I’m a big believer in photographing your car before and after you rent it, but I can’t bring myself to tell readers to get under their car for a shot of the undercarriage, although in your situation, you would have saved yourself from a big headache and possibly a frivolous damage claim.
Enterprise is one of the most aggressive car rental companies when it comes to damage claims. It is also the largest car rental company in America. If damage is noted to your rental after you return it, and it isn’t noted on the previous rental, you’re assumed to be responsible and you’ll be charged the full price of a repair, plus assorted fees.
Why would a manager call you back after four hours and claim you damaged the Hyundai? I have a partial explanation for that. Damage isn’t always visible when someone returns a car, and before it’s washed. So the manager couldn’t have possibly given you the “all clear.”
But damage to the underside – I don’t know about that. Also, the fact that Enterprise was immediately willing to remove all the assorted fees didn’t exactly bolster its claim, at least in my opinion. The black-and-white photocopies didn’t help, either. Put together, I had enough reason to believe this bill wasn’t supported by all the facts.
By the way, if you ever have a problem with Enterprise in the future, try contacting one of its executives. I list them on my consumer advocacy website: elliott.org/contacts/enterprise.
I contacted Enterprise on your behalf, and it dropped its claim.