Enterprise Damage Claim Dispute - Help?

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Aug 5, 2019
8
7
3
33
Good day, one and all!

I am currently saddled with an Enterprise damage claim that could break me. I have discovered your site and your instructions for dealing with this via customer service and corporate executives. Would it be out of line for me to post my letter here (personal information removed) before sending to them just to make sure that I have taken the correct tone and hit all the relevant points? I have to prior experience in this realm...

Thank you very much!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Patina
Aug 5, 2019
8
7
3
33
In my opinion this totally falls into the category of a false claim. The following letter will detail everything. However, if I am mistaken in my beliefs, and it is evident that I have no case, then I will retire the dispute and... well... I don't know what.
Thank you for taking a look.


Dear Sir/Madam:

After several years of repeated satisfactory dealings with your company, I'm disappointed that I must now contact you regarding a seemingly incorrect damage claim (#14542898) that has been levied against me. Contained herein is my accounting of events, with as much detail as possible, followed by an analysis of why I cannot accept the charges.

The tale of the wet floorboard begins on May 15th, 2019, when I picked up a Toyota Corolla in Huston, Tx, and drove to Fort Worth, Tx, to visit my soon-to-be girlfriend (that change occurred on the 17th, to provide context). I had a singular mind at the time, and made the 4+ hour drive in one go, with no extra stops even for food or drink. I had a 1 Liter canteen with me, but I do not recall if I even opened it the entire drive, and believe it may have sat in the back seat.
The experience of renting the vehicle itself was disappointing, as the agent talked fast and deflected questions on how much the total rental would cost until after I had signed. I needed to rent the car, so I had little option, but I found the practice questionable and not worthy of the Enterprise name. However, this is not necessarily the issue at hand.
That evening, as I removed my luggage from the vehicle, I noticed that the carpet on the passenger floorboard was damp. The only reason that this came to my attention was that the paperwork for the rental had slipped off the passenger seat (where I had placed it before beginning my journey) onto the floor. When I picked it up, the paper was clearly damp as well, and subsequent investigation revealed the moist floor. Further inquiry showed that none of the seats were wet, nor were any of the other floorboards. My girlfriend was there at the time, and recalls this discovery.
In accordance with the agreement made in Huston, I had the car in my possession for less than 24 hours, and turned it back in to the local rental agency the morning of the 16th. As the agent was checking the car back in, I helpfully drew his attention to the wet floorboard, as this is not a place normally checked either pre or post-trip. Having spent some time pondering on the mystery, I suggested that perhaps it could be due to A/C condensation, as that is the only solution that made sense to me. Windows were closed, seats were dry, my canteen showed no signs of leaking, and I had not forded any bodies of water. He thanked me and life moved on.
Come June, I received a notice in the mail that I was being charged for damages. Upon contacting the number provided, I was informed that the technician had submitted a report to the effect that he had noticed the water, inquired about it, and that I could not provide an answer. Furthermore, repairs had been made to the vehicle totaling $1600, including replacing the carpet, replacing part of a seat-belt, and replacing a damaged computer module. All was claimed as damage from the water. I naturally disputed this claim, and it disappeared for about a month as internal investigations ensued.
The next time I heard of the issue was July 24th, when I was informed that these damages had not been noted on any previous rentals, and that I was therefore responsible. This day, I was told that I would have to pay the entire $1700, which I corrected to $1600, the original amount. I geared up to contact my insurance company and inquire about a claim, still not satisfied that I was actually responsible, when I shortly thereafter received an email from Enterprise with the final damage claim invoice. The contents of this invoice stated that I now owed $8658.13, as the vehicle had been salvaged and auctioned off. The invoice also included pictures of the damage, which have proved useful in the analysis which is to follow.

Upon reflection, there are a number of points which I would like to bring up in my defense, as I do not believe that I am responsible for $1600, let alone $8600.

1. The damage and repairs described to me over the phone when I initially disputed the claim do not appear to have been documented by the pictures included in the invoice, and salvaging the vehicle was never mentioned until fault was firmly handed to me. At best, this appears highly suspicious.

2. Neither the damage reported nor the damage pictured represent anything that could have occurred on my watch. The level of mildew that appears to have resided under the carpet, as per the pictures, is not conceivably possible to achieve within 24 hours. This suggests that either the problem had been present for some time before the vehicle came into my possession, or that whatever problem occurred was neglected by Enterprise in the time since, and allowed to become drastically worse.

3. Ignoring the mildew, and supposing that I had spilled water on the floorboard, it would not have damaged the seat-belt or the computer module. Supposing rain coming in at a window, the seat would have been wet as well (and my belongings), and neither was the case. Either could have been solved easily with a simple airing out, resulting in no damage.

