ED Magedson – Founder
Enterprise Rent-A-Car1161 University Ave W St Paul, Minnesota USA
Enterprise Rent-A-Car Getting Charged Close to $3,000 ,Scammed?!, for Damage I Didn't Do St Paul Minnesota
I rented two vehicles from Enterprise over a two week period in January of 2014, and had two unpleasant experience. The first I rented at a St. Paul, MN location which I returned four days later to the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport location. At the airport the employee pointed out damage to the underside of the front bumper, stating that the molding was missing (it was a white Ford Focus with over 34,000 miles on it; none of the white body/bumper was damaged). I honestly couldn't tell what they were referring to, but I was sure I didn't hit anything and wasn't in an accident. When I told the Enterprise employee at the airport that I couldn’t see the damage, she said, “You’d have to know the Ford Focus to know it was missing a piece.” Then she said noted to herself, "Hmm there's not even a scratch or mark on the front bumper.”
Now I'm the type of person who would have red-flagged if I did anything. [continued below]....
I later received a report from Enterprise’s “Damage Recovery Unit”. I reached out to them and the St. Paul location, and repeatedly told them that I didn't do anything but they informed me I was on the hook, since "they had no prior record of the damage.” Before I got the bill, I remember wondering, “Could the molding have just fallen off the car without me knowing it?”
Then I get the bill... $2,973.36! They had to replace the grill ($566.89), front bumper cover ($410.30), radiator ($261.68), condenser ($183.98), lower engine shield ($147.32) and a host of other things. I was christened into the world of Enterprise’s new profit model — do a quick once over on your way out the door and then do eagle eye upon return. And make the person pay for every last scratch.
When I analyze the possible explanations of the damage I came up with the following:
To me (and any reasonable person) the answer is that the damage was preexisting. We both missed the damage. I have been renting cars for 20 years and I have never encountered this kind of behavior. I have never had a rental car employee tell me to look underneath the car for potential damage, which in this case, they clearly should have done.
You may think I’m being overly suspicious. But it was my second rental car the following week that made we start to question Enterprise’s policies, procedures and ethics. This time I rented from the St. Louis Park, MN location and returned to the St. Paul location (my car was in the shop, hence the repeated rentals). This time I was smarter (the damage report hadn’t come in, or else I wouldn’t have rented from Enterprise at all), and I, as well as the Enterprise employee, spotted damage (several cracks) on the front bumper. I took pictures, and had it noted in the contract.
I returned the car to the St. Paul location a week or so later. End of story right? Nope. I received another damage report in the mail for the cracks in the front bumper. I call them up and told them it was previous damage that was noted in the contract. The employee said, "Oh we didn't have the paperwork so we reported it." Wouldn't you think there is some kind of process where they check the paperwork??? A month later, the matter still isn’t resolved. I had to send them a scan of the contract as well as the photo I took. Really? It’s my responsibility to absolve myself?
Later I had a local employee call me about the damage to the Focus, and he encouraged me to just use my insurance company. He said my insurance company can negotiate for me and will help me. He also said there is a law (or stipulation) where I won’t have to pay a deductible (I have a $1,000 deductible). So then I get a clearer picture of Enterprise’s “enterprise” — hit people up with a huge estimate so they turn to their insurance companies to make it go away. I won't.
If Enterprise recently changed their policy, you’d think they’d be more clear with people up front. Tell people something like, “Please look underneath the car and take pictures inside and out, because we will charge you for everything we find on the other end.” Or, “You’d better get insurance, because we will find damage when you return it. And even if you didn’t do it, we’ll charge you.” They should tell customers to check under the car for damage.
The whole thing feels like bad faith on Enterprise’s part. It should be their business to protect their customers, not their cars.
In short, don't rent at any Enterprise. Enterprise also owns National and Alamo. Don’t rent there either. This is clearly a profit center for them. Stay away.
If you must rent a car, I recommend the following:
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/01/2014 06:29 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Enterprise-Rent-A-Car/St-Paul-Minnesota-55104/Enterprise-Rent-A-Car-Getting-Charged-Close-to-3000-Scammed-for-Damage-I-Didnt-Do-1127596. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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