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Help! Hertz sent me a 10-year-old bill -- and then banned me

 

September 1, 2022



Hertz sends Marcus Hall a 10-year-old bill. But it can't substantiate the $6 charge. Now he's on the Do Not Rent list. Can I help him untangle this?

I recently received a $6 bill from Hertz for toll charges from 2012. The company told me that a third party, Toll Processing Partners, conducted an audit during which it discovered a previous unpaid invoice.

I contacted Hertz, and it suggested that I get in touch with Toll Processing Partners about the outstanding invoice. I called, but after keeping me on hold for 20 minutes, the company said it could not provide an invoice. I can't make payments on charges that are not correctly invoiced.

It's unfortunate their accounting system allowed this issue to occur, but it is their issue to resolve, not mine.

I just attempted to book a reservation through Hertz. It appears I am now on the Hertz Do Not Rent list. Hertz would prefer to lose business rather than simply write off a $6 charge. Can you help me get this straightened out?

Marcus Hall, Simi Valley, Calif.

I can't believe this happened. Sending a 10-year-old bill is highly unusual. But banning someone by adding them to the Do Not Rent list for over $6 is absurd. You're a frequent business traveler, so Hertz stood to lose a lot of money by putting you on the Do Not Rent list. And yet it did.

It wasn't your responsibility to chase down a third party involved in the transaction. After all, you rented a car from Hertz, not Toll Processing Partners. If you don't get a valid invoice, you should not have to pay.

How long can a car rental company hold you liable for your toll charges? Most businesses write off debt after two years. (The government requires federal agencies to write it off after 24 months under most circumstances.) So Hertz was going way, way beyond normal business practices.

And how about your banning? Hertz is, of course, free to put anyone it wants on its Do Not Rent list for any reason. But sending you into exile for $6 seems petty. Someone didn't check to see how much business you were giving Hertz. If they had, they would have quickly forgiven the debt.

I think you could have easily resolved this with a brief, polite email to Hertz. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of the Hertz executives on my consumer advocacy site.

I contacted Hertz on your behalf. A representative contacted you by email shortly afterward.

"Please accept my sincere apology for the delay in this toll charge being brought to your attention," the Hertz representative said. "Due to this, we have advised our Toll Processor to zero out the balance and not attempt to collect. We have also reinstated your rental privileges."

Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer for Elliott Advocacy. Email him at [email protected] or get help with any consumer problem by contacting him at http://www.elliott.org/help

© 2022 Christopher Elliott

 

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