Hertz — Donut

It’s been about 50 years since I said “yes” when somebody (probably my brother, Fred) asked me if I wanted a “knuckle sammich.”

It had been nearly as long since I said “yes” when somebody (probably my brother, Fred) asked me if I wanted a “Hertz Donut.”

It’s important to note that Fred was nowhere to be found when this happened.  So I can’t blame him.

In fact, I don’t recall actually being asked “Do you want a Hertz Donut.”  Nope.  I didn’t hear it coming.  But I got hit anyway.  Me and John did, actually.

Hertz Donut

You see, we flew up here to Maine to check on the repair work to our little cottage up here that was damaged in a fire.

We used our United Airlines frequent flier miles to pay for most of the ticket.  John noticed that they also offered a special deal on rental cars with prepayment.  Hertz!  Located right there in the Portland airport, not a zillion miles and a schleppy shuttlebus ride away.  Plus, the cost was the same as the other car rental companies.

Great!  Yes, I’d love a Hertz, ummmm, rental car.

But neither of us signed on for a Hertz Donut.

Still, that’s exactly what we got.  And it Hertz right in the wallet.

We got to the extremely convenient counter, gave our names and began our transaction.  John pulled out his drivers’ license, and I pulled out mine.

“That’ll be $13.99 per day for a second driver,” said the clerk, a bit sheepishly.

“Excuse me?” John and I said, both our mouths hanging open in shock.   “There’s never a charge for an extra charge for a spouse to drive a rental car.”

“There is with Hertz’ promotion with United,” responded the clerk,  apologetically.  (It wasn’t her fault, we knew that.  She was just doing her job.  So we groused politely, and not at her.)

We had pre-paid for our car, non-refundable, natch.  And we needed two drivers because we were doing all kinds of household chores.

We were not happy.  We had never had to pay extra for a second driver, let alone a spouse.  Have you?

An extra $100.  Hertz, Donut.

I don’t know about you, but I am really fed up with Corporations sticking their hand in my pocket.  Especially when they claim to be offering me a bloomin’ bargain.

Yup, and I'll make sure to go elsewhere from now on.

Yup, and I’ll make sure to go elsewhere from now on.

It makes me wanna give everybody at Hertz a knuckle sammich.


[All images are from Google, Natch.]



Filed under Conspicuous consumption, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Driving, Huh?, Humor, Maine, Stupidity

72 responses to “Hertz — Donut

  1. These promo deals always have some kind of back charges you don’t plan on – that’s how they can make it sound so appealing (they don’t tell you the whole story up front)


  2. We’ve run into the same additional charge when renting from some other companies. Now I check before I make the reservation. We have found some great car rental deals with our BJ’s membership.


    • This comment ended up in the Way Back Machine, I think.

      We don’t have memberships to those savings club/big box stores. I found myself buying huge amounts of stuff that I never use. So it is too expensive to save so much money!

      I will use your advice and check ahead. But the do trick you all the time by cheating you in new and different ways, don’t they.


  3. Hi, we are new to your blog by way of mutual blogging friend, Carrie Rubin & enjoyed your post. Unbelievable! No we hadn’t heard that Hertz was doing that. But we can believe it. It’s everywhere & everyone. Seems like the large companies are finding a way to charge you for everything these days. Insane! Well, thx 4 the warning so we won’t be shocked. We’ll know what to expect.


    • Thank you for stopping by (and for letting me know how you got here!).

      As you said so well, it’s everywhere and everyone. I guess I should know by now. But I won’t be renting another Hertz Donut, that’s for sure!


  4. An extra charge for a second driver? That’s ridiculous. That makes me think of the “Master of the House” song from Les Mis where they say “charge them for the mice, extra for the lice, 2% for looking in the mirror twice.” That’s just abusrd.


  5. Arghghghgh. I just hate it when we get Hertzed. Sorry you got to experience the crusty side of the donut. No fun there. You would think these corporations would begin to figure out that the advent of the internet allows for on-the-spot marketing campaigns, whether they like it or not. Maybe that’s the only upside in this picture. Anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection gets to tell the truth about their “rental experience” and in doing so, consumers get to decide where to spend their dollars.

    Either way, it still Hertz. Donuts and all.


    • You would think that, wouldn’t you, 99. Today when we dropped the car off, I gave them another opportunity to take off the charge. But no. They didn’t. They lost a customer, which is never good.


  6. Ridiculous! Next time, just tell me and I’ll be your chauffeur for the week, I can zip you guys around in my Loser Cruiser (old Dodge caravan with half-eaten donuts under the seats…)

    This post reminds me of my fave movie: Planes, Trains and Automobiles. When Steve Martin gets up to the counter and says: “I just want a F-ing car, with four f-ing tires and a f-ing steering wheel. Instead you gave me a ticket for a f-ing car that isn’t f-ing there.”


  7. Hey Elyse, it took me a minute to get it but when I did I laughed myself silly. Thank you for my late night giggle fest.


  8. I don’t have that much experience with rental cars, but your post reminds me of a pet peeve related to underhanded business practices. Restaurants that push daily “specials” as if these dishes are bargains. They’re not. Often, they cost MORE than regular menu items. I remember when the restaurant special was the dish you got for a lower cost. Not any more. And restaurants are hoping customers are remembering the same old days I’m remembering…


  9. Somehow they always make you feel a little dirty when they pull a stunt like this. Unfortunately, one is as bad an another.
    We have been hit with the 2nd driver thing before and are usually prepared for just one of us to drive.


