The central irony of my dispute with Hertz over its bogus claim of damage to a car I rented in Spain is that I chose Hertz because I considered it more reputable than its competition.
Sadly, not so much.
Yesterday, I received an email at 9:39 a.m. informing me that “Hertz Claims Risk Management in Spain is being asked to make an investigation” of my allegation that the $500 damage claim is false. Today, at 10:34 a.m. I got another email informing me that “We regret, the office in Spain has advised the damage charges are valid and the correct vehicle was rented and shows damages to the vehicle.” (Perhaps it’s more grammatical in Spanish.)
Anyway, that was a quick investigation. But then it saved a lot of time that the investigators would not talk to me or correspond with me directly. And when I called Hertz customer service about this most rapid investigation, I was told that I have no further recourse with Hertz and I will get no further explanation. The customer service representative told me (a tad impatiently because I keep asking all these pesky questions) that I can dispute the charge with my credit card company, which of course I have already done.
So, just to summarize:
Hertz won’t tell me how the photos it provided of the “damage” were time-stamped six hours before I returned the car — as confirmed by the time of return noted on Hertz’s own invoice.
Hertz won’t tell me why it has no photo of the car’s hood, although the company claims there was 196 euros worth of damage to the hood.
Hertz won’t tell me why its photo of a side mirror that it claims I damaged shows a mirror that is shaped differently than the mirror on the car I rented, as I can prove with my own photographs of the car.
Hertz won’t tell me why someone added a description of the alleged damage to a document I had already signed, as I can prove with my own carbon of the original document.
Hertz won’t tell me why its investigators don’t want to see the 16-page refutation of the damage claim that I sent to American Express.
Hertz won’t tell me why its investigators won’t talk to me, confirm that they’ve even seen the evidence I gave customer service or answer my questions.
Oh, Hertz. Can’t you just pretend you made a mistake and that you really weren’t trying to steal from me? Nobody would believe it, but we’d all feel a little better.