Claim from Enterprise Damage Recovery Unit

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Dec 27, 2017
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#1
Hello! I am thankful I found this forum! This is my first post, so hopefully I am clear enough. I am looking for tips and suggestions on how to deal with this claim. Specifically, I am curious if I should deal with the claim representative with Enterprise or start with the customer care contact in the How To of this website? I have already received a bill for $455 from the Enterprise DRU.

In a nutshell, I had a rental vehicle (a mini van) from Enterprise for 2 days. I returned it and later got a call that there was damage on the rear hatch. I wrote an email to the DRU after I received their letter which contains all of the details I would like to share with you. Here is the email I wrote to them:

To whom it may concern -
I am writing in response to the letter I received from the damage recovery unit over this past weekend. This letter indicates that there was damage or loss to a vehicle I recently rented. I do not believe I am responsible for this damage. Before going any further, please allow me to outline the chain of events that outline my rental with Enterprise.

1.) The vehicle was picked up by me on Monday 11/27/17 at 9am local time. The vehicle was driven and delivered TO the body shop (Gerber Collision and Glass in Hudsonville, MI) by an Enterprise employee. When I arrived to drop my vehicle for repairs to the body shop and pick up the rental, all of the windows were completely frosted over on the rental vehicle. Since the location that the rental came from opens at 8am local time this indicates to me that the vehicle was delivered prior to 11/27/17. The Enterprise location is also closed on Saturday's and Sunday's which tells me that the earliest the vehicle could have been dropped off is Friday 11/24/17. If the vehicle was delivered near closing time for the location, that means it was also starting to get dark since locally this time of year it starts to get dark around 5:00pm. All of this to say that the employee that dropped off the vehicle may have overlooked or missed potential existing damage to the vehicle due to low light conditions. That also means that the vehicle was parked in an open parking lot over the weekend - anything could happen.

2.) Since the vehicle was not being picked up at an Enterprise lot, with no assistance from an Enterprise employee, I did not have an opportunity to inspect the vehicle with an Enterprise employee. I did do my own walk around of the vehicle when I arrived to the body shop to retrieve it. I did not notice any damage to the vehicle, however, it was cold, the vehicle was frosted over, it is white in color, and it is winter / snow season in Michigan. I believe it would be fairly easy for someone who is unfamiliar with looking for damage (and unfamiliar with a particular vehicle) to miss some potential damage on the vehicle unless the damage was clearly obvious.

3.) My instructions from Enterprise were to return the vehicle to the body shop where I initially picked it up from. Upon returning to the body shop on 11/29 in the AM, I performed another visual of the vehicle both interior (to ensure I removed any personal items) and exterior to ensure I was returning the vehicle in acceptable condition. Again, there was no noticeable damage upon returning to the Body shop.


4.) I was surprised to have received a call from Enterprise in the afternoon on 11/29 indicating that they noticed damage on the rear hatch of the vehicle. I was also surprised to learn that it was employees from Gerber Collision and Glass whom returned the vehicle to Enterprise. I want to note that I was never informed that anyone other than myself or an Enterprise employee would be operating the vehicle. I understood that Enterprise would be delivering the vehicle TO Gerber Collision and Glass, and Enterprise would be retrieving the vehicle from Gerber Collision and Glass. I did not approve Gerber to return the vehicle, as I would have to assume liability for them operating the vehicle and they are not covered on my insurance.

I proceeded to ask some standard questions regarding the damage that the employee noticed. Questions such as where, how large, and more specifically, how noticeable it was. He proceeded to tell me that there was approximately a 12" "gash" on the rear hatch that was very noticeable. Logically speaking, if there was body damage on a rental vehicle that is very noticeable, I believe that it would have been noticed by me or my wife. Neither of us noticed anything. I asked the Enterprise employee if he could send me photos of the damage and he proceeded to tell me I would have to deal with the damage recovery unit.

