Monday, May 5, 2008

The Matzliach Method

Rememebr my Avis post, about hidden and preposterous fuel charges?
Turns out Hertz doesn't want to be left behind in this game.

For several rentals now, fuel charges have been creeping into my final account (at $7.28/gallon - cool price that I'm sure OPEC would approve of), even when I returned the car full.

Too late to do anything about old bills now, but this Sunday, I returned a car with a full tank to Hertz at SFO, took my bill and made my merry way to the sky train. Luckily, I looked at the bill before boarding and rushed back.

The bill showed the car was returned with a full tank and a $30 charge for fuel service!

When I went back to the counter, the girl didn't even argue, she just took the charge off the bill and didn't even bother apologizing.

In Israel there's a term called "The Matzliach Method" (a play on the Hebrew word for "successful"). Simply put, it works like this: I'll try to screw you. If you didn't catch me, I'm successful; if you caught me, I'm not successful - but I haven't lost anything for trying.
In other words, under certain conditions it's always worth trying to screw the other guy. (And I invite the Game Theorists in the crowd to quote a theorem saying the same thing).

Seems like rental car companies are starting to incorporate shady management techniques... :)
Don't give in to these tactics - check your bills thoroughly and argue for every cent.


avi said...

I'd add that in a society of cons, prices are always climbing, as someone has to pay for all of the times you got screwed.

AS said...

We are a law firm and want to talk to persons who were charged refueling fees by rental car companies. We are especially (but not exclusively) interested in people in the state of Ohio. It doesn’t matter which rental company charged the fee – Hertz, Avis or Budget – we want to talk to you. Please contact Andrew Samtoy at Dworken and Bernstein, L.P.A., at (866) 964-1806.