Every now and then, some idiot organisation decides that they can completely ignore customer questions in relation to them failing to deliver a product as advertised. Of course, when this occurs certain Arseholes such as myself object.
Subsequently, a subset of said organisations attempt to further frustrate the addressing of these objections by assigning the handling of whatever issue they’ve created to their in-house equivalent of Ralph Wiggum.
In September 2017, I rented a car from Hertz. The booking was made online, confirmation was provided and all appeared to be sweetness and light. Alas, this was not to be. Instead, things went something like this:
- The pickup point I’d selected was actually closed at the specified pickup time.
- Calling the Area Manager resulted in being directly lied to, stating that there were no scheduled pickups for the day.
- An alternative pickup point was arranged, approximately 2.5 km from the original pickup point with a promise that staff would be waiting for us upon our arrival.
- Upon arriving at the alternative pickup point, no staff were waiting for us upon our arrival.
- The car provided was very different from the car requested (in every way).
- There was very little fuel in the car upon pickup.
- Upon drop off of the car at the conclusion of the rental, the Area Manager simply responded with “These things happen” when presented with the issues encountered and a request for consideration.
- The final invoice (sent via e-mail several hours after the car was returned) was 25% higher than what was quoted initially.
Clearly, up with this I could not put! A delightfully balanced message was sent to the
good people at Hertz:
A number of issues were encountered with regard to my recent rental (agreement #123456). As you can see, the requested vehicle was not provided, the pickup location was unstaffed, significant time was spent on my part to compensate for Hertz process and/or system deficiencies and I have now been charged 25% more than what was originally quoted.
Please confirm that the 25% overcharge will be refunded immediately and the manner of compensation Hertz will be affording me for the issues outlined.
Unfortunately, Ralph had seemingly glued his head to his shoulder and was thus unable to address my request in full:
The location was unstaffed at your time of attendance as scheduling was done after you made your booking. For this reason, you were required to go to our other depot. I trust this addresses your concerns.
I was less impressed with this response than I was with my cat’s last selection of places to vomit, thus I took to Twitter to ask that a proper reply be constructed by someone not high on tar fumes.
Low and behold, I received The same response via e-mail 6 hours later, featuring the impressively unhelpful line of “Your invoice is correct” tacked on the end with no further explanation. When I again queried this response along with invoking my favourite C word I was again told that a more complete response would be “forthcoming”. I suspect that the lack of timeframe and lack of signs of this response had me experience something in common with some of the doomsday nutterists who ask for donations occasionally.
As no parsnips had been buttered by this futile exchange of pleasantries, I was left with no option but to chargeback the transaction. Expecting this to result in some additional communication from Hertz was misguided, as the only subsequent, related events that occurred were:
- The entire rental amount being credited to my account as a result of the chargeback being settled in my favour
- A bunch of bonus frequent flyer miles being deposited due to a promotional code I’d used
All in all, victory!