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It sure seems like Hertz is on a roll with the cleaning fees lately. After an LA Times story about a man being charged a $400 cleanup fee for smoking in a rental when he’s a non-smoker, others have contacted the newspaper about their experiences with cleaning fees. The topper is the woman who was charged a cleaning fee when Hertz attendants found a used condom in her rental. Ah, it didn’t belong to her or any of her passengers. 

This Hertz rental starts off bad then gets worse

Rental car sign
Rental car agency sign | Quade/ullstein bild via Getty Images

The woman picked up her Hertz rental-a 2019 Toyota Corolla, in Decatur, Georgia. She looked the car over before leaving the facility. The first thing wrong was it didn’t have a full tank of gas as per the rental contract.

Then she saw it hadn’t been vacuumed. However, the contract said it would be “Gold Standard Clean.” This is part of a 15-point cleaning process that supposedly, every rental goes through before it is ready for the next customer.

When she asked for another rental that was clean she was told this was the last rental car the Hertz agency had. She could take it or leave it. “I wasn’t in a position to argue,” she told the LA Times

“What’s that plastic thing?”

Hertz rental car pick up
Vehicles sit parked at a Hertz Global Holdings Inc. rental car and sales location in Louisville, Kentucky | Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

That evening the woman took her niece with her to pick up dinner for her family she was staying with. She buckled her niece into the back seat and off she went. Driving along, her niece asks about the “plastic thing” on the floor. 

When they got to the restaurant she let her niece out of the rental and took a look. On the car’s floor, she saw a ripe, used condom. “Horrified” she threw it into a trash can immediately. That should have been preceded by taking a picture, first. 

Calling Hertz about the discovery, the service rep didn’t apologize. Instead, he wanted to know “what I want out of it.” She told him, “A clean car.” Later, a Hertz manager called back to let her know there were no other rentals available. 

Hertz Rental didn’t vacuum the rental because “it rained.”

Hertz Rentals
A vehicle sits parked outside a Hertz Global Holdings Inc. rental car and sales location in Louisville, Kentucky | Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

He also stressed that the car had been cleaned. She reminded him of the notes he took while she had checked the rental out at the agency. With that memory jog, the Hertz rep admitted it had not been vacuumed because it had rained. 

He offered a $100 credit for the rental and that was the end, right? Unfortunately, no. It gets worse. Upon returning the rental she made sure the rep inspected it while she watched. Satisfied the rep saw the cleaning issues she headed toward the terminal.

Just before boarding the plane she saw a revised bill had been emailed to her. A $75 cleaning charge had been added. After numerous calls to reach a Hertz rep, a person finally looked into the charge. It was specifically for large amounts of dog hair she left in the rental.

Hertz tried to charge her for cleaning dog hair when there was no dog

An Avis rental car parking lot is full because there were no customers during the COVID-19 pandemic at JFK Airport
Avis rental car parking lot | Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

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The problem was that she didn’t have a dog in the car. Ever. She was then told that without photographic proof of how she left the car she would have to pay the Hertz cleaning fee. When the Times contacted Hertz, a rep told them they would waive the fee “as a one-time gesture.” 

The rep also said, “Our cleanliness standards were not met in this situation.” It makes you wonder what other charges are being levied for reasons only Hertz can answer?