Editor Experiences Pleasant Enterprise Car Rental

We rented from Enterprise this weekend and, despite being located in what was basically a trailer with a parking lot enclosed by barb wire, they had really good customer service.

When we refused the rental insurance (because our credit card that we paid with already covers it) the only thing he asked was, “Does it cover personal and liability?” When we said yes, he didn’t try to upsell us any more. Everyone was friendly and professional, without being too friendly. Very smooth and efficient. You could tell from how all the employees were behaving that this was how they had been trained. Recommend.

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  1. SOhp101 says:

    What a lot of people don’t realize is that the vast majority of credit cards out there only offer secondary auto rental insurance coverage (if you have auto insurance already). This means, in most cases, you’ll have to file a claim with your car insurance first and the credit card company will pay your deductible.

    The only cc company I know that has primary coverage is Diner’s Club, and everyone that has had one knows that it just went downhill as soon as Citi took over.

  2. jay_swift says:

    YMMV. When I refused the insurance, the rep tried to make me feel bad about it. They also refused to pick me up from the car dealership that was arranging it since they had a small staff that day and would rather go pick up other non-insurance-covered customers. So-so experience in the end.

  3. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    I (my company) just rented a Saturn for a business trip up to Maryland two weeks ago from Enterprise. The sales guys were nice, friendly & not pushy at all. The car was brand new & very clean.

  4. matukonyc says:

    I’ve always had good experiences at Enterprise, personally.

  5. yg17 says:

    Being an Enterprise employee (at work now, shhh….shouldn’t be surfing the internets ;)) I’m glad to hear this

  6. rmz says:

    I rented a car from Enterprise (Logan airport location) just this past weekend and I was pleased. They didn’t try to upsell me whatsoever, and even let me use a 20% off coupon that said it had to be used when the reservation was made, without any hassles. Same with their “prepaid gas” thing — I declined, and they didn’t press the matter.

  7. levenhopper says:

    The only thing I don’t like is that I can’t do a one-way rental.

    But that is my only complaint.

  8. bourgeoisie says:

    From experience (my sister is a current enterprise employee):

    the hiring/recruitment process at enterprise is very rigorous (and they won’t even look at your resume unless you have a 4 year degree), if you ever have a bad experience make your complaint to management and they will see to it that the issue is handled.

    second and most importantly, I know many company’s already ‘bit the hand that feeds them’ in regard to insurance coverage but the coverage that enterprise offers does not generate any profit. The revenue goes directly back into an interest bearing account that pays for the repairs to damaged cars (and nothing else).

    with the knowledge I’ve gained through my sister over the past couple of years, I would never rent a car without the insurance, especially at enterprise.

    take it for what it’s worth, I didn’t believe any of it when she first told me, it sounded too good to be true!

  9. Major-General says:

    Surprising, very surprising.

  10. yg17 says:

    @bourgeoisie: Definitely get insurance. You can drive the car off the cliff, and if you manage to survive, all you need to do is drop off the keys at the brand and you’re on your way. Not that I recommend doing that (insurance fraud is a risky thing), but if you are in fact in an accident, you won’t pay anything more out of pocket.

    I think the credit card insurance coverage requires you to pony up the cash first for a deductible or repairs or whatever, then they reimburse you.

    Also, technically, the branch managers don’t want you to take out insurance. If you have insurance and damage the car, who pays for it? Enterprise does. And then their branch isn’t as profitable. If you don’t have insurance and you damage it, you (or perhaps your insurance company or credit card company) pays. So for anyone who thinks all they’re trying to do is get extra money out of you to boost profit margins for the nonexistant shareholders (privately traded companies ftw!), that’s not really the case. They’d rather you not have it. it’s for your own protection.

  11. yg17 says:

    @yg17: brand=branch. d’oh!

