Enterprise Claiming I Scratched Bumper on Vehicle

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Feb 22, 2017
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I am currently in the midst of what I believe is a scam being pulled by Enterprise on me. I'm not sure if anyone can do anything to help but I'm really just looking for any help I can get.

Here's my story: I had to take my wife's 2014 Dodge Dart into the dealer because it was shutting off while we were driving. I was told I would be provided a free one day car rental initially and the whole charge would be covered if the warranty repaired any damage. The engine needed to be replaced and the warranty covered the cost of the rental so I went with a rental car, free of the daily charge. I ended up going this route because my wife and I just had our first child 3 weeks prior to this and we didn't want to take her out on a 45 minute drive to and from the dealership if we didn't have to. The rental car company, Enterprise, was located a few steps away from the service counter at the dealership, Jacksonville Chrysler Jeep Dodge. They were very busy, informed me they had no cars, but told me they would let me know as soon as someone dropped one off. About 30 minutes later, the gentleman told me that a Dodge Ram 1500 had been dropped off and asked me if that was okay, to which I said that was fine. At this time, there was another woman at the counter whom had left a purse or computer bag in either her rental or her car being serviced, a Chevy Traverse from what I remember. So the two Enterprise employees were also dealing with that. While walking out to the vehicle, the Enterprise employee assured this wouldn't take long because there was no history of damage on the vehicle but we needed to do the walk around. We started on the driver side, it was a very bright and sunny day. We walk around the back and there's some scuffs on the side, a small dent on the rear passenger side door to which he assures me are "smaller than a golf ball" and "not in the paint" so they are okay. We then get to the front passenger side and he points to a scuff and says that is also okay, then turns to talk to the woman I had just seen inside (dealing with the lost bag). From there, I take the care and we mark no damage found. On this Thursday morning, February 9, I drive to work from the dealer, about 16 miles, then drive home that evening, about 25 miles. On Friday, I take my car to work because I didn't want to use the gas in the truck and I'm more comfortable with my car. On Saturday, I drove the car to Home Depot, about 6 miles round trip. My father in law was in from out of town and wanted to go for a ride in it. I parked in the middle of nowhere in the parking lot because I didn't want to park by anything. The truck then sat the rest of the weekend in our driveway until I drove it to the dealer that following Monday. The drive from my house to the dealership is approximately 27 miles. With those trips mentioned, that is about 74 miles according to Google Maps, I believe I put around 72 miles on the truck. When I got to the dealership to return the truck, they were very busy. I arrived at about 8:35am, I remember because I try to get to work by 8:30am and I was late. I waited about 10 minutes before an Enterprise employee asked if I was just returning the vehicle and took the keys and said he would check it in. At about 10:00am, I got a call from Enterprise stating there was "damage" to the front passenger bumper, "larger than a dollar bill". I immediately began to defend myself stating there was no way that this damage had been caused by me. The Enterprise employee was very vocal in stating this was my fault and said I was welcome to come back to the dealership and look at it and that they had not moved it. So, I drove the 16 miles back to the dealership. The employee from the phone call walked me out to the vehicle and pointed out the "damage" which was a scratch on the chrome bumper, somewhat underneath on the curve near the wheel well. It was not easy to see from certain angles and the glare from the sun made it even harder to see. I immediately knew that we had stated there was "no damage" on the initial walk around. I also noted that we had to wipe some dirt and grime off of the scratch and that there were no scuffs or scratches on the tire or rim which was odd due to the location of the scratch and would have been there if it would have happened when during the three days I had the vehicle. I realized that this damage had most likely been there and due to the quick walk around, the employee getting distracted, and the glare from the sun on the chrome bumper, I did not see this scratch. While looking at it with the Enterprise employee, he informed me that he could not rent the car in this condition and that it would need to be towed, for a scratch. He also told me they would need to debit my card I provided on pick up for my $500 deductible or else I would be sent to collections and that I would be placed on a "no rent" list. I pleaded my case to the employee for about 15 minutes, which I realized was not going anywhere. Due to this, I went inside with the employee while he filed an accident report to which he recorded all of my notes. These included: stating it could have been missed due to glare, that I wanted to dispute the damages, that there was no scuff on the tire or rim, and that we had to rub the dust off of the damaged area. He also said he would do me a favor and only charge me $150 for now, not the full $500, and that I would be fully reimbursed if I am not found responsible for the "damages". He told me to contact the "DRU", which I believe is a company owned by Enterprise that handles damage. I called them twice to explain my side of the story, the second time I called I was told my case would be escalated to "upper management" for review. I was told they would investigate, which the investigation was simply a look at the last three rental agreements to check for damage, which could take up to three weeks. So I didn't expect that to go anywhere. On Monday February 20th, I received a call from the local branch manager at Enterprise, who was the employee that pointed out the damage to me. He stated that they reviewed the last three rental agreements and didn't find any damage, which didn't surprise me because I believe it was missed by the local office and they are trying to pin it on me. I told him I still wanted to fight this claim and he directed me back to the DRU. So I called the DRU and they told me that they didn't have any photos of the damage or the estimate. He said they can only see past rental agreements and my description of the "accident", the scratch. He also told me that the local branch manager has the final say on the damages, and that the "upper management" review was a a "safety risk monitor". They said I will be receiving a letter with the estimate that I have to pay in one to two weeks. I am getting the run around with the employees deflecting responsibility while pinning everything against me. I believe that Enterprise is trying to put this claim against me because it was missed on their end and they saw an opportunity to trap someone. I believe that I have a very valid argument against their claim against me but no one I talk to can or will do anything about it. Based on some research I've done, it could be up to $1,500 to have this fixed. As mentioned, my wife and I just had our first child, and just moved to this new city, Jacksonville, a few months ago. We can't afford to pay this for something we didn't do! If I had done this or I had any sort of suspicion that I may have done this I would own up to it. I am certain this wasn't from us which is what is so upsetting about it. I also don't want to have to pay our $500 deductible and have our insurance go up. But I feel trapped with the situation that I am in. I'm trying to find help where ever I can, I hope I've come to the right place. Thank you for taking the time to read my story, any advice or help is welcome.
 
