Travel Troubleshooter

Travel Troubleshooter: Getting off Hertz’s naughty list

Q: I would appreciate it if you could contact Hertz and assist me with getting its decision to put my wife on the company’s Do Not Rent list reversed and having her reinstated as a member of the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program.

A couple of months ago, my wife flew to Houston so she could drive to visit family in Louisiana. She was the only one on the rental agreement. Along the way, she picked up her parents. On one of the days when they were out with family, my wife was helping her mother with her insulin. She inadvertently used latex gloves and developed a severe allergic reaction. Once they had arrived at the resort area, she pulled over and allowed my father-in-law to drive the vehicle up to their hotel.

During the short time her father drove the vehicle, another driver rear-ended them. He had driven it less than a mile, and the other driver accepted full responsibility, since it was his fault, and his insurance paid the full amount of damages.

My wife, honest to a fault, allowed my father-in-law to be listed as the driver on the accident report. Now Hertz, despite years of using it as our primary rental company and our being long-standing members of its Gold Plus Rewards program, sent a letter canceling her membership and adding her to its Do Not Rent list.

Brian Thompson, Brush Prairie, Wash.

A: Hertz, like other car rental companies, has a Do Not Rent list of problem customers. These are motorists who have damaged their cars or didn’t pay their bills.

By your account, your wife was trying to keep the car and its passengers safe by asking your father-in-law to drive. The road to Hertz’s Do Not Rent list appears to be fairly automatic, but the appeals process isn’t. By the time you contacted me, your wife’s written appeal was somewhere in transit. I think her circumstances were special, and, given your long-standing relationship with Hertz, I think you stood a good chance of getting back into the company’s good graces.

An appeal to one of Hertz’s executives might have helped ( But why wait? I contacted the company on your behalf, and it agreed to remove your name from its Do Not Rent list.

Email Christopher Elliott at