  12. Ben Popken says:

    @yg17: I wonder then why this branch had this cheat sheet for upselling people to insurance? LEAKS: Enterprise Store’s Insurance Upsell Cheat Sheet

  13. SisterHavana says:

    I’ve had good experiences with Enterprise. The first time I used them was when I was going to a wedding in North Carolina and needed to rent a car one week before my 25th birthday. They were one of the few companies that would rent to me since I was under 25, although they had a surcharge. When I went to pick up my car, the rep looked at my driver’s license and said “You’re close enough to 25!” and didn’t charge me the surcharge. I thought that was nice.

  14. yg17 says:

    @Ben Popken: That I couldn’t tell you. I don’t work in a branch so I’m just going off what I’ve been told. From what I hear, it’s not standard practice to try to sell insurance. Just ask once and then take no for an answer. But it’s possible it’s a non-standard cheat sheet as the article mentions. Or maybe that one branch manager likes taking risks. Who knows.

  15. 3ZKL says:

    its interesting that you posted this. . .
    my girlfriend & i needed to rent a pickup truck to, well, ‘pickup’ our new couch this weekend. not wanting to deal with uhaul, let alone on the last saturday of the month, i found that enterprise was the only company around who had a pickup available for us on such short notice. since we purchased the couch after work friday & planned to pick it up during the 10am to 2pm warehouse hours, i figured we would be hard pressed to find anything whatsoever.

    anyway, the first location (near the airport & about a mile from the warehouse) had a pickup listed as available, but after calling — they had nothing. the 2nd location, closer to our house listed one as available online & actually had it there for us to rent. so off we went. . .

    the guys working were very friendly and the gentleman helping us even said ‘i want to get you guys taken care of as quickly as possible because i know you want to get out of here.’ it was great. . .until my girlfriends credit card declined the large hold + rental amount(because of the extremely large sofa purchase the evening before we found out). no big deal — i whip out my debit card. ‘sorry man, in order to take that we need all kinds of verification & bills & ids’ your first born, etc. okay. . . what can we do? unfortunately, calling the credit card company was out of the question since enterprise would not allow the agent to run our card again for 24 hours. so i decided to quickly drive back to the house & get everything i could to prove we were legit.

    my laminated social security card (that the DMV would not accept), a current pay stub, a copy of our lease, current bills, & my checkbook — that has to be enough!

    thankfully, it was plenty of information. upon our return, the agent quickly took our info again, had me fill out a ‘reference’ form, joked with us about there being some real nasty people surely on their way to ruin his day, etc. the agent actually went above & beyond, letting me know he was not going to place a hold on the card for anything other than the rental amount & that he trusted the insurance info i gave him was legit.

    we walked out to the giant silverado pickup for an inspection when he realized the tank was on empty. he offered to drive up the street to fill it for us or allow us to return it empty. because he had made the whole process fairly painless (and because we didnt want to wait around any longer) we decided on the ‘bring it back empty’ option. another joke about people around here being ‘straight up criminals’ and a thank you from the agent for jumping through their hoops, we were on our way.

    the whole ‘ordeal’ worked out well. and the 8 gallons of gas we put in the tank allowed us to pickup the new sofa & cruise around on errands for the rest of the day.

  16. Peeved Guy says:

    Meh. I have mixed feeling about Enterprise.

    I took a car into a shop for some body work and they (the body shop) rented an Enterprise car as a loaner for me. I declined the insurance because my insurance company would cover me (checked before hand). I had the car ~24 hours and returned it to the body shop on the instruction of the Enterprise rep.

    The next day I received a call from Enterprise stating there was a dent in the bumper. There was NO WAY I could have caused the damage and refuse to pay for the damage. The cost of the damage was less than my insurance deductible, so they couldn’t really help. I called the body shop and they said that they moved the car to a secure lot after I dropped it off. I then contacted Enterprise to explain that since the body shop was acting in their stead (IMO) and moved the car, they should be responsible (especially since it was undamaged when I left it with the shop).

    Long story short, they referred/sold my “bill”/”debt” to a collections agency. Still working on getting that shit off my credit and it happened 1.5 years ago.

