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Timothy L. O'Brien

Hertz Took the Wrong Customer for a Ride

A law professor reserved a car for Thanksgiving, and then told the world about her terrible experience. 

Sometimes a line leads nowhere.

Sometimes a line leads nowhere.

Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Kate Klonick walked up to a rental counter in Brooklyn the Sunday before Thanksgiving and was told she might not get the car she had reserved for $414.93. She was on time, but there was a long line and the attendant told most of those waiting that they wouldn’t get cars.

When Klonick’s partner called Hertz Global Holdings Inc. to share the couple’s predicament, he was told to go to a different location where another car was waiting — for $1,800. Ultimately, Klonick struck back by providing Hertz, its investors and aggrieved consumers everywhere with a master class in the rewards of relentless self-advocacy.