Since I was informed that Gerber Collision and Glass returned the vehicle themselves, I proceeded to call them to find out if they noticed any damage on the vehicle. I spoke with the individual who actually drove the vehicle back to Enterprise, and she spoke with her manager whom followed her back to Enterprise to deliver the vehicle. Neither of them noticed any damage on the rear hatch of the vehicle either.

Please let me know how we can proceed to close this claim.

Thank you,

I never received a response to this email, just a bill 11 days later stating "our review indicates you are responsible for this damage..." blah blah blah. I know I didn't do any damage to the vehicle. I also know that someone whom I did not authorize drove the vehicle back to the Enterprise lot. I also do not know how long the vehicle sat in the lot before Enterprise closed the rental agreement.

In hindsight I will NEVER do a rental this way (will ALWAYS pick it up from the rental lot and return it to the rental lot). It leaves far too many unknowns. How should I proceed with fighting this claim?

Thanks so much for reading this lengthy post!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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11,852
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
Stop dealing what th the local office and damage recovery unit and get our corporate company contacts for Enterprise.

Then shorten your letter by 2/3 and state facts only on bullet form.

Follow the instructions here ;

http://forum.elliott.org/threads/how-to-deal-with-a-car-rental-damage-claim.1514/

Let us know how you make out. In almost every case the claims were dropped.

That car was sitting out in the open for too long for them to pin the damage on you.
 
Dec 27, 2017
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#3
Thanks Neil. I will proceed to follow the steps there. I will not deal with the DRU or the Local Office. I appreciate your recommendation(s)!
 
Dec 27, 2017
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#4
Neil, I have shortened my story to the following:
· The vehicle was delivered to Gerber Collision and Glass for me to pick up. (Date unknown, but assumed to be Friday 11/24/17).

· Vehicle picked up by me on Monday 11/27/17 at 9am local time at Gerber Collision & Glass. Windows completely frosted over suggesting that the vehicle had been delivered prior to 11/27/17.

· Hudsonville Enterprise location is closed on Saturday’s and Sunday’s suggesting the vehicle was delivered on Friday 11/24 and left in the open parking lot of the body shop all weekend.


· Since the vehicle was not being picked up at an Enterprise lot, there was no opportunity to inspect the vehicle jointly with an Enterprise employee. I noticed no clear or obvious damage to the vehicle other than a scratch – noted on the rental agreement.

· Vehicle was returned to the body shop on 11/29/17 per instruction from the Hudsonville Enterprise location. I did a final inspection of the interior and exterior and again noticed no clear or obvious damage to the vehicle.

· Late in the afternoon on 11/29/17 I received a call from Enterprise. The employee explained he found damage on the rear hatch of the vehicle. I was also surprised to learn that it was employees from Gerber Collision and Glass whom returned the vehicle to Enterprise. This was not approved by me.

· I proceeded to ask some standard questions regarding the damage. The enterprise employee stated an approximate 12 inch "gash" on the rear hatch that was very noticeable. Logically speaking, if there was body damage on a rental vehicle that is “very noticeable,” I or my wife would have noticed it. Neither of us noticed anything. I asked the Enterprise employee if he could send me photos of the damage and he proceeded to tell me I would have to deal with the damage recovery unit.

· I called Gerber Collision and Glass, since they returned the vehicle, to ask if they noticed any damage on the rear hatch. Neither the individual who drove the vehicle back, nor her boss whom followed her, noticed any damage.

· There is no way to know how long the vehicle sat in the lot at Enterprise before being inspected and closed out. There’s also no way to know whether the damage could have been done by an Enterprise employee while moving the vehicle for final inspection.

Based on what I’ve stated above I do not believe I should be responsible for the damages. Please assist me in closing this claim.

Thank you,

Do you believe this version is shortened enough to submit?

Thanks again for your assistance!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,359
11,852
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#5
Yes it’s much easier to read and leaves open the case that whoever delivered the car back to Enterprise could have been the one to damage it.

Use our corporate contacts and start at Customer Service. Wait a week for a reply. If they don’t drop it- write to the first executive. Repeat weekly going up the chain.

