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Kearny Mesa Hertz Hle; High Quality and Customer Focused.

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Kearny Mesa Hertz HLE; High quality and customer focused.
Robert D. Falen

Kearny Mesa Hertz HLE; High quality and customer focused.
I have been conducting my research every day; Monday thru Friday for the last two weeks. When you work for a car rental agency you don’t get paid very much money. The rental agents only make between $10 and $12 an hour; which can lead to a poor attitude and little motivation. In general all of the employees of the Kearny Mesa Hertz HLE are very motivated individuals. With only three rental agents one transporter every day except there is an additional transporter on Monday and Friday, and one to three detailers; there are days that can be overwhelming due to the amount of people needing rental cars. Not to mention there are several periods throughout the week when rental cars are scarce. The best aspect of the employees is that they thrive on customer service. The only time that communication is a hindrance for the organization is miscommunication between the employees and management. I have found that if the employees engage in friendly conversation with the customers that they both have a good experience and more times than not go away with a smile on their faces. Hertz recently acquired Dollar and Thrifty rental car agencies. (Stancavage, 2012)I have found out that even though the in their mission statement that Hertz’s mission is to be the lowest cost, customer focused the management is bigger on selling their Lost Damage Waver (LDW) and their Fuel Purchase Option (FPO). The LDW is where you pay a certain daily amount for bumper-to-bumper insurance on the vehicle and the FPO is where you can prepay for the gas and bring the vehicle back at any gas level. An employee can get written up for not selling enough LDWs and FPOs. The acting branch manager and the two rental agents wouldn’t even care about the LDW and FPO except they can get into wrote up for not selling it. The LDW and FPO is one way the company makes money and creates value for their shareholders. Also in their Mission statement they add creating value for their stockholders; as executives at Hertz Global Holdings Inc. and Tulsa-based Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. work out the details of their $2.3 billion merger they agreed to in November, shares of Hertz on Tuesday hit a 52-week high of $18.73. (Stewart, 2013)
I am not a Hertz employee, but I do work at the location with the Hertz employees. So I am playing the part of a participant observer. (Driskill, 2014) I am not only observing but I am conducting interviews with the employees and without their knowledge I am interviewing customers through casual conversation. I am trying to find out what the employees think the customer want from them during the rental process. I am also trying to find out what the employees would like from their upper management to better serve the customers. The employees basically expressed that they think the customers would like the same things that they would expect if they were at a different location wanting to rent a car. They would want the rental agent to courteous, friendly, honest, and for the location to have a vehicle that has the same room and comfort that they have in their own vehicle. The employees would like for the management to number one provide a sufficient amount of vehicles to meet the demands of the local area. They would also like to have adequate staffing as the location is split up between three counters in the main branch and one counter that is inside Penske Collision Center. Penske joined forces with Hertz in September of 2012. (Moss, 2012) The staffing right now is the acting manager, two other rental agents that rotate every other day manning the Penske counter. It is really hard to provide a calm and collected service to the amount of people that comes in to rent vehicles; especially when they have to take one hour lunch breaks. They would also like two full time transporters Monday thru Friday and one transporter there for the three hours the location is open on Saturday. If there is only one transporter; if there is a vehicle that is dropped off at one of the contracted businesses the transporter has to drive one of the rental agents to go get the vehicle. That cuts the number of agents at the main branch in half.
As I said earlier the Kearny Mesa Hertz HLE has Marco as the acting branch manager, Travis and Derrick are the two rental agents. There is also me; the transporter Monday thru Friday. They just started having two transporters all week; Ed works on Mondays and Fridays and Richey works Tuesday thru Thursday. We also have three different detailers; which can sometimes be there at the same time; they are Keno, Brendon, and Johnny. We all reside under Chris who is the area manager and Monique is Chris’ boss; the territory manager. Just like all employees the branch sometimes has hard feelings about the management, because the management gets on their cases about selling the LDW and the FPO. The employees only care about serving the customer as best as they can. They say that they are more concerned about getting the customer into the vehicle that is required by the need of the customer. The LDW and FPO are only options that help make the company money. The employees are a bit over stressed because there is the acting branch manager (who should be doing manager tasks and covering only during lunches if needed) and two rental agents to cover three counters at the main branch and the one counter at Penske. Granted there are about ten to fifteen rentals at Penske on a busy day, but there is anywhere up to forty to fifty rentals at the main branch on a daily basis. That can make for a long and depending on the status of the customer agonizing day. Some of the customers I have to pick up from Mercedes Benz or BMW; those customers can be some of the downright meanest people. Not only do they drive overpriced vehicles, but their vehicles have to be serviced more frequently than any other vehicle in the world. Both dealers have some loaner cars, but even their stock runs out. You should see the look on a Beamer or Mercedes owners face when Marco or Travis tries to rent them a Chevy Volt or a Nissan Versa. If looks would kill both of their children and grandchildren would be dead before they were even thought of.
Just like any company the Kearny Mesa Hertz HLE does have some communication problems, but it is not within the branch. It stems from the Los Angles dispatcher (Fatima), through the airport location, to the territory managers, the area managers, and the transporter lead drivers. There are times that Fatima would tell the territory manager that the transporters were going to take vehicles to one place; then turn around and tell the area managers that the vehicles were going to a different place. The transporter lead driver is running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to track down their drivers that the sent elsewhere because Fatima told the lead to send his drivers to a third different location. It is just like when I was in the Navy; there are too many Chiefs and too little Indians. Another lack of communication is what comes from the airport location. The airport location is the keeper of all of the vehicles; they are the ones who are supposed to provide all of the vehicles for all of the different locations in San Diego County. They are also the ones who are supposed to take all of the high mileage (wholesale), vehicles that are damages. Or have mechanical problems, and turn backs (which are vehicles that have already sold). The question that the employees and the transporters have is why we have twelve Out Of Service (OOS) vehicles at the branch. The answer to that question is, the airport is stingy with their vehicles and are hoarders. When you rent a car from the airport you have to pay an airport fee and they think that if they have all of the vehicles then they make the money.
I have talked to over 200 customers in the past four weeks; most of them are happy with the service that they are provided. The biggest complaint is due to the fact that the location may not have the exact vehicle that the customer reserved. There are between fifteen and twenty different classes of vehicles that can be reserved, but there are only about five to seven of the different classes that are given up to the different Hertz HLEs. For instance there are compact cars which are the “A”, mid-sized which are “C”, full-sized which are “F”, luxury cars which are “I”, minivans which are the “R”, and there are two different classes of SUVs. The small SUV is the “L” class and the large SUV is the “L4” class. There are lots more but these are the important ones.

Driskill, G. W. (2014). Organizational Culture in Action: A Cultural Analysis Workbook, 2nd Edition. In G. W. Driskill, Organizational Culture in Action: A Cultural Analysis Workbook, 2nd Edition. US: Sage Production.
Moss, L. (2012, September 07). Penske joins Hertz's franchising network. Retrieved from Points of View Reference Center:
Stancavage, J. (2012, November 16). Hertz-Dollar Thrifty merger gets FTC approval. Retrieved from
Stewart, D. (2013, January 30). Hertz stock hits 52-week high; CEO cashes in . Retrieved from Points of View Reference Center:

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