On 30 June my son's car was damaged by vandals, and required towing to a repair facility. Our insurance arranged for a rental vehicle from Enterprise rent a car. I made several phone calls to arrange for the vehicle pick up, and was treated very rudely by the staff. Included promises to call me that never came through. We finally got the vehicle 4 days later.
On Friday, 13 July my son and I picked up his repaired car, and returned the rental car to Enterprise on Old Washington Road. When we walked in we were left standing for a while (there were no other customers waiting), and then the assistant manager came to the counter, no greeting, no smile, just business. For some reason I knew there was a problem coming. I figured it would be as simple as "there isn't enough gas in the tank".
The assistant manager then walked outside with us and proceeded to inspect the car. I have never seen anyone look so hard at a rental vehicle, and I swear if he could have crawled under the car he would have done. He spent about five minutes just looking at the passenger side door ding that was pre-existing. He made me so uncomfortable I started to look around the car myself for anything that might become an issue, because he demeanor told me it was coming. I couldn't see any other marks or dents.
The assistant manager then gave us "permission" to return to the store to finish our transaction. We went back in and stood there for about another 15 minutes. When I finally looked outside to see what the hold up was, he and another employee were looking at the bumper of the vehicle. He then came inside and told us that there was damage to the car! I was stunned, we went back outside, and he pointed "creases" in the bumper. I still could see nothing! I finally angled my body so the sunlight hit the bumper just right and sure enough there were two very faint creases, almost impossible to see unless you were looking for them.
I understand that it is the drivers responsibility to inspect the car when they pick it up, but this damage was so faint, if the light were wrong it could very easily have been missed and I pointed that out to the assistant manager, the damage was so unnoticeable that it had no affect on the vehicle aesthetics or operability. The door dings on the passenger side were more of an aesthetic issue (and yet the company hadn't had those repaired).
The manager proceeded to ignore me and walk off with my 21 year old son (note my son was on the agreement, but it is my insurance that covers the bills). When I told the assistant manager that I contested this and was going to call my insurance company, he rudely asked me to get the case number and walked off with my son.
I was so uncomfortable with these people that I stayed outside to make my phone calls. The insurance company said that if the repairs were under my deductible ($500.00), lets say $250, then I would just pay the rental company directly, above that cost I would have to pay my deductible. My son came out and said that enterprise was requesting the $500 up front (less the $100 deposit they already had). My son is a 21 year old college student, working part time in a fast food joint to pay for his school, he doesn't have that kind of money, his deposit came out of his checking account. That means that I was going to have to give the extra $400. I refused to pay the money up front without a quote for the damages. The company claims that they are going to replace the bumper (completely unnecessary). I told the company that this was an issue with the insurance company, and once the quote was in through the insurance I would settle up then. Even though I thought this was a fraudulent claim (and I told the insurance company that), I was still willing to honor the "contract". Enterprise said that if we didn't give them the money up front they were going to charge me interest and $30 a day for every day the vehicle was out of commission.
I tried to call the insurance company back to clarify the deductible issue, and had to wait in the hot sun for a return call. I was getting sunburned so I finally surrendered and went into the store. The assistant manager was trying to get my son to sign an accident report. I insisted on reading it before my son signed it. The manager came over, took the clip board out of my hands, and gave it back to my son (who promptly gave it back to me). I have a friend who is a former police officer and paralegal. I called her and read her the statement, she agreed with me that the stamens made the damage sound much worse than it really was. I requested the manager alter the statement to our wording if he wanted my son to sign it (we wanted it to state that the damage was minimal, and may have happened prior to us renting the car), the manager refused! At this point I told him that if that was the case we would neither sign statement, nor pay until the insurance company had the quote. He said that they would take the money anyway, and I was invited to leave the store, he locked the door behind me. I called the police at this point, I felt that we were being held hostage, I was sunburned and dehydrated trying to fix this problem. Meanwhile my son stayed inside, the manager was making derogatory comments to him about angry mothers, and trying to convince my son to sign the accident report.
Once the police arrived, he changed his story and told them we didn't have to sign the accident report or pay the $500 up front, the $100 deposit would suffice. Of note, even the police officers couldn't see the damage.
I feel that if my college student son had of agreed to pay the $20 daily insurance (which he could not afford), Enterprise would not have been looking so hard. I feel that they will exploit anyone to doesn't take their insurance, and we fell victim to the oldest scam on the block. This company is racketeering! That manager saw that was 21 year old kid on that lease and was ready and willing to take full advantage!
I have pictures off the proverbial damage if anyone is interested, and I feel that it is about time someone took these companies to task. Their demands for perfection are unwarranted, and I want to know if they do demand a perfectly conditioned vehicle why the door dings weren't repaired under the previous renters insurance! And if the previous renter was charged for the damage (plus additional rental costs) then why we're the dings still there?
I am very very very interested in a class action lawsuit!
Thanks for your time :-)