Enterprise claims I damaged the rental

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Dec 17, 2014
I am interested in how I can best handle a current situation I am in with Enterprise. I rented a car through Enterprise while my car was getting some repairs. I used Enterprise because that is the company the car shop recommended. I picked up my car on a Monday morning and dropped it off Tuesday afternoon. There were no longer any Enterprise reps at the car shop so I was told to leave the keys there. Wednesday morning I received a call indicating the car had damage to the front. I left the car in perfect condition so I was shocked to hear there was damage. I fully understand that this becomes a he said she said situation as there is no proof as to how I left the car or when the damage occurred. Further I "now" understand that when I dropped the car off, it was still technically in my possession until it was picked up in the morning.

However, I found an article written by Elliott about a similar problem another woman faced with Enterprise and fraudulent damage charges. I also read various other articles about the same. I have not seen the car in person and originally just asked for them to send me photos. However now after reading so many horror/fraud stories, I would like to go see the car in person. But someone the manager who spoke to me all morning is unavailable. When speaking with the manager he insisted on obtaining my insurance information which I continuously refused to give. I have since called Enterprise corporate headquarters to file a complaint with them and wonder if I should contact the VA AG. I recently relocated to VA from MA so I am not extremely familiar with consumer protection rules down here. In any event, I am contacting you to see if there is anything you recommend I do in this situation. I also know that you keep a tally of these types of scams (if this was in fact a scam which I believe it to be) and thought I'd send in my story. I am not sure what the outcome will be but feel very violated and upset with the entire situation.

Any advise is welcome.

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
Dear Amy,

Elliott.org has received many reports of this kind of nonsense happening with Enterprise. For your reading pleasure, here's a link to Enterprise horror stories from our archives:

I wouldn't go to see the car. So it's damaged... so what? There's no proof that you did it. Have you been billed for the damage yet? If not, let them bluster all they want, and just ignore them. If they charge your credit card, however, dispute the charge, and begin an email appeal to Enterprise.

Start by sending a short, polite email to Customer Help at:

Give them a week to get back to you. If they don't or you don't like what they have to say, escalate your appeal to the Enterprise executives. Here's a link to contact page for them:

Email, as necessary, the Primary and Secondary Contacts, followed by the Chief Executive, allowing a week between each email.

You'll note that I specify email. That's because telephone calls are largely worthless. They can promise you the moon, and you have no proof. With email, you do, and if worse comes to worse and you don't reach an accommodation with Enterprise, you will need to be able to provide a "paper trail" to Chris in order for him to have any hope of getting something done in your behalf.

Contacting the VA AG is a good idea, but not at this point. First, exhaust your email appeals to Enterprise, followed by letting Chris do anything he can do. If you both strike out, then is the time to contact the AG.

Good luck!

Oct 10, 2014
Hi Amy,

Sorry to hear the story. I dealt with a similar situation with Hertz recently. It's a time-consuming process, but you should be able to settle this by yourself.

First, obtain all the necessary documents:
Damage incident report
Original rental agreement (if you lost it)
Receipt (if you don't have one)
Repair bill/estimate
Fleet utilization log
Pictures showing the damage

You'd better use only e-mails from now on. You'd better show a cooperating attitude. If the manager does not cooperate, you need to try different channels. Once you obtain these, scrutinize them to make sure the vehicle matches your rental.

Then contact your credit card issuer (if you used a credit card for payment) and your auto insurance agent to find out if they can bail you out and if so how much you would end up paying.

After obtaining all the information, you are in a better position to decide how you settle this. Frankly, having a CC company to pay the bill is the most convenient.

If you know you didn’t damage the car and decide to fight, then you’ll fight till the end. Sternly, but politely, tell them that you reject their damage claim. My defense was that the car was damaged after I returned it while in their possession (there was a 4 hour gap between my official return time on the receipt and the time the damage was first reported. Your case is a bit different from mine). It’s important that you sincerely believe and dispute that you didn’t damage the car. You should complain to the manager of the car shop, too. You got into a trouble because an employee suggested you to drop the key and apparently the shop and Enterprise were not taking a good measure to prevent damage to a vehicle in their lot. I guess It won’t hurt to ask them for a security camera footage of the lot, which I did.

If Enterprise doesn’t budge, then that’s the time to file formal complaints to AG and Department of Insurance of your state. When I did so, I also compiled and attached similar complaints to the Hertz location that I could find online. They may not directly step in, but they’ll explain what they can and cannot do for you and what else you can do.
After the AG of South Dakota forwarded my complaint to the damage claim company Hertz uses, the company closed the claim.

Good luck.
Likes: Grant Ritchie
Dec 17, 2014
Grant and Ken, thank you so much for your response. It has been very helpful to hear feedback so I don't get overwhelmed by everything.

Grant, the links you provided have been very useful. I appreciate it. It is also helpful to know to give everything a week or so before taking the next step.

Ken, thank you for providing information on documents I should obtain. I thankfully grabbed my original invoice out of the trash so I do have that. And I will continue to gather documents.

I also am happy to hear the preferred communication is email. I prefer to have a paper trail for everything. The individuals at Enterprise kept wanting to get me on the phone. Paper trail is much better.

I really appreciate everyone's input so far. I know I did not damage the car and at the worst case I do have insurance and my CC to cover the expense. I just don't feel I should be required to pay for something I did not do/feel I am being scammed for. They called me back yesterday afternoon and said I could not see the damage on the car in person because it had already been sent to be repaired. So I am a little suspicious about that, amongst other things.

Thank you all,