Answer: Flat tires happen. But yours spiraled out of control, taking part of your vacation with it. That shouldn’t have happened.
As soon as you noticed a problem with a rental vehicle, you should have called Enterprise immediately. You waited several hours and then phoned AAA roadside assistance. That would be the right move if it had been your van. But it belonged to Enterprise, and it should have made the decision about how to repair the vehicle.
In fact, Enterprise probably would have furnished you with a new van, which might have saved your vacation.
Of course, Enterprise shouldn’t have rented anyone a van with a flat spare. But even if you could have avoided a trip to the garage, you would have still needed to bring the vehicle back to an Enterprise location to have the tire fixed. You can’t drive around on a spare tire indefinitely.
The $865 bill appears to be legit. I wouldn’t assume to be able to deduct your repair bill from the final invoice. Those are two separate issues.
In reviewing the details of your grievance (which, for space reasons, were edited) I notice that you spent most of your time on the phone trying to resolve this. You had numerous phone conversations with the Enterprise location from which you rented. Picking up the phone is a good idea when you have a flat tire, but a problem like this is better resolved in person, when you return the car, or in writing (preferably by email) when you’re back home.
I contacted Enterprise, and it reimbursed you the $657 you paid to repair its van.
(Photo: The Bee/Flickr Creative Commons)