Enterprise Car Rental - Left Without a Car
ALBANY, NEW YORK -- I am writing this letter to share my most recent experience with Enterprise. It is this experience that I can honestly say has ensured that neither my wife nor I will ever consider doing business with Enterprise again.
Planning for an upcoming business trip I booked a hotel and car rental with Expedia. com, something I have done numerous times in the past without incident. This occasion seemed no different. I was able to book my reservations online, received confirmation e-mails from both Expedia and Enterprise verifying the reservations.
My confirmation from Expedia stated that all I would need to rent the car was a print out of my confirmation, valid driver’s license and credit card. Since I do not have a credit card I called my bank to confirm that my VISA debit card would be an acceptable alternative. My bank reiterated to me that the VISA logo on the card meant that it could be used any where a VISA credit card was accepted.
I received a second confirmation, this one directly from Expedia. Out of habit I browsed through the terms and conditions, noting that a deposit would be required. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Having rented numerous cars in the past I had no reason to be concerned and thought that everything was in order.
However, when I showed up at the Albany Airport at 6:00am for my scheduled pick up, my wife and I found ourselves in a situation we did not expect. I was greeted by a young man whose attitude made it clear he did not wish to be there. The young man asked me for my information and I promptly supplied him with my confirmation e-mail, driver’s license and VISA debit card. No sooner did I hand the items to the young man he handed them back saying that Enterprise does not accept debit cards. When I stated that it had a VISA logo on it, he reluctantly took the debit card informing me that I he would have to run the card for a $250.00 deposit in addition to the rental car fee. Expecting this, I readily consented.
However, the customer service representative stood there with an air of expectancy. When I asked if he needed anything else he said that he was going to need additional proof of identity, proof of residence and my most recent paycheck stubs.
Both my wife and I were completely floored. We have rented from every car rental place in the Albany Airport, with this being our first time at Enterprise, and have never been asked to provide the documents requested today. This put us in a very precarious position since I was scheduled to be at my job for departure at 7:00am, it was already quarter after 6 and I was being asked to provide information that I did not have with me. Explaining that I did not have time to go home and get all the required paperwork the customer service representative stated that this was their policy and that this confusion was due to my using Expedia to book my reservation, since Expedia and Enterprise do not share the same terms and conditions surrounding their rental policies.
After looking in the car for any kind of document that might be acceptable my wife and I returned with several documents, including a previous electric bill – all of which the customer service representative had said was acceptable. I submitted the new set of paperwork to the young man, to which he promptly said that he could not rent me a vehicle since the bill I provided him showed a past due balance. I explained that it was an old bill and that it was all I had. The representative’s response was that we obviously did not have the credit to rent a car and by allowing us to rent a car he could lose his job.
After a half hour of trying to rent a car I had a reservation for, along with the required documents, payment and deposit, I was denied. I have never been so humiliated in public and by a complete stranger that I was trying to do business with before.
Due of this exchange I found myself running late to my job, therefore delaying other members of my party I was to travel with. I found myself out of time and without a car, forcing me to take the family vehicle so that I would still be able to attend my out of state business trip. By doing so, I had to leave my wife and our children without a car until Saturday morning. Even more worrisome, our oldest daughter is pregnant and due to have her baby any day. It was for this very reason that I did not wish to leave my family without a car.
My wife tried calling Enterprise to discuss the matter. She was told by a representative that the problem was that we did not read the itinerary, which states that we would have to call the location to see if they took debit cards, at which time they would have informed us about the additional documentation required to rent from their facility. We have both looked at my e-mail confirmation and it says no such thing. When my wife stated this the representative began to argue with her. My wife repeated that neither the company’s terms and conditions or policies stated any such thing on the website or in the e-mail. The customer service representative stated that the problem was using Expedia to book the reservation.
I find it interesting that out of the many, many times my wife and I have used Expedia we have never once had a problem until today. I have rented cars from various rental companies over the years and only Enterprise has provided such a blatantly rude, unnecessarily intrusive and humiliating experience. While Enterprise claims that Expedia is to blame for the “mix up” it was Enterprise that denied me a car rental because of Enterprise’s own policies – policies we were told prevent the company loss.
I would hope that the irony of this situation is not lost on Enterprise because it is Enterprise’s loss prevention policies have ensured the loss of any and all of our future business.