Damage claim for a rental car stolen after dropping off after hours

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Nov 12, 2020
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Recently I dropped a rental car after hours and two days later I got a call that the car had been stolen from their premises and that they are going to report it to the police. Around 2 months later now I get a damage claim bill for missing keys. When I asked if the car was recovered, the answer was yes. But I'm billed 297$ for missing keys. A few seconds into the conversation, he gets irritated by my questions and he put me on a do not rent list and has given me ten days to settle the claim or else it will be moved to a collections agency or an attorney. I want to know what are my options. It feels very wrong to pay for a crime that I didn't commit.
 
Nov 22, 2019
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Irvine CA
Unless you had a waiver, you are responsible of the car until the begining of the next business day and $297 for a key seems to be a normal price. It seems strange that they do not charge more (loss of use, recovering the car, etc...). Did they provide you with evidence that the car was stolen and the police report they made? There are many scams by rental agencies.
 
Nov 12, 2020
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They did not provide me with any details about the police report. When I asked the DRU agent that had called me asking about the damage claim payment, he just said that 'it appears that the car was recovered'. They did tell me that they had a CCTV footage of me dropping the car. I assumed they also have the footage of the car being stolen. But they did not provide me with any evidence of that.

The rental car company is Enterprise.
 
Nov 12, 2020
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Where did you drop the key when you left the car?
Funny story! :) They have a drop box. But on that day, there was a note on that which said 'this is not working. Please leave the keys under the passenger seat and leave the car unlocked'. I now feel really stupid for falling for this.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
Did you buy their insurance or does your credit card offer any rental car coverage?

As Alex stated l, when you drop a car off after hours, you are responsible for the car until the car is checked in when the rental agency opens.

I’m curious as to whether the car had the key in the car when it was found. If it didn’t have the keys in it and that’s all they are billing you for, I’d pay it if you didn’t have insurance. If there was any damage to the car, without insurance they could come after you for the damages.
 
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mmb

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Jan 20, 2015
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Funny story! :) They have a drop box. But on that day, there was a note on that which said 'this is not working. Please leave the keys under the passenger seat and leave the car unlocked'. I now feel really stupid for falling for this.
Not TOO funny, but ok.
The Thief absolutely set you up.
I guess the most luck you had was the Thief didn’t damage the car and left it to be found.
 
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Skippy

May 30, 2019
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Was the damage bill from Enterprise, or a third party company (i.e. collections agency)?
Did you speak with someone from Enterprise's local office, corporate office, or with someone who worked with a third party (i.e. collections agency)?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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Not TOO funny, but ok.
The Thief absolutely set you up.
I guess the most luck you had was the Thief didn’t damage the car and left it to be found.
OMG, this is one of those not-funny funny stories! What a clever way to steal a car ... ugh. I agree with mmb; I guess $300 is a small price to pay considering what might have happened.
 
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