About 2am I was on the Hertz website working my way through a car rental. Because my last rental was a while back, I had to update my profile with current drivers license, credit card, airline benefits number. That took more time than I wanted. Then I began the reservation process, which also took a bunch of time, because the online coupon was not working. Finally, I got everything to work and reserved a car.
On the confirmation page were two pieces of information:
Because it was very late and I wanted to sleep in, I wanted to leave or send a message to the staff they could read when they got into the office when it opened at 7am. I called the voice number hoping for an answering machine. No answer. Because there was no web form for sending a message or email address, the next best option was to send a fax. I have an email-to-fax service, so this was an option for me.
I typed up my concerns and sent to the fax service. I then waited for the confirmation of a successful fax. Usually, confirmation comes back within a few minutes. After many minutes, the fax service reported failure. Seeing this result, I called the fax number. No answer.
Because the fax number presented on the confirmation page did not work and there was no other way to send a message, I had to cut short my sleep to call at 7am the Hertz office at that would have my rental car.
When I reported to the office staff that the fax machine was not working, I was told it had not been working for more than a month. The local staff also could not understand why a non-working fax number was such a big deal: “It’s only a fax number.”
The big deal is this. I wasted a bunch of time trying to communicate through an option presented to me on the confirmation page. I could have used that half hour to get more sleep.
After calling the destination Hertz office at 7am, I called the Hertz 800 number and complained about false information being presented to me. The representative also could not understand the concern. The response was something along the lines of “that’s a local problem.”
It is NOT a local problem. It is bad reflection on a travel company to present false information to a traveling customer that wastes time. A traveler wants a smooth trip and not eat up limited time following dead ends.
So, there are at least three issues here:
1. The fax machine is not working.
2. The local Hertz location should communicate to Hertz corporate that the machine is down and have the number removed as a communication option.
3. The staff does not understand the implications of false information provided to a traveler.