There is a first time for everything. For me last January, this first was getting caught speeding by an electronic surveillance camera mounted above a city street just outside downtown Cleveland. It was late. There weren’t any cars on the road. I was just trying to get back to my hotel after dinner.
The problem was I didn’t know I had gotten caught speeding. Didn’t know it until I received an email notice from Hertz some two months later. I was driving a Hertz vehicle when said infraction occurred. The hidden camera caught a picture of the license plate. The authorities tracked the car back to Hertz and charged them for the $110 ticket. Hertz tracked the car back to me as they knew it was rented in my name at the time of the citation.
The second problem was that the email from Hertz was pretty cryptic. It didn’t tell me where I was or what time the ticket was issued. It just said they would bill my credit card on file for the $110. So I called. And I emailed. And I heard nothing in response. And they did indeed charge my credit card the $110.
About a month later, I called again and finally reached the right person in the violations department. She was able to point me to a webiste where additional information about the violation could be found. I verified the time and location to confirm that I was guilty as charged. At this point, I resigned myself to accept the fine I was given.
But then, about two weeks later, an email arrived from Hertz:
Due to our email volume we are unable to personally respond to your inquiry. Therefore, your credit card has been credited in full for the items to which you have inquired. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this situation may have caused. We appreciate your business.
Wow! I didn’t have to pay the fine! That’s the kind of inconvenience we can all use!
Too bad Hertz’ email system didn’t recognize the fact that my issue had already been resolved 2 weeks prior. That and their lack of responsiveness cost them $110. These are real dollars that they had to pay to the City of Cleveland that they failed to recoup from me, their admittedly guilty customer.