Disputing Enterprise – Rent-A-Car claim, harassment even after my insurance company paid them

I continue to have problems with Enterprise: Rent-a-car on a claim they sent to me which I disputed even after my insurance company settled it. Here is what happened -

I rented a car from Enterprise Rent-a-car at Newark International airport after a long international flight. I was the first customer in the first week of Dec 2014 that day at 6 AM, and they gave me the car but did not walk me around the car. The Enterprise person said it was a new car with hardly any miles. I took it and signed the papers. I drove 45 miles to my house, parked in my driveway, and later in the evening returned it at local Enterprise Rent-a-car location. I was the only one who drove and no incident happened. Since I drove at 6 am for just 45 miles, I was home in less than an hour - absolutely empty highway, and no car came anywhere near me.

When I was returning, I was shown some minor scratches on the back door on the driver side. I disputed it immediately narrating that nothing happened when the car was in my possession. The Enterprise employee who took the car said that he needs to record it and probably nothing will happen as Enterprise will check the records and it might have happened on an earlier rental then I will not be responsible. He also advised that I call Newark Enterprise and talk to the manager there and explain my case.

I called Enterprise at Newark multiple times, but was never able to talk to the manager. The Enterprise employees told me that the insurance people will see the records and take care of it. Nothing happened for months and no one called me from the Newark Enterprise location.

After 4-5 months in April, 2015, I got a letter from Enterprise for a claim of over $1000+. I was extremely surprised and angry as I am 100% sure that no scratches happened when the car was with me. I called them and disputed the claim again. I told them that I will not pay. The woman from Enterprise suggested that I need to send her my insurance details and they will take care. I was of the opinion that I should not give it to my insurance company as well as it was not my fault. Enterprise has decided to follow the claim as they have my signature on the contract. Since then I started getting calls from their Kansas City office from a woman who kept harassing me and threatened to hand over the case to collection agencies.

The way things went in April I was advised by friends to let my insurance company settle it rather than spoil my credit score. I was thoroughly frustrated!!! So I asked my insurance company to take care of it. They settled the claim with Enterprise, and paid them. I thought my worries were over. Not really!!!
Soon after that I started getting calls again from Enterprise lady again and they are following up with me now to pay them $500 which is my insurance deductible. I again get calls from Enterprise and they want to send now $500 to collection agencies. She always calls me from a phone which says “No Caller ID”. Calls my cell and leaves messages at home number. They have all my details as I am long time customers of Enterprise.

I seem to be in a jam – unless I pay them they will not leave me and keep threatening to send it for collection. What makes me even angrier, that in the past I have rented cars so many times from Enterprise. Many of my rentals for work used to be for 7+ days. Not only that I moved my company’s most rentals from Hertz to Enterprise as they were nearer to my office. I am really surprised how the biggest rental car company in the world handles these cases, and does not take into account at all my past business. It is of no consequence to them what the truth is. No one at Enterprise is willing to listen that it did not happen when I was renting – as they have my signature.

Please advise what the best course of action for me is. Do I need to settle this even after my insurance company has paid them? What happens if I don’t pay? Can Enterprise really send this to Collection agency even after getting a settlement from my insurance company? I wonder sometime - what is the guarantee that my credit will not be spoiled even if I pay. I really cannot afford to pay $500 for something that’s really not my fault. But no one listens at Enterprise.

I really don’t know what are my options. I am wandering am I really liable for the deductible after my insurance company has already settled with Enterprise. I was under the impression my insurance company works on my behalf and makes the final settlement. Probably they paid Enterprise whatever was justifiable for minor scratches – the scratches were so minor that some detailing could have taken them off.

You didn’t do the walk-around when you took the car, so you can’t prove the damage was already there. If you lend me your car, and I return it with damage, do you let ME off the hook? Of course not.

Your insurance company reviewed the evidence provided by Enterprise and determined they were unable to dispute the cause of the damage. The rental car was covered under your policy as a “non-owned” car, and was afforded the same physical damage coverage & terms as you carry on your car. As such, the damage was paid for, apart from your $500 deductible. You owe that.

I’d write the Corporate office. Make sure they know they will lose a customer - or many customers, your entire company.

Try a newspaper or radio or TV show with a consumer ombudsman.

The GSJ is wrong- this is bogus.

Have you not talked to your insurance company? What do they say?

Not to make this about me but … I’ve lost almost exactly this case (privately owned car, not a rental) in small claims court. Different case law will apply to different states & venues, but at the bottom of it all it’s a bailment claim. The car lender has a right to expect the car to be returned in reasonably the same condition as when it was lent out. A presumption of negligence on the part of the borrower (bailee) arises when the car is returned with damage, and the burden of rebutting that presumption falls to the bailee.

An emotional appeal can be made to Enterprise, or maybe they could be blackmailed with the threat of media attention focused on them exercising their legal rights to be compensated for damage to their property, but I wouldn’t count on it.



Without that walk-around and formal notation, it comes down to your word against theirs, and since they can show the damage and no report from you, they have the ‘evidence’ and you got bupkis.