    Even though I’m still pissed at Enterprise for this fiasco, I have to admit that they were all very professional in my dealings with them They simply refused to argue with me about it. I tried explaining my stance, etc. and they just listened and said OK and hung up. the collections agency, on the other had was a different ball of wax…

  17. Jasmo says:

    Enterprise has always done me right. They tried to bump me up a car class once (for free, I think the “economy” thing I wanted wasn’t available) but when I hesitated, he called the other location in that city and they drove over what I wanted within ten minutes. Compared to other car rental places, these guys are a freakin’ dream come true.

  18. Kbomb says:

    In probably about a dozen rentals I’ve had with Enterprise, only one was less than pleasant. All in all I’ve been very satisfied with the customer service, and have not been pressured to buy the extra coverage.

  19. Spiny Norman says:

    I’d like to echo the majority of comments posted thus far. Enterprise has always been cooperative, easy to deal with, and pleasant. The cars have been in great shape. The sales staff always takes no for an answer the first time when I decline the insurance. (Corporate Amex covers primary just like Diner’s Club).

  20. pillowfighter says:

    I always decline insurance and rely on my credit card for coverage. It IS secondary coverage, but I have no primary because I don’t have a car. A few years ago, I got into an accident (drunk driver swerved into my lane, I swerved into the concrete, crash, bang) in my Enterprise-rented car. I called Highway Patrol, then called the Visa Benefits department. The woman on the other end was extremely nice, told me what documents I needed to get, etc. We ended up back at the Enterprise office where the Enterprise agents asked us about our insurance. I told them we had coverage under my Visa card. She couldn’t have been more than accommodating. She called up Visa and I waited while she was on the phone, working out the coverage details with the Visa rep. She then gave me a new car and I was on my way.

    Enterprise submitted the damages estimate directly to Visa, copy to me. I submitted the police report and proof of contract showing that I had affirmatively declined Enterprise’s CDW coverage (which you absolutely MUST do to get the benefit of the credit card coverage) to Visa. About 6 weeks later, I received a receipt showing that Visa paid the damages (a little over $6,000, including tow fees, as the car was undriveable).

    I didn’t have to pay anything up front or deal with any reimbursement claims; just proof of coverage and Visa took it from there.

    It was an amazingly smooth transaction. I was shocked.

  21. ancientsociety says:

    I’ve always liked Enterprise. The one by us usually has weekend specials too, which makes it a bit more affordable most of the time.

  22. taylorich says:

    Enterprise in my opinion is the best rental car company out there. Rates are usually better than Avis and Hertz, people are much nicer/well trained, and they are empowered to make things right for the customer. Try them, you will like them.

  23. elforesto says:

    I’ve had nothing but good experiences every time I’ve rented from Enterprise. I once had to rent a car at 20 (mine was in the shop) and since I had my insurance through USAA, they made a special exception on their “21 and up only” policy. They even waived the “under 25″ fee on numerous occasions once I got within 6 months of my 25th birthday. Little extras like that and the pleasant attitudes all around won me over fast.

  24. bourgeoisie says:

    @Ben Popken: There’s nothing wrong with having sales tools (ie, a cheat sheet). There is nothing shady or even really questionable on that sales sheet so it’s kind of lame that the tone seems to infer that enterprise did something wrong…especially considering all the positive feedback above.

    I just want to reiterate again that there is NO PROFIT in the insurance coverage that they sell you. All the money goes directly back to pay for damage to the vehicles covered under the damage waiver.

  25. yg17 says:

    @bourgeoisie: Yeah, there’s nothing shady, though it seems to contradict what I’ve been told about how they’d rather you not get insurance and pay for repairs since it won’t cost them anything out of pocket, but I could be wrong, or it could be the manager of that branch that wants to sell it for some reason. I’ve never worked in a branch though so I don’t know how exactly things work, I’m just saying this based off an hour training session they gave us IT guys to familiarize us with branch operations. Could be wrong, that session was over a year ago, but it makes sense though. Doesn’t personally matter to me though, I always take the waiver (it’s really cheap with my employee discount anyways). I don’t think my crappy credit card offers such protection

    Pillowfighter, I am curious though, why was Visa even responsible for the damages? Obviously the drunk driver’s fault, shouldn’t he have had to pay up? Then again, I guess if he was driving drunk, him not having insurance or any income you could sue him for would be a good assumption.

