Rick Longoria was involved in a minor crash that damaged his truck. But fortunately for him, the other driver was insured.
"I had to put my truck in the shop and her insurance set me up with a rental car to drive while my truck was getting fixed," he said.
He picked up a rental truck from Hertz in Arlington.
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"When I picked it up, it was around three-quarters of a tank full," he explained.
And he said that's exactly how he returned the truck: three-quarters of a tank full.
Longoria said Hertz let him drop the truck off at the local auto shop where his vehicle was being serviced. He said there was no Hertz employee at the auto shop, but didn't think there would be any problems.
A few days later, he noticed a fuel charge on his account for $129.
Longoria went online and saw other complaints from consumers about Hertz fuel charges, so he called the company.
He said an agent told him to send a receipt proving he got fuel for the truck.
Longoria had a receipt, but said the burden of proof was on Hertz, so he asked the agent for a picture of the fuel gauge in exchange for his receipt.
He said the agent couldn't provide the picture.
"He said he was going to turn in the paperwork to get it reversed. Once I gave him a few days and called him back, nothing was ever done," Longoria explained.
He said he called Hertz back, only to find out the paperwork had never been filed.
And after several failed attempts to get the charge reversed, he called the NBC 5 Responds team.
We reached out to Hertz and the company emailed the consumer directly.
The company said "the employee who checked in your rental failed to document our records related to the fuel charge. The employee is currently on leave therefore they are unable to speak with him to get the details. In an effort to regain your confidence in Hertz and to bring this matter to a close, I have issued a refund for the fuel in the amount of $129.87."
We wanted to know how Hertz came up with that $129 for fuel in the first place.
The company said that when a customer doesn't refuel before returning the car, Hertz will refuel it for them until the vehicle is full. Hertz said the truck required 13 gallons of gas.
Hertz said the charge covers administrative, labor and product costs associated with refueling the tank for the customer.
Hertz confirmed that customers are not required to show a receipt for proof of fuel.
Here are Samantha Chatman's Solutions:
- Keep your receipt, just in case something like this happens to you.
- Take a picture of the gas gauge when you pick up and drop off the rental.
- Always read your rental policy, or ask an employee to explain what you're signing.