You can try and use the financial angle, that losing your business is going to cost them a lot more than $500, but getting that to the ‘right’ person may take time, and if they go to a collection agency things will only get worse.

In my case it was Alamo and about $400.00 for ‘dents’ in the roof. I paid, but have never used Alamo again (and never will), which will end up costing them more in the long run.

Good luck. But you probably won’t get any.

You’re fucked, OP.


Have you not talked to your insurance company? What do they say?"

Yes, I talked to my insurance company, they said that they have paid Enterprise what their team assessed as the damage. The person from my insurance company also mentioned that Enterprise will not ask for $ 1000+ when they talk to them or any insurance companies, it will be much less.

$1000+ includes other charges also besides repairs - $200 administrative fee, non use charge, and one more similar charge.

My insurance co person said they have taken care of their obligation and will not advise me what I need to do if Enterprise asks for more money - that is my deductible amount. I need to negotiate with Enterprise or seek professional advice. As I said earlier Enterprise will not negotiate, and is going to handover to collection agency.

If you want to do that, this page has contact information for the corporation.

Did you rent the car with a credit card, and was the rental for personal use? Many credit cards offer secondary coverage on a rental car, which will cover exactly this event - a deductible after your primary insurance has paid their share.

And you’d be going through the exact same thing if you had had a major at-fault accident with the rental - your insurance would pay all but your deductible, and you’d be responsible for the deductible. If you had an accident in your own car, the same thing would happen too - the insurance company would pay the body shop all covered costs minus the deductible, but the body shop wouldn’t release the car to you until you paid the remaining deductible. So it’s got nothing to do with the settlement your insurance company reached with Enterprise - since you’re considered “at fault” for the damages, you are responsible for the deductible.

I always do a walk around the car and take pictures of any scratches when I pick it up. I then mark the diagram and bring it to the attention of the clerk. Sometimes this requires extra effort. They don’t make it easy. I have a suspicion that they make it hard enough so they can charge for the same damage over and over again.

I once was rented a car that was covered in mud and smelled of cigarette smoke. I refused it. It took me an hour of waiting, but I finally got another car.

I read a newspaper column once about how one of the rental car agencies tried to claim damage on a car that was only visible when you looked under the front bumper. We all know that we should do a walk around a rental car, but normally you don’t put the car on a lift and do an undercarriage inspection as well. And the last time I rented a car, I was doing the walk around in the almost pitch black parking lot of the rental car agency. (Fortunately, though, there was no problem when I returned the car.)

Marion - That is exactly what I have been thinking - one really does not know how many other customers of Enterprise are paying for the same scratches on this car.

The scratches were so minor that Enterprise might not have got them repaired at all & continued to rent the car. The only documents they sent me were estimates from some company. There is nothing to say that Enterprise got it repaired. Or even if they had any non-use at all which they are making me pay for non-use. What is the administrative expense for ? I should not be paying for running the world largest car rental company - it is their normal administrative work. It seems that not only they expect the renter to pay for the damage but also pay for their time to deal with me to extract this money.

If you think of it folks - car rental was less than $100, but this business of sticking innocent customers like me with this bill of $1000+ is better revenue stream for Enterprise Rent-a-Car. If on this one scratch over a period of 3-4 months they have 4 incidents where a customer in a hurry or a tired customer after 17 hours flight is in a hurry to go home does not check & signs the document like me - Enterprise will have a 4 x $1000 = $4000 claim. If even 50% this amount is paid. It will pay for the 10% value of the car. Or it will pay 50% of the salary of the lady who is in Kansas & keeps harassing me.

If Enterprise decides to carry on for 1 year with the scratch I wonder how many such case it can generate & what will be the revenue for them.

It is really not fair what happens in such cases and lack of options is very frustrating. I will work on the other suggestion people on this forum have made. Thank you or you suggestions and advise.

Do you think I can ask Enterprise to show me proof that they spent any money on this repair?

I don’t think they have to show you proof that they repaired the car. If you ding my car in a parking lot, you’re liable for the cost of the repairs, but I’m not required to actually repair the car. I can just pocket the money and live with the dings.

Most insurers are members of bureaus that contribute to claims databases. Specifically to this particular topic, you can check the VIN and see which companies have paid claims on that car, sometimes even for what kind of damage. If an insurer suspects multiple claims for the same damage they can contact the previous claim payers and chat with them directly, maybe even get photos & estimate of the damage in question. A company as big as Enterprise would be taking a hell of a risk running a scam like this. They would lose their rental replacement contracts with insurance companies, they would be prosecuted for fraud, and they would take an eviscerating PR hit. They’d be done for.

Not to mention that one company, Visa, handles some very large proportion of all rental car damage claims. They’d probably catch on realllllly fast if they kept getting claims for the same damage to the same car.

So what? Then you can ignore the collection agency.

I rented a car from Enterprise at Newark airport, kept it a week, and turned it in. Two weeks later they emailed me wondering when I would return it. It got straightened out, but it’s interesting in light of your post.

He doesn’t want his credit ruined for something so stupid.

nm. Sorry dupe post