Monday, December 15, 2008

Ouch, That Really Hertz! The "Benefits" Of #1 Club Gold

After surviving the blistering heat of Brisbane and the town's "interesting" streetlife on Saturday night (I only went out to get a small plate of sushi [another story] and nearly died [of embarrassment, at being an Australian]!), I went up to the Hertz counter to rent a car at the airport in chilly old Melbourne when I arrived last night. Before signing up for anything I checked the breakdown of costs. The Airport Commission's tax on renting from there would have added $240 to the total cost of rental, which was already $1200, so, what did I do? I took a $60 taxi ride to my son's place. What is this, a stupid face?

Sunny morning Monday, but still chily, I connect to to book from online; I'll take a car from downtown Melbourne, thanks, another $30 taxi ride (or $4 on the train - North Richmond station is right outside my son's flat). I choose an Aurion. The total cost for the 14 days is calculated at only $502. Woah, lucky I didn't take one at the airport, eh?

Then, when the automated form asks for my details, I realise that I haven't logged in as a #1 Club Gold customer to receive any and all those exceptional benefits and discounts that are continually on offer and make the $60USD annual membership such an essential expenditure for any smart world traveller. (end sarcasm)

Hey, let's do that. What's the worst that could happen?

THIS is the worst!

OUCH, mother of all toe-fuckers! The rental charge has jumped to $2226! J. Herman Christ, I could BUY myself a car for that! Outa nowhere, an extra $1700! Same car, same rental period! Evidence: the benefits of Hertz #1 Club Gold membership! Supremely NOT!

What the hell is going on? Three wildly different estimates for the same service.

a) I am never going to log-in again! b) I am never renting from the airport again. c) I am cancelling my Hertz membership.

It's cheaper just to book online with any old car rental company...



Indiana said...

And when you picked up the car did you ask why as a member of Hertz's Gold Club the cost was $1700 more than if you just walked in off the street?

Or better yet, did you take screen shots of everything, draft a nicely worded "fuck you very much" letter to the CEO of Hertz Australia and send it to him along with your card...ohhh and send copies to the desk at the Age ~grin~

expat@large said...

Final cost was $870, with zero excess insurance.

Crazy. However, they had me down as holding a Singapore drivers licence (it's a Victorian one) and there were a whole heap of other minor errors which means that those fines from the Sydney and Melbourne tollways might never reach me! Until next time!

savannah said...

i never use hertz, sugar, because they lie! xoxo (and also because i get a much better deal with alamo.)

expat@large said...

I can never remember Alamo.

savannah said...

i set'em knock'em down! ;)


(drop by when you can, you'd certainly liven up the scenery, sugar!)

dibabear said...

I have a Hertz Gold Card and never use it unless corporate travel does the booking. It is ALWAYS more expensive and I've yet to learn why. Feckers, the lot of them.

For private trips I've taken to using Expedia or Hotwire (when to the U.S.) and have landed some good deals.

expat@large said...

Diba: the guy at the counter merely nodded sagely when I recounted my drama. I think it is a well-known phenomenon. I usually book for work so it doesn't worry me so much, but this was for my own holidays.

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