I don't know why but Hertz's car rental operations in the UK are useless compared to those in America. Without fail, every time I turn up at an airport in the UK, Hertz's first response is "we don't have a car for you". Actually, this time it was a little different - the guy initially told me they didn't have any automatics, which was a complete lie because after 45 minutes of waiting, there was an automatic available for me. Apparently there'd been some issue with the windscreen on the car they had assigned for me, and it had been take out of their fleet. So rather than - you know - sorting out the issue before I arrived, they waited until I was standing at the counter before doing anything about it. The worst part of it was that this was reserved using their Gold counter service. God knows where I'd be if I'd been trying to rent using the normal counter.
The three guys I spoke to were less than useless and in fact the only one who was any help was the courtesy bus driver.
It's the same at Manchester, the same at Gatwick and the same at Heathrow - either their employees are so unwilling to do anything that they're all useless, or the entire Hertz work ethic in the UK is to be as objectionable as possible.
When I travel for pleasure rather than business, I use Avis now - I think it's time to see if I can get my corporate agreement changed to them too because they have always been the complete opposite - they've always had a car, in the class I want, at the spec level I reserved, and have always fallen over themselves to be helpful.