If someone booked a rental car, one could reasonably expect to get a car at the time, place, and price agreed upon in advance—but a New York City woman says that’s the opposite of what happened to her right before her much-anticipated Thanksgiving trip.
Kate Klonick, an assistant professor of law at St John’s University in Queens, and her partner planned what was supposed to be a relaxing trip to the Rochester area to visit her partner’s single mother. I booked a rental car with Hertz on Dean Street in Brooklyn. When I went to pick it up, a worker allegedly told Klonik and other clients that the rental office would be closing soon, and they wouldn’t get their reservations.
Many of the 15+ customers who were waiting for a car left after the office closed but Clunik stayed. After contacting another Hertz location on Etihad Street, which was also closed, Clonique contacted customer service as advised.
A few calls later after waiting on hold and disconnecting, she says she finally reached someone who told her that there would be a rental car for her at LaGuardia Airport, but that she would have to pay more than four times her original quoted price.
“What I was hearing was, ‘We have a car. You have a rent where you’re supposed to pay $415 for that car. Now we want you to get that car for $1800. How does that look to you? “I was like, Absolutely not!” Klonick recalled in a video interview with NBC New York.
She says a customer representative told her over the phone that there was nothing they could do. Clonick and her partner, their sick dog, and all their packed bags were left just to check other Hertz sites or go to the LGA to find out—they did both. After an Uber ride to the airport, they were again asked to pay $1,800, and so they went home.
The next day, Klonick says customer service told her she could definitely get a car at the original price at the North Side Pierce location. However, the barred lawyer said she received the same “blackmail” story.
“I knew what they were doing was against the actual law, but it’s also very unethical from a business perspective,” she said. While she knew she should have gotten a car at the quoted price, Klonek eventually ended up paying twice as much for another rental car to make it to Thanksgiving dinner on time.
Klonik says her partner lost his sister on Thanksgiving six years ago, and on top of that and the pandemic, it was a tough holiday for the whole family.
“I was sitting on top of the bag, softly crying into my mask. I really felt this repeated blackmail,” she said. if she is She moved her grievances to Twitter She shared her story.
The Twitter thread got a lot of attention, especially from those who shared similar nightmares with the rental company.
Hertz said in a statement that it apologized for the inconvenience and returned the payment to Klonik. “We are investigating the situation to better understand what happened so that we can take any necessary corrective actions,” a company spokesperson said.
While Klonick said, “I’ve come to small claims court here” in one of her tweets, it’s unclear if she’ll take any legal action because she says it doesn’t care about money at this point.
“This should not happen to people before Christmas,” she added.