More space, better ride and costs significantly more. I don't see where they were inconvenienced by getting an upgrade. If you decide to ask for some money off because they didn't have a minivan, that's entirely up to you. But personally I think this is much ado about nothing unless the car wasn't cleaned prior to them driving it away. Otherwise, the price of gas is going to be negligible unless they're planning on driving about 150 miles each and every day for the next 4 weeks.
According to the OP they are planning on driving 5000 miles!
 
Jan 5, 2015
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#13
The Armada averages about 19 MPG on the highway. Most minivans average somewhere around 26 MPG highway. That's only 7 miles per gallon difference. The price of gas is $2.59 per AAA (national average). $200 in gas is 77 gallons. To make up the difference at 7 mpg, your parents would have to drive 4,063 highway miles. I understand it's a 4 week trip but that's a LOT of miles.

One other thing to consider is that the Armada is a substantially better vehicle than a minivan. More space, better ride and costs significantly more. I don't see where they were inconvenienced by getting an upgrade. If you decide to ask for some money off because they didn't have a minivan, that's entirely up to you. But personally I think this is much ado about nothing unless the car wasn't cleaned prior to them driving it away. Otherwise, the price of gas is going to be negligible unless they're planning on driving about 150 miles each and every day for the next 4 weeks.
We did a similar 13 day trip back in 1998 and put a little over 5000 miles on the car we rented then. I based my initial post on that information because I couldn't remember the exact trip they have planned out. After speaking with my mother again, they actually have a 7000 mile itinerary, so, yes, it makes a big difference. I am basing fuel consumption off the stated minimum mpg on the Hertz site itself: https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/vehi...w.jsp&countryCode=US&category=SUV/Minivan/4x4

It states:

(R) Nissan Quest or Similar
24 miles/gallon or better (According to a Google search, a Nissan Quest gets 20-27 mpg)

(T) Nissan Armada or Similar
15 miles/gallon or better (According to a Google search, a Nissan Armada gets 14-19 mpg)

It ends up being a sizeable difference when you consider the length of the trip.

The fact that it is a nicer ride, to me, is irrelevant. It was booked nearly 2 months in advance. It is the responsibility of the rental agency to provide what was booked. It didn't have to be a Nissan Quest, but it should have been a comparable minivan.

Let's use your difference of 7 mpg between vehicles:
Armada uses roughly 368 gallons of fuel in 7000 miles
Quest uses roughly 269 gallons of fuel in 7000 miles

That's 99 gallons of fuel...@ $2.59 per gallon, we are looking at an extra expenditure of $256.

As far as the cleanliness went, the workers did vacuum the Armada, but when my mother was folding down the seats after they arrived home, there was still a lot of dog hair. She had to do a good big of recleaning. That's a particular annoyance since Hertz has restrictions on animals in their rentals.

I think one of the biggest problems is the condescension and rudeness with which the employee treated my parents, stating that, "It would take an act of God to please you." All my parents wanted was what they rented well in advance.
 
Likes: AMA
Nov 14, 2016
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#14
According to the OP they are planning on driving 5000 miles!
The OP has only two posts. That's not specified in either. How did you come by such information?

That's a heck of a trip. That's essentially driving from Washington DC to LA and back.
 
Jan 5, 2015
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#16
The OP has only two posts. That's not specified in either. How did you come by such information?

That's a heck of a trip. That's essentially driving from Washington DC to LA and back.
The post she is referencing is still awaiting moderator approval. That's why you can't see it. Sorry for the confusion.

My parents are renting in Bowling Green, Kentucky, driving north and west, driving through Washington, Oregon, the California coast, etc, and then meandering their way back. They just sold their farm, and they are taking a once-in-a-lifetime type road trip with the couple who were their best man and maid of honor back in 1977. After they get back, my dad will be looking for a new job to work at for a few years before permanently retiring.

So, right now, they have no income. They have a fair amount from the sale of the farm, but they are trying to stay within their initial budgeting.
 
Jul 16, 2016
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#18
Kahhss- My family used to do 6000 miles every Summer in a month, and as an adult seeing the US (been to all 50!) my husband and I easily do 5000 miles. It might seem like a lot, but if you enjoy the open road it goes by in a flash (OK except West Texas- never again!)
 
Likes: jsn55
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#19
We received an email response this morning that seems pretty positive! See below:

Dear Ms. ******* [my mom's name];



Thank you for your recent email to the Hertz Senior Leadership regarding the issue with the rental vehicle you received. I have been asked to review the matter and respond to you on their behalf. I appreciate you allowing me this opportunity.



I sincerely apologize for the issues you encountered regarding the sequence of events you have detailed to our management team regarding the incorrect vehicle you received for your reservation.



The feedback you have provided is extremely valuable in allowing us to re-examine what is currently working and not working for our clients. Unfortunately, we cannot make an adjustment while the contract is open. Please retain your fuel receipts and submit them on your return. We will then be able to review them for an adjustment.



Again, I am very sorry you and your family had to endure this experience, Ms. Blanton. I hope that the above feedback has addressed your outstanding concerns. I am sorry that you have had to raise the matter with the Hertz Senior Management team, nevertheless, I appreciate the opportunity to respond on their behalf and resolve this issue.



Annette Waters
Hertz Executive Customer Service
 
Mar 17, 2015
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#20
Kahhss- My family used to do 6000 miles every Summer in a month, and as an adult seeing the US (been to all 50!) my husband and I easily do 5000 miles. It might seem like a lot, but if you enjoy the open road it goes by in a flash (OK except West Texas- never again!)
You are taking the wrong West Texas roads ;p
Besides, counting the shades of brown and dodging tumbleweeds is considered good fun on a road trip.