Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fun and Games with Hertz Rental Cars

We were having such a nice day.... getting into our hotel in St Malo and exploring a bit in other areas. Our first plan had been to go to the island of Guernsey after reading the great book, "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society". After all, who do you know who has ever been to Guernsey? We purchased our ferry tickets only to be super fruswtrated by the total lack of hotel rooms on the island. Sold out for the 70th anniversary Air Show depicting the allies flying in to save the island inhabitants from the German occupation. Bummer. We decided to move on.

This is a photo of our car tire after our blow out. We aren't sure if it blew out and threw us into the curb or if we bumped the curb and it blew out. Any way you look at it, we weren't going anywhere with it.

We all had our jobs after walking for 1/2 mile and finding no help. I put on my trusty Hertz safety vest and scooted under the car to see if I could find a way to get the spare tire released. Hertz had given us loads of advertisments in our info packet, but there was no information about the car. No information on how to change the tire, find the jack....... etc.

Sue had a cell phone, so she used it for nearly 3 hours calling the Hertz service line. We got no answer or were told that our "subscription" didn't allow for entry to the service site. Sue called the reservation line asking to be transferred or just any help getting service and was told that it wasn't the problem of reservations..... click. They hung up on us! In the meantime, at least 250 cars had passed us and not one even slowed down to see if we needed help. Please be kind to anyone who is stuck on the side of the road!!

Our other travel partner helped me unload the car and search for tools. At first it was kind of funny, I mean really?! But as time wore on, it became not funny at all. We had no idea how to reach the police, but we finally figured that out after 3 hours of the run around by Hertz and Peugot. Yes we even tried the nearest dealer and garage. Sue asked the male on the phone "Is this how you would treat your mother?" His response was "She's dead" and hung up. 15 minutes on the phone with the police, mainly finding someone who could speak enough
English to understand our high school French, and a tow truck with driver was on his way.

Susan holds up our only available tool. No jack, no spare, no help. The wonderful repair man arrived, Pierre, no lie, and asked for the tools. Susan proudly produced what we had. Pierre was able to call Hertz in town and ask where the rest of the tools were. Then he needed the instruction book from us. No such luck. It took 3 of us to figure out how to release the tire from under the car. Now I didn't feel so bad. If the mechanic man didn't know, how could we know?

Voila! The new replacement tire. We were told not to exceed 45 MPH on the freeway, so we drove with the hazard lights on, being honked at, cursed and many added hand gestures. We found Hertz in St Malo and were told that there were no other cars for us and that we needed to go to Speedy's Garage to get a new tire. Upon finding Speedy's, we ran into the language wall. No English at all and he was MAD!! A wonderful French family came to our translation rescue. It seems that Hertz had called him earlier and he had told them that he did not carry the tire we needed, we had to go somewhere else. Hertz sent us anyway, knowing there was no tire. The mechanic called the Hertz office while we were there and told the wonderfully kind woman there that we would be coming back to her for a different solution. When we got to the Hertz office 5 minutes later, it was locked up tight and she was gone for lunch. We called Hertz agencies from there and drove to another about 20 miles away where a new car was found. Our thanks to the airport personnel at Dinard who arranged our new car. They are not Hertz employees. Our story is told. We plan to open a different blog site to Hertz renters to voice their experiences. I know that none of us will be renting from them again!!


Kathie Truitt said...

Seriously. This almost made me cry. Awful!

Frances said...

Reading this awful experiences regarding the services offered by Hertz car rental makes me wish to think twice before I opt for their services.