When you travel, sometimes you just want the security and confidence of booking with a well known company. Maybe I was just being naive thinking that things would go smoothly with a big name. While I didn’t specifically CHOOSE Hertz, I ended up with them after booking my flight to Ireland with Aer Lingus – It was kind of an add-on deal.
Cool, I thought, Hertz will be okay.
After many hours travelling and waiting for my friend’s flight to arrive, I dug out all the car hire information paperwork and we made our way to the Hertz desk at Dublin airport.
‘Oh, you need to be at the main desk, you’ll have to catch the bus over there.’
He then went on to explain that we needed to exit the airport, walk down the road and wait for a Hertz courtesy bus which would take us over to the ‘main desk’.
After a 5-8 minute drive, we (myself, my friend and a bus full of people), arrived at the ‘main desk’. We bundled out of the bus and headed indoors to discover one Hertz person on duty and 6 families queuing in front of our bus load.
After waiting in the queue for at least 20 minutes, I observed what seemed to be a curious system. When I finally found my way to the front of the queue a further 20 minutes later, there were 2 people serving. But here is what happened…
I approached the desk. The Hertz guy asked me most of the questions that I had already answered online when I’d pre-booked the car.
I asked if the car had a sat nav. No, but they can rent me one for €12 a day…. Uhm, no, because that would cost more than the car hire!!! Okay, we’ll give it to you for €10 a day… Uhm, no because that is still more or less the cost of the rental… Just leave it and we’ll take our chances with an old fashioned paper map.
The insurance excess is €1200 but for €12 a day, we can waiver that. €1200!!!! Bloody hell, let’s hope nothing happens to this highly prized car!!
‘Would you like to buy a tank of fuel from us?’
Since when did Hertz branch out into petrol? Ah, I see, if I bring it back empty, they will fill the tank cheaper than I can fill it at a petrol station. Okaaaay…
I then waited while my Hertz person headed outside to do ‘whatever’ for a full 10 minutes or so.
He came back in, handed me some paperwork and said, ‘It’s a black car, it’s just being washed and it will be out front in 10 minutes’.
I waited and waited and then looked outside and a black car was there. Was it mine? I had no idea. I checked the registration number on the paperwork I was given and saw that it was the correct one.
I walked over, found the keys in the ignition, familiarised myself with the car and did a quick inspection. There were scratches ALL over the car and the front left side mirror was half missing.
I looked around and there wasn’t a Hertz person to be found (except for the 2 people attempting to serve the ever-growing number of people in the queue).
I waited a bit but finally my friend went off to find someone while I looked after the car.
She brought him over and he asked if the car was okay?’ I told him no and pointed out the scratches.
He marked all of them on the check sheet and asked again if it was okay?’. I told him no and pointed out the mirror. He marked it on the sheet and asked…yup, you guessed it, if it was okay. Yes it is, go away you silly little man. It is now almost an hour since I arrived on the Hertz bus thinking there would be a car waiting for me with keys ready to go. I am tired, I am hungry and my car seems to be less than perfect.
If you book a hire car online, I think there should be a separate queue inside because they have all your details already. It should just be a question of arriving and collecting your ‘paid for’ car.
Outside, your car should be waiting for you (because they already have all your details, see point above).
The desk personnel should stay with the customers, radio to a representative outside who introduces you to your car and hands over the keys after doing a thorough check with you.
At least I think that would take less time and be less hassle. The last thing you want after a flight is to wait over an hour for your hire car.
It was disappointing to say the least – come on Hertz, I’m sure you can do better than that…