Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It pays to complain

I have always found that it pays to complain when something doesn't go the way it should. I had a recent experience with Hertz (car rental) to share with my readers (I believe there are a total of 0).

Hertz recently charged me $60 for a 3 day rental. The typical price is about $160. About one week after I received my receipt, they finally charged my credit card $160. I was shocked. I knew the original rental price was a mistake, but I expected them to charge my credit card the price stated on my receipt. By this time, I had already filed an expense reimbursement form. While I could have done an adjustment form, it was a hassle that I did not want to deal with.

So I called the billing inquiries department who insisted that they had charged me the correct amount. I asked if the item had been re-invoiced and they said no. After some pushing on my part, they put me on hold and transferred me to the local office from which I had rented. This person was able to see that I was originally charged $60 and she had no idea why I was charged $160. We agreed that there had been some sort of error. She put me on hold to do some research. Then she came back and said that there was an error with all of the Hertz computers that day and almost everyone had been charged for a one day rental rather than the correct number of days. I told her I understood that the problem couldn't be helped, but I was very shocked that I hadn't been informed that I would be charged a higher rate and since it took so long to get the charge on my credit card, I had no choice but to pay it. I also mentioned that I was a frequent traveler and a Gold member. After much back and forth, she finally agreed to refund my money. Yippee!

In the end, I saved no money since the item was fully reimbursable by my company. However I ended up feeling much happier. If it had been my own money, I would have been ecstatic about that $100. Now I just need to make sure that the credit appears on my card.