Misfuel claim from Enterprise

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Mar 20, 2020
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Hi all, I've been a lurker here for a while so thank you for your advice thus far! I am British but live in the Netherlands. Last November I visited the UK for a weekend and rented a small Hyundai from Enterprise at the airport. Rental was for 48 hours and I paid for the CDW. After the rental I returned the car to the Enterprise location, handed the keys back to the desk and received the check out report saying all is good an hour later (no walk around as I had the CDW).

Fast forward 2 months and I received a call from the DRU claiming that I misfueled the car with diesel instead of petrol and they are billing for the costs of the damage, 4500 GBP. They said the car broke down on the motorway with the next renter (they have not said when this happened). They put this all in writing and also sent over their engineer's damage report and bill. Everything after has been in writing, not phone. Thus far I've only be dealing with the DRU but this is predictably going nowhere, so I am ready to begin escalating.

I categorically did not misfuel. I'm from the UK and am very familiar with 1) the pumps and 2) that particular gas station. There is also a large discrepancy in the mileage they claimed I drove. They say I drove 285 miles and returned the car with 14,521 miles on the odometer. As the car had unlimited mileage and I took the CDW, I didn't take a pic of the odometer myself. Luckily, the odometer photo from the engineers damage report shows that this figure is impossible as the odometer reading says 14,463. I only drove the car for exactly 93 miles - from the airport to my parents, then to a restaurant the following night, then back to the airport. I have Google's location data to support this (although that wouldn't hold as proof). I refuelled at a gas station approx 1 mile from the rental location and the car was running fine on the (short) drive back. I don't have an itemised receipt for this, just the transaction on my bank statement. This was only 9.40 GBP so is consistent with driving only 93 miles. Gas and diesel are very close in price in the UK so I can't work it out that way.

That means there are 134 miles unaccounted for between my returning the car and the car breaking down. I laid this out in an email to them and they completely ignored this point, then changed their story by saying that actually, the car was not subsequently rented out as that booking cancelled. I'm keeping both those contradictory emails. The incorrect mileage readings and the engineer's odometer photos mean they cant prove who had the car at what point. It also strikes me as strange that they've requested a fuel receipt, as if they had proof it was damaged during my rental a receipt wouldn't make any difference. So essentially this boils down to the fact that I can't prove definitively that I only drove 93 miles, but I can prove that their estimation is wrong.

I suspect that the next renter misfueled the car, broke down, but then claimed they didn't add fuel so it must have been the previous renter (i.e. me). It is also strange that the engineer's assessment didn't take place until a month after I returned the car.

I've requested the recommended documents (plus odometer photos before and after my rental as the readings on the check in report are shown to be false) three times to no avail, so I'm ready to start escalating to the execs. As this in the UK, I'm struggling to find concrete leads (beyond generic LinkedIn titles) but will keep digging. To keep it concise, would I be correct in assuming that I just keep pushing the lines of:

1) I did not the damage the car and it was checked in in good working order with no damage recorded on the check in report
2) Enterprise's records of who had the car at what point are incorrect, as proven by the engineer's odometer photo
3) Enterprise have shown no evidence that I am responsible for this, however please provide the requested documents so that we can establish who is responsible.

Thoughts/suggestions on anything extra to include/omit are highly welcome. I know the above is too long to email the execs but as they have my longer account on file at the DRU I'm happy to boil it down further. Thanks in advance.

EDIT: see my last email to the DRU in the next post
 
Mar 20, 2020
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I am writing to you to dispute damage claim XXXXXX. I deny causing any damage to the car and reject this claim in full. I refuelled with petrol and drove the car to Enterprise with the car in good working order. It was inspected and checked in as such, with no issues recorded by Enterprise staff.

I am disputing this damage claim as neither the Enterprise branch nor the DRU have shown that the damage was sustained during my rental period. I was contacted 2 months after the rental period, and the photo of the odometer in the engineer’s damage report shows that the car was driven for 134 miles after I returned it.

In your first email on 27.1.2020, the Enterprise DRU claimed that I drove the car for 285 miles and returned it with 14,521 miles on the odometer. This is false, and it is proven to be so by the engineer’s odometer photo showing 14,463 miles (emailed to me by XXXXXX, 27.1.2020). I drove the car for 93 miles and have provided data to show this (email 2.2.2020). This then leaves 134 miles being driven after the car was returned by myself, and the time of the damage occurring. Without determining who drove these miles, responsibility for the damage cannot possibly be ascertained.

In addition, the information I’ve received from the DRU has been contradictory. The first email I received from the DRU (from XXXXXX, 27.1.2020) states that the car broke down on the motorway during the next rental. However, another email from the DRU (XXXXXXX 17.3.2020) states that the car was not subsequently rented out. Patently, one of these accounts is inaccurate, and the odometer photo from the engineer’s report shows the car was driven after I returned it.

