I pride myself on being more aware than most of potential little snags that can catch the unitiated as they travel about.  However, I was recently surprised to learn that I had booked a prepaid rental car reservation using Hertz.com.  Frankly, I had no idea until the charge hit my Amex card.

I called Hertz to find out why a charge had appeared for $79 dollars.  After a 10 minute trip through a phone tree along with hold time, I was informed that the car I reserved for a July trip to Dayton was a pre-paid reservation.  Sure enough, if you scroll down through the Terms and Conditions of the rental, it states “Prepaid.”  This caught me off guard.  The fact that a customer is booking a prepaid reservation should be very conspicous and not dropped in the scroll down menu of T&C’s.

I’ll continue to rent from Hertz, but this seems a tiny bit sneaky at best.  Check those T&C’s before you click the “Reserve” button with Hertz.

ETA on 4/9/09:  I just did a test booking on Hertz.com for the same dates, times and car class that I reserved previously.  On the usual car choice page where cars and their rates are listed, I can see nothing that indicates that I am choosing a prepaid rate.  Once you get to the final reservation page, in the rate details section, just above your approximate total, the site states something to the effect of your card will be charged (a certain amount) upon booking.  It’s by no means hidden, but if you are focused on the total cost, and in a hurry, you will not see it.  I will from now on.