Law professor accuses Hertz rental car of ‘extortion’, vows to sue after alleged Thanksgiving nightmare Law professor accuses Hertz rental car of ‘extortion’, vows to sue after alleged Thanksgiving nightmare

Law professor accuses Hertz rental car of ‘extortion’, vows to sue after alleged Thanksgiving nightmare

Get the latest BPR news delivered free to your inbox daily. SIGN UP HERE

A law professor said she plans to sue the Hertz Corporation, claiming the rental car company violated the terms of their contract and extorted her over a Thanksgiving reservation gone wrong.

Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St. John’s University School of Law and an attorney in the state of New York, related her nightmarish experience in a Twitter thread that has now gone viral.

The story begins with Klonick reserving a car the Sunday before Thanksgiving for a quoted price of $414 including taxes, and it all went south from there. She arrived at a Brooklyn, New York location on time and ready to roll but ended up waiting in line for over two hours. Instead of seeing to the needs of every customer, the employees closed up shop for the night and told the remaining customers they could not help them.

Desperate travelers waved 20 dollar bills in the air to try and entice the agents to stay on and work, but to no avail.

The agents allegedly told Klonick and her husband to kick rocks but said they could rent a car at another location for $1,800. They declined the generous offer.

Following that, the Klonicks made two more attempts to rent a car. First, they went to the LaGuardia Airport location where they found they could rent a vehicle “in excess of $1,800” for the week. That idea wouldn’t fly, so the Klonicks made a reservation at the Williamsburg Hertz location in the neighborhood of Brooklyn. The price for that mystery car, again, was $1,800. They reportedly negotiated the price back down to the original $414, but upon arrival, there was no car to drive.

Detailing the experience, Klonick tweeted that Hertz “ended up making us pay $500+ over quoted price for a bad car.”

“Honestly did not write this up and post this letter for myself. I really did it because this was not just poor customer service or bad logistics. It was extortion,” she added.

In her letter to the company, she is seeking damages in the amount of $528.07 “for the difference in price between the original violated contract and the amount paid to remedy the violated contract.”

She is also requesting reimbursement in the amount of$133.51 for the many Uber trips she and her husband had to take to the various Hertz locations around the bridge and tunnel sector of New York City. For good measure, she is additionally seeking $87.32 for a “Very Nice Bottle of Champagne.”

The law professor is demanding that Hertz respond by December 15, otherwise she plans to take the company to small claims court for restitution.

“We are investigating the situation to better understand what occurred so we can take any necessary corrective actions,” Hertz told Fox Business in a statement.

The company attempted damage control, arguing that “in the event we’re unable to provide the reserved vehicle class at the confirmed time, it’s our policy to make every reasonable effort to assist the customer.”

This includes “providing a comparable vehicle at the same rate if available, moving a vehicle from another location in close proximity, delivering a vehicle to the customer, paying for a taxi or sourcing a vehicle from a competitor if at an airport. When these options are available, we would extend the same rate,” Hertz said.

They claim they apologized to Klonick and refunded the difference, but she says her credit card statement only reflects the final charge and indicates no reimbursement at all.

“Small claims court here I come,” she tweeted.

Hertz will probably save face and settle out of court, but it sure would be fun to see them squirm under the judicial wrath of Marilyn Milian.

More on Klonick’s story, which has over 9,700 retweets to date along with many commiserations:

Frank Webster


Latest Articles