Law professor goes viral over Hertz experience during Thanksgiving: ‘It was extortion’

Kate Klonick is threatening to take Hertz to small claims court over a bad rental experience

A law professor is trending on Twitter after she posted a multi-page letter about how Hertz allegedly extorted her during Thanksgiving.

Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St. John’s University School of Law and attorney in the state of New York, detailed her “a Very Bad experience” when trying to rent a car over the holiday in a Twitter thread, which eventually viral. She is now taking the car rental company to small claims court after they promised to refund her but she says the money never came.

It all started when Klonick says she reserved a car for pickup on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. She claims she was quoted just over $414 after taxes.

Despite arriving at a Brooklyn, New York, location for her appointment on time and waiting in line for two hours, Hertz said they couldn’t help her and closed for the night. Klonick and other customers even “held up $20 bills and begged” for Hertz to stay open.


“I had a contract! I had met its terms! Hertz simply had to fulfill its side of the deal!” the letter read.

Hertz allegedly told Klonick and her husband that they could rent a car at a separate location for $1,800, but the Klonicks declined.

The family made two more attempts to get a rental car. At first, they were told to go to the Hertz location at the LaGuardia Airport in Queens, where they were quoted a new rate “in excess of $1,800” for the week. They declined and made a reservation at another location in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. They were quoted at $1,800 again. They were able to get the price back down to what they were originally quoted, but when they showed up to pick up a car, they were told there were none available.

Eventually, Hertz “ended up making us pay $500+ over quoted price for a bad car,” she tweeted.

“Honestly did not write this up and post this letter for myself. I really did it because this was not just poor customer service or bad logistics. It was extortion,” Klonick added.

In her complaint, she requested $528.07 “for the difference in price between the original violated contract and the amount paid to remedy the violated contract.”

She also requested $133.51 for the cost of all the Ubers they took to various Hertz locations and $87.32 for “Very Nice Bottle of Champagne.”

Klonick is demanding a response by Dec. 15 or she is threatening to file a lawsuit in small claims court. She also said that she will be filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

“We are investigating the situation to better understand what occurred so we can take any necessary corrective actions,” Hertz told FOX Business in a statement.

Hertz further added that “in the event we’re unable to provide the reserved vehicle class at the confirmed time, it’s our policy to make every reasonable effort to assist the customer.”

This includes “providing a comparable vehicle at the same rate if available, moving a vehicle from another location in close proximity, delivering a vehicle to the customer, paying for a taxi or sourcing a vehicle from a competitor if at an airport. When these options are available, we would extend the same rate,” Hertz said.

Hertz said that they apologized to Klonick and refunded the rate difference.

However, Klonick tweeted what she saw on her credit card was the final charge, not a refund.

“Small claims court here I come,” she tweeted.