What happened to my missing Hertz discount code?

Where is his missing Hertz discount code?

Before Stephen Gondek boarded his flight back to Minneapolis, Hertz broadsided him with some bad news. The car rental company had given him a quote of $203 when he reserved his car, thanks to a Friends and Family Hertz discount code. Now it was charging him $814.

What happened to his missing Hertz discount?

Gondek’s case underscores the importance of carefully reading your car rental contract. It shows how elusive some of the discount codes and programs can be (so elusive that you hardly know they’re missing). But it also has a satisfying ending that everyone’s happy with.

When you don’t look at your car rental contract

Gondek reserved a compact car for a trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., through Hertz’s website. Choosing Hertz as his rental car agent came easily to Gondek. He had done so many times in the past and had always received terrific service. So he wasn’t expecting anything to be different this time.

The quote he received contained the notation “CDP Hertz Family Friend N America,” a reference to Hertz’s Friends and Family discount. The Hertz discount code CDP stands for Counter Discount Program. This discount allows program members to rent vehicles on special terms not available to the public.

The Friends and Family discount would lower Gondek’s rental charge by 25 to 30 percent. Or so he thought.

Gondek didn’t read his contract when he picked up his rental car in Myrtle Beach. He had never read his contract when he’d rented in the past and didn’t think he needed to this time.

He should have. His account no longer contained any Hertz discount code.

The case of the missing Hertz discount code

Gondek returned his car at the Myrtle Beach International Airport Hertz facility and then entered the airport terminal. Only then did he review his receipt for the car he’d just returned. He discovered that Hertz was charging him 400 percent more than the company had quoted him.

He immediately called Hertz’s customer service. The representative to whom he spoke wasn’t helpful. This employee told Gondek that the car rental company had removed the Friends and Family Hertz discount code from the reservation. The representative also told Gondek that he should have read the contract when he picked up the car.

“I acknowledge that I did not read the contract,” Gondek says. “Nor did I know anything about the change in status of this Hertz discount code. I was not asked to read the contract when I picked up the car. I never have been asked to do so. Nor was I told that any material changes had been made to my quote. No email, text, or verbal information was conveyed to me about any changes.”

Gondek went back to Hertz’s website and tried to reproduce his rental reservation with the Hertz discount code. He received a quote of $300 without the Friends and Family discount. The disappearing discount didn’t explain the entire difference between Hertz’s rental rates. And when he looked at his reservation on Hertz’s website, the Friends and Family discount code was still there.

Can the Elliott Advocacy team find that lost discount?

Gondek wrote to Gregory Crum, Hertz’s senior director of North American customer care and our primary contact for Hertz. He asked that the rate difference of $610 be refunded to his American Express credit card. He also disputed the charge with American Express.

Unfortunately, he received no reply from anyone at either company.

After receiving no help to restore his missing Hertz discount code, Gondek asked the Elliott Advocacy team for help. Our advocate, Dwayne Coward, reached out to Hertz on Gondek’s behalf.

A Hertz customer service representative notified Gondek that “the Hertz employee who sponsored you for this discount removed you from his portal. When an employee removes you from their portal, the discounted rate no longer applies, even to previously booked reservations.”

The representative offered Gondek a credit of $407, half of the amount Hertz had charged him. She didn’t explain why she thought this was a fair resolution. Nor did anyone at Hertz tell him why the employee who had sponsored Gondek for the discount removed him from his portal. But Gondek considers the offer an acceptable compromise.

How to avoid future Hertz discount code surprises

Gondek might have used our other Hertz executive contacts to escalate his complaint when he didn’t hear from anyone at Hertz. When advocating for yourself, we advise writing to corporate executives, exercising patience, persistence, and politeness in your letters. Start by writing to the primary contact. If you haven’t received a helpful response after one week, write to the next listed executive and work your way up. Allow each person a week to respond before escalating your case.

Don’t forget to review your car rental contract as soon as you receive it. Reconfirm your full rental rate with the counter agent before you leave the rental facility. Had Gondek done so, he would have noticed the missing Hertz discount at the time.

But he didn’t read his contract until it was too late to contest the significantly higher charge. At that point, the Hertz discount code had been invalidated. And Hertz had sped off into the sunset with $610 of his money.

Was the $407 Hertz offered Stephen Gondek a reasonable resolution of his case?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Cavalry Travel Insurance

Cavalry takes the worry of out travel by providing 24/7 access to medical and security professionals combined with the best medical evacuation and security extraction services. Cavalry gets you home safely when you need it most. Learn more at Cavalrytravelinsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners

Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at Sodexoinsights.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at Travelexinsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Insuremyrentalcar.com

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at  Mediacomcable.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit  Virtuoso.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. Elliott.org readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by TravelInsurance.com

TravelInsurance.com makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at  TravelInsurance.com.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on  Squaremouth.com to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.

Send this to a friend