  10. There’s a whole alternate reality in the fine print.
    Unfortunately, that’s the reality that sticks.


  11. That’s total Bullshit, Elyse. And I’m sorry that you got scammed. Hmm… I’m now thinking about possible ways that I could really stick it to Hertz on your behalf, where it really Hurtz! (Not to worry – I would never mention you or your blog)

    My wife Jean would confirm that this is no idle threat coming from me… Years back, she came home in tears because UPS had delivered a package that was vitally important one of her company’s biggest customers in NYC to the wrong address, and then UPS did absolutely nothing to help her. Except to send her a “proof of delivery” which had NO info on the wrong address in NYC where the package was delivered to, and only a signature of “Door Man”. Seriously.

    The short version of the story is that not only did I “motivate” UPS to pick up and re-deliver the package to the correct address one day later, but via telephone I waged a war of psychological terror against the worst of the UPS professional “deny and evade all responsibility” deniers and evaders, that left UPS mid level management with a corporate case of PTSD.


    • Thanks, Chris. But simply spreading the word about this asinine policy would be sufficient! If they ever back over my husband son or my next dog, I’ll let you know!


      • I’m smiling as I’m writing this reply to yours here. Spreading the word about that asinine policy was exactly what I had in mind, Elyse. Maybe by coming up with a YouTube video featuring a really cute kitten doing something unbearably cute, with the potential to go viral… that includes an attachment of “BTW… Have you heard the latest about Hertz?”

        Or I might just call in a favor with a certain WP blogger friend of mine, who recently celebrated her blog’s two millionth hit… and ask her to re-blog your post. BUT… only with your permission first! And that’s a sincere promise.

        I only launch psychological wars of terror against those “people” that Mitt Romney and the US Supreme Court have confused with being corporations, and vice versa… when they do things to reduce my wife to tears, and cause her a sleepless night filled with anxiety. UPS is not the only perpetrator of this crime, that soon became my victim as a direct result. Enough said.


  12. That’s a dick move, Hertz. And now that they’ve done this, you know Avis, National, etc, will all follow suit. Ugh.

    Now I want donuts.


  13. I am stunned, 13.99 + taxes + airport fees +++ for a second driver? Are they out of their minds? Don’t answer, I think I know. Personally? I would have promised not to drive the f’ng car.



    • But once they tell you, and one of you happens to be a lawyer, the problems would have been many had I had a problem with the car. I’m going to write to them, cite this blog post, and suggest politely that they refund the money.

      And we really needed to have both drivers. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr


  14. bigsheepcommunications

    Isn’t that kinda sorta, I don’t know, fraud??


    • I imagine it is somewhere in the fine print. But John IS a lawyer and reads that stuff. He didn’t see it.

      Either way, whether they can legally do it or not, it’s a cheap shot. All they get out of it is ill-will. And a blog post letting people know that Hertz’ policy sucks.


  15. In other words you could have flown first class. I do not like surprises unless they involve loads of money in my pocket. Hertz will now join Walmart & Exxon on my list of companies never to frequent.


  16. That would annoy me….

    How is the house coming along?


    • I’m still annoyed, and our week here is nearly done. Grrrr.

      The house is coming along pretty well. Fortunately/unfortunately it is pouring rain today so we were able to see where the new roof is leaking …. at least we know what to tell the builders! We can even get pictures. (Homeownership is over rated. Second-home ownership is for dopes.)


  17. Oof, that’s grim.
    Those guys are crooks…


  18. I’m sorry you got scammed, but on the bright side, you’ve contributed to my education — I’d never heard of a Hertz donut before this. (And I have three older brothers!)

    Anyway, I’ll just leave this here: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/tehboypop/2842106530/lightbox/


    • I miss The Far Side … Thanks. I had forgotten that one.

      I think you owe Hertz Donuts all three of your brothers. I’m sure each of them deserve several. Or if the have kids, well now, that would be the ultimate revenge!


  19. I hate when companies get sneaky and take advantage of us “little people”. It recently happened to me – I’ll be blogging about that later! – but I shared your story on my FB page (I used the hashtag: #FiftyFourAndaHalf if you want to look for my post and see any comments that come out of it. I also Pressed it. Feel like we should share the word…stinking companies.


    • Thanks. I hate cheaters and scam artists. So the more you tell, the better.

      (But I have a secret. I don’t use Facebook. Yeah. I’m weird.)


      • That’s ok…I use it enough for the both of us! 😉 And you aren’t weird – I have a handful of friends that don’t use FB either. I’m a social media JUNKIE – no doubt – but I know it isn’t for everyone. 🙂


  20. Pingback: Hertz — Donut | WahmCat

  21. One of our early experiences was an upcharge for the second driver … we didn’t pay then, nor did we ever ask again.


  22. I have to tell you that I too am sick of corporations sticking their hands into my pocket, especially after offering me a “great deal.” I’m still waiting for my $150 Visa Credit Card from Direct TV!


  23. Knickeled and dimed. Knickeled and dimed. All over, everything’s becoming knickeled and dimed…


  24. Tricky Hertz. Assholes.


  25. There are no bargains. Evah. (As we say in New England).


  26. Hertz can go to helltz.


  27. It’s like all these bargain airlines, which I’ve decided not to use any more, especially as the service is absolutely rubbish. But you’ll start off thinking you have a flight that only costs a few euro’s and the further you click the more and more gets added to the price.
    It’s not really fair that they weren’t upfront with you at Hertz, it should have been mentioned on the website when you hired the car. Not later on, when you were there to pick up the car.


  28. Tex Arty

    Wow! That really Hertz.


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