Good luck and let us know how you do.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#6
@Matt R Enterprise fleet logs will tell you when the vehicle was dropped off and when it was picked up from the body shop. This is why they are part of the documents we suggest you request.

You need to re phrase some words. The correct phrase is "I did not damage the vehicle" and or "no damage occurred to the vehicle during my rental" dont say "I do not believe the damage occurred during my rental" because that leaves the opportunity for it to be assigned to you.

The best thing to do is to take the stance of

"I did not damage the vehicle and I request that you close this claim of damage against me. If you decide to continue investigating the situation, I will need

"list of documents we specify in that link"

So that I can examine when this damage might have actually occurred, and help you determine who had possession of the vehicle at that time.


Essentially you are saying "I didnt damage the vehicle, but let me help you figure out who did/when the damage occurred"

In the future, make sure you take pictures of the rental before you drive it off the lot and after you return it. It never hurts to get employees in the pictures. Always request a vehicle damage form before you leave and make you you note the actual damage, as well as scratches, etc.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Dec 27, 2017
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#7
Thank you all! Yes I have learned my lesson and will take very careful documentation of all future rentals. My hope is to get this cleared up and to be able to do business with Enterprise again. Also, I will NEVER agree to these "convenience" offerings ever again(like delivering the rental to an alternate pickup location).. because now it is incredibly inconvenient that I have to deal with trying to resolve this.

I will let you all know how it turns out..! Hoping for the best.
 
Dec 27, 2017
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#8
A follow up already. Within about 10 minutes of sending my email to customer care, it was acknowledged and forwarded on Kenneth Kamba, regional VP overseeing the location which this rental came from. I feel like that is positive progress.
 
Dec 27, 2017
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#10
Feb 9, 2016
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#12
We do it. We often look like idiots but I don't really care. I keep them a year believe it or not.
I suggest keeping it for 24 months. And now you really need to photograph the roof and the undercarriage of the car anywhere the car is painted needs to be photographed, tires, rims lights etc as well
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Dec 27, 2017
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#13
I just wanted to update you all to let you know that they will NOT be pursuing this claim against me. I received a call and email from a regional risk supervisor with EHI today stating they will not be pursuing the claim. He stated "customer service reasons and the way the rental was handled with other people driving the vehicle, it's hard to pinpoint who was driving when the damage occured."

I'll be honest, I was ready to not rent with Enterprise or their affiliated companies ever again, but, being that in under 24 hours this was all cleared up, I am really quite impressed.

I am very thankful for this website and all of the tips provided. Prior to finding this I likely would have dealt directly with the DRU and gotten nowhere - as their job is to collect the claim. Should I ever encounter issues in the future I will always remember to come here for tips. However, I doubt I will encounter issues because now I will ALWAYS take time-stamped and dated photos of any rental when I pick it up AND when I drop it off. Thanks again all for your help and happy new year!
 
Dec 7, 2017
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#14
Lets not forget the most important part of the procedure:

"I further inform Enterprise and its agents/assigns that you are no longer authorized to charge my credit card for any purpose related to this rental or this claim from this day forward. Authorization is hereby revoked."
 
Likes: VoR61

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,359
11,852
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#15
I just wanted to update you all to let you know that they will NOT be pursuing this claim against me. I received a call and email from a regional risk supervisor with EHI today stating they will not be pursuing the claim. He stated "customer service reasons and the way the rental was handled with other people driving the vehicle, it's hard to pinpoint who was driving when the damage occured."

I'll be honest, I was ready to not rent with Enterprise or their affiliated companies ever again, but, being that in under 24 hours this was all cleared up, I am really quite impressed.

I am very thankful for this website and all of the tips provided. Prior to finding this I likely would have dealt directly with the DRU and gotten nowhere - as their job is to collect the claim. Should I ever encounter issues in the future I will always remember to come here for tips. However, I doubt I will encounter issues because now I will ALWAYS take time-stamped and dated photos of any rental when I pick it up AND when I drop it off. Thanks again all for your help and happy new year!
Great news. I had a feeling you wouldn't have to go too far to get this dropped.
 
Likes: VoR61