I am willing to help you with this investigation, but due to these large inconsistencies I have requested additional documents and photos to provide clarity of who may be responsible. Despite requesting these three times, the DRU have not provided them. For the fourth time I am requesting:

1. A copy of Enterprise’s incident report (not solely the engineer’s assessment);

2. Enterprise’s photos of the damage, including a time stamped photo of the odometer at the time of the incident (not solely the engineer’s assessment);

3. Enterprise’s time stamped photo of the odometer showing when the car was checked back in after I returned it (given that the figure of 285 is incorrect);

4. A copy of the collection/inspection/incident reports of the previous and subsequent renters, in particular the odometer readings and dates for both;

5. A copy of Enterprises' fleet utilization log;

6. Any other evidenced information you collected in your investigation.

In summary, I did not damage the vehicle and Enterprise have not shown any evidence that the damage occurred during my rental period. The car was driven for 134 miles after I returned it, and the engineer’s odometer photo disproves Enterprise’s assumption of who had the car at what point.

I therefore request that you provide conclusive evidence of responsibility or drop this claim.

I look forward to your swift response to this request so that we may clarify these points.
 

BittyBoo

Jul 30, 2018
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I would suggest that you write to the company contacts listed on this website, using bullet points- your narrative as written is way too long. The person reading your letter does this all day and doesn't have time to comb thru a long letter to determine what happened. Conclude by politely asking that the charges be dismissed.
 
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Mar 20, 2020
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I would suggest that you write to the company contacts listed on this website, using bullet points- your narrative as written is way too long. The person reading your letter does this all day and doesn't have time to comb thru a long letter to determine what happened. Conclude by politely asking that the charges be dismissed.
Yes agreed, I know it's too long hence asking about which parts would be OK to omit. Regarding using the US contacts listed on this site, has anyone had success using them outside of the US? Curious as to whether Corporate in the US has any bearing on Corporate in the UK.
 
Mar 20, 2020
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Hi All, this is the email I plan to send to the first exec contact. Is this still too long?


Dear XXXXXX,

I am writing to you concerning case #XXXXXXX. In January I received correspondence from the Damage Recovery Unit, falsely claiming that I damaged a rental car by misfueling it with diesel rather than petrol on a trip to the UK last year (London Luton Airport - Nov 19-21 2019).

There are several large discrepancies with this claim, and acting in good faith I have consistently requested information/photos (see email below) from the DRU to substantiate their claim and to determine in who's rental period this damage occurred. Despite requesting this information 4 times over the past 8 weeks, the DRU have not provided any documents beyond the damage invoice nor anything to show that this damage occurred my rental period.

  • I deny that I am responsible for any damage to the car.
  • I refuelled with petrol, drove to the Enterprise location without incident, where the car was inspected and checked-in in good working order, with no damage recorded on the check-in report.
  • Enterprise claim that I drove the car for 285 miles. This is incorrect, as proven by Enterprise's own odometer photos supplied in the engineer's report.
  • There are therefore 134 miles unaccounted for after I returned the car. I drove the car for only 93 miles (supported by Google location data), and the engineers odometer photo shows the damage occurring 227 miles after collection.
  • The DRU have supplied, in writing, 2 different and contradictory accounts of the car rental after mine. They have not provided any supporting documents for either account.
I am willing to help with this investigation, and the documents requested in the email below would help determine who is responsible for these damages. However because of the lack of information exchanged, Enterprise have not established the enforceability of this claim. In the absence of any such evidence I kindly request that you withdraw this claim.

Many thanks in advance for your assistance and I look forward to your reply so we can resolve this matter.

Kind regards,
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
22,882
22,843
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Here you go:

Dear XXXXXX,

I am writing to you concerning case #XXXXXXX. In January I received correspondence from the Damage Recovery Unit, falsely claiming that I damaged a rental car by misfueling it with diesel rather than petrol on a trip to the UK last year (London Luton Airport - Nov 19-21 2019).

Despite requesting this information 4 times over the past 8 weeks, the DRU have not provided any documents beyond the damage invoice nor anything to show that this damage occurred my rental period.

  • I deny that I am responsible for any damage to the car.
  • I refuelled with petrol, drove to the Enterprise location without incident, where the car was inspected and checked-in in good working order, with no damage recorded on the check-in report.
  • Enterprise claim that I drove the car for 285 miles. This is incorrect, as proven by Enterprise's own odometer photos supplied in the engineer's report.
  • There are therefore 134 miles unaccounted for after I returned the car. I drove the car for only 93 miles (supported by Google location data), and the engineers odometer photo shows the damage occurring 227 miles after collection.
  • The DRU have supplied, in writing, 2 different and contradictory accounts of the car rental after mine. They have not provided any supporting documents for either account.

