DALLAS – Thrifty Car Rental says it’s sorry, but many customers who were offered a free one-day rental won’t be getting that after all.
The company says the offer was intended only for a select group of top customers.
“We’re very sorry for any confusion our eagerness may have caused,” the chain, which is owned by Hertz Global Holdings Inc., told customers by email.
Airlines, hotels and stores occasionally post incorrect prices. When they do, they must balance the cost of honoring the mistaken price against the potential to offend bargain-loving customers.
When the dollar difference is huge, “smart companies offer an apology with some sort of salve — ‘Here’s a gift certificate,’ or ‘Here’s a 10 percent-off coupon’ to demonstrate their remorse,” said Mark Cohen, a longtime executive at Sears and other department stores who now teaches at Columbia University’s business school.
Hertz spokeswoman Paula Rivera said the offer sent out Friday night was meant for “select” members of Thrifty’s frequent-renter program, called Blue Chip. They were offered a free day after 16 days of paid rentals.
By mistake the offer went to other customers who had merely signed up to receive emails from the company, Rivera said.
The company did not say how many customers received the offer in error.