Heathrow, Heathrow Airport, Middlesex, London W5, United Kingdom
Initial contact with the supplier:
Type of product(s) being purchased:
Value of the Purchase Order when the incident occurred:
Under 1,000 USD
Destination market of order in question:
Type of Complaint(s):
Stage of relationship with the supplier at the time of the incident:
Absolutely the worst experience of my entire car rental life. Never before have i been met with a more unsavory attitude, combined with the utmost disregard for a customers wishes. I began this abominable experience by booking through Rental Cars. By the way, i do not blame Rental Cars whatsoever. I hired myself a nice little Nissan Juke. Having arthritis in my hip and knee, i thought this car would be more suitable for my needs. On arrival at Hertz, Heathrow office, i waited patiently in line for my turn, and heard the constant patter of their salesmen, giving the hard sell to everyone that went before me. I saw people much older than myself, pressured into taking out Hertz unrealistic insurance packages. Emphasis was made on how much it would cost the customer if they failed to take out the highest premium package, if they should have the most minor of motoring accidents. Scratches, bumps, scuffed tires, knocked off side mirrors etc, etc. The look of dismay on some of the customers i saw was disturbing. Ive not seen anything as hard sell, as when i witnessed the high pressure sales tactics of Spanish timeshare salesmen. Fortunately for me, i had read on the internet about this unbelievable practice. I’d prepared myself for this and had already decided, not to take out their incredibly high priced insurance package, which was considerably more than the hire of the car, opting instead for the most basic, which was 3rd party. Not even theft, may i add. When i showed my booking number, i was told that they didn’t even have this car on their books. Again fortunate for me was the photo i had taken of my online booking page, which clearly showed a Nissan Juke. The salesman responded that they had not had this car for hire for over 1 year. I explained my medical problems to the gentleman, but was shown the little caption that said SIMILAR. I was offered a Volvo V70. If you don’t know this car, as i didn’t, its a very small, low to the ground sporty car. In my mind this was not SIMILAR to an SUV Juke. The rep, informed me it was the same class. I said maybe, but this was not stated on my booking form, just the words SIMILAR. I’d just arrived after a 17 hour flight from China, with my wife, and just really wanted to get on the road and be with my family. Not wanting to cause a scene and hold up my journey, and the people who by now were in line waiting to be served behind me, i accepted. I had already paid on my credit card for the duration of my rental, and also authorized Hertz to hold another amount of money as deposit for the car. I was informed that my car was being washed and would be ready in 10 minutes. I would find the car outside, parked on one of the small lay by’s outside. It was 6.30am and a little nippy outside, but we thought that 10 minutes would be ok. After more than 35 minutes, i had had enough of waiting, and went to find my car. There was no sign of it down the lay by’s anywhere. At the back of the compound i saw water spray, coming over the top of all the other cars. Argh, i thought, it must be there. As i walked across the cleaning area, i saw the Volvo, and was quite displeased how low to the ground the V70 is. Too late for me, i’d already accepted this SIMILAR automobile. The next thing i know, i was screamed at in a high pitched voice. As i turned round i saw a young well dressed man, walking briskly towards me with a look of anger on his face. What the hell do you think you are doing in this area. Get out, this is restricted for staff only he yelled. Not being a shrinking violet, i responded in the same vain, “who the hell do you think your talking to”. I actually thought i’d broken some new British law, by looking for the car i’d hired, in an area that didn’t even have a “NO CUSTOMERS BEYOND THIS POINT” sign. Our little Tet Ta Tet went on for a minute or two, when this very rude and impolite young man, informed me that i would not be renting a car from Hertz today, or anytime soon. I replied with, give me my money back now, and i will walk down the road, and use another rental company. His next reply was “i’m also calling the police”. This made me laugh, as i had done nothing to warrant the call out of the police force. I left him there and walked back to my wife, gave her my phone, and told her to video what was going to happen next. My wife is Chinese and this was her first experience of Britain. She looked shocked and scared to say the least. I told her what had happened and for her not to worry. I have a video posted on my Facebook page, showing myself waiting for the police. In the clip, you can see this man, who told me, he was the manager of Heathrow. His name is Jay Chaudrey. The police arrived and asked me to go outside. At first i told them i would rather speak inside the warm booking office, than go outside in the cold again. If you take the time to watch my video, i was only wearing a thin T-shirt and it was around 10 degrees. However, to comply with the police officers, i went outside to speak with them. They asked me what had happened and i let them know what i have written above. They then told me that Mr Chaudrey had leveled a complaint of assault against me. I was shocked by this as we had only had an argument. No threats were made to him. The police said that i had spat in his face. Ludicrous, i replied. Can you swab him down, and try and find any of my DNA. The police were great. They said they could see no spit on either his face or clothing, and would not be pursuing this matter. Obviously, Mr Chaudrey, had tried to put me in a bad light to give some kind of credibility to his not wanting to rent me a car, and wasting police time. The police then asked me “what do you want to do”. I said that i would just like to get my money back, and be on my way. This is when i was told it would take 72 hours for them to repay the money i had given them. Infact i wasn’t paid back for over 4 weeks. I had to chase my money down once i had returned to China, where i live. Still Hertz would not pay me so i had to get my money back from Rental cars. I sought legal advice on this matter and found that what Mr Chaudrey did, was in breach of contract. Hertz used to have a very good name in the car rental business, but these days i wonder exactly what their aim is. I was offered a lift in the police van to the next hire shop, which was Enterprise, right next door to Hertz, so politely declined their offer, and walked round myself. Enterprise were fantastic. They found me a a great Hyundai SUV, with all the extras, cheaper than Hertz, with no high pressure sales techniques. I was on the road within half an hour, returning the car 15 days later, with a quick once over inspection, with no damage to be reported. A great end to a holiday with my family, after starting in such an unpleasant manner. Later that week I watched a programme on the BBC, focused on the down right despicable practices used by rental companies like Hertz, either trying their best to con the public into buying inflated priced insurance, or alternatively, scrutinizing every inch of the returned car, to find anything they can charge you for. Hertz are a bonus based company, offering their staff cash rewards for the slightest damage, and cashing in with unbelievable charges for repair. Enterprise, however are a serviced based company, and really do give a great service. Im not here to seek compensation for the trouble Hertz caused me, but i would like to see action taken with their manager Mr Chaudrey. He does not possess the necessary social skills to deal with paying customers. I would like him to receive the harshest of punishments available, maybe the loss of his managerial position, and an intensive course, to help him understand paying customers will not accept his type of behavior. Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and hopefully, this will direct you to a more customer friendly company in the future. My name is Paul Robinson, from Sheffield UK.
Never again will i use Hertz. I will strive from now on to show my friends and anyone who will listen, never to use Hertz, unless they are willing to be violated.
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