Car Rentals: You Missed the Scratch on the Roof
When an Enterprise employee points to a scratch on the roof of
Q: I hope you can help me with a dubious repair bill I received. I rented a car from Enterprise in
The agent did not mark the "no damage" box on the contract, but I did not see any damage, either. When I returned the car three weeks later in
I told the supervisor I had never been asked to check the roof on a rental car, and that the
We got a bill for
A: That must have been some scratch on the roof! When the Enterprise supervisor discovered the damage, you would have been asked to sign a form acknowledging the scratch and agreeing to pay for it. After that, the car rental company should have sent you a repair bill and documentation, including a photo of the car. Not any car.
You were correct to be skeptical of the
These frivolous damage claims are nothing new to the car rental industry. Sometimes, I think car rental companies aren't even in the business of renting cars, but of making money from damage claims. Interestingly, before they're rented, several car rental firms have begun photographing their cars, which should dramatically cut back on the number of wrongful claims by car rental companies.
I like the way you handled the initial problem. Speaking with a supervisor is the best way of getting your bill adjusted. If Enterprise had followed up with a promised call, you might be free and clear now. I'm not entirely sure why it didn't phone you back.
When the bill arrived, you had a few options. A polite dispute (clearly, if someone had taken the time to carefully consider your claim, it would have probably been dismissed) and if that didn't work, then an appeal to Enterprise at the corporate level with copies to the insurance commissioner in the state the car was rented in, might have worked. As a last-ditch effort, you could have disputed your credit card bill or taken Enterprise to small claims court to recover the
Fortunately, it never came to that. I contacted Enterprise on your behalf, and it dropped its claim.
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