I have rented cars from enterprise rental car at Newark Airport for three years. I have probably averaged about 15 - 30 days per year in my rentals- many that were only one day rentals. I have noticed a disconnect in the people who provide you with the cars and the people who take the cars back. To be fair, the majority of the time, they have told me that scratches on the car that are not small are no issue- and then they have not made issue of them when I returned the car. So, I became lulled into thinking that since I was a frequent customer, that they would not dare blow off the scratches when I rent the car and then turn around and claim that I am responsible for them (and that they are indeed damage) when I returned the car. I sure was wrong.
The first incident happened about six months ago. I rented the car for about 8 hours and turned it back in- only to have a guy I had never seen before look over the car with a magnafying glass. He told me that there was a dent on top of the car- and I gave him a snarl- angry because I was in a rush to catch my plane. I said "buddy, I have had the car for 8 hours- are you kidding me?" And he backed off- but, was not real pleasant about it.
Then yesterday, I had rented a car that had scratches in several places on it- and the guy renting it to me said that I only need to worry about scratches that are over 5 inches. I have been told this same thing over and over when I have brought up concerns about pre-existing scratches. And the car was not even the correct car (they rented me a huge SUV that I never wanted)- which I have always have let go when I have rented from the agency. One more thing- the rental guy was behind the car for several minutes I assume looking at something. I had briefly peaked around the back- but, it was a bit icy and cold and the car had snow dust on it from a snowstorm a few days before. So, I admit that I did not do the best check myself- other than bringing up the scratches that I did notice.
Well, I had the car for about 23 hours and had only parked it at a hotel. When I brought the car back- I had another meticulous return guy looking over the car meticulously. I kind of laughed at the disconnect between different workers there and always wondered what my reaction would be if one of these meticulous guys tried to hold me accountable for scratches that everyone else (90% of the time) had blown off on rental and return. So, yes, he said that he was concerned about scome scratches on the back of the car. I told him that I had only had the car 23 hours?
Are you kidding me? He then proceeded to dust off snow dust to better show me the scratches. This should have told him something- I had had the car for 23 hours- it had not been snowing for 2 days- and he was having to dust off the scratches. Could it be that the scratches had been there for a long long time- just as every scratch on the car. I asked him "Do you really think that this car has scratches all over it - but, I happened to put these scratches back here on it?" He said, well, you are probably ok- but, let me have the manager look at the scratches. Then she came out and said- Sir- I am afraid that those scratches are damage. I told her about the 5 inch rule that I had always been told about- and she said that they were too deep.
So, of course I was furious and felt that I was being scammed. Perhaps they had a quota to meet and had been chastised for allowing people to return too many cars back with scratches and they were told to crack down. Or perhaps they just have people working there who have different opinions on what constitutes a bad scratch. I really don't care- other than the fact that it now their disconnect has risen its ugly head and they are trying to falsely claim that I damaged their car.
In essence, they were allowing people to rent cars- believe that the scratches were ok- and then once in a blue moon on return- be told that they are responsible for scratches. And the story gets even better. The guy from the day before who rented the car to me was there- and he came out and looked at the car and I said to him- "you told me that the scratches were fine." And he then said "Well, I said that these up here were fine- but, I did not see these back here on here when you rented it." Then I accidentally tricked him and said- well, I just got the car- and he said- well, I am sure that it could have occurred today.
He then paused and asked- "didn't you get it today?" I said, no- I got it yesterday- and then smiled as if having something on me- and said "oh, well, then you had it all night- it could have happened overnight." I find it interesting that he had no memory of when I even rented the car- yet, he remembered that those scratches were not there when I rented the car. This is the same guy who spent alot of time in back of the car looking at something. They would never win this case in court.
Anyway, beware if you are renting a car from Enterprise at the Newark International Airport. They will lull you into thinking that they are laid back- and then they will out of nowhere clamp down on your car once in a while on return. I have called the claims department several times and they do not have the report. So, now I have to spend my time checking up on this nonsense. And I have left messages for the manager at Newark Enterprise and have not gotten a call back. This is rediculous and not a way to build loyalty in customers.