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Marketplace Scratch Pad

A picture worth $170 million

Scott Jagow Aug 18, 2009

If you rent from Hertz, you probably won’t be getting away with any dings or scratches from now on. The company plans to start taking pictures of the cars before they go out and then again when you bring them back.

From Bloomberg:

The company currently loses about $170 million in damage payments a year, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Frissora, 54, said in a telephone interview yesterday.

The photo system is part of a broader plan to use technology to increase efficiency and improve customer service, Frissora said. The equipment produces a high-resolution, digital photograph of the rental car, and will compare before and after pictures for differences, Frissora said. Hertz employees currently walk around the vehicle and mark any damage on a form, which the customer signs.

“There will be no discussion because the document would clearly show any incremental damage,” Frissora said. “This keeps customers from being placed in a confrontational position and saves time.”

It’s a definite plus to be able to prove you didn’t cause the damage. And if you did, well, it might be a good time to learn Photoshop. We can probably clean this right up:

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