The eclipse this week was a major event for North America. The last eclipse that spanned coast to coast was almost a century ago. But in order to fully experience the eclipse, you had to place yourself along the travel path where the moon was going to be between the Sun and our planet. This once in a life time event prompted many people to travel and book trips along the path of the eclipse. Even Canadians were travelling south of the border to fully experience the eclipse.
But just like all the airline companies that have been making the news for overbooking flights, car rental companies do the same and often over book their fleet. The practice is often overlooked because many customers actually end up not picking their rentals and if the rental location actually runs out of the class of vehicle that was reserved and no other locations nearby can send them one, the company normally upgrades the class of vehicle and still charges at the same rate of the original agreed reservation price. However, that is not how things are turning out for many what would have been potential Hertz customers. Many people have taken to social media complaining about getting robocalls from the car rental company informing them that their reservations were cancelled.
Hertz admitted that they overbooked reservations for the weekend and had to cancel several hundred reservations. Some of the them made months ago. Ironically, Hertz actually promoted the idea of car rentals during the eclipse. Hertz communications manager Lauren Luster released in a statement, "We inadvertently overbooked reservations for the Portland area for the week of the solar eclipse. Some affected customers did receive initial phone calls last week from our local team (not robocalls) apologizing for the inconvenience and offering a rental voucher. We are reaching out to those customers this week to let them know that we are bringing in additional fleet from outside areas to fulfill as many customer reservations as we can." Some people are now complaining that Hertz is price gouging the eclipse event. Some locations were listing the same vehicle, same location, for ten fold the original price if rented before the eclipse.