Hertz doesn’t seem to like its customers. Every year, the company files over 3,000 stolen vehicle reports, a figure that the company has tried to keep hidden from the public. The result of these reports is an ongoing debacle of hundreds of claims of false arrests against the company. Now, one former manager is speaking out against the company’s accusations. News Nation reports the manager is telling what really goes on behind the scenes.
The former branch manager in charge of over 20 Hertz locations is Daniel Stokes. He worked for Hertz from 1996 until 2007, when he was fired for the very thing he’s speaking out about. Stokes says that the company is being too heavy-handed when it comes to dealing with claims of rental theft, as most of the claims aren’t actually thefts. From News Nation:
He says Hertz should not be involving police in most of these cases, but a collections company, instead.
In cases where customers have rented a car and not returned it on the due date, “Hertz is actually using the police department as a repo company and the court system as a collection company,” Stokes said. “All of these supposed embezzlement by thefts are collection issues. They’re not actual thefts.
The blame can be placed on Hertz using old computer systems that don’t update records in time. Because of that, Stokes says people who haven’t done anything wrong get in trouble. Someone rents a car, returns it late, but ultimately pays the company what’s owed for the late return. But then another driver rents the car and gets in trouble for that late rental because Hertz’s systems haven’t updated that those previous late fees have been paid.
It’s after the fact … people are getting arrested,” Stokes said. “That’s pretty jarring to a person’s life.” And he said that’s because Hertz simply isn’t working with computer systems or record keeping that are rapid enough to clear a car’s history before it’s returned to service, leading innocent people to be falsely arrested.
Stokes ultimately lost his job for this very issue. He had to be out on medical leave for an extended period and had a company rental. He ended up being arrested and charged with embezzlement which cost him his job.
With the recent court order that Hertz turn over its database of these alleged rental thefts, the public may learn of hundreds more people that were arrested for no reason at all. And Hertz may come to regret it.