How I Got $100 Back From Enterprise

I feel very happy because I just $100 back from Enterprise, even though I am a lazy-puss and had it sitting on my list to dispute the charge since the end of August. Here’s how what I did.

I rented a car from them back in August and I ended up getting charged $100 more than I expected. Finally this week I called. At first they kind of hemmed and hawed because the guy who rented it to me wasn’t there anymore. We went over the charges together and compared my reservation confirmation with their record.

I was suppose to have a one-way drop fee of $100, but she said in their records they had it as a one-way fee for $100, and a drop fee for $100. I pointed out a few times how my reservation just had one fee. After a few rounds of her saying “this is what we have,” and me going “this is what I have” in different permutations, she went to go talk to her manager and said they would have to investigate it and call me back. Less than an hour later I got a call back and it turned out they had charged me the one-way drop fee twice and would be refunding one of them. Score.

I think being polite and persistent helped here. I made sure to adopt a conversational, “hey I can’t figure this out can you explain it to me” tone.

It also helped that I had a text file with all the reservation info, including the confirmation number and a line-by-line breakdown of the charges, and the direct number for the Enterprise I rented from already looked up, saved on my computer in an easily accessible area. If I didn’t, I might have gone oh gee, you’re right, I guess that’s what the fee was for, and acquiesced to her mighty line-item reading skills.

So in the end it came down to our classic tried and true common sense customer service advice: Have the necessary case data on hand when you call. State what you want in no more than 2 sentences. Be friendly but firm. And just make the call. You lose 100% of the battles you never show up to, right?

Sometimes we, even us pro consumer bloggers or maybe pro consumer bloggers are even more prone to it, build up billing conflicts in our brains like they’re going to be an epic showdown. But once you just make yourself pick up the phone and make the call, it could very easily turn out to be no big deal. Especially if you come prepared!

(Photo: Ben Popken)

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  1. TheDustball says:

    Good on you! Way to keep to pleasant and persistent tone.

  2. Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

    Yay for Ben. (you must be one busy dude to wait that long- or else insanely patient.)

    I always have to build up my brain for the epic showdown – No company I’ve ever requested help from has given it to me willingly, even with a polite but firm smack to their heads. But the facts are true- how can you dispute something without proper proof?

  3. keith4298 says:

    Good thing you didn’t try to return it in the Bronx. I had rented a van from them. Long story short…I never thought to look on top of the van when I picked it up, but they thought about it when I dropped it off (they had a special mirror installed on the side of the building). Since I hadn’t marked the damage on the initial take out form…well you get the idea.

    Luckily Enterprise had already pulled this scam and the damage was already reported in their system. Wonder what would have happened had I not asked?

  4. PLATTWORX says:

    While I agree “polite and persistent” is the way to get things accomplished, I can’t believe you waited since August to resolve this. You are VERY lucky Enterprise assisted you as it was too late to file a credit card dispute.

  5. weakdome says:

    I was hoping this was going to be one of those “And here’s how YOU CAN TOO” stories. Unfortunately, I guess we have to wait for enterprise to try and screw us first, before we get $100 back from them.
    Well, at least it won’t take that long.

  6. BlackMage is doing the Time Warp agaaaaaaain!!! says:

    Enterprise has been on my shitlist for a while now.

    While I won’t argue with paying less than I should, their employees at multiple locations have been inconsistent with charging me an underage driver fee. I’ve paid the fee once or twice out of the five or six times I have rented from them in the past few years.

    The worst thing about the underage driver fee is that their website blatantly lies about it. The fee is NOT listed on your reservation when you check out, even though you pick your age range (which I always answer truthfully). Additionally, in one of their FAQ’s, it states the fee IS listed in your reservation. Bullshit.

    Then there’s the Chrysler Sebring I rented in ’07. Our old buddies at Jalopnik aren’t exaggerating: that car is a fucking disaster and needs to be put out of its misery. Besides the crappy interior, lackluster gas mileage, and shitty handling, I got a bonus present in the form of the bottom cover on the engine halfway falling off the car ON THE HIGHWAY. Luckily, I was only about 100 miles from home when it happened. When I got back, I had to pry it off to return the car safely. When I inquired the rental office about the incident, they said the car “had a recall notice on it”. THEY RENTED ME A CAR BRANDED WITH A RECALL!!! I didn’t do anything about it because I was just so shocked, and glad to rid myself of that rolling tin can, but I wish I had cried bloody murder.

    Oh, and then there’s the last two times I rented. I arrived on time, but they didn’t have my car ready, or even at the fricken location (WTF?). The 2nd to last time they had the nerve to ask if I wanted the gas tank filled. You damn right I do! The last time I rented, we had to drive to another location to pick up the car. We filled out the paperwork on the street in the cold. Completely unprofessional. I’m kicking myself for not a) asking for a discount on an already inflated holiday rental, or b) demanding they pickup the car themselves and bring it to our current location, WHERE IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN.

    I only keep going to Enterprise because of the convenient locations and the price. Next time they might not be so lucky for me to put up with their crap.

  7. reviled says:

    My guess is that she was a new employee because as a former ERAC employee I can tell you that a one-way rental fee would always be categorized as, not in addition to, a drop fee. But the point of the story was a good one. Being polite and persistant will get you a lot further than being an asshole.

    • god_forbids says:

      @reviled: Agreed. As a former ERAC employee, I can also add that every NATRES (internet or 1-800-RENT-A-CAR) reservation leaves leeway for local practice by absolutely refusing to “guarantee” final rates. It says something like “local taxes and surcharges may vary”.

      The computer or the person on the phone has NO WAY of guaranteeing you anything and they are not supposed to because they don’t know what’s going on at the branches. Repeat: they have no idea! My customers often failed to understand that and kept saying “but NATRES promised me!”

      I know it’s stupid but that was company policy. We actually had to make “exceptions” to do something which ought to be normal business practice. But I suppose that’s due to having 6,000+ locations, each with variable practices and pick-up areas and drop-off policies and etc. etc. and one call center in the Midwest taking calls.

      ALWAYS CALL THE BRANCH DIRECTLY IF YOU HAVE/NEED SPECIAL ACCOMODATIONS/QUESTIONS ABOUT FEES. Otherwise always reserve online and always fill out all the info because it will get you out the door much faster. Also, we can and will refund pretty much anything if you threaten to escalate it. It’s company policy.

      /rant

      • Toof_75_75 says:

        @god_forbids:

        That is pretty useful information to know!

        I have had somewhat mixed experiences with Enterprise, but I’m always able to find some random coupon code online that makes my rental really cheap so I keep renting from them. The last time I rented (last weekend) I was able to get a rental for half the price of my (already half priced) online reservation price because the only car they had in the Standard Class was a PT Cruiser and I refuse to drive those. After some haggling they ended up giving me a new Ford Focus for a Friday to Monday reservation for $40 and didn’t charge me the under 25 charge. Good times.

  8. RandomHookup says:

    No attempts to blame the victim here? Maybe we need to pull up stakes and go back to Gawker. I have lost all faith in humankind.