In May of 2014, through the recommendation of my insurance co., I rented a car from Enterprise while my car was being repaired. When I picked up the vehicle, I notice it was scuffed, scratched, scraped, dinged and just generally very worn. I pointed this out to the employee and was told that was normal wear and tear and was already noted from previous renters. This walk around took all of 15 seconds.
During the time I had the car (a couple weeks), there was a storm. Nevermind that the car was parked in the garage during this storm. That doesn't seem to matter. When I returned the car, an employee came out to inspect it. He looked at the car with such close proximity, I'm sure he hit his nose on the car. He looked at it from every angle, every corner, with such detail. When I asked him what he was doing, he told me management had instructed him to check all cars for hail damage upon their return. He then proceeded to point to microscopic marks (unseen to the naked eye that I asked him to circle them in the dust) on the car and claim them as hail damage. I flatly denied this accusation and began taking pictures of the car in great detail. I even signed on the paperwork, where he noted 4-5 possible hail dents, that this was false and I did not agree to these charges.
A few weeks later, I get a call from a guy named Pat, who can't understand why I would dispute these allegations. I explained all of this to him, vehemently denied the damages, asked for proof and for the vehicle's damage history - which he said he did not have to provide - and was informed he would send it on to damage recover.
On July 11, I received a letter from Enterprise stating that I owe $918. I was dumbfounded. I had received no other communication other than a demand for payment.
I sent this email in response:
I am in receipt of your "unpaid balance" letter dated July 10, 2014. You are claiming this is for hail damage caused to a car I rented in May of 2014 from Enterprise Rent A Car in Oswego.
During the entire time the car was in my possession, there was no damage to the vehicle.
When I returned the vehicle, the employee came out to inspect the car with extreme detail, extensively inspecting the car from multiple angles, at extremely close proximity, noting that he had been instructed by management to note any dings that may appear to be hail damage.
He attempted to point out microscopic dings, undetectable to the human eye, and claim those as hail damage sustained while I had the vehicle. I disputed this claim and wrote it on the documents as such.
The first week of June, I reiterated this dispute with "Pat", who informed me he did not have to provide any documentation of the condition of the vehicle prior to my renting it, did not need to prove that these false damage claims happened while the vehicle was in my possession, and that the recovery department would be contacting me.
I heard nothing until I received this letter today with a balance due of $918.75 with no supporting evidence.
Please provide me with the following:
1. Proof that the vehicle was damaged while it was in my possession. This would include pictures of the car that are time-stamped before and after my rental date that show the alleged damage.
2. All documentation to the vehicle’s condition prior to my renting the vehicle to include scratches, dents, dings, pits and scuffs, and the measures you took to repair them.
2. Documentation of any loss of use.
3. A contact for the repair shop, so my attorney can speak with them directly, as well as the repair invoices, estimates and proof of completion of said repairs.
4. Photographs of the vehicle after completion of repairs.
She then insisted we speak on the phone and I told her I wanted to maintain a record of communication and only use email. She replied with this:
To discuss the claim in detail, I need to talk to you in person mam.
I was off last Friday, and Monday, just returned to office on Tuesday.
I just heard your voicemail’s , but I need to speak with you in person mam.
I cannot provide time stamped before and after pictures, that is not something we have.
I also cannot provide prior rental agreements, that is third party disclosure.
The information for the repair shop is on the subrogation documents you received.
Also, loss of use, we do not provide any type of proof, it is listed in your contract that it will be charged, also our proof of repair is in the estimate that we provide.
Again, I would prefer a phone conversation, so you can express your concerns, and if there is a valid dispute , I will gladly assist in setting one up.
So, I called her and attempted to record the conversation. I let her know this. She refused to speak to me if I was going to record the conversation so I had to call her back. We spoke briefly and I reiterated what is written above. She informed me that claim had already gone through the dispute process, even though I was never a part of it and no one ever contacted me. She also then insisted I would have to put the claim through my insurance and pay my deductible. When I said I did not authorize insurance involvement, she informed that it was their right, as they have power of attorney through the rental contract I signed.
She then sent me subrogation documents, which included very distant pictures of the car with over thirty white circles on the hood, roof, trunk - everywhere. NONE OF THIS DAMAGE CAN BE SEEN IN ANY PICTURE. Additionally, I DO have time stamped and dated close proximity pictures that CLEARLY show no damage to this vehicle.
I have now been forced to file a claim with my insurance company, as Enterprise is hoping they will get paid for their lies and false charges. They steamrolled me and went straight to my insurance. I was not even included in the dispute process. This is despicable, immoral business practice. I will never use Enterprise again and will access every media outlet to get my story heard. People need to be informed and aware of this ongoing scam. You can find incidence of this all over the internet, in consumer complaint forums. This has to be stopped. It is an outrage.
TWO PHOTOS - My photo date and time stamped photo proving no damage, and Enterprises "proof" of damage.
Monetary Loss: $919.