Enterprise Rent-A-Car failed reader Jimmy in every possible way, which is quite the accomplishment since he only wanted a full size car to drive around his visiting friends. GEICO, Jimmy’s insurance company, set him up with Enterprise after he lost a head-on collision with a deer. Enterprise managed to muck up nearly every step of the rental process, promising to deliver cars they didn’t have, delivering the wrong class of car, and upselling unnecessary insurance that they wrongly said GEICO would cover. Jimmy’s never going to use Enterprise again, and inside, you’ll see why…
I’m writing you all to let you know of a fun little incident with Enterprise Rent-a-car (ERAC from this point on).
Day 1: Monday, 3/16, ~7-9:30PM
On the way home from dinner we hit a deer head-on in our car. No one was hurt but needless to say the car wasn’t real drivable. We put in a call to GEICO that evening (around 8) and they got the claim all done and gave me a rental reservation number (we have rental reimbursement coverage) for the ERAC right down the street. By this time it was about 9pm.
I called them, they were closed.
Needing a car for work the next morning, and also having out-of-town guests staying with us and being down to a single vehicle, I decided to call the airport to see if they could help me out. The airport location let me know that they would be glad to help me – but – since SXSW was in town and spring break was going they just didn’t have a car could come pick up that second. I then asked if they could check the location I had the reservation at, and they assured me that since I had a reservation when I arrived at 7:30AM the following morning that the car would be there waiting for me as ‘GEICO would not have been able to make the reservation without a vehicle available’. No big deal, I don’t go in until 8:30am.
Day 2: Tuesday, 3/17
7:30AM – I arrive at ERAC to pick up my vehicle and I talk to a nice girl who informs me that they have no vehicles available – but not to worry as they’re transferring a vehicle from the airport location over to their location for me. “Great – when will it be here?” I ask. “Around noon.” Noon. So, the location that had no car and assured me that a car would be ready now had a car, but I couldn’t get it until noon because it had to be transferred when I would have gladly driven farther away to the airport to get it to avoid this problem.
“What type of car are you getting me? Does my $30/day cover a full-sized vehicle?” I asked and pointed at the sign that said ‘Full Sized’. “Absolutely”, says Nice Girl.
So I leave – and have my guest ride with me to work in our second car just so he can take it back home so everyone is not without a vehicle.
Around 11AM – I get a call letting me know they have two cars available – a Chevy Cobalt or a Dodge Caliber – so my wife goes to pick one up (again, I’m at work without a car at this point). When she gets there, I realize that neither of those are full size – they’re compact, at best. I give ERAC a call and speak with a manager. He informs me that I won’t be getting a full sized vehicle unless I pay extra per-day ($3-4). I let him know that I was told by Nice Girl it was covered already, but am told it doesn’t matter what she said that I will have to pay extra.
My wife takes the Dodge Caliber and signs the paperwork.
I call a different ERAC location and get the contact information for our regional manager for ERAC and get in contact with him and let him know the situation. He calls me back around 2PM and lets me know that he’ll take care of it, and it is no problem, but I might have to wait a little while as most of their cars are booked. I have no problem with that as long as I have something large enough to take my out of town guests around (the whole reason for needing a larger vehicle).
Day 3: Wednesday, 3/18
9AM – I receive a call from the manager at my local ERAC letting me know they have found me a full sized vehicle and it will be no problem trading me out with no additional charge. Imagine that. He asks when I’d like to pick it up and I let him know that since they’re only open until 6PM that I will likely be in first thing tomorrow, but I think I can get off work early to pick it up before 6PM. “Great”, he says, “We’ll have it ready”.
11AM – I get a call from the insurance adjustor that he’ll be at my house in an hour – so I take off from work to go meet him and on the way swing by ERAC to trade cars (it’s near the house, on the way, and I want to take care of it).
While driving to ERAC I take a look at the rental contract my wife signed – she had also opted-in for an additional $17 dollars a day in coverages on the vehicle. I called and asked her why and she told me that they told her she needed to do that to be protected – she also told me that Nice Girl from the morning told her that our rental coverage also covered all of these charges, so we wouldn’t be paying anything. Awesome. You’ll see, later in my story, that GEICO lets me know that this is absolutely untrue.
I arrive and the manager is gone but someone else is there to help me. He lets me know that they have a car for me – Kia Sedona – all set. “Great”, I say, “Is this a full sized car?”
“No sir, this is a standard car”. A standard, if you’re familiar with rental cars, is a grade down from full-sized. At this point, I’m less than happy. He let me know that since his manager said I was going to be there tomorrow that they rented out the full size vehicle they had. In 2 hours. But – he says – they will have my full sized tomorrow first thing. I asked him what would have happened had I showed up this evening before they closed like I said I might, having taken more time off work to pick up the car. He let me know there would have been no car still, and it wouldn’t have been there until the morning.
So – I said forget it. I’m not going to swap cars to swap again, and left with my tiny compact and went home to meet the insurance man.
While waiting for the adjustor I called GEICO and they gladly switched me to Hertz because I was done with lying ERAC sales people. I also talked to them and they informed me that since I had full coverage that my liability, comp and collision will cover my rental and no additional damage or liability coverage is required. They also informed me that they wouldn’t cover those since they’re over my $30/day limit.
To ERAC’s credit – the regional manager was nice and got the job done – but the location manager was worthless in satisfying the customer and keeping promises his employees made. I also let the assitant manager at the location know that the girl that helped us the day before needed some serious training as she said yes to every question we asked and dug a deeper and deeper hole for ERAC to get out of.
So – long story over – I’ll be getting a Hertz rental this evening and I will never, ever rent a car from ERAC ever again – and hopefully you’ll post this story so no one else rents one from them ever again.