Hertz Charges Tesla Renters $277 for Gas Refueling: The Full Story

In a surprising turn of events, Hertz has charged a Tesla Model 3 renter, Joshua Lee, a $277.39 fee for not refilling the car’s nonexistent gas tank. This incident has raised eyebrows and sparked discussions about rental car policies and customer service practices.

The Incident

Joshua Lee, a loyal Hertz customer with President’s Circle status, rented a Tesla Model 3 for a weekend trip in Los Angeles. Upon returning the vehicle, Lee noticed an additional charge of $277.39 on his receipt, labeled as a refueling fee. This came as a shock, especially since he had opted for the “Skip the Pump and Save Time” option, which allows customers to return rental cars without refueling​.

Hertz’s Response

When Lee questioned the charge, Hertz initially doubled down, insisting that the refueling service was provided. This was particularly perplexing given that electric vehicles like the Tesla Model 3 do not require gasoline. Additionally, Lee had returned the car with a 96% battery charge, the same level as when he picked it up. According to Hertz’s own policy, the maximum fee for recharging an electric vehicle should be $35, or $25 for Gold Plus Rewards members, provided the car is returned with less than the pickup charge.

Customer Service and Resolution

Despite Lee’s attempts to resolve the issue through Hertz’s customer service, the company remained firm on the charge. It wasn’t until after media coverage that Hertz announced they would reach out to Lee to apologize and refund the erroneous fee​​.

Broader Implications

This incident is not an isolated case. Other customers have reported similar issues with Hertz, including incorrect charges and difficulties in resolving disputes. These experiences have led to growing dissatisfaction and a call for more transparency and better customer service from rental companies​​.

The case of Joshua Lee highlights the challenges and confusion that can arise when traditional rental policies are applied to electric vehicles. It underscores the need for rental companies to update their systems and training to accommodate the nuances of electric cars. As the adoption of EVs continues to grow, so too must the policies and practices of companies like Hertz to avoid such costly and frustrating mistakes for customers.

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