4. The damages presented to me are not of a nature to show up on previous pre or post-trip inspections, and thus also cannot be proven to have been caused during the tenure of my rental agreement.

5. I called a Toyota dealer and spoke with the mechanic, asking for his first guess as to the cause of a damp passenger floorboard with no other evident moisture. He immediately responded that it sounded like a plugged A/C drain causing an overflow. Such an occurrence, though it might perhaps do damage beyond a floorboard, is not my responsibility to either detect or repair, especially in under 24 hours.

6. It was the passenger floorboard that was wet when I turned the vehicle in. The pictures returned to me appear to be of the driver's side floorboard, which was not wet when I discovered the moisture.

7. If the repairs had been completed as originally described to me, to the tune of $1600, then there would have been no reason to salvage the vehicle.

Considering the fact that the reporting technician falsely described the events of the morning, I am suspicious of the other claims as well. Given the way I was rushed into the vehicle, I begin to wonder if damage was previously suspected. In any case, I brought the floorboard to the attention of the technician in good faith, and as a matter of courtesy, since I did not want a potential issue to continue undetected in one of your vehicles. What has resulted appears to be a fraudulent claim against a good samaritan and a good customer, and I have no recourse but to dispute it - there was no damage from my operation of the vehicle or from environmental sources while in my possession.

I would like to request
  • A copy of the original agreement and receipt given to me upon my return of the vehicle.
  • Time stamped and dated pictures of the damage (the pictures in the invoice have neither).
  • A picture of the mileage indicator showing the mileage when the damage was noted.
  • A copy of the incident report.
  • A copy of all receipts for repairs completed.


    Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I would appreciate a timely response from you.










 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,366
23,327
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
The letter is way too long. Your mistake was saying you had a canteen of water with you. It sounds like it might have been the air condition. Even if that bottle has leaked, it couldn’t cause that much damage.

You need to cut everything out except facts. Get rid of the entire first 2 paragraphs - it doesn’t matter if you have rented before or why you were traveling .
I wouldn’t haven mentioned the bottle of water at all - that is where the finger pointing starts.

Re-write this and use billet points only with facts-
-I picked up rental #xxxx from xxxx on xxxxx
- I noticed the wet carpet at xxxxx
- I properly reported this.
- I did nothing to cause this and it appears it’s be from a faulty air conditioner. Any damages were pre-existing.

Then ask for what we advise you to
 
Feb 3, 2019
208
427
63
The following letter will detail everything.
Yeah, as Neil said, that's way too much "everything." I couldn't even read it.

Please do strip your letter down to the facts, and leave out superfluous details that aren't directly related to the the issue at hand (for instance, the actual rental transaction experience). You don't really want to add "color" here - you are trying to resolve a dispute, not telling a story. Make it easy for the recipient to understand the pertinent facts, and you're more likely to reach a satisfactory outcome.
 
Jun 24, 2019
684
1,271
93
72
Given the $8600 claim, it may be time for the OP to notify his insurance company (as well as his credit card company). It also appears the car is gone, which limits the ability of anyone to check out Enterprise's story.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Neil Maley
Nov 20, 2015
168
340
63
Are you aware of all the flooding in the Houston area just before your rental? To me, it seems likely that you are being blamed for damage that occurred as a result of the flood, when another renter had the car. I don't think spills or the ac unit had anything to do with the damage. You need to point this out to Enterprise and see if they'll drop the case.
 

BittyBoo

Jul 30, 2018
365
884
93
49
Are you aware of all the flooding in the Houston area just before your rental? To me, it seems likely that you are being blamed for damage that occurred as a result of the flood, when another renter had the car. I don't think spills or the ac unit had anything to do with the damage. You need to point this out to Enterprise and see if they'll drop the case.
My thoughts exactly. You would have to spill an enormous amount of liquid or run a faulty AC continuously for days to have that level of damage.
 
Jun 27, 2017
169
343
63
Gosh - is it possible this vehicle was a Hurricane Harvey leftover? OK, Hurricane Harvey was 2 years ago and there were thousands of new cars that were damaged and probably long gone, although there were warnings about unscrupulous people reselling said cars. It seems incredulous that a damp passenger floorboard resulted in a vehicle has been salvaged and auctioned off. And it is noteworthy that the Toyota mechanic suspected the problem was a plugged up AC. Interesting story. Hope the OP can find some relief.
 
Aug 5, 2019
8
7
3
33
Thank you for your feedback. As a contemplator-type personality, I tend to think all details are relevant for one reason or another. Does this one look more appropriate?

