I wish I had known about this widespread scam before it was perpetrated on me on Christmas Eve, so much for goodwill to all men! Nationwide Insurance had booked a rental for me while my car was in repair. When I picked up the car I declined the Enterprise insurance, since I thought it exorbitantly expensive at $30 per day, plus my own insurance covered the rental.
The agent walked with me around the car, about 3 feet away, checking for damage. I pointed out a couple of scratches on the drivers door but the agent said the company was only concerned about "dents and obvious damage". The car looked fine so I signed the rental sheet for no damage - big mistake!.
When I returned the car a different agent checked the car in while I waited inside. He came in and said "You have damaged the car so I am going to write up an accident report". [continued below]....
..... I had not damged the car and asked him to show me the damage. He took me to the car, squatted down and put his face two inches from the rear passenger door and said "there, look at that dent". I got down beside him and had to search, finding a barely visible scratch. From 2 steps away you could not see anything at all. I was flabbergasted atthe agents attitude as the car had 16,000 miles on the clock and this scratch could have happened at any time. The agent would not listen and insisted I had damaged the car since I had signed "No damage". He wrote an accident report that said "large dent" and reported it to my insurers as "Hit and Run in a parking lot". I thought maybe he was upset at working xmas eve until I found the scam reports online.
I spent 15 minutes trying to take a photograph of the alleged damage with my smartphone. Using a piece of paper beside the scratch and my daughter pointing to it I was able to take 3 photos of it. I will be using them to try and refute this alleged damage.
I have no doubt that they have no intention of repairing the dent and will try and charge my credit card with several hundreds of dollars. I guess the next unaware renter will get the same treatment for the same scratch! I have made my credit card and insurers aware of my concerns already. I hope Nationwide drop Enterprise in favor of an ethical rental car company.