Report: #974097

Complaint Review: National Car Rental Agency

  • Submitted: Mon, November 26, 2012
  • Updated: Sat, January 19, 2013
  • Reported By: Julie — Geneva Illinois USA
  • National Car Rental Agency

    Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando, Florida
    United States of America

National Car Rental Agency Enterprise Rental Car told me "you're fine, you're okay to go" but then I got the letter. I will never rent from them again Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando, Florida

*Consumer Comment: Same thing with National

*Author of original report: I feel your pain, Mike

*Consumer Comment: Also had a similar experience with National

*UPDATE Employee: NationalCar Cares

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

My family rented a car from National Car Rental partly due to the fact they a local Agricultural Company offers a discount for its subscribers, of which we are one because of our insurance company.  Rest assured I have contacted Country Companies and advised them of the fraud that is being committed against me by National and they should no longer offer their services!

We picked up the rental car at approximately 7:00 P.M. at Orlando Int. Airport.  We were told we had two cars to choose from, so we chose the Dodge Avenger since it seemed the roomiest for a family of four.  Before we even got in the car, I began inspecting the outside.  I had to wipe away several areas because the car was dirty.  There was notable scratches on many areas of the car and some other damage to the lower right portion of the front bumper area.  I pointed all of these areas out to the man who appeared to want to be anywhere but with us. 

I specifically said to him, "this car has many areas of scratches and bumps."  He wanted to get us moving so he said, "Oh, all the cars have normal wear and tear...just tell the lady when you check out."  I even said, "I've heard of horror stories where innocent people get blamed for damage" never thinking I would be one of them!  He laughed it off and said that doesn't happen with them.  What, what, what was I thinking??  If only I could go back!

We got to the exit and I told the black woman working at the exit to please note that the car had many areas of damage...the sides, the lower right front and the trunk had a 5" deep very visible scratch.  She said she did note it and I, the fool who still believe there are people with good work ethic and decency, believed her.  We left the facility.

From there we drove straight to our hotel in Riviera Beach...we stopped nowhere.  When we got to our hotel, we entered the gated entrance and parked the car about 10 P.M.  The next time we got in the car was on the 18th where we drove to a local Subway, ate dinner within plain site of our car and then went back to hotel..and returned the car to a parking spot.  The next morning, we packed our car and drove it to the Ft. Lauderdale Airport to return the car.  As soon at we pulled in a young black man stood w/the scanner to check us in.  He immediately started pointing out the damage and just as immediately, I pointed out that this damage was already there before we rented the car and I made it perfectly clear to two employees at the National @ Orlando. 

A young white woman came over who appeared to perhaps a supervisor, although I'm not sure.  He was telling her about the damage and I went to her to explain what I had already told him. I told them about Orlando and they both looked at each other and the man said "Orlando" to the woman and they both shook their heads as if a lot of wrongdoing goes on there, but that was my perception of what that meant. He showed me the receipt that had printed from the machine w/the total of the rental amount and asked me if it was correct.  I told him yes, it was the same amount as when I made the reservation.  I then asked about the damage issues and AGAIN told them that we did not do any of the damage.  The woman smiled at me and said, "You're're okay".  I asked again, and she repeated the same.  

Now, who is their right mind would have thought that when I returned home  a few days ago, I would have a letter from National Car Rental?  I knew what it was before I opened it and I was furious.  How could that woman say that to me if only to get me out of there.  There is absolutely no way I would have left that facility if there was any question about the damage to that car.  What kind of game is National playing with their customers?  It's a trick.  It's dishonest.  It's deplorable to lead your customer's to believe something and then pull the rug out from underneath them.  It should be illegal and I am so upset about this injustice that after I get done writing here, I will be contacting the State of FL. Insurance Regulator, the Attorney General and the BBB.  

After our cruise we departed the ship and waited for the National Bus to come to Port Everglades to provide a ride to their facility because we needed to rent a car again (I hated to use them again, but I had already made the reservation).  We sat at that port for over one hour and 20 minutes waiting.  After 3 calls to National who kept saying they would have a bus there within 5-10 minutes and then the best one from one of the women on the phone saying maybe we're not recognizing the bus as it comes by. 

