why we would never use Hertz again

Why It Hurts to Use Hertz

Worst Car Rental Company

We had just arrived in Honolulu after a long but uneventful flight. Leg 1: Boston to San Francisco 6 hours with only a quick stopover for a meal. San Francisco to Honolulu: another 6 hours. Our luggage arrived safely with us so there was only the rental car to pick up then a half hour drive to the house we were staying at in Hawaii Kai. Smooth sailing, right?

So, imagine our dismay to find the Hertz rental car office jam packed. The wait to the counter was 30 minutes. The shaded outdoor seating area was completely full. We had to scrounge for shade by sitting on our luggage. Did I mention that it was HOT mid-day there? There was complimentary water but no cups. And, on cue, every half hour or so, the Hertz van rolled up and more people poured out, equally dismayed.

We asked the people waiting around, “How long?” Many had been waiting for close to two hours. What was the hold up? There were clearly Hertz cars everywhere. We were sitting in a parking lot of parked Hertz cars. The counter people said the wait would be no more than a hour after finishing the paperwork. WRONG! We, and our new friends in the parking lot, waited the 30 minutes in line and then another 70 minutes. The only silver lining was meeting fellow travelers. I met a couple from my home town of Seal Beach!

And the other rental car companies? NO LINE!

Oh yes, the Seinfeld clip was bandied about by our new friends in the waiting area.

You know how to TAKE the reservation but you don’t know how to HOLD the reservations. And that’s really the most important part of the reservation.

But at Hertz, the issue is staffing. You know how to staff when a flight or two lands, but you don’t know how to staff when the crush of flights land. And it’s really quite predictable in Hawaii when all the planes land because you are in the middle of the ocean! So you need to variable staff for the crunch time. Not the lull time. Because here’s the thing; the staff was beleaguered but trying their best. There simply were not enough hands on deck.

And when we landed in Kauai, we needed to rent another Hertz van. Guess what? LONG LINE THERE TOO! Not the 1 hour and 40 minutes of Honolulu but 45 minutes. It is, after all, a smaller outer island.

The upshot? No more travel agents for us who use Hertz. And no more Hertz. It just hurts too much.

Want to play a game? Here are Hertz tagline but you might agree they don’t fit anymore. Let’s help them come up with a more … appropriate one.

Hertz Taglines

Hertz puts you in the driver’s seat.

Journey On

We’re Hertz. They’re Not.

We’re Going Your Way

My Suggestions for Hertz

Get in Line!

The Highway My Way!

It Hurts to Use Hertz!

Hertz is the Worst!

You’ll Get There Eventually!

What’s the Rush? You’re On Vacation!

We Waiting Waiting!*

Please vote for a new tagline for Hertz. Your suggestions welcome!

[polldaddy poll=6512040]

This is not a sponsored post by Hertz. My opinions and experience with Hertz are my own and, unfortunately, shared by my family, including my husband whose back was spasming from the long flight. I received no compensation from this post but hope to hear from Hertz. Let’s see how they do with customer recovery.

* Hawaiian pidgen for “let’s go” is “we going going.”

p.s. Conclusion …

We … Are Never, Never Ever Using Hertz Again. Like Ever.

You go talk through Twitter. Talk through DM. Talk to Me.

We … are never, never ever using Hertz again. Like ever.

So, my travel agent wrote them and they said they’d give us a $50 credit towards our next rental. This is exhausting. We were exhausted. Who cares about a CREDIT because …

We … are never, never ever, using Hertz again. Like ever!

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. vanita

    i’m happy that the staff at least was good. It shows that at least Hertz knows how to staff, just not how many to staff. Sorry they messed with your vacation. That’s just awful.
    vanita recently posted…How To Make Money With A BlogMy Profile

    • Hi Vanita,
      Yes, it’s a shame that the staff was good and probably felt badly about the customer wait but they were clearly understaffed for the crunch times. I’m sure Hertz thinks it’s worth the cost savings to just make people wait and not make more hires, but eventually the waits will decrease because we will all stop using them. Everyone waiting with me — 50 families or so were pretty pissed off too. I bet none of us use Hertz ever again. That’s a lot of lost money for Hertz and good will that will be hard to replace.

  2. Dee

    So sorry this happened to you! That is soooo frustrating. Traveling is tiring to begin with; once at your destination, you shouldn’t have to wait more than an hour! (You shouldn’t have to wait more than half an hour.) What kills me is that Hertz is one of the most expensive rental car companies. They obviously are not spending the money on quantities of staff (maybe on training?).

    I have had very good experiences with Enterprise in various cities. Try them next time!
    Dee recently posted…And then there was powerMy Profile

    • Hi Dee,
      The staff seemed well trained but there weren’t enough of them for the crunch time. My sister arrived an hour before us and there wasn’t a wait at Hertz. I think they need to add more headcount or cross train staff to fill in counter check in roles when necessary. Something! I agree that the wait should not be longer than a half hour. No other car rental company had lines. I’m never using Hertz again. And to think they are the most expensive! Shame on them!

  3. Asianmommy

    I’m familiar with the long lines at Hertz. & I also have noticed very good customer service with Enterprise.
    Asianmommy recently posted…Willowbrook Wildlife CenterMy Profile

    • Hi Asian Mommy,
      I used to use Enterprise and I never waited in long lines before. My husband thinks Hertz has car deals with all the travel agents. If that is the case, no more travel agents for us either. Because there is NO WAY I would ever use Hertz again. I’m going back to Enterprise!

  4. So sorry you had to deal with that.What a way to start a trip!

    • Hi Winnie,
      Thanks so much! Not a great way to start a vacation, that is for sure! Next time, we’ll use Enterprise or any other car rental company! If we hadn’t prepaid, we would have walked away.

  5. Artchoo!

    I’m so excited to be 1 of the 2 that put It Hurts to Use Hertz in the tie for winner. That really does hurt. Last year we went on a family vacation to Florida- all 6 of us, and they bumped us from the flight. LOVE traveling.
    Artchoo! recently posted…And Build From ThereMy Profile

    • Hi Artchoo!,
      I can’t claim credit for that tagline. My husband came up with it. Sorry to hear about your flight in Florida. You’d think the airlines would try a little harder since they are on the verge of bankruptcy. Which airline? And did you get a voucher for your pain?

  6. kim

    I just used Costo travel to make a reservation to go to Maui in November. Part of the package is to use Hertz rental. I am a bit concerned now. I have waited 30-40 minutes before in LA and San Diego but have no interest in going through what you went through!!!
    I think Hertz should vote too. I wonder what they would choose??
    kim recently posted…Why It Hurts to Use HertzMy Profile

    • Hi Kim,
      So far, all I heard back from Hertz on Twitter was an offer to DM them my car rental number. However:
      1) It was to Vanita who tweeted the post.
      2) I can’t DM them because they don’t follow me.
      3) They didn’t email me and my email is not hard to come by.
      4) There was no follow up.

      I’m not impressed. You will wait a long time in Maui but not as long as in Honolulu I suspect. Prepare for 1 hour wait and you might be pleasantly surprised by having very low expectations.

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