  26. Exek says:

    Enterprise has always been nice to me. Nice staff and given me free upgrades on a more than a few occasions. I also like that they offer a discount base on the company I work for. So I always go in with a print out of the rate I was quoted online using the job intranet site but without completely making the reservation online and then I just go inside one of their rental location and ask for quotes and let them know of my employee discount and see what rates they are offering. If their rates are good I go with their rates. If their rates are not so good I go with my print out and they always honor the printout prices. Also when I get the insurance if I tell them I’m going to be returning it in the night they don’t charge me the extra day of insurance.

  27. RDoublejack says:

    It’s great to see so many people happy with Enterprise. They’ve earned my repeat business time and time again. I have no idea whether any of the other places are sometimes cheaper (though I doubt it) because I haven’t bothered to check in years. When I need to rent a car, I rent from Enterprise, end of story.

    As for insurance, I ride a motorcycle and I’m 90% sure my motorcycle insurance *won’t* cover me at all if my rental car gets dinged or whatever. I still almost never get the insurance when I rent, though. This is probably a terrible habit on my part, but I am a very good, very defensive driver. I’ve never been at fault in so much as denting a car in almost 25 years of driving.

  28. synergy says:

    Enterprise is my go-to car rental place. I only used another company once and that was more than enough for me to stick to Enterprise. I’ve been using them for over a decade and I’ve yet to encounter problems.

  29. WafflePower says:

    I used to work for Enterprise. While they have a solid training program and many hardworking employees, they without a doubt pushed us to sell the insurance (at least in my area). We had to take the three “No” responses while offering the insurance or we would be written up if a branch manager was near. The area would also hold classes about once every month or two on ways to push the insurance, for those whose insurance sales numbers were low. I hated pushing it on people after they declined it. But selling it is one of the main components of getting promoted and they never let us forget that.

    Also, I wouldn’t say that they never make money on insurance. Like most things, it is a gamble. Often the branch loses on the deal, but if they sell tons and they go awhile without an accident that hits the branch, the branch’s operating profit goes up and the branch manager gets more of a pay out. While they pushed us to sell it, they used to stress to us to “sell smart” and sell it to the people who posed the least risk. And shy away from those who seemed a bit risky…

  30. ChrisC1234 says:

    I cracked a windshield in an Enterprise rental car (well… flying road debris in New Orleans cracked it), and talked to Discover about covering my insurance deductible. DIscover’s rental insurance (according to the Discover rep I talked to) only covers you after your primary insurance has paid out anything it’s going to pay out, and then does not repay you for your insurance deductible.

  31. tallladude says:

    @PEEVED GUY
    I just rented from my local Enterprise… the rep took me outside after completing the paperwork. He had my contract on a clipboard and on that clipboard was a ruler fragment that was about 3-4 inches long. He said, “Bring back the car in the same condition, but any dents or dings smaller than this in diameter are considered normal wear and tear, so you don’t have to worry about them.” I didn’t so much get a scratch on it while it was in my possession, so it wasn’t an issue, but I thought a 3″ or 4″ dent/ding was pretty liberal for no liability.

    Overall they are pretty good to deal with. I rented from them at the last minute when I needed a car when mine was in the shop. When I called to ask for a ride (I reserved online), the guy who answered said he’d be right over, even though online it forced a two hour wait for pickup time. True to his word, he was at my door within 10 minutes of hanging up. When I dropped it off, even with all four workers being busy with a bustling office, one of them stopped what she was doing to drive me home without having to wait so much as a minute– pretty good service in my book.

  32. The only problem I have with Enterprise is the one way rentals, like said above. I even became a corporate customer to help this out, but it really only works in their ‘region’ which is their sales region. Now i’ve seen AARP members claim “free one way rentals” but I have not seen that work.

