Timothy rented a car from Enterprise last month when he flew into Newark Airport in New Jersey, and he was forced to pay almost twice the amount quoted in his reservation because of problems with a coupon code and an uncooperative manager. But there’s good news: the rental came with a special, stinky surprise that he and his wife didn’t find until the second day of the rental. (Warning: there’s a big close-up photo below.)
On May 25th, I reserved a rental car by calling the reservation number. I spoke with a very friendly representative named [redacted]. I explained to him that I was making this trip under the corporate code for Stony Brook University. The university has an exclusive agreement with Enterprise to provide visiting students under the age of 25 the ability to rent a car without underage penalties. [He] reserved the car for me at Newark International Airport for pickup on June 11, and return at June 16. My total rate for the rental came to $290.03.
When I arrived to the Newark Enterprise location, the representative who handled my reservation was having serious problems with the computer system. He had to exit and reenter my information several times. This was not his fault, it was a floater representative who began to pester this man. She started talking to him and my wife and I about movies and random, unnecessary facts about Long Island. This might have been a pleasurable conversation had it not caused the other representative to keep making mistakes and starting the reservation over.
Finally, he finished and stated the total was $528.24. Confused, I showed him my confirmation e-mail stating that it should be $290.03, having booked with the code from the University. He was baffled and called over a manager. She was happy to help and made sure that the code was added to our account. Once she added the code, she said the total was $528.24.
I insisted that this was incorrect showing my reservation receipt and insisting that the code for the university should lower the price. Finally, the manager discovered that because I was 24 years old, the rate reflected an underage penalty. I let her know that the university has their account with Enterprise specifically to waive that fee. She responded by stating, “There is no mention of waiving the underage fee in the notes for this account”. I let her know that this should not matter, because I had reserved it at this price and confirmed over the phone with the Enterprise representative that the university code did indeed waive the underage fee. The manager insisted that there was nothing she could do but recommended that I contact the university. I explained that the university could not refund the extra charges and she insisted the only way I would receive my rental vehicle was by paying the full amount of $528.24. I reluctantly let her charge my card only because at this point I had no other option.
I wish I could say the problems ended here, but they didn’t. After receiving the car, a 2010 Jetta, I noticed that it was low on coolant fluids, which I had to refill myself.
This became a small issue after what we discovered next. After driving the car for 2 days, my wife took out the passenger floor mat to dust it off, only to discover the top set of a pair of dentures. They were absolutely disgusting and showed some serious signs of bacteria growing on them. The sight and smell of them immediately brought my wife and I to severe gagging. This completely upset my wife and I and took away any ability to eat for the rest of the evening.
After returning the vehicle yesterday, I called the reservation number this morning to discuss these issues but was interrupted mid-sentence and told that they could not help me. The only advice I was given was to contact the location that rented me the vehicle.
I am now writing this to your corporate office and also submitting this letter to Consumerist.com in hopes that, at the very least, the charge of $528.24 will be reduced to $290.03 and that in the future your vehicles are properly cleaned and inspected, and do not contain dentures.