Answer: If your contract promised domestic partners didn’t have to pay a fee for an additional driver, then Enterprise shouldn’t have charged you an extra $5 a day.
The extra-driver fee is, in my opinion, nothing more than a money grab. It doesn’t make any sense, either. By Enterprise’s logic, a married couple or a same-sex couple is less of a risk to a rental car than an opposite-sex couple, or just two friends. I haven’t seen any evidence that married couples are any less likely to total a car than unmarried couples.
Enterprise is hardly the only car rental company to charge extra-driver fees. But what makes its charges so troubling is the discriminatory nature of the fees. It won’t charge married couples, or gay couples, but it will charge straight couples? Come on.
If Enterprise wants to charge an extra $5 per driver, it should do it for everyone.
Next time you’re in a situation like this, don’t accept the rental. I don’t care if you had to spend half an hour in line. Ask to speak with a manager, and if that doesn’t work, call the Enterprise reservation number from the counter. Don’t make a scene, but don’t back down, either.
Once you sign on the dotted line, your options are limited. You’ve already agreed to the price, even if Enterprise is wrong. Getting it to reverse course won’t be easy.
But it’s not impossible. I contacted Enterprise on your behalf, and it refunded the extra-driver fee.