  • Enterprise has not established the enforceability of this claim. In the absence of any such evidence I kindly request that you withdraw this claim.

Many thanks in advance for your assistance and I look forward to your reply so we can resolve this matter.

Kind regards,
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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NAPLES FL or Denver CO
Hi All, this is the email I plan to send to the first exec contact. Is this still too long?


Dear XXXXXX,

I am writing to you concerning case #XXXXXXX. In January I received correspondence from the Damage Recovery Unit, falsely claiming that I damaged a rental car by misfueling it with diesel rather than petrol on a trip to the UK last year (London Luton Airport - Nov 19-21 2019).

There are several large discrepancies with this claim, and acting in good faith I have consistently requested information/photos (see email below) from the DRU to substantiate their claim and to determine in who's rental period this damage occurred. Despite requesting this information 4 times over the past 8 weeks, the DRU have not provided any documents beyond the damage invoice nor anything to show that this damage occurred my rental period.

  • I deny that I am responsible for any damage to the car.
  • I refuelled with petrol, drove to the Enterprise location without incident, where the car was inspected and checked-in in good working order, with no damage recorded on the check-in report.
  • Enterprise claim that I drove the car for 285 miles. This is incorrect, as proven by Enterprise's own odometer photos supplied in the engineer's report.
  • There are therefore 134 miles unaccounted for after I returned the car. I drove the car for only 93 miles (supported by Google location data), and the engineers odometer photo shows the damage occurring 227 miles after collection.
  • The DRU have supplied, in writing, 2 different and contradictory accounts of the car rental after mine. They have not provided any supporting documents for either account.
I am willing to help with this investigation, and the documents requested in the email below would help determine who is responsible for these damages. However because of the lack of information exchanged, Enterprise have not established the enforceability of this claim. In the absence of any such evidence I kindly request that you withdraw this claim.

Many thanks in advance for your assistance and I look forward to your reply so we can resolve this matter.

Kind regards,
@jpnl2019 - I exact same situation w/enterprise car in Denver, in that my turn-inreport (they had a name for it) stated the number of miles I had driven but odometer reading photo at time of damage discovery was 234 more miles than I had driven.
When I responded to their claim, I also copied the CS person from the elliott list.
Within four days the district manager called me and left VM and wrote me a snail mail letter with the news that my claim had been dropped and thanking me for being a good an loyal customer which was LOL as I rarely rent cars.
 
Mar 20, 2020
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Here you go:

Dear XXXXXX,

I am writing to you concerning case #XXXXXXX. In January I received correspondence from the Damage Recovery Unit, falsely claiming that I damaged a rental car by misfueling it with diesel rather than petrol on a trip to the UK last year (London Luton Airport - Nov 19-21 2019).

Despite requesting this information 4 times over the past 8 weeks, the DRU have not provided any documents beyond the damage invoice nor anything to show that this damage occurred my rental period.

  • I deny that I am responsible for any damage to the car.
  • I refuelled with petrol, drove to the Enterprise location without incident, where the car was inspected and checked-in in good working order, with no damage recorded on the check-in report.
  • Enterprise claim that I drove the car for 285 miles. This is incorrect, as proven by Enterprise's own odometer photos supplied in the engineer's report.
  • There are therefore 134 miles unaccounted for after I returned the car. I drove the car for only 93 miles (supported by Google location data), and the engineers odometer photo shows the damage occurring 227 miles after collection.
  • The DRU have supplied, in writing, 2 different and contradictory accounts of the car rental after mine. They have not provided any supporting documents for either account.

  • Enterprise has not established the enforceability of this claim. In the absence of any such evidence I kindly request that you withdraw this claim.

Many thanks in advance for your assistance and I look forward to your reply so we can resolve this matter.

Kind regards,
Many thanks Neil, I'll keep you posted f they come back with anything.
 
Mar 20, 2020
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@jpnl2019 - I exact same situation w/enterprise car in Denver, in that my turn-inreport (they had a name for it) stated the number of miles I had driven but odometer reading photo at time of damage discovery was 234 more miles than I had driven.
When I responded to their claim, I also copied the CS person from the elliott list.
Within four days the district manager called me and left VM and wrote me a snail mail letter with the news that my claim had been dropped and thanking me for being a good an loyal customer which was LOL as I rarely rent cars.
Weirdly enough the issue here is that the odometer photos from the repair shop show 14,463, yet they are claiming I somehow returned it with 14,521. Apparently the DRU forgot how to count.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
22,882
22,843
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Stick to your guns. The return documents you received at check in should tell you the mileage when you returned the car. If it is less than they are claiming, that is your defense and stick to that.

