More Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Devaluation: Point Usage Cancellation Policy Now in Effect

As if the increase in the redemption of points by as much as 81.82 percent and other perceived negative changes which had already been implemented were not enough as part of the massive devaluation of the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards frequent renter loyalty program, a new point usage cancellation policy is now in effect — and it is practically buried at the official Internet web site of Hertz.

More Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Devaluation: Point Usage Cancellation Policy Now in Effect

“It looks like the cancellation policy also changed with the devaluation”, FlyerTalk member jaw20 posted in this discussion. “I’ve redeemed three awards in the last 12 months, and there was no cancellation penalty for those reservations (as a Gold member).”

The exact verbiage of the new point usage cancellation policy is as follows:

Point Usage Terms & Conditions

Member is responsible for all applicable taxes and fees associated with the cash portion of the rental.

Any changes to a reservation booked with Gold Plus Reward points may impact the rental charges and point redemption. If a reservation which was booked with points is cancelled within 24 hours of booking, all points will be returned to the members account. If a reservation which was booked using points is cancelled more than 24 hours before the pickup time the following points will be forfeited: If a Gold member, 50% of the points used toward the booking will be forfeited; If a Five Star member, 25% of the points used toward the booking will be forfeited; If a President’s Circle member, all points will be returned to the members account. If the customer does not cancel the reservation prior to the time of pick-up and the rental vehicle is not picked up on the rental date, all the points used toward the rental amount will be forfeited, regardless of the members tier status. The cash/point conversions and refunds are subject to modification, cancellation or limitation at the discretion of Hertz at any time without prior notice.

Summary

The general program terms and conditions of Hertz Gold Plus Rewards — to which customers agree once they are members — say it all:

Hertz has the right to change, limit or modify Program rules, Rewards, Reward structure and Gold Plus Rewards Point levels at any time with or without notice.
The number of Gold Plus Rewards Points required to redeem any reward may be increased, and any reward may be withdrawn and restrictions on any reward or its redemption maybe imposed at any time.
In accumulating Gold Plus Rewards Points, members should not rely upon the continuing availability of any reward or reward level, and members may not be able to obtain all offered rewards in all circumstances.

Hertz has the right to terminate the Gold Plus Rewards Program at any time upon six months prior notice to members.  As of the termination date, members will no longer be able to earn Gold Plus Rewards Points or to redeem Gold Plus Rewards Points for Rewards.  Hertz may terminate the Program at any time in whole or in part without advance notice if required to do so by applicable law.  In addition, the Program may be suspended or terminated if events beyond Hertz’s reasonable control, such as computer or electronic transmission failure, materially affect Hertz’s ability to continue the Program.

As long as what Hertz does is technically not illegal, the company can apparently do anything it wants with its frequent renter loyalty program — regardless of what its members or customers want or think.

Of course, all frequent travel loyalty programs have similar verbiage as part of their terms and conditions — but just because they have disclaimed themselves does not mean that what they are doing is the right thing.

I am not sure whether or not what Hertz did crossed the line of ethics or morals — and I am not going to engage myself in that debate — but what they did is significantly erode or eliminate the trust of its members and customers; and that is usually never a good way to do business.

Is Hertz really going to benefit significantly enough from all of these changes in the long term to offset any loss of business? Is sacrificing trust from its members really worth whatever benefit they enjoy from implementing these policy changes? Why can’t frequent travel loyalty programs be less complicated and more friendly to customers in terms of overall value?

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

13 thoughts on “More Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Devaluation: Point Usage Cancellation Policy Now in Effect”

  1. Matthew Sample says:

    I sent this as well to Jodi Allen (jodi.allen@hertz.com)

    Date: Tue, May 21, 2019, 2:33 PM
    Subject: Massive Devaluation of Hertz Gold Plus Rewards 2019 With No Notice or Warning Whatsoever – The GateThe Gate
    To: , CC – NA – Executive Customer Service , Frequent Travelers

    This is really a bad move on y’alls part. I am a loyal Hertz Presidents Circle member with 32 rentals already this year. This is a slap in the face to your most loyal customers. Please pass on to management that you will likely be losing me as a customer to Avis Budget group.  Im in sales and doing this without notice in the middle of the year is disingenuous and wrong.

    Matthew
    Presidents Circle

  2. Luke Vader says:

    Matthew, you might want to check out National. Although haven’t traveled much in 2019, I did a fair number of travel (and car rentals) in 2018, and had good experiences with National Car Rental. I should note that National was/is the preferred car rental for my employer, which also includes CDW on all our business rentals. The National staff I dealt with were very friendly and flexible with whatever cars/inventory was available, even letting me (and a co-worker) get a convertible Mustang (and Camaro), respectively for the same price as a mid-size rental. 🙂

  3. MikeL says:

    My prediction… all frequent traveler programs will be dead and have no value within 10 years… Because of corporate greed and lack of caring for loyal customers.

    We will move to almost all Credit Card / Bank programs like AMEX, Chase, Capital One and Citi Group.

    Sure, companies like AA, Delta and United love selling their points/miles to banks so that they can sell (transfer) or reward them to customers… But they will become so devalued customers will stop picking those products and start going for something that is more tied to cash.

    Chase is in bed with United… AMEX Delta… I see Capital One’s model as the future.. which it basically CASH BACK and cutting out the Frequent Traveler Program.

  4. Barry Graham says:

    You wrote “Y’all’s” in a letter to an executive?

  5. Matthew says:

    I am a Texan and i did it for effect as a joke. Needless to say she did not respond since she is the one who put the policy in place. I did get an email from the head of revenue management asking if i was available for a call next week. I am respectful but also dont let people make intellectually dishonest arguments.

  6. Barry Graham says:

    @Matthew I am glad that you got a response. I need to write too.
    @MikeL Frequent customer programs are a gift not a requirement. It’s not greed for companies to want to make money, it’s good old fashioned capitalism. Does your company have a loyalty program? I know my last two didn’t. In any case I don’t believe that your prediction will come to pass but if it does, the most important way to show customer appreciation has always been and will always be by treating you nicely at the time of business.

  7. Barry Graham says:

    Mathew, I wrote to Gregory Crum and got a generic response from executive relations. I then wrote to Jodi and got the same reply! If you are willing to share who you got a response from, I would appreciate it. How did the call go?

  8. Gina says:

    Does that cancellation policy make sense? Is it really saying that a reservation needs to be cancelled within 24 hours of BOOKING it for all points to be returned? Otherwise, you forfeit points unless you’re in President’s Circle?

  9. Barry Graham says:

    Gina, yes, and that makes more sense than saying it has to be canceled within 24 hours of the trip.

    1. Gina says:

      Barry – well, I’d have to agree it makes more sense than what you said.

  10. Gina says:

    Requiring a 24 hour cancellation from when you book a trip or else they charge you points is unreasonable, and greedy, even if this is a complementary program.

    It would be understandable if that rule was in effect for rentals less than x days away – but if you have a rental say 2 weeks in the future, or even 1 week in the future, something like requiring cancellation at least 48 hours prior to the trip – or 72, or whatever # of days – would be more reasonable and just. Even if the program costs the customer nothing.

  11. Barry Graham says:

    They have no obligation to offer the program. Frequent travelers that are Presidents Circle don’t pay the fee either. If you are not sure of your plans then don’t book until you are.

  12. Gina says:

    I agree that they have no obligation to offer the program, just as I’m under no obligation to participate in it.

    I should have added to my comment above, “even if they have no obligation to offer the program.”

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