English John: Hertz responds

Hertz have apologized for displaying the name 'English John' above my rental car at SFO a couple of weeks back, and say there's a perfectly innocent explanation.
Written by Phil Wainewright, Contributor

On Friday, I received a very courteous letter — yes, not an email but a letter, personally signed and delivered by transatlantic airmail (see picture) — from Hertz in response to my blog posting a couple of weeks ago, A customer service misadventure.

In that post, I described how, when picking up my rental car from the Hertz facility at SFO international airport, the electronic sign displayed above the vehicle had displayed the name 'English John', which I took to be a careless description that the clerk had entered when completing the booking a few moments before.

The letter I received from Hertz
Not true, says Hertz' Division Vice President, North Pacific Zone, writing me from the SFO rental car facility at 177 South Airport Blvd:

"... you thought our counter person may have been somewhat flippant in placing the words English John on the electronic display over the parking space. I can assure you that this is not the case.

"We utilize the spaces in the garage for both Gold and non-Gold customers, but no one at the main counter has the capability of placing names over the stall numbers. Our representatives who organize the Gold reservations do this and they are not positioned anywhere near the main counter from which you rented."

He continues:

"Though it may sound like an unbelievable coincidence, we did have a Mr John English rent from us that day at approximately 2:09 pm. His name had not yet been removed from the stall from which your car was assigned."

So that clears that up, then. Kudos to Hertz for taking the trouble to look out the details and write to me personally to apologize. Yes, guys, of course I'll rent from Hertz again. I didn't take offense, and I'm glad to hear the explanation is even more innocent than I'd originally imagined.

Footnote: I wouldn've posted this at the weekend but when I realized Sunday was April Fools day, I decided to hold it over, in case anyone thought I had made this up.

Editorial standards