We recently gave you a suggestion for how to find a rental car that doesn’t require a major credit card, but we didn’t explain why it is that many car rental companies require the credit card — and why they won’t take your debit card.
When it comes to car rentals, I’ve rarely cared about the make and model of what I’m driving, so long as it’s in my (low) price range, it has a working radio and the driver’s side door operates properly. So it’s a good thing I’ve never tried to rent a hybrid, because the New York Times says I’d be paying anywhere from 30-70% more for the thrill of it all.
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.)
This sludge-filled massacre is what happens to your engine if you don’t change the oil for 30,000 miles. The six photos depict abject carnage, a crime scene for cars. Good job, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car. Don’t let this happen to you. Checking and changing your oil is a good weekend project, here’s how to do it. [via Jalopnik]
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 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.
Here’s a phone call you don’t want to get a month after you dropped off your complimentary rental car — “Hi, there… This is Enterprise, are you planning on returning that car?”
Here’s some depressing news — not even rental car companies — the largest purchasers of automobiles, are buying cars this year, says CNNMoney.
Enterprise Car Rental charged Mike $560 for a scratch on the bumper he felt was unfair, but after he followed The Consumerist’s instructions on sending an Executive Email Carpet Bomb (EECB), all that changed. “Long story short,” he writes, “Within ONE DAY, that email was forward with highlights , such as URGENT -PLEASE RESOLVE, and ultimately reached the northeast manager, who called me and apologized profusely for their poor handling of the situation, and WAIVED ALL charges ($560 for repairs). done..all wiped… GONE!!! THANK you for publishing that thread.. it absolutely positively works!!!”
Inside, email addresses, phone numbers, and addresses for over 100 different companies to inject your customer service complaints into their corporate executive offices, and get it well on the way to success.
I’ve always found Enterprise to have stellar service, but if for some reason you should have an issue not resolvable at the branch or through regular customer service, here’s the contact info for their CEO Andy Taylor.
Enterprise wouldn’t replace Melissa’s rental car even after a mechanic declared the tire on her current car “unrepairable,” and warned that it would be unsafe to drive 400+ miles back to New York from Rochester on a donut spare. Enterprise told Melissa to spend the day repairing the car at a garage at her own expense. Melissa, who was recovering from surgery, asked to swap her broken car for one that worked, a request Enterprise repeatedly denied.
Steven was enjoying his drive down the California coast in his Enterprise rental car when he noticed a few ants marching across his dashboard. Before long, he “saw a large ant colony coming out of the inside of the car door.”
USAA is like a unicorn in a pack of walruses: a financial services company that truly cares about its customers and really helps them out. Not as some kind of lucky exception, but as a matter of policy. Reader “Mary Marsala With Fries'” story, about how USAA opened up several cans of whoop-ass on an Enterprise facility that was trying to screw her over on charges, is yet further proof.
Some email address formats for Enterprise car rentals:
About 3 weeks ago I had a job interview in California- I currently live in Philadelphia. The employer reserved a rental car for me with enterprise so I could get around town, with his credit card. I had a long flight with a lay over, and didn’t arrive at Enterprise until about 2 o clock Philadelphia time. There was a long line, and after about a half hour I was taken back and shown a Chevy Aveo. She handed me papers to sign saying there was no damage to the car, and that I would pay an additional 10$ a day for being 23 years old. I walked around the car, and didn’t see anything. I was eager to get to my hotel and go to bed, so I signed the papers and left.
At least one Enterprise rental place has a cheat sheet for manipulating buyers into buying what is sometimes unnecessary car insurance. Here’s a transcript of the document one of our readers snagged from an Enterprise in Fort Lee, NJ .