    I rented every other weekend for 4 months this winter with a car with a blown head gasket and an issue to fix. I live in a small town so the whole ‘can we trust’ you not an issue. But the best is the fleet of cars is not standard US autos. I drove a selection of cars, and they knew I was looking at cars, so they made sure the new ones came my way.

    I bought the insurance because my insurance did not cover collision/comprehensive (old cars), and I had an issue with thrifty a few years ago that did not end well.

    I used them on a business trip recently, and was returning my car to the airport in San Jose. Normally the damn shuttle bus is slow and painful. However, a lady working said
    hop into the minivan, and i’ll drop you at the terminal.” and she did, and was wonderful.

    Many years ago we had booked a van for a week (before the online bookings!!) for vacation. I show up Saturday morning to get the van – no van. the girl calls the manager who calls me who says the kid who took my order messed up, and he had nothing. I begged him and they found one 50 miles away and the young girl working drove me in her own car to pick up the van. I had to fight to give her gas money.

    Whatever they do, they do it right. Employees have the ‘make it happen’ attitude that consumers want. Lots of consumers aren’t trying to game the system for freebies or discounts, we just want it done right, and if its not, we want someone to fix it. Enterprise understands this and has capitalized on it.

    The anti U-haul?

  33. Gari N. Corp says:

    Ben, you should go easy on them for having a scuzzy location. They used to be at Atlantic Avenue and Nevins, but got bumped recently to make way for sweet, sweet condos.

  34. beavis88 says:

    Glad your experience was good. My last (and I do mean last) experience with Enterprise was having them try to charge me $2100 to fix a ding in the front passenger side fender (not caused by me…but I was the dumbass that didn’t do a careful pre-rental inspection in a *lighted* area…sigh)

    When I called their main office, I must have gotten an intern, because she faxed me the entire repair estimate they were trying to bill me for – damage to both front fenders, the hood, the bumper, and even the roof. I stood at the fax machine, speechless and slack jawed, for at least five minutes. To this day I regret not retaining a sleazy lawyer and threatening to sue them into oblivion…though needless to say, at least they didn’t get any money out of me on that deal.

  35. Peeved Guy says:

    @tallladude: I’d not heard of the normal wear and tear condition. That makes perfect sense. Every time I rent a car I’m terrified that I will be charged $400 for a small ding in the door. Especially after my last experience.

    “My” dent was about 4.5″ x 2.5″ on the back bumper. Definitely noticeable and worthy of fixing, for sure. Based on the position of the dent on bumper, it looked to me like someone backed into a short pole or low wall.

    However, I did learn one thing. TAKE PICTURES when you drop the car off. It is indescribably easier to dispute a false damage claim if you took pictures when dropping the car off. I wish I had been in the habit then.

  36. Sasquatch says:

    I use Enterprise almost exclusively when I need to rent a car. They have always treated me well, and I will continue to use them and to recommend them to others.

  37. Wow!

    I haven’t had any problems with Hertz or Avis the few times I’ve rented a car but I will definitely consider Enterprise the next time I need to do so.

  38. pestie says:

    Barbed wire. Dammit.

  39. Landru says:

    I rented a car in Los Angeles (from Budget and had okay/good service). I did buy the insurance and man, was I glad. The hotel had valet parking and I didn’t even think about it. When I got to the airport to turn it in, the attendant a walked around the car and asked “What happened here?” There was a gouge running the length of the passenger side, over both fenders and the door. I shrugged and said “I have no idea.” It was worth the fifty bucks (or whatever extra it cost for four days) to not have to deal with any headache. He gave me a form to sign; when it asked for accident info, I wrote “I have no idea”. I handed him the keys, smiled and headed for the gate. I will always gladly get the insurance and I just consider it part of the cost of renting a car.

  40. kostia says:

    I was also pleased with my last experience renting from Enterprise, in Sacramento in mid-June. The guy was not only friendly and low-key and supercompetent, he was actually funny. (He held up the GPS in the air while we walked to the car, pretending it was guiding him. Maybe it was only because I’d just gotten off 8 hours on airplanes, but I cracked up.)