Monday, August 4, 2008

Lesson Learned: Stay Away From Hertz

I needed a convertible for my movie. I knew I was going to need one as I was writing my script.

How would I get one? Would I put in an ad in the newspaper? Ask friends, or friends of friends, friends of friends of friends in search of one? Post a tearful request on this blog?

Well, it turns out that you can rent convertibles from your everyday car rental place. In my mind the character in my movie has a vintage convertible (like, say, a '65 Mustang), but I would be able to easily rent the next best thing -- a brand-new Mustang, which is essentially a homage/ripoff to the 1960's model.

So, I made my rental car reservation waaaaay back in early May, requesting it for the duration of the shoot (08/01 - 08/03), through the Hertz office at 909 N. Michigan.

The Michigan Avenue office opens at 7:00am, and we were scheduled to begin shooting at 9:00am later that day. We were planning on doing some dialogue scenes in the car that first day, so it was important that I get the car as early as possible.

I get to the Michigan Avenue office at 7:05am, wait in line for about ten minutes, and then step up to claim my Mustang. However, my Mustang is not there. In fact, there are no available Mustang convertibles through Hertz in the Chicagoland area. None. Nada. Zilch.

They apologize for the inconvenience. I say, "It's WORSE than an inconvenience."

I tell them they better find me a car. They call up some places and tell me one of their competitors has a convertible at O'Hare airport. I give my credit card number to a person on the phone so they will hold it.

So, I now have to drive to O'Hare airport from downtown Chicago, at the height of rush hour. I do manage to get the car (it's a Chrysler Sebring, not a Ford Mustang) and then have to drive it to the cast and crew's rendezvous point in the morning, again through rush hour traffic. I had planned on getting there an hour before everyone else, but I ended up rolling in ten minutes late.

It was a very sucky beginning to my moviemaking adventure (don't worry, it got a lot better).

I realize that my needs probably don't mesh with the normal needs of someone renting a car. I was particular with the type of the car I wanted. Maybe I expected too much.

Still, fuck Hertz and their inability to service my request that I had conscientiously made months before. If people reading this have a choice between Hertz and Some Other Company, please choose Some Other Company.


Doc said...

I am here to tell you, if you had rented a dump truck, a crane, or chartered a plane, you could have gotten it delivered like flowers. Rent a car and you get what they have to give.

I can't wait to hear how this turns out. Break a leg!


Boldly Serving Up Wheat Grass said...

Well, from the sound of it, at least you didn't have any dialogue or plot lines directly tied to the car. Imagine if this happened to Tom Cruise in Risky Business. Can you imagine him saying "Sebring: There is no substitute"?

Timothy Donavan Russell said...

It sucked! You did right. They did wrong, the fucktards.

Sharp post, man.

Falwless said...

Yeah! What Tim said! Sharp post, man.

Anonymous said...

Hertz, don' it? Sorry, I had to.

Joe said...

My one experience driving a ginormous SUV (the now-discontinued Ford Excursion) resulted from a car rental not having my convertible. We were in Las Vegas, and I had rented a convertible to show off for MizBubs and her sister/bro-in-law. When they didn't have the convertible, I said "ok, now you will give me the biggest, most expensive vehicle you have for the same price."