Enterprise Campus Carshare Unfair Damage Claim

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Dec 13, 2019

I am a college student and our school uses enterprise carshare on campus. The rentals work by swiping our member cards on the detector on the car's windshield and unlocks the car that way. No staff or personnel is around when people rent the cars, and we make reservations through Enterprise's phone app. So we don't really have the check in/out paperwork that is usually used by normal rentals.

On a weekend a friend and I rented a car for two hours or so to get grocery and nothing happened during the drive. I returned the car with the same condition as I started driving it, but two weeks later I received a phone call from enterprise saying that they found damage on the rear bumper of the car I rented, and they were trying to figure out who was responsible for it. The staff asked me if I knew anything, I said I am pretty sure the damage did not occur during my rental. He also asked me if I took any pictures, and as an inexperienced college sophomore (also an international student from outside U.S.), I didn't know I should do that. I told him I didn't take pictures. He said they will keep investigating and will contact me again.

Then weeks later I received a mail saying that "we are currently reviewing this claim to determine the extent of the damage to the rental vehicle. If there is an amount not waived by the damage protection on your rental agreement, a bill and supporting documents will be sent to you. at this time this letter is only to inform you of the claim, however, you may wish to notify your insurance company and/or credit card issuer to report this claim", etc.

Upon receiving the letter, I contacted MasterCard and told them that enterprise might be trying to unfairly charge me for a damage I didn't cause. They opened up a claim for me and asked me to upload some documents such as my rental agreement.

I thought they might be able to solve the issue but today, I got another letter from enterprise saying that "our review indicates that you are responsible for the damages to our vehicle" and attach a bill of $500 and some photos of the damage. But the photos are not time-stamped. I can see the damage is pretty bad and I am 100% sure that I did not cause it. I am the kind of people who only rent cars to go to grocery stores and have never scratched my car since I got my license two years ago.

Since my parents both live out of U.S. and I don't really have anyone to consult, could you guys please share some possible advice on what I should do to reverse the damage claim or reduce the amount I have to pay?

Thank you all so much in advance!!!