To Whom It May Concern,

In regard to damage claim #14542898:
- On May 15th, 2019, I rented a Toyota Corolla (Agreement# 5S1G04) from Huston, Tx.
- I noticed that the wet passenger carpet (only) was wet on the evening of the 15th, witnessed by a friend.
- Upon vehicle return (AM, May 16th), I brought it to the attention of the technician during check-in.
- In June, a claim was made for repairs worth $1600, and subsequently disputed.
- The investigation was concluded in July, found against me, and I was billed for $8600 - salvaging the vehicle.
- Pictures sent to me were of the driver's side floorboard, which was not wet.
- I did nothing to damage the vehicle. Any damages found were pre-existing.
- It appears likely that the damage is the result of a blocked A/C drain, according to a certified Toyota mechanic.
- It is also noteworthy that there was storming and flooding the weekend before I rented the car.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...eals-more-flash-floods-heavy-rain/1162124001/
This could have caused damage, and/or contributed to any A/C issue.

I would like to request
  • A copy of the original agreement and receipt given to me upon my return of the vehicle.
  • Time stamped and dated pictures of the damage (the pictures in the invoice have neither).
  • A picture of the mileage indicator showing the mileage when the damage was noted.
  • A copy of the incident report.
  • A copy of all receipts for repairs completed.


    Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I would appreciate a timely response from you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Patina
Aug 5, 2019
8
7
3
33
Reply from customer service:


Thank you for choosing Enterprise as your car rental company of choice! My name is Latressa. I will be happy to help you today.
I received your inquiry and I have attached a copy of the signed rental contract and receipt to this email. To retrieve all documents related to the incident, please contact our Damage Recovery Unit at 866-300-3239, they are able to provide those documents for you. I apologize for the inconvenience.
Please let us know if we can be of further assistance. Thank you very much for your business and have a great day!


I have been calling the damage recovery unit since the day I received the invoice, trying to reach the person in charge of my claim. Each time I call, I leave a message. No responses yet. I think I'll try one or two more times, but if I can't reach them, I'll add that the DRU will not talk to me when I contact corporate.

I have no insurance for this, and I have not anything remotely resembling $8700, unless they would like $8700 of my debt. Hahaha!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,366
23,327
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Stop calling them. You should deal with them only via email - you want everything in writing and you need to stop dealing with the Damage Unit - you need to deal directly with the executives.

Move to the first executive we list and send your letter, again stating that you did not damage this car and that you believe it was damaged in the storms and you would like the claim to be dropped.
 

BittyBoo

Jul 30, 2018
365
884
93
49
Reply from customer service:


Thank you for choosing Enterprise as your car rental company of choice! My name is Latressa. I will be happy to help you today.
I received your inquiry and I have attached a copy of the signed rental contract and receipt to this email. To retrieve all documents related to the incident, please contact our Damage Recovery Unit at 866-300-3239, they are able to provide those documents for you. I apologize for the inconvenience.
Please let us know if we can be of further assistance. Thank you very much for your business and have a great day!


I have been calling the damage recovery unit since the day I received the invoice, trying to reach the person in charge of my claim. Each time I call, I leave a message. No responses yet. I think I'll try one or two more times, but if I can't reach them, I'll add that the DRU will not talk to me when I contact corporate.

I have no insurance for this, and I have not anything remotely resembling $8700, unless they would like $8700 of my debt. Hahaha!
No insurance? How did you insure the rental?
 
Aug 5, 2019
8
7
3
33
Thank you, Neil!

BittyBoo, I have always just rented a car. I have never given insurance a thought, since I carry insurance, and so does Enterprise. I knew that I would be responsible for any damages due to accident, so I am very, very careful with cars I rent. But I'm a very good driver, too. I was under the impression up until this past Friday that my insurance would cover if I needed it to do so. Upon calling them, I was informed that they do cover rentals, but only when in connection to a claim involving my own personal vehicle. So no insurance for me.
 
Sep 12, 2018
71
169
33
41
Thank you, Neil!

BittyBoo, I have always just rented a car. I have never given insurance a thought, since I carry insurance, and so does Enterprise. I knew that I would be responsible for any damages due to accident, so I am very, very careful with cars I rent. But I'm a very good driver, too. I was under the impression up until this past Friday that my insurance would cover if I needed it to do so. Upon calling them, I was informed that they do cover rentals, but only when in connection to a claim involving my own personal vehicle. So no insurance for me.
Based on the situation you’ve described, it certainly seems that in this case, you’re likely not liable for any damage that occurred from water. That said, imagine a situation where despite your careful driving and clean record, another uninsured driver hits you. The car was in your possession at the time. The other driver has no insurance to pay for the damage. The rental agency isn’t going to eat that loss, so you’re responsible for the cost of the damage, up to and including the replacement cost of the vehicle, just like you would be for your own car in such a case. While you’re welcome to take whatever financial risks you deem appropriate, I’d certainly look into different auto insurance or a credit card that covers rented vehicles, because I don’t want be liable. Food for thought.