Customer has trouble renting car using 2 credit cards

April 15, 2011 8:08:24 PM PDT
Have you ever booked a reservation on one credit card and then tried to pay for it on another card? It should work in theory, but not in the case of two friends who came to 7 On Your Side for help.

This is a very common practice -- one person says they'll do the booking, the other person says I'll cover the charges. However, be careful if you use those online booking companies with this kind of an arrangement. That tangled things up for a pair of friends who were renting a car.

When Ricardo Quinones and his friend, Leon, rented a car from Hertz, Leon booked it through Hotwire.com -- a simple enough deal, until Ricardo decided to put the charges on his own credit card.

"I asked the Hertz agent if it was possible to move the charges from Hotwire.com over to Hertz. The agent at this time said, 'Yes, that's not a problem,'" said Quinones.

The agent at the Hertz counter swiped Quinones' credit card, told him the charges would be transferred, and the two friends took off in their rental car.

"She said that my friend would get a refund and the charges would be on my card," said Quinones.

However, that isn't exactly what happened. It turns out Hotwire.com did charge Leon for the rental, plus insurance and Hertz also charged Quinones, but just for the $70 insurance. Quinones didn't want to be double charged for insurance, so he asked for a $70 refund. The company said no.

"He said, 'Well, that's your fault because we have no way of knowing that you initially booked through Hotwire,' and that we were not going to get a refund. At that point, I told the manager, 'Well, I'm just going to contact 7 On Your Side,'" said Quinones.

So we contacted Hertz and the company agreed its agent made a mistake. Hertz could not transfer the charges to Quinones' credit card, because it cannot undo a transaction made by a different company -- Hotwire.com.

Hertz said it was "...concerned its representatives misinformed [the customers]" and the company is "...working to retrain its representatives at that location."

Hertz also immediately reversed the extra $70 insurance fee on Quinones' credit card.

"I am grateful that this has actually been brought to light and thank you very much for helping me," said Quinones.

The lesson here is a company that charges your credit card is the only one that can reverse that transaction. It's something to be aware of when you book travel through online companies like Hotwire.


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