Jan 8, 2015
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When you rented the vehicle did you use a credit card?

Also, do not call anyone any longer and only communicate in writing, via email or letter if necessary. We have a post here http://forum.elliott.org/threads/how-to-deal-with-a-car-rental-damage-claim.1514/ about how to deal with a damage claim. You may not want to follow all recommendations depending on the claim or circumstances, but most would be required. You will get push back. In the post we mention that you ask for the previous rental agreements, but on this one I would suggest a half dozen after. If even one doesn't have the mark written down then you would have a case that it is easily missed. Also, I'm not buying the claim that the truck cannot be rented due to a scratch in the bumper. The guy is absolutely nuts.

BTW, I would also contact the general manager of the dealership that you went to and explain how you think they are trying to take advantage of one of their customers in their time of distress. Keep correspondence brief as your letter ran on and on and causes the reader to skip points and lose attention.
 
Likes: spragusr
Feb 22, 2017
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#3
When you rented the vehicle did you use a credit card?

Also, do not call anyone any longer and only communicate in writing, via email or letter if necessary. We have a post here http://forum.elliott.org/threads/how-to-deal-with-a-car-rental-damage-claim.1514/ about how to deal with a damage claim. You may not want to follow all recommendations depending on the claim or circumstances, but most would be required. You will get push back. In the post we mention that you ask for the previous rental agreements, but on this one I would suggest a half dozen after. If even one doesn't have the mark written down then you would have a case that it is easily missed. Also, I'm not buying the claim that the truck cannot be rented due to a scratch in the bumper. The guy is absolutely nuts.

BTW, I would also contact the general manager of the dealership that you went to and explain how you think they are trying to take advantage of one of their customers in their time of distress. Keep correspondence brief as your letter ran on and on and causes the reader to skip points and lose attention.
Thank you for the response. The rental was covered by the dealership, however I did use a credit card for the "liability". Which I was charged the $150 on. I will reach out to the GM. Thanks!