Hmmm.gee...last time I checked I have the ability to read.  How insulting.  The excuses are absurd.  Even the members of Broward Sheriff Department came over to us and said they were surprised that the bus hadn't come by.  My concern was that we had to get to the rental facility and then drive to Tampa to make our flight.  Finally, after one hour and 30 minutes, and after speaking to some manager that I think was named Luke (hard to hear in the port).  He was the only one who I could hear talking to one of the bus drivers to get their location.

Here is the best part, when the bus pulls in, the sheriff knows we're looking for National. (they ask the people what companies they are waiting for)  So when National finally showed, two officers shout to us, "National is here...FINALLY!!!"  That's pretty sad.  I was very mad when she showed and told the woman bus driver I didn't want any help w/my bags.  I also told her I wasn't happy that we were waiting over an hour for the ride.  She immediately copped an attitude and pointed her finger at me and my family and said, "the only thing you need to say to me is good morning".  I told her I didn't want to talk to her and their services were horrible making people wait that long.  She kept barking back at me, telling me those cops don't have any idea what they are talking about (she must have heard them-funny!)  She was a very rude person, and if I hadn't had an awful cold and had my children with me, I would have asked for her name.

So, there we are again, at lovely National.  We meet w/a nice man who shows us the three cars we have to choose from.  He tells us that the Impala offers the most room, so we choose it.  Here I am again, inspecting the car.  This car's condition cannot compare to our first rental.  It appears to be newly washed and is in excellent condition.  The only scratches I could find were minor ones near the back of the car/truck.  I tell him and he tells me to have the girl note the damages at the exit. (Hey-what has happened to the little diagrams of the cars where you can circle where you find damage? I'm guessing such a great thing isn't utilized by National because it would be harder for them to try to fraudulently try to collect on damages from innocent people).  So, when we're leaving, I tell the woman to please note the damage on the back of the car because a few days ago, we were almost (didn't know at that time that I actually would be) screwed for damages made by others. 

We were supposed to meet a family friend for lunch in Tampa, but because Ms. Personality Bus Driver was so late, we had to call him and cancel because we had a flight to catch @ 3:30.  Very sad...we haven't seen him in over 3 years.  We got to Tampa Airport at about 2:00 P.M. and returned the car.  Very different experience, no problems-probably because the car was in excellent condition.

Here's the deal.  My husband and I are honest people.  I am a Admin Assistant and my husband is Deputy Chief of a local police department.  If we damaged that car, then we would certainly not lie about it  Also, I'm not even sure how one single rental could cause as much damage as that car has.  I mean, I'm sure a car can be totaled, but these were scratches and dings from what I'm quite sure happened over multiple rentals and none of it was damaged by us.  I have insurance...the same insurance for the past 18 years and have NEVER had an auto claim.  I've never had an accident that was my fault, nor has my husband who was the driver of the car, and if we did I know we're covered by our insurance and that is how we would have the damage paid for.  It's pretty simple.

I find it very, very strange that I get this letter from National stating that there is damage to the vehicle they we caused, yet it doesn't list the actual damage.  There are no photos, no estimates of repair and therefore NO price.  Huh?  Should I just sign over the cost of a new car?  AGAIN, what kind of sick game is this?  The letter states that if I haven't already done so (uh, why would I have?) I should contact my insurance agency and my credit card company to report the claim.  It then says if I don't have insurance, I should let them know and then they will send me a bill along with supporting documentation.  Shouldn't I get such documentation with the FIRST letter?  I mean, you are accusing me of something.  

I responded two times to National by email, I will NOT call them.  I emailed them at  I have yet to hear back, but it hasn't been 24 hours yet.  Something tells me I won't hear back...betcha they want you to call in so they can really treat you like a lying, low-life.  I have also emailed Mr. Taylor the CEO of Enterprise, who owns National and Alamo.  I hope I hear back from him or a rep from his office. 

I am busy, just like everyone else, but this has angered me beyond belief and I will find the time to ensure that this matter is solved the correct way.  I don't care if I have to go to court..we did NOT damage that car.

So long, Enterprise....National....and Alamo...I will never, ever use your services again and I will share this experience with everyone I know...maybe even Judge Judy or the local news media.  It is very wrong what you have done.  I will get a copy of this report and send it all over the chicago news media...people need to be warned and I'm mad enough to take on that feat!  I can see a nice little 2 minute segment on the 10:00 P.M. news already.  I hope I'm the star!

