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Help with Rental Car Toll Booth Violation in SoCal


BG2008
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I was in Southern California to attend the Daily Journal Meeting and rented a car.  After the meeting, I drove around in a Hertz rental. I saw some charges from my credit card for toll fees from Hertz.  Then came the big surprise.  South Bay Expressway is looking to charge me $85 total for $5 in tolls that allegedly I did not pay. I did some digging online.  Hertz has Platepass which includes Fastrak in California.  Since I have a bunch of charges for tolls from Hertz, I deducted that I must have PlatePass and it was functioning properly.  South Bay should've charged PlatePass/Fastrak.  One way to resolve this is that I can provide the FasTrak Account Number and Transponder No to South Bay.  The problem is that I have no idea how to retrieve this data now that it's 6 weeks later.  Has anyone dealt with this in the past?  Is the best solution to call Hertz and ask them to retrieve the FasTrak and Transponder No associated with the car?

 

Hertz on the other hand sent me a $30 admin fee for passing this problem through to me.  It seems like Hertz just passes through the fee regardless.  It's about the same as a daily rental.  I get it that the rental car company don't make a whole ton of profit, but this kind of underhanded technique is kind of sickening.  Apparently, a few years ago there was a class action lawsuit regarding these charges. 

 

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/electronic-toll-collectors-generate-expensive-surprises-for-rental-car-drivers-052715.html

http://www.courant.com/consumer/bottom-line/hc-bottom-line-hertz-platepass-20150514-column.html

 

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I would think that Hertz should resolve this, if their Fastrak does not work.

 

My experience is that Hertz has come from best in class for service to sleazebags, who try to nickel and dime their customer at every opportunity that represent itself. I had a case where the charged me a ridiculous amount of insurance for a rental at a business trip to Europe, and pretty much decided that I will never touch Hertz again (i was Gold member). No surprise their stock is in the toilet, imo.

 

P.S Nice talking to you the other day :-)

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The whole thing is a bit ridiculous.  Somehow their transponder worked everywhere and it didn't non this particular toll road.  Hertz sayd "read the fine print, if you get a ticket, you have to resolve it.  It's your problem. We're just gonna charge you automatically.  Oh, yeah, you've got like 10 days."  Hertz really is a sleaze ball with their tactics. The toll road isn't great either. 

 

As an investor, I would be very worried to invest in Hertz or any of the car rental companies as I think it's indicative of their profit generators. 

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Some company's respond to customer complaints if you tweet at them.

 

Yeah, I've noticed that before.  Unfortunately, I don't even have a twitter account.

 

Get one you are missing out. Fintwit has great information flow if you get used to filtering out the noise.

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What's worked for me a number of times is to write to customer service directly on the corporate website - except for car rental co's (Avis, europcar)

 

With Uber etc, car rental companies are hammered..in which case it's ~100 bucks. There's principle and there's being philosophical. If it's not a big amount, even when we are right, in principle we always just settle. It's just not worth the time.

 

 

Cheers!

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Never got around to calling Hertz.  Winded calling Southbay Expressway.  They offered to reduce the figures from $85 to $25 because it's a first violation.  Given that I'm terrible at following and absolutely abhors talking to "customer dis-service"  I opted to pay the reduced fee. 

 

In the future, I will take a picture of the transponders and its #s as a record keeping to avoid this kind of crazy BS. 

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