Enterprise Rent-A-Car Complaint - Discovered Damage Scam with Enterprise
CHELMSFORD, MASSACHUSETTS -- Enterprise Episode 8-31-09
My husband and I went to pick up a rental car while visiting MA from FL on Weds. 8-26-09 at 10:30 am at Enterprise Car Rental on 290 Littleton Road, Unit 9, Chelmsford, MA 01824-3300. We followed Pete around vehicle for walk around to check for damage or scratches. I mentioned a scratch on drivers side panel near door handle and was told by Pete that they were only concerned with 5” or longer scratches that went all the way thru the paint. So nothing was noted on paperwork in regards to any damage. He was put back by the deal we recv’d on line mentioning he did not know if he could give it to us. I explained we have a confirmation for that price. He said he would have to modify several things to come close. He asked for my paperwork. I handed him the confirmation page and he asked for more. I explained that I had left that at home and he should be able to find the same thing looking up the confirmation number I had handed him. When we explained that there were approximately 10 of us renting cars from them that week he found a way to work it out.
We went to return vehicle on Monday, August 31st, 2009 at 10:20 am. Paperwork was started and he ran out to inspect vehicle. He walked around and when Mr. Nel got to the drivers door he dropped to one knee and inspected the undercarriage. He then lifted his head and looked again and then dropped to 2 knees and looked again. He quickly returned to the lobby and mentioned he had detected damage to the underside of drivers side rocker panel. I said we had not done any damage to the car. He went out and looked again and again returned with the same story. I said we did not damage to the vehicle as it was parked at in my mothers yard most of the week. He mentioned that we had put on 241 miles. I said, “ Yes, that’s why you rent a car but we had not caused any damage”, to the 2009 Ford Fusion. He said he would have to look up any previous damage reports and of course there where none. I mentioned that Pete had at no time dropped to his knees and inspected the undercarriage of the car (as my husband and I walked behind him inspecting the car). He said that that was procedure and couldn’t know if Pete had in fact looked under the car but that is procedure. He asked what my deductible was, $1000 or $500 which I responded $500. He said he was required to immediately take this off my credit card. I said do not file a claim with our insurance because no damage was done while the car was in our possession. He said this is required and that there was nothing he could do.
My mother who had given me a ride to return the car came in to the lobby and asked what was taking so long. I explained about suspicious damage to undercarriage and she said, “the car has been in the driveway all week, except for us attending a wedding and reception across state.” I took paperwork and went back to Mom’s at in Westford, MA.
I immediately phone my insurance company, Geico, and explained this suspicious episode. After I got off the phone with Geico my sister-in-law, who is an attorney, who advised me to return to Enterprise and take pictures for our adjuster. My husband and I returned to Enterprise and drove around the area but did not see the Ford Fusion. I entered the lobby and I asked Mr. Nel where the car was so that I can take pictures for our adjuster and attorney. He said the car had been rented out. (All within 45 minutes) He seemed a little nervous. Alex said that I didn’t think we needed a lift to inspect the vehicle before leaving the lot and are you going to also charge the next people renting this same car??
This smells like a scam all the way around. We have rented vehicles before but never have been expected to drop to our knees to inspect the undercarriage prior to accepting a vehicle. When did this become “standard practice?”
I need advise or help writing a letter to Enterprise corporate office. Any will help. Thanks