My story is long. When I got my old car flooded by Sandy and my grandma was dying in the hospital, I needed to rent a car. I found one at the Enterprise closest to my location in Brooklyn, NY. It was a real bad day (raining cats and dogs the whole day). When I picked the car, it was all wet outside and dirty inside, the car was showed to me in dark garage for inspection. I was asked to check the car for damages while the agent was quickly vacuuming the car inside. I've been told to check all the bumpers carefully for damages. It was kind of dark, I made a circle checking the car for damages and didn't find anything. Then I was asked by the agent if I would like to pay $15 extra for insurance. Since I am a very careful driver with no accidents for the past 23 years, of course I rejected to pay for it. This is where all problems started.
The next day, when the weather was just perfect I took the rental car to the carwash and went to a dealership in New Jersey, bought a new car and was really happy. I couldn't come to a nice dealarship driving a dirty car. I was nice and invested my own money and cleaned the rental car. The dealer told me I can drop my rental car in another location which was 5 mins away. When I returned the car to the man at the office, he was checking the car and noticed a small dent on the roof of the car. It was hardly noticeable, but the guy said he needed to report it. I told him that I wasn't responsible for the dent, and only noticed it when he shown it to me when he was . After a small conversation he recommended that I go back to the original office in Brooklyn and talk to the agents there. I did exactly what I have been told and explained the situation and was assured by the agents "not to worry about it": the dent was on the roof and wasn't caused by an accident. Everything was fine for about 2 weeks and then I got a call from a nasty person from Recovery Services. She said there is a claim regarding damages on the rental car. I told her the whole story and she said it is my responsibility once I signed the paperwork at the rental office. While I was on the phone I remembered that there was rust on the top of dent and it could not have happened in the course of one day and if the car was covered by water, there was no way for me to notice that small dent less than 5 inches. I tried to explain that to her again and again on multiple calls, but it was like talking to a wall. She kept repeating that since I signed the paperwork, I had to pay $475 for damages. I was shocked, because the small dent wouldn't cost more than $100 to fix, and If I wasn't responsible for the damage, I shouldn't be paying for it. So she gave me 10 days to pay or send to collections. Today I went back to the Brooklyn office to speak with the assistant manager there and explain everything over and over again. He revealed that in New York, if the dent is smaller than 5 inches, the rental agency shouldn't count it as a dent, but he wasn't sure if that policy applies in NJ. Long story short, he sent me back to same recovery services folks. At this point, there was "no way to dispute the claim". It is hard to believe that this company is doing dirty business but there should be a way to stop all that. I guess we need to scream out to more people and make them aware of our situation so it doesn't happen to them. If I hadn't taken the rental car to the carwash, the dent there wouldn't have been noticed.