PORTLAND, OR — You reserved a rental car. But then you get a call telling you the company overbooked! Now what?
People planning to visit Oregon for the solar eclipse are furious after learning their car reservations with Hertz have been canceled. Hertz admitted they overbooked reservations for the weekend of the solar eclipse and have had to cancel “several hundred” reservations.
Mary Anne Egan said her car reservation was recently canceled by the car company, which has her wondering what she and her daughter will do when they land in Oregon a day before the eclipse. Egan said they had plans to look at colleges south of Portland. “We’ve put all this time and effort into this and now we can’t even do some of the stuff we were trying to do,” Egan said.
Josh Whiting is another customer affected by Hertz overbooking cars. Whiting, from Arizona, said he ended up canceling his entire trip after his reservation fell through. “To get a bunch of people thinking that they’re going to have a car and then cancel them and having to go back and book a more expensive car, I think that’s gouging,” Whiting said.
Many frustrated customers took to twitter to shame the company. Hertz’s corporate headquarters sent KOIN 6 News a statement admitting to overbooking for the week of the solar eclipse.
Communications manager Lauren Luster said, “We inadvertently overbooked reservations for the portland area for the week of the solar eclipse. Some affected customers did receive initial phone calls last week from our local team (not robocalls) apologizing for the inconvenience and offering a rental voucher. We are reaching out to those customers this week to let them know that we are bringing in additional fleet from outside areas to fulfill as many customer reservations as we can.”
With airlines, you have passenger rights that help you during overbooking. When it comes to rental cars there is no such thing. But travel experts say if the company offers a pre-pay option you should take it. It’s key to getting a car because you're actually paying for the rental ahead of time versus making a reservation for the company to “hold” the rental until you pay.