Well... I was on my way to becoming a frequent Enterprise rent-a-car (and truck) customer....until this morning that is.
Last week I was in TX (Abliene, TX) and had a great time with the folks at the aiport rental center. Car (Ford Focus) was awesome...very clean, offered all the amenities and was just what I needed.
Fast forward a few days and I'm now back in CA. Dropping my classic car off to my mechanic just down the street from the Oxnard Airport. Used Enterprise again because of my great experience in TX. Well, what a disappointment. First, the guy at the counter had the personality of a wet rag, did not seem very happy to be there and for a short time I was concerned that I would even GET the car I reserved days ago. I needed a vehicle to travel 2 hrs north to get back home to where my other personal car was. After waiting around 20 minutes, they called me to walk out to the parking lot to see the vehicle. It was nothing special, a Ford Fiesta (newer model, white). The windows were all opened 1/4 down as if they were airing it out and just had cleaned it. I think that's what was happening while I was waiting in the lobby....they were preparing it for me. Well.... I looked over the vehicle's exterior (having rented cars and trucks before) and couldn't see any significant damage, no chipped paint, cracked glass, ripped interior....nothing that showed being hit or in an accident. I was fine and ready to take it for the two hour freeway drive north.
The one thing that surprised me is the fuel tank was at 1/4. Almost every rental I've had, there's been more than just 1/4 tank of fuel left. I always return my rentals with the same and so this one just felt strange but whatever, it'd come back with the same or more. The second thing I noticed is the vehicle stunk like cigarettes.... I was under the impression that most cars were non-smoking, maybe I was wrong but the smell was just nasty. I believe this is the reason they had the windows open, to air it out!
The car was clean, it had very little power but that was fine...again, I only needed it for traveling north two hours and to return it, next morning.
I take the car back, expecting nothing but to sign, give keys back, etc. This doesn't happen... the guy at the desk (very helpful) notices rounded basketball dents on the roof??!!!! I see them too and they're not only on one side, but also on the passenger side. WTF!!!? You have to be at a certain angle to see them, the light has to hit them just right. Well, my reaction is total surprise, shock and then nausea as I know very well that this damage was not from anything that happened when I had possession of the vehicle.
So, the guy at the counter charges $250 to my card, plus the rental amount, and files the information that I am unaware of the damage and it could be pre-existing. This doesn't sit well with me.... I'm furious that I may have to pay for someone else's lack of integrity and carelessness. Fuming that the lazy a-hole Enterprise guy in Oxnard who obviously wanted to go home didn't even see the damage. Its my understanding that the Oxnard Enterprise should have inspected the car prior to even renting it to me. Given their lack of professionalism, I wouldn't put it past them to glaze over the quality of the car, especially if it was a 'quick get it ready to rent again' last minute to me. I greatly have to question Oxnard Enterprise's quality steps when it came to this car....
I'm pissed, it's the f'n weekend and corporate is closed but this is not going to sit unattended. I will gladly go to task against Enterprise over this. I took pictures of the damage and if there's ever a time I rent from them again, you can BET photos will be taken ahead of time. Screw the "imployee" who doesn't want to be there, that inspection time is MY TIME, and from now on I'm going to take as much time as I can so i'm never put in this situation ever again.
Regardless of outcome, if this gets excused, or i end up paying for someone else's lack of morality and Enterprises lack of customer service, I will never take an Enterprise employee's word when inspection is involved.
I've attached some images I took upon return. It takes a keen eye and the right angle to even see the damage. This just confirms that unless you squat from different angles and have bright sunlight to show imperfections that you aren't going to see it. I was right next to the damage and could only capture it with two of my photos....it's that hard to detect.
I look forward to speaking with someone who can address my concerns!
Product or Service Mentioned: Enterprise Rent A Car Truck Rental.
Monetary Loss: $250.