Enterprise Car Share - Pre-existing "Wear and Tear" According to the Damage Evaluator

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Mar 16, 2018
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I'm currently in the process of trying to dispute a damage claim from Enterprise Car Share.

We borrowed an Enterprise Car Share car while on holiday in Honolulu.

Since it's a car share scheme, there's no employee on hand to look over any pre-existing damage with / no ability to swap to a different car if the one on hand is damaged. However they provide instructions of how to check for pre-existing damage, and guidelines of when to call up to report damage.

In the contract, it states "member agrees to inspect vehicle and report any damage... under the procedures set on the member policy page".

The member policy page provides the following helpful information: "Before you go, take a minute or two to check the vehicle for damage. You’ll find a Damage Evaluator and instructions in the glove box. Report any damage..."

Unfortunately, the contract and policy page by themselves do not resolve the question of what counts as "damage". Intuitively, since the entire process is instructed to "take a minute or two", there must be some minimum threshold because checking for scratches 1 millimeter in size would take far, far longer.

At https://www.enterprisecarshare.com/us/en/faq.html, they say:

"You'll find a Damage Evaluator and instructions in the glovebox..."

The instructions in the glovebox (which I believe are just this Member Guide), state:

"1. Grab the Damage Evaluator. Check the interior and then do a quick walk around the outside of the vehicle.

2. Report It - We'll Fix it. Let us know about any dents, dings or scratches on the exterior body of the car that are outside the guidance provided on the Damage Evaluator"

Here's a link to a picture of Enterprise's damage evaluator, with inch numbering along the top for size comparison. This isn't my photo from the car we drove (in hindsight would have been a good idea), but looks identical from memory.

https://goo.gl/A7QuaL

The car we hired had some typical "wear and tear", a few marks/scratches/dents (like almost any rental car that isn't brand new), but nothing remotely close to meeting the size requirements here, so we went on our way. I'm a fairly risk averse person, and didn't think of this as a particularly reckless action to take, since the Damage Evaluator is quite clear that small dents/scratches are considered wear and tear. Almost every car share scheme car I've ever borrowed has had at least similar wear and tear, and whenever the size of a scratch etc has been remotely borderline, I've always rung up to cover my backside.

Unfortunately, while we were having lunch during the day, someone keyed the door of the car. Completely not our fault, but unfortunately.... So I rang up to report that this damage had occurred.

A few weeks later, I received the loss claim and bill for repair of the car. However, instead of merely charging us for repair of the key scratch, the line items in the repair bill overwhelmingly pertained to the pre-existing wear and tear that was below the reportable guidelines. The photos that they provided as evidence for the damage a) have nothing to do with the key scratch, b) only seem to match a subset of the line items in the repair bill e.g. there is something about repairing the front bumper, but no matching photos and c) (the particularly important bit in my opinion) show dents/scrapes that are well below the reportable size in the damage evaluator.
1521224919734.png
(Using these photos and the measurements on my own - similar sized - car as a guide, I think these dents are approx 1cm. Nowhere near 2 inches ~= 5 cm).

I've tried pointing this out to the representative at the Damage Recovery Unit, but they insist that "all pre-existing damage of any size needs to be reported" (ignoring that by their own stated definition, this is wear and tear, not damage).

I haven't paid yet (because I'm disputing the charges), but instead have emailed and called Enterprise's Damage Recovery Unit several times to dispute the claim. They are in general being completely unhelpful, have been ignoring my emails disputing the claim, have failed to send through documentation that I have requested that they send (and that they said that they would send), and instead have sent automated emails threatening to send the claim to collections etc.

They've also now told me that until further notice, I'm banned from hiring a car with Enterprise / National / Alamo.

Any suggestions?