Hertz – Is There a New Bug Tax?

Opening the trunk of my Hertz rental car the other day at Houston IAH, I was horrified at the number of bugs I saw. Along the outer edge of the truck were several clumps of seemingly dead bugs – June bugs, I think. Not that I really care what kind of bug (a bug is a bug is a bug) and I do not want them in my rental car!

Rental car bugs

Sure, I could have gone back into the Hertz office and gotten another car. However, I had an international conference call to conduct within a few minutes so there was no time to walk back aisles and aisles to the office to swap out cars. I glanced around the interior of the car and didn’t see any bugs moving around so I put my luggage in the back seat rather than in the buggy trunk and got on my way.

As I checked out at the Hertz booth, I put the first of my meeting attendees on hold while I relayed my revulsion of the bugs to the Hertz agent. Hoping that he would say “Let me get another car brought over here to you, Ms. Margolis, and I will transfer your luggage” (I am ever the optimist), I certainly didn’t expect the answer that I did get:

“Don’t worry … you won’t be charged for the bugs.”

What? I won’t be charged for the bugs? Does Hertz now charge for additional passengers, dead or alive?

Needing to be attentive to my conference call audience, I just had to shake my head and drive away. Needless to say, I have not used the trunk at all. I know the agent’s intention was to relay that I would not be charged for damage fees for the dead bugs (I had better not be!), though his wording and actions leave much room for improvement.

I return the car to Hertz today. I sure am curious to see what the ‘bug tax’ will be.

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  1. Maybe the sarcasm didn’t come out right, but I read this as a joke that they are giving you the bugs for free, (and thus not charging you for them), not that you’d be charged for collecting bugs.

    The swarm of June Bugs is a fairly common early summer occurrence in Houston, and they get into everything that isn’t closed off. They appear to be on the outside of the trunk seal, so there is no risk of them being inside the car, or for messing with baggage.

    Just be glad the mosquitoes weren’t that bad – they DO have a way to sneak into cars.

  2. Arggh! These are only harmless June Bugs – so get over it. Had they been Texas-sized Palmetto Bugs they would have had to charge you for a bigger vehicle.

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