Hertz – Very odd policy

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  • Anonymous
    Guest

    seasonedtraveller
    Participant

    I rent approx 30 cars per year from Hertz and, as a consequence, am ‘President’s Circle’ with them.
    I have recently come across a highly unusual situation with Hertz where I can get a much lower cost, and a different car class, on Ryanair website.

    For example – I just booked with Hertz in Eire and Denmark. The prices were high but what I considered to be ‘standard’. On both occasions the class of car I wanted (compact) was shown as not being available. Intermiediate and above were offered.

    A colleague suggested I look at Ryanair website where Hertz cars are available.
    An odd situation – Not only were Compact and economy cars available but the price difference on the intermidiate offered on the Hertz site was a staggering £85 cheaper over 3 days rental.

    By now curious, I looked into all my current Hertz reservations & found that by booking them on the Ryanair website, I would be saving almost £400 over the next 3 months.
    Then I thought, there has to be a catch, maybe one needs to arrive on a Ryanair flight to qualify but no, I have just re-booked the Denmark rental, arriving with SAS and no need to enter airline information into the Ryanair page.
    I will be asking Hertz about this policy, particularly telling top tier members that particular vechicals are not available when its very clear that they are.


    DisgustedofSwieqi
    Participant

    Seasonedtraveller

    What you are seeing is Ryanair leverage and pricing elasticity in action.

    I have booked my cars through Ryanair for years and it was always so. The only constraint is that you cannot get cars at non destination airports, such as Heathrow.

    There may well be no compact cars available, but as you will be well aware from experience, you will just be allocated the level, possibly after an attempt to upsell.

    All that may be happening is that Hertz recognise the futility of trying to upsell customer from an airline that is low cost positioned, whereas ‘President’s Circle’ members are top men and thus have larger wallets.

    Rather than waste your time complaining, I would just keep booking through Ryanair and keep saving that extra money.

    If you wish to double check rates, you can try http://www.travelsupermarket.com, which has saved me thousands of euros over the years.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Its a similar situation with hotel bookings. Go straight to the hotel chain or though 3rd party suppliers. Some hotels have now come up with a best price guarantee, perhaps one day the car hire firms will as well.

    I am sure that if you look hard enough there will be a supplier who will beat the Ryan Air price.

    However, what you need to consider are the value of any benefits being given when you direct your busienss through one supplier i.e. being a Presidents Circle member, does this in the long term provide you with added value over and above the value being received by buying through Ryan Air.


    Travellator
    Participant

    I am a no1 Preferred hertz whatever.

    I book a car such as a Ford Fiesta and because of my status can use express lane and ALWAYS get an upgrade usually to a BMW 1 series.


    continentalclub
    Participant

    seasonedtraveller it may be worth logging in to your Hertz account and having a look at your preference settings. Way back in the mists of time, you may have set them online, or indeed on a paper enrolment form which Hertz have now uploaded to your account.

    Sometimes, though by no means all the time, it can be specific acceptances and declinations, say of add-ons and insurances, that conspire to reduce the number of options or indeed increase the rates presented when you search while logged in.

    You may also, for example, have an airline or hotel loyalty programme-related corporate discount plan (CDP) saved in your profile. This CDP number may restrict the vehicle types available, or the payment options (pre-pay vs on collection).

    In my case, I tend to use a specific CDP that gives me a very good discount with no requirement to pre-pay – but it does limit me to certain vehicle groups. Occasionally, if I do just want a Class A vehicle, it makes sense to remove the CDP from the search. If you do make a Ryanair-introduced booking, you may notice that their CDP will show up in the booking – there’s no particular reason why you can’t make a note of this and save it in your own profile, removing the need to go via Ryanair’s site in future. Just be aware that the Ryanair CDP may also remove vehicle types, or only offer pre-pay, so if you then search for a Lincoln Navigator for pay on collection in the USA, you might be out of luck.

    Do also check that you have not declined CDW in your profile. Some years ago, when American Express started offering CDW as a benefit with Platinum and Centurion cards, it made sense to decline CDW as a matter of course as it was usually loaded as an add-on to any given rate.

    However, following something of an outcry regarding ‘hidden charges’ that renters faced after they’d booked, CDW was incorporated into almost all rates, effectively leaving the only non-CDW rate as a kind of rack (or most expensive) rate equivalent.

    Accordingly, if your profile still automatically declines CDW then often, by default, the system will only show you the most expensive rate and, again sometimes, only a limited number of vehicles which can be hired without CDW.

    Navigating through the car rental companies’ systems is something of a trawl, and I’ve personally had a few too many run-ins with Hertz of late, but in this case I think its less to do with any kind of conspiracy (though I know such theories are unusually popular hereabouts) and more to do with antiquated legacy systems that can’t really cope with the complexity of their modern business and the myriad means of accessing their services.

    As a postscript, it’s also worth constantly checking different CDPs and routes to booking, as they change regularly. Ryanair may be cheap this month, but not next. At the moment, Delta have a CDP for SkyMiles members which can deliver some competitive rates in the US and Canada until 28 Feb:

    CDP 165385

    To be used with Promotional Code (PC):

    PC148120

    http://bit.ly/gb9CSb

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