Enterprise Rent-A-Car - Charged For Damage I Did Not Cause
Nissan Cube - Complaint
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I had the misfortune to have to rent a car from Enterprise last April. I left my car at a local collision repair shop in Houston after someone hit my car from behind. I was taken down the street to an Enterprise Car Rental on the Southwest Freeway. The only car available was a red Nissan Cube.
I stood with the agent and inspected the car. It was my first time to ever rent a car since I was only 21 at the time. There was some bodily damage on the passengers side and I took pictures and asked the agent to document it. Never, in a hundred years did I ever think to check the undercarriage of the car.
I drove the car to college and stayed there for about 3 hours and proceeded to drive across town. I was driving through a neighborhood and slammed on my brakes quickly because I saw a stop sign I had almost missed. When I did, both wheels bent in the wheel well enough to make the car undriveable.
My first thought was to call AAA since I had never had a rental car towed, but I ended up calling the agent. The agent told me where to have the car towed. When the AAA tow truck showed up, he said he was unable to tow the car there because it was supposed to be an Enterprise tow. After calling the agent again, he finally gave me a 1-800 number that I called. I eventually had to speak with 3 different people before Enterprise sent a two truck out.
When the two truck driver was loading the car on the truck he examined the undercarriage of the vehicle and said that there was no way that slamming on the brakes could have cause the damage. The frame was bent. Chances were that there was already damage and slamming on the brakes rendered the car undriveable.
The car was towed and I heard nothing from Enterprise until one day they sent me a bill for $443. I called them to tell them there was no way I could have done that much damage with my brakes. They really didn't care and told me that the damage had been done while the car was in my possession so I had to pay for all damages.
Since I knew the undercarriage of the car had not been inspected when I rented, I knew my arguments would most likely not be taken seriously. I negotiated a payment plan with the Enterprises Recovery Expert.
The first month I was unable to pay all the money I had agree to, the recovery specialist called me and yelled at me. He turned my account over to a collections agency, which is where it is now.
Basically, since I cannot prove that I did not cause the damage, my credit is ruined. I am still paying on the balance, but the advice I can give to everyone is to always inspect the undercarriage of the car before renting so something like this does not happen to you.