Hertz sues Accenture for failure to deliver and 'seriously deficient' work

Car rental company Hertz Corporation is reportedly suing Accenture for breach of contract by failing to deliver a functional website or mobile app.

According to the lawsuit filed by Hertz to the US district court of the southern district of New York seen by Marketing, the lawsuit stated that Accenture began work on the execution phase of the project in August 2016 until its services were terminated in May 2018. The document said that during that period of time, Hertz paid Accenture more than US$32 million in fees and expenses but the latter did not deliver as it "failed" to properly manage and perform the service.

The document also detailed that Hertz's relationship with Accenture began in 2016 when the car rental company launched a project to redefine the customer experience on its digital platforms. According to the lawsuit, the solution was to develop a market-leading website at Hertz.com and a complementary suite of mobile applications. As the car rental company lacked the internal expertise or resources to execute the project, Accenture was hired to design, build, test and deploy Hertz's new website and mobile app after Hertz reviewed several proposals from technology services providers.

It detailed that the go-live date for both the website and mobile app was postponed twice - January and April 2018. The lawsuit stated that by then, Hertz "no longer had any confidence" that Accenture was capable of completing the project. It added that Accenture's work was "seriously deficient" in multiple areas. These included Accenture ignoring the specification that called for a medium-sized website layout for tablets and developed one for only phones and desktops. According to Hertz, Accenture "demanded hundreds of thousands of dollars" in additional fees to deliver the promised layout for tablets.

Hertz also alleged in the lawsuit that the quality of Accenture's programming was "deficient", as the code written by Accenture's developers for its customer-facing eCommerce website created "serious security vulnerabilites and performance problems".

"Despite having received tens of millions of dollars in fees, Accenture never delivered a usable website or mobile apps. To the contrary, simply completing the project – which required identifying and remediating the defects in Accenture’s work and the development of functionality that Accenture was supposed to deliver but could not – required Hertz to expend more than US$10 million in additional fees," Hertz said in the lawsuit. It added that Accenture's failure to timely deliver the website and apps has caused Hertz to lose "millions of dollars in revenue in a tremendously competitive industry".

In a statement to Marketing, Hertz confirmed that it filed a lawsuit against Accenture for breach of contract and violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act for its work on Hertz’s next generation website and mobile app.

"The lawsuit outlines that Accenture failed to deliver a viable product, even after multiple delays and additional expenses were incurred. Hertz brings this action to recover the fees it paid to Accenture and the resulting damages. We’re unable to provide further comment beyond the details outlined in the formal complaint. We look forward to resolving this matter in a court of law," the company said.

Meanwhile, Accenture told Marketing it believes that the allegations in the lawsuit are "without merit" and that it intends to defend its position. "Because this is an ongoing legal matter, we decline any further comment," it said.