My Enterprise Horror Story, Part 1
As I’m writing this, my heart is racing after a recent experience (that’s still going on…) with Enterprise Car Rental. I’m so upset & feel like the only recourse I have is my voice. So, that’s what I’m using right now in hopes that my story will remind you to always, ALWAYS take a video of yourself walking around the vehicle you’re renting with the car rental people & document it all BY VIDEO before you leave the parking lot.
First, let me say that I have used Enterprise for my car rentals for years & years & years. I rent several times a year as well & have always raved about them. I never had one single issue until this time.
I rented a pickup truck last Friday in Winder, Georgia. I wanted one with a big back seat so my kids could fit – we were taking a very special vacation that we were looking quite forward to. Well, when I picked up the truck – the backseat was too small so I requested to exchange it for a truck with a larger backseat. That seemed to be no problem, so I went to a different Enterprise location to switch it out because the Riverside location in Lawrenceville, GA location had the kind of truck I needed. That Enterprise location is about a half hour from my house but I was a quick in and out – super fast! I was pretty happy with the customer service at the time.
The young man that helped me, let’s call him ‘John’ (not gonna use his real name at this point) – he pointed out a couple of scratches on the passenger side of the vehicle and said to my friend & myself ‘We know about the marks here on the side & the wet spot in the back. Do you see anything else’? I said ‘Nope, sure don’t. Thank you!’ and didn’t give it another thought. He handed me the keys – no new paperwork, just the keys. He smiled, waved, & I jumped in the truck & drove away. The next morning, I went to crank the truck and the check engine light was on… sooooo I drove it BACK to enterprise (the original location that’s closest to my house) to switch it out yet again.
The manager of the location went outside to check the truck as she was preparing to exchange it for a different one. She noticed the scratches on the side & asked me about it. I said, ‘Oh, that was there when I rented it.’.
Well, ‘John’ apparently didn’t notate the scratches so it wasn’t documented. And no one could get in touch with ‘John’ to confirm it. Apparently they checked past rental reports of the truck & it wasn’t noted there either so therefor, I must have done it. No matter what I said, the manager at this Enterprise location wouldn’t believe me at all. She belittled me the entire time I was there and had me in tears. Instead of leaving for vacation, I was in there trying to tell these people that those scratches were on it when I rented it (the day before at that). I mean, heck – the Enterprise guy himself pointed it out after all!
My friend, who was a witness to ‘John’ pointing out the scratches on the side of the truck, came to the location to confirm my story but that didn’t make a difference. The manager told me that I’d have to either accept to pay the damages on the truck (which I did NOT cause so I certainly don’t want to pay them) or keep the truck and try to return it to the location where the switch was made to clear it up with them.
Well, now it’s noon on Saturday and that location is closed. We had been at the Winder branch for an hour going back & forth. We were supposed to leave on our trip on Saturday morning but because of all this, I delayed it until the next day when that other Enterprise location opened at 9am Sunday morning so I could hopefully speak with ‘John’ and get this all cleared up.
I called right at 9 and ‘John’ answered. I explained to him who I was and he said he remembered me and I went into detail about my horror story from the day before. He sounded horrified at how I was treated and said ‘I don’t know why they didn’t call me, I don’t know why they did you like that – I remember you, I remember the marks. They were there when you rented it. Ill fix this. I’ll make sure it’s all notated and get it all cleared up. Make sure you return this truck to me, I’ll fix everything. Don’t worry’. He went on to reassure me for about 15 minutes, even offering to have me bring that truck back up and exchange it for another one. The check engine light had gone off on the truck and the truck was behaving fine – and we were delayed by a day on our trip already, so I figured I’d just take the truck I already had. That location was 30 minutes in the opposite direction from where we were going and ‘John’ had reassured me so many times that I felt everything was a-ok. I took a sigh of relief, loaded up the kids, and left.
So, we went on our vacation and everything was awesome. We had such a wonderful time. Oh, the smiles on my kids faces was something else! If you’ve followed me for a few years, then you know that this trip was so needed for my family. This was our first family vacation somewhere overnight that wasn’t going back to North Carolina (where we used to live before Mike died). The trip was truly epic though. Epic. I’ll post pictures soon.
Anyhow – We drove home on Thursday (yesterday) and I woke up early this morning (Friday) to take the truck back.
I pull in the parking lot of Enterprise & a friendly face greets me outside. ‘Returning, ma’am?’ ‘Yes, I am but I need to return this to ‘John’ I say.
Well, ‘John’ isn’t here and he’d be glad to help me. I take a chance. I explain everything that’s happened and he seems concerned and says ‘We are gonna fix this’. Two managers come out & seem helpful at first. Then, they excuse themselves to speak outside. Before the door closes, I hear one manager say to the other manager ‘She claims….’.
She claims? I just had a feeling it was about to go South. And I was so right.
A few minutes later, one of the managers comes to me and tells me that I need to take responsibility for my actions & admit I damaged the vehicle.
I calmly ask him to call ‘John’ – ‘John’ can fix this. ‘John’ pointed out the scratches on the vehicle to me when I rented the vehicle. I did NOT damage this vehicle. I brought it back to you the exact same way you gave it to me. Please, let’s get ‘John’ here.
It was ‘John’s’ day off and the manager wasn’t going to disturb him on his day off. I asked if they could call him… he said he did call him and he did text him, but he got no response and it was his day off, ‘John’ didn’t want to be bothered with work. He had family stuff going on.
‘No matter what I said, this manager treated me like I was a piece of trash who had damaged their vehicle and couldn’t own up to it. He even tried to tell me that I had a phone conversation with him where I had told him the damages weren’t there when I rented the vehicle. Um, no – that never happened. Ugh. I felt attacked! Again, I called my witness who was there with me up there to confirm my story but that didn’t make a difference with this manager either. He didn’t care to hear either of us.
I asked if they had security footage from the front of Enterprise. The truck exchange was done directly infront of the front door. ‘John’ pointed at the scratches with his fingers as he told me about them – surely they have a security camera and they can pull it from that moment and view it. I asked the manager if he could pull them – he said he wasn’t going to pull the security footage.
Apparently, ‘John’ won’t be back at work til Monday morning.
I feel like if I return the truck without ‘John’ being there to say ‘Hey – this WAS there before. This lady didn’t do it. Don’t charge her. Stop treating her rudely. We messed up’ – then I’m going to be ultimately screwing myself. I was informed if I kept the truck til Monday that I would be charged for it… so guess what? Apparently I’m paying for this truck to sit in my driveway until Monday. I’m hoping that ‘John’ is a stand-up guy and that this isn’t some big scam… because right now, I feel like I’m about to be scammed. I sure hope not though.
Do you have a headache yet because I do….
The way that I was treated was horrible. HORRIBLE. I was treated like a liar & a criminal. With SO much rudeness. I’ve never been treated so poorly by a company. I kept my cool the entire time, while standing on firm ground. But this has definitely got my nerves some kind of frazzled.
On Monday morning, I will be in the Enterprise parking lot 5 minutes before the doors open.
Lesson learned. I don’t think I’ll ever rent a vehicle from this company again after my recent experience – but no matter what. For all of you – always – ALWAYS – take a video of yourself walking around the car you rent. Document everything by video if you’re going to rent a vehicle, no matter what.
Now, excuse me – I’m going to try to breathe and not think of all the worst cast scenarios inside my head. I’ll post a part 2 on Monday.