Updated - Hertz Headache - Hertz Guaranteed Rate

Update - below is a post I made about how one person at Hertz was trying to change the rate of our guaranteed reservation astronomically.  After reaching out to Hertz on Twitter and sharing the details of our story, Hertz customer service has verified that they will be giving us the guaranteed rate that we originally booked.

Moral of this story...a company like Hertz is reputable.  If you aren't happy about something happening with a reputable company, try a different customer service agent or reach out to their social media/marketing team.  Respectable things can happen.

The old story now resolved -

Every year I look forward to the amazing deals you can get on travel, clothes, and electronics on Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Black Friday.  I scour the internet trying to get the best possible rates for my travels, and the rates are never better, it seems, than on these holidays.

My husband and I are going to Europe soon.  We had our basic itinerary booked and purchased Eurail passes for the majority of our trip, but Sweden and Norway are on my major wish list and it seems best to do them by car.

Enter Memorial Day Weekend.  I had my booking fingers ready.  Hotels/B&Bs and car rental were on the To Do list as were special travel clothes and shoes I'd been eyeing.  We pull up Kayak, do a cursory look at the various rental cars, see Hertz on the list, and decide we are happy with the rate that we assume is a Memorial Day sale they are offering.  It's Hertz, so we're happy.  They are a reputable company, right?

We go to Hertz.com and book our guaranteed rate.  We get our confirmation code and everything emailed to us.  Satisfied, I continue on my Memorial Day weekend booking spree.  Now that our car plans are set, we can book everything else.

Fast forward 6 days.  Tons of other (non-refundable) plans have been made.  I get an email from Hertz saying there has been a mistake in their booking system, and we have gotten the wrong rate.  They will be changing the rate or cancelling our reservation.

The new rate is massively larger than the guaranteed rate we were given.  We had a rate of 500 SEK a week.  Now we get 300 SEK a day?!?  I reply citing their Terms & Conditions.  Rates only change if the customer changes the reservation in some way.  We did not do so.  I ask what is the point of a guaranteed rate if it is subject to change at any time?

Fast forward two more days, and I get another reply.  Apparently the mistake was a data processing error outside of their control, and, if the rate had been correct, they would have guaranteed it.  (Seriously, read the email reply.)

I respectfully disagree that it was a data processing error out of Hertz’s control. Someone employed by the organization made that mistake.  They should honor their mistake.  How many airlines recently have honored their mistake fares?  It's just good business to honor a guaranteed rate.  (Plus I legitimately booked it out of good faith.  I just honestly thought it was a great sale, and I hadn't looked at rental car prices originating out of Sweden at any point for this trip other than this weekend.)

And for them to say that if the rate had been correct it would have been guaranteed is ludicrous!  That means any rate you book on any given date can be changed by Hertz if they want to call it an error?
Again I ask...what good is a guaranteed rate if there is no guarantee?  How is a customer supposed to know if a rate is correct or not?

As for this so called compensation of "the best rate we can offer for this reservation"...well, I can find that same rate for Buy It Now without a coupon code on their website right now. Some deal!

Our reservation was supposed to be around $325 total.  Now it's $955!  Are we really supposed to be okay with this???

How can rental car companies get away with this?  What good is a Hertz guaranteed rate if they are allowed to change it on you?  

I really hope Hertz makes good on this reservation.  I really really do.  They still have time, and someone out there has to be able to do something, right?

Stay tuned...
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