When renting a car, the only person you can trust is yourself. That’s what Christina Morales learned after she rented a car when hers was damaged in a small fender-bender. While her car was in the shop she was driving a rental from Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Nearly two weeks after turning in the rental from she received an invoice for $1,000 worth of repairs as well as a $100 in administrative fees.
She hadn’t had an accident in the rental. She soon found that her case was riddled with errors. First no one called Morales to discuss the damage; they simply charged her, which is against Enterprise’s own policy. No one contacted her when she reached out to Enterprise over the errors, and the employees wrote on the return slip that she drove almost 17,000 miles.
“I would have had to drive to South America three times,” Morales told the Dallas Morning News. She only used the vehicle for a daily 40-mile round trip commute. The return slip had the starting miles scratched out and a lower mileage added. The slip also read ‘No damage on truck’.
Morales found dozens of similar complaints against Enterprise online. Enterprise blamed Morales for the charges, saying an unauthorized driver dropped off the vehicle, causing confusion on their end, even though Morales notified Enterprise that her mother would be dropping off the truck.
Renting a car is a very occasional experience for most people, so consumers should be extra cautious. Recently Dollar Rent A Car was found to be charging customers for insurance, which they verbally declined.
As with any major expense, being proactive early is the best way to protect yourself. Thoroughly review all charges when renting a car, and it’s even a good idea to take your own pictures of your rental car before dropping it off at the rental shop. Keep copies of all paperwork to make sure you can protect yourself from fraud or mistakes on the company’s end.
As for Morales, Enterprise eventually dropped the repair charges based on the length of time they took to notify her. She told the Dallas Morning News that she’ll think twice before trusting any company again.
“We’re all trusting of one another,” Morales said. “These are hard times right now. Now we can’t even trust the people we’re buying from or getting service from? When can we trust people?”