Have you escalated it to our company contacts for the car rental company?
 
Mar 20, 2020
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Stick to your guns. The return documents you received at check in should tell you the mileage when you returned the car. If it is less than they are claiming, that is your defense and stick to that.

Have you escalated it to our company contacts for the car rental company?
The return documents state the mileage for the rental as 285, which is incorrect. Unfortunately I don't have an odometer photo from that point to prove what it actually was (93). I do however have the engineer's damage report photo to disprove 285.

I've escalated today to the first exec contact listed. If I don't hear back by this time next week, I will work up the chain.
 
Sep 20, 2015
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Hi All, this is the email I plan to send to the first exec contact. Is this still too long?


Dear XXXXXX,

I am writing to you concerning case #XXXXXXX. In January I received correspondence from the Damage Recovery Unit, falsely claiming that I damaged a rental car by misfueling it with diesel rather than petrol on a trip to the UK last year (London Luton Airport - Nov 19-21 2019).

There are several large discrepancies with this claim, and acting in good faith I have consistently requested information/photos (see email below) from the DRU to substantiate their claim and to determine in who's rental period this damage occurred. Despite requesting this information 4 times over the past 8 weeks, the DRU have not provided any documents beyond the damage invoice nor anything to show that this damage occurred my rental period.

  • I deny that I am responsible for any damage to the car.
  • I refuelled with petrol, drove to the Enterprise location without incident, where the car was inspected and checked-in in good working order, with no damage recorded on the check-in report.
  • Enterprise claim that I drove the car for 285 miles. This is incorrect, as proven by Enterprise's own odometer photos supplied in the engineer's report.
  • There are therefore 134 miles unaccounted for after I returned the car. I drove the car for only 93 miles (supported by Google location data), and the engineers odometer photo shows the damage occurring 227 miles after collection.
  • The DRU have supplied, in writing, 2 different and contradictory accounts of the car rental after mine. They have not provided any supporting documents for either account.
I am willing to help with this investigation, and the documents requested in the email below would help determine who is responsible for these damages. However because of the lack of information exchanged, Enterprise have not established the enforceability of this claim. In the absence of any such evidence I kindly request that you withdraw this claim.

Many thanks in advance for your assistance and I look forward to your reply so we can resolve this matter.

Kind regards,
Well written, concise and to the point. Personally, I would drop that part that says "I am willing to help with this investigation"...let them do the investigating. Good luck--I'm sure you will come out on top because you are calling their bluff. The biggest smoking gun is the mileage, which you point out very well!
 
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Mar 20, 2020
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Case dropped - BOOM!

Good Morning
Thank you for taking the time to send the below. From review of the file I can see the conflicting circumstances that we have been advised on this claim. The system also indicates the vehicle did go out on hire after you returned this, however the we were assured us this was not the case, however this with the addition of the inaccurate mileage as made me put this into question and escalate this higher.
From my escalation, it appears that the vehicle did in fact go out on hire briefly after and that the driver of the vehicle did in fact break down. Additionally we have found that the mileage recording in this instance to be inaccurate and therefore the decision has been made to close the file. I have already actioned this and will send a claims closure letter as confirmation.
I sincerely apologise that this claim was raised against you and the distress this has clearly caused.


This came 18 hours after I emailed the first exec in the chain. I received it as a reply to the internal escalation email that I sent to the DRU manager 5 days ago (not the original claims associate), so I'm not sure whether they were leaned by the exec or whether this was purely a UK-side decision. Either way, the advice here was invaluable so thank you all very much.
 

GAT

Apr 23, 2018
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Great outcome, and lessons learned for the rest of us. If the gas station receipt had been available, it would have shown the pump number, which, presumably, would have proven it was petrol.
Also, based on my own bad experience with mistakenly filling my brother's Mercedes 560SL with diesel, your car couldn't have gone half a kilometer before grinding to a halt. In my case, it cut out within ten seconds and about five feet from leaving the pump. Mind you, the tank was pretty empty in my case. (And so was my brain!) I spent two days and about $400 (back in 1999) in Nashville waiting for it to be repaired.
 
Last edited:
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Jan 17, 2019
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Last year a station here had its tank that was supposed to be filled with regular grade gasoline accidentally filled with diesel fuel by the delivery driver. Around 20 people then destroyed their engines by unknowingly filling with the wrong fuel through no fault of their own. Fortunately the fuel distributor picked up the cost of repair and temporary vehicle rentals for all of them.

So this can happen.