I reserved an ecomomy car for pick up on Friday, 8/4/11. Daniel showed me the "economy" car that was available explaining that it had manual everything (windows, locks). On top of that it was dirty and beat up. He offered me a rental from the next category up for an additional $8 a day. It happened to be parked right next to the economy. It was a black Kia Soul. It was a bit roomier and was to only cost another "$30" for the rental period, so I agreed. He had the car pulled out and invited me to do the "walk around" with him. (Never had to to that with Hertz, interesting I thought, but ok).
The first thing I noticed was a HUGE 1ft high by 1ft wide scratch on the back bumper. Daniel said that in the state of NY, they were not allowed to consider scratches on bumpers no matter how large so he didn't note it on his inspection report, even though I asked him to. I decided to take a picture of it. While I did that, he continued his inspection. He said he noted a couple of minor scratches on the hood of the car (which could barely be seen, but ok) and I signed off on the rental and drove to meet my husband 10 mins away.
As I drove, I heard lots of wind noise, but, thought it may have just been unfamiliar car sounds to me. However, when, I pulled up, my husband immediately spotted a missing panel between the windshield and passenger window and took a picture of it. We decided I should return the car immediately. When I returned, someone else checked the car back in and claimed that I had caused the panel damage to the car while I had it all of 20 minutes. For the next two and a half hours we argued as I refused to take any responsibility for the damage. Then, to top things off, they tried to charge me for having the car for an hour! (After my husband showed them the picture they reversed the charge).
Then Evan, the assistant manager offered us a Dodge Charger for the same rate as the economy car that I had originally reserved. Against our better judgment, we accepted because it was late and we were scheduled to leave early the next morning and had nowhere to go to find another rental at that time of night.
Again, we all did a walkthrough with Evan. The car was in MUCH better condition than the Kia Soul, but, had minor scratches all around. Not trusting them, we took pictures of all the scratches we found,but, unfortunately, missed a crease on the bottom of the driver's side door, which was so symetrically even, it looked like it was part of the body design. Guess what...when we returned, Evan blamed us for that damage as well!
In total disbelief, I, again, refused to sign the damage report. I am watching and waiting to see what kind of "damages" they try to charge me.
For the record, Enterprise Car Rental is running a scam! They try to use your insurance to pay for the damages on their cars. Apparently, according to this website and other consumer sites, this is their mode of operation across the country (perhaps the world...I read a similar report from the UK). I don't understand why there isn't some type of legal action being taken.