COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA -- September 10th, 2008, my daughter, a 21 year old nursing student at USC rented a car from Enterprise while her car was being repaired. She drove the rental 79 miles according to the Enterprise records. She and her roommate returned the rental at around 4:00 or 4:15 on September 11, 2008. The car was checked in and an Enterprise employee drove them to the repair shop (around 5 miles according to the Enterprise assistant manager) to pick up her car. The girls were driven to the repair shop in the car that was rented from Enterprise. (the roommate is willing to testify to this.) The Enterprise employee left the repair shop alone in the enterprise car that had been rented.
On September 17th, 2008 we were contacted by a man from the Loss Control Department. He insisted our daughter had damaged the underneath of the car she had rented and we were to contact our insurance company or pay for the damages. We, of course, were shocked at this belated news. He stated an employee started the car on September 11th after my daughter dropped the car off at the Enterprise office and the car overheated because of a damaged radiator. I called the store assistant manager, and he had a different story. He said leaking fluid was seen under the car. the store assistant manager was not clear when the leaking fluid was found. I did some more investigating.
I called the man from the Loss Control Department on September 18th, 2008, he told me the car was picked up by a tow truck the day my daughter returned the car which would have been September 11th, 2008. I tried to explain to him an Enterprise employee drove the car the last 10 or so miles, the last 5 of which he was in the car alone. If the car had a damaged radiator, from my investigation and according to the information the man from the Loss Control Department gave me, the car could not have been driven to the repair shop and back. He told me to have my daughter send a written dispute. She did.
A few days later, dated September 19th, 2008, we received a letter, an invoice from the body shop and the receipt for towing. I could not see how a car with that kind of damage could have been driven to the repair shop and back to Enterprise. So it seemed to us the damage had to have been done after the girls were dropped off at the repair shop. We ask the man from the Loss Control Department to investigate further.
We received a letter dated October 20th, 2008 from the Loss Control Department that stated “If and when we receive all documents in regards to your claim we will fully review them and contact you. Please be advised that this may take up to 60 days.” He never contacted us to send him any information we had collected. On October 23, 2008, the day after we received this letter, we received a call from the Loss Control Department. He had completed his investigation and expected payment.
When the man from the Loss Control Department contacted us on October 23rd, 2008 and we were told he had completed his investigation to its fullest extent and our dispute was reviewed fully and we had been found at fault. I asked again about the Enterprise employee driving the girls in the car my daughter had rented and his answer was “…from speaking to all involved parties I have been advised that that vehicle was not used to deliver her.” He never seemed to understand there were two girls in the car!
We did call our insurance company and turned this over to them when neither the man from the Loss Control Department nor anyone in his office would return our calls.
Here are the facts the man from the Loss Control Department missed:
When my daughter rented the car her rental agreement shows there were 20138 miles on the car. When she returned the car the receipt showed 79 miles had been driven. This matches the information that the store assistant manager gave me on the phone – 20217 miles on the car when my daughter returned it. When the car reached the body shop it had 20228 miles – that is 11 miles a car was driven that the man from the Loss Control Department said was not drivable and had to be towed that day. This extra 11 miles driven also matches closely to the number of miles the store assistant manager gave me on the phone, September 17th, 2008, as the distance from Enterprise to the repair shop and back to Enterprise. This is the miles the Enterprise driver drove the girls (in the car my daughter rented) to the repair shop and then drove alone back to Enterprise.
The man from the Loss Control Department told me the car was towed on the day it was returned. That would have been September 11th sometime after 4:45pm; according to the tow receipt the car was not towed until September 12th, at 12:50pm.
The first letter the man from the Loss Control Department sent states “When this vehicle was checked in, damage was noted to the radiator and engine.” When in fact, my daughters roommate was sitting in the car while the store manager and my daughter checked the car in and no damage was noted. Neither the trunk nor the engine was checked but, the car was drivable because then an Enterprise employee got in the car with the girls and they drove off the lot to the repair shop. At this point my daughter's roommate had not gotten out of the car.
If the man from the Loss Control Department had investigated our dispute “to its fullest extent” as he stated, why didn’t he know about the 11 extra miles? Why didn’t he know someone had to have driven the car that he stated was not drivable? Also, why didn’t he know when the car was towed? Why didn’t he know my daughters roommate was with her when she returned the car?
Other concerns I have…
…My daughter's receipt was falsified. Her receipt shows she returned the car on September 11th, 2008 at 2:02pm. She was in Clinical at the hospital until 3:30. After Clinical, she and her roommate left the hospital and, went back to their apartment. She and her roommate then drove the rental to Enterprise. They did not get to the Enterprise office until around 4:15pm. the store assistant manager was trying to help Kate out by reducing her excessive rental charges, but legally he cannot change her receipt to show a different time the rental car was returned. This document has to show the correct date and time of returning a rental car, especially when there is a possibility the customer may get accused of damages to a car. This information could have an influence on the outcome of an investigation.
…Why wouldn’t the store manager return my calls? He is the one the assistant manager said found the leaking fluids under the car.
…Why would the store manager and the assistant manager not tell the Loss Control Administrator, that an Enterprise employee drove the car that was rented?
…An employee of Enterprise and the store assistant manager told me the man from the Loss Control Department told them they were not to talk to me. All questions should be referred to the Loss Control Department. But after my last phone conservation with the man from the Loss Control Department on October 23, 2008, he would not return my calls. I left at least 3 messages for his superior, she never called me back. I have also left 3 messages for the store manager to call me – never heard from him. I have cell phone records to confirm this.
…We were sent a letter dated October 20th, stating an investigation may take 60 days. Then we get a phone call on October 23rd saying the man from the Loss Control Department had made his decision. (I want to know what evidence he uses to make his decision).
…A few days after my last conservation with the Loss Control Department my daughter started getting collection letters and phone calls from a collection service. We have informed them this has been turned over to our insurance company and our insurance company has told them to stop calling us. We have gotten calls from them every day this week.
I have told the man from the Loss Control Department every piece of information I have collected to help resolve this matter. I want the situation investigated in hopes another Enterprise customer will not have to go through the same thing. If my 21 year old college student daughter had to deal with this on her own, she could not have done it. I know now, our insurance company will investigate for us, but there is no way they could have known all the little pieces that proved our daughter did not do this. And would it have been worth an insurance company’s time?
I would encourage everyone who has had problems with Enterprise to contact their home office: Enterprise Rental Headquarters, 600 Corporate Park Drive, St. Louis, MO 63105. I have reported this to the Better Business Bureau, SC Dept. of Insurance, and Consumer Affairs. All these agencies have been very pro-active in contacting me and starting their investigations.
I would also suggest taping all phone conservations (check your state laws) If I had not had these tapes I could not have kept up with all the information that was being told to me to prove my daughter was innocent.