A Hertz buyer who was arrested aboard a cruise ship final week has develop into the most recent buyer to say the corporate falsely accused them of stealing certainly one of its rental vehicles.

Charles Doucette, a pharmacy and healthcare advisor from New Hampshire, mentioned he was on a Caribbean cruise together with his girlfriend when, again in a Florida port early Friday morning, police got here to the door whereas the couple was sleeping.

“We opened it and it was safety for the boat,” he mentioned. “Customs and Border got here onto the boat and instructed me to show round, face the wall with my fingers behind my again.”

Doucette described the incident whereas sitting in Florida’s Brevard County Jail, the place he remained Tuesday.

“That is probably the most horrific expertise of my life,” he instructed CBS Information’ client investigative correspondent Anna Werner in a telephone interview.

Doucette is simply the most recent particular person saying Hertz filed a false police report in opposition to them. Chapter courtroom paperwork unsealed final week, after CBS Information intervened in courtroom, present the corporate submitting hundreds of police reviews every year, roughly 8,000 yearly for 4 years.

Of these, paperwork from claimants say almost 3,500 have been filed in opposition to clients for what’s referred to as “theft by conversion”, “…that contain a renter who lawfully rented from Hertz…” “…and for which Hertz has cost info on file.”

Doucette says he had rented a automotive from Hertz for his enterprise final yr, and correctly prolonged the rental a number of occasions. However in March, police in Arizona stopped him and instructed him Hertz had filed a police report saying his rental automotive had been stolen. They towed the automotive, however Doucette says afterwards, Hertz charged his bank card the complete quantity for the rental.

But in August, prosecutors who say they have been appearing on Hertz’s police report, took his case to a grand jury and indicted him. 

Dealing with a required courtroom look in Arizona, Doucette mentioned, he contacted a neighborhood lawyer there and despatched notarized paperwork so he would not have to look in particular person. It is not clear what occurred within the native courtroom, however he was arrested Friday.

“I’m certainly one of their greatest clients. And right here I’m sitting in jail,” Doucette mentioned. 

“It is simply utterly absurd that any firm would permit one thing to have an effect on any person’s life,” he mentioned.

Doucette mentioned he is been an elite President’s Circle member who spent over $15,000 with Hertz in 2020 and 2021.

“I am sitting right here for 3 days. Inform me that you simply’re treating your clients proper,” Doucette mentioned.

His girlfriend of 18 years, who did not need to be recognized due to her job, mentioned he isn’t doing effectively “in any respect.”

“I simply need him house,” she mentioned. “I simply need solutions, in order that we are able to decide up the items and transfer on.” 

Hertz mentioned in a press release that “conditions the place autos are reported to the authorities are very uncommon and occur solely after exhaustive makes an attempt to succeed in the shopper.” The corporate didn’t reply to questions on Doucette’s case.

Legal professional Francis Alexander Malofiy represents Doucette and different claimants.  

“Hertz refuses to appropriate a police report once they’ve realized funds [were] made, once they’ve realized the automotive’s been returned or once they’ve realized there’s inaccuracies,” he mentioned.

Malofiy despatched a letter to the corporate over the weekend, asking Hertz to assist get Doucette out of jail. He mentioned until one thing adjustments, Doucette will probably be in jail for at least 10 days as a result of he’s awaiting extradition to Arizona.

“I all the time thought that [the] world we reside in is, ‘harmless till confirmed responsible,'” Doucette mentioned. “That is, ‘responsible till confirmed harmless.'”

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