One last thing...National-don't post on here asking me to contact you.  You have my information..or you can get it from Mr. Taylor or from National.  Just look for the loss date of 11/19/2012 w/a 2012 Dodge Avenger rented from Orlando and returned at Ft. Lauderdale.  You have every shred of information from my renter profile and from my emails to Mr. Taylor, Mrs. Nicholson and the emails I sent to DRU1.

RENTER BEWARE!!!  Take pictures, take videos...get everything written're going to need it!
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#1 Consumer Comment

Same thing with National

AUTHOR: tracib - ()

I as well rented from National. I rented over July 4th weekend. And I will be the first to admit that the damage to the car was my fault. I drove over something in the road and took out the oil pan. I was told by national to NOT inform my insurance company, as I had taken out the extra insurance on the car. So I did just that. I went about my trip and didn't think anything else of it. I got a letter in the mail in September stating that I owe $7000. I called. No one could tell me very much. So I pressed harder about why no one told me to call my insurance company, and in fact told me NOT to. Again, no answers. A few more weeks pass and I get a call from a woman named Connie. This woman should not be in customer anything. She was the rudest person I have ever come in contact with. I asked for a detailed bill for the $7000. I was then sent an estimate. I asked again for an invoice. I never heard anything back. I finally got a phone call today. Again, from the very rude Connie. Who now tells me that they decided to total the car. For an oil pan mind you. Because the car had that much damage. It was a brand new car with under 10k miles on it. I asked for something in writing, with the VIN stating that the car is going to be totaled. I was again, told no. She told me I was going to have to " take her word for it." My response to that was NO. She said she was turning me over to collections. I said all i am asking for is proff that the car has either been totalled or fixed. You won't provide either. I have contacted the BBB and I am on hold with the AG office in my state. STAY AWAY FROM THIS PLACE! The cheap rates arent worth you possibly having an accident and having to deal with this.

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#2 Author of original report

I feel your pain, Mike

AUTHOR: Julie - (USA)

Hi Mike,

Sorry to hear that you have been drawn into the National/Alamo car rental fraud.  It is exactly that! If I were you, I would contact the CEO of National and tell them your story.  That is what I did and they magically dropped the charge. 

Most people will forward that letter to their insurance company and I'm sure they pay it right away.  It makes me sick.  I cannot believe that they don't list the damage or the cost...that makes it almost certain that it is fraud.

I googled the CEO of National..which is owned by Alamo, I believe and I also contacted the state of Florida Attorney General, and that is what you should do. 

Although National did contact me and said they, "determined that the damage was caused BEFORE I rented the vehicle" and dismissed the claim, I will NEVER rent from them again...EVER.  I believe there are a few rental companies owned by the same...I think Enterprise, Alamo and National are one in the same.

It's a shame they seem to pull this crap with a lot of people.

Good luck, Mike.  Don't back down.  The fact that they had you park the car outside the facility tells me that you owe nothing.

Grrrr...Customer service and honest business practices are things of the past!


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#3 Consumer Comment

Also had a similar experience with National

AUTHOR: Mike - (United States of America)

I too had a recent experience with National over damage to a rental car. I rented a car and upon return was asked to park it in an unattended lot outside because National didn't have enough staff at that location to have a check in person. I parked the car (without damage) and went inside to turn in the keys at the National desk and note mileage. I should have video taped the car parked there to prove it was fine, but hindsight is 20/20. 

Upon returning home several days later, I get a letter from a company called PurCo stating I returned the car with damage, but didn't note cost estimate, photos of damage, etc...Just a threatening letter like you got stating I should call my insurance co or creditcard co. National refused when I called them to discuss it and referred me back to Purco. Finally got in touch with Purco after filing a BBB complaint. They sent photos of bumper damage, but who is to say it didn't happen in the lot after I parked it and the car was in their possession. Just because they don't have enough staff to check and inspect the returned cars is not my fault.

Get another letter this week stating on the claim form that I am aware of this damage. Really? The fight has just begun. National is defrauding customers with repair claims and I will never rent from them again. I will video tape everything from the moment I get into a rental car again to any conversations with employees to the return process. Such a shame we have to go to great lengths to protect ourselves from ruthless practices from rental car companies.
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#4 UPDATE Employee

NationalCar Cares

AUTHOR: Nationalcar Cares - (United States of America)

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We would like to look into this further. Please email Care[at] with your full name, the exact rental location and any other details.
When emailing, please list reference # 121203-001605 in the subject line.
Gillian T.
Social Monitor Coordinator
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