What A Difference A Decade Makes

About 10 years ago I locked my keys in my Hertz rental car in 8 below weather in Minneapolis. I called Hertz for help and they told me (seriously) to bring the car back to the airport and they would give me another set of keys. I pointed out that if I could do that, I would not have called. I asked if they could send a locksmith out to make a new key. She said no they did not do that. I was stumped until I remembered I belonged to AAA and they would help me. They came out, unlocked the car (it really is pretty easy to break into a car if you have the right gadgets) and I was all set. No cost and just a 45 minute wait.

Needless to say I was less than impressed with Hertz’s #1 service and I let them know. Not that it mattered to them.

Here it is 10 years later and this time I lost my Hertz car keys. I’m really not sure how it could have happened, but people who have known me for years seem to find it highly plausible. Anyway, this time I called the AAA first and they came out and unlocked the car, but the keys were not in it. So now I really am in a bind. I reluctantly call Hertz, since based on my prior experience, I do not expect any help. Boy was I surprised. You’d have thought the Hertz customer service person had personally lost my keys herself. She apologized for me having the problem and then began to work through the solutions.

First she offered to send out a locksmith to make a new key. I pointed out that I had rented a Volvo and that I thought they had special keys. She confirmed I was right and that option would not work. She then went to plan B, which was to send a tow truck out to tow the car and provide me a ride to the airport. Her #1 concern was whether that would take too long and cause me to miss my plane. No problem we determined.

She then said she would arrange everything and call me back in 10 minutes. Eight minutes later she called back, apologized again for me being inconvenienced and told me a tow truck would be there within 45 minutes. I asked her how they were going to tow a vehicle that was unable to be put into neutral, she said “they have their ways.” However, about five minutes later she called back with the tow dispatcher on the line who wanted to confirm there was enough space around the car to work their “magic.” There was.

At about the 35 minute mark, the dispatcher called again to say they were running behind and it would be another 20 minutes before the driver could get there. He arrived, hooked up my 4-wheel drive Volvo to his tow truck and we were off to the airport. He dropped me and the car at the Hertz car care facility where they promptly checked me in and gave me a personal ride to the airport.

What a difference a decade makes!!


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