Enterprise Rent-A-Car Complaint - Bait & Switch to small cheap Kia
ROCHESTER, NEW YORK -- Buyer Beware of Enterprise's Bait & Switch tactics.
Last weekend, I had a terrible rental experience with Enterprise at the Rochester, NY airport location.
I reserved a "standard size SUV" online with Enterprise 3 weeks in advance. Enterprise describes this car class as 6 cylinder and gives examples of Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder. I reserved a standard size SUV because I needed ample cargo space to move my son from Vermont to Rochester, NY. When I arrived to pick up the vehicle at 8:30am on Saturday, I asked if I would be getting a Cherokee. I was told no, I was getting a Kia Sportage. I questioned the adequacy of the cargo space and the rental agent reassured me that it was the same as the Cherokee. When I saw the Kia, I spoke with the branch manager, Chris Barnes and again described my need and questioned the cargo capacity of the Kia in comparison to the Cherokee or Explorer. Barnes again assured me that the Kia was the same class as the Cherokee and had the same cargo space. I questioned his opinion and asked what other standard size SUVs were available. He said none.
The Kia turned out to be totally inadequate for my needs and I had to leave some of my son's belongings in storage in Vermont. When I got home, I did some research online and learned that the Kia Sportage is classified by Kia, Consumer Reports and Edmunds as a "small SUV" not a "standard/midsized SUV" I further learned that the Kia Sportage is the smallest and cheapest Kia SUV and is 4 cylinders not six. The 4 cylinder Kia had poor highway performance on a 12 hour trip. Kia lists its competitors to the Sportage as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Nissan Rogue...all "small SUVs". Furthermore, the Kia Sportage has the smallest cargo space (26.1 cu. ft.) compared to the three other small SUV competitors, which have up to 35.1 cu. ft. When comparing the Kia Sportage to true "intermediate/midsized" SUVs, the cargo space difference is even more dramatic.
When I returned the Kia to Enterprise on Sunday, I expressed my complaints to an agent and Chris Barnes, manager. I found the agent to be professional and responsive but the manager was very unprofessional...telling me that the Kia was a "standard size" SUV and if I was unhappy with it, I should have asked for another vehicle yesterday. I reminded him that I did ask him for another car and he said there were none. I also told him the Kia Sportage is the smallest SUV that Kia make and is a 4 cylinder not a 6 cylinder as advertised. Barnes walked away and left me with the agent who made a price adjustment.
My advice to all the other families, who are renting vehicles from Enterprise to move your college children...BEWARE. Enterprise won't commit to reserving specific vehicles. The vehicle examples listed on their website doesn't match what you will receive. They "bait" you with their advertisement listing bigger, more expensive cars and "switch" you to small, cheap Kias with inadequate cargo space and engines when you pick up your rental.