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  • FIRST POST
    • agray2812
    • By agray2812 18th Apr 12, 9:33 AM
    • 31Posts
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    agray2812
    Enterprise van rental 'damage' rip-off
    • #1
    • 18th Apr 12, 9:33 AM
    Enterprise van rental 'damage' rip-off 18th Apr 12 at 9:33 AM
    This week i have been helping my parents move home.
    I hired a LWB van from Enterprise, in my name as my father would not drive the van. Paid £200 deposit and an extra £25 for excess reduction hirecharge for 2 days (with extra named driver £191. So this is not cheap but we went with enterprise because they are a known brand and supposedly reliable.

    We returned the van yesterday and when the staff inspected the van there was a slight tear in the wall of the front drivers side tyre. We were then told this was caused by us and that we would have to pay for a replacement tyre. So £135 of my deposit goes up the swannie and we have ended up paying over £320 for the hire of a van for 2 days!!!

    My biggest problem is not the cost of hire, or the fact that the excess was so high and the extra we paid was a waste. It's the fact that the 'damage' was not caused by us! I signed the forms when checke dthe veicle over, but not being and expert tyre inspector i have no idea i the 'tear' in the tyre was about to happen or not. What i do know is that at no point during our hire did any accidental damage hapen to that tyre. Therefore surely whatever happened to the tyre counts as 'wear and tear' obviously we argued this point but were basically told that we were liars and that the tyre must have been damaged.

    I have photos of the 'damage' which if i ever work out how to download from my phone i will try and post up. I am contacting Entrerpises damage recovery unit to escalate this issue higher. Frankly, i felt physically sick when i left the rental office, it wa like being mugged! This has upset me deeply as £135 is a lot of money to me and i dont see why we should have to pay.

    Any advice on how to proceed welcomed.
    Many thanks,
    Alan.
Page 1
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 18th Apr 12, 9:46 AM
    • 11,603 Posts
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    Strider590
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 12, 9:46 AM
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 12, 9:46 AM
    I've never had a hire car inspected upon my return, but I reckon they notice the damage, wait for some poor sap to hire it out and then charge that person for the damage that was caused by someone else.

    I don't think there's a lot you can do, just be more vigilant in future.

    Whenever i've had hire cars or courtesy cars, if it's been delivered to my home, I inform them I won't sign for it, if they turn up after dark and I try to make sure it's not raining on the day too.
    The other trick they seem to like, is taking the car into town after you return it, getting themselves a parking ticket and then sending you the ticket + admin fee's.

    You just can't trust these people.... And that goes for every single vehicle hire company out there.
    “I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an a** of yourself.”

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    • fivetide
    • By fivetide 18th Apr 12, 9:57 AM
    • 3,676 Posts
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    fivetide
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 12, 9:57 AM
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 12, 9:57 AM
    You just can't trust these people.... And that goes for every single vehicle hire company out there.
    Originally posted by Strider590
    Bit harsh. Always used the same local firm for vans, never had an issue. They even let me off with a excess mileage charge as they couldn't change a £20 note and simply said "that's not your fault so forget it"

    The only trick they pull is the reverse of the usual full tank - you get the van empty so they keep whatever you don't use although, I'm a pretty good judge at how much to put in these days.

    Never had any issue with damage/inspection/charges. Does seem to be more common with the big 'trusted' brands though.

    5t.
    • worried jim
    • By worried jim 18th Apr 12, 10:00 AM
    • 8,633 Posts
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    worried jim
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 12, 10:00 AM
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 12, 10:00 AM
    I once hired a van from Enterprise, didn't get ripped off on the deposit, just the price, I had no idea how much van rental was and paid a similar amount to you. A year later I helped a friend move and hired a van from a local company on his behalf as he had no credit card and it was less than half the price of enterprise- lesson learnt.
    "Only two things are infinite-the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not so sure about the universe"
    Albert Einstein
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 18th Apr 12, 10:17 AM
    • 11,603 Posts
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    Strider590
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 12, 10:17 AM
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 12, 10:17 AM
    Bit harsh.
    Originally posted by fivetide
    Perhaps, but trust is not given, it's earned.
    “I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an a** of yourself.”

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  • Premier
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 12, 10:34 AM
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 12, 10:34 AM
    Bit harsh...
    Originally posted by fivetide
    Ignore him!

    I've never returned a hire vehicle without them first examining it and giving me the receipt (else there is always a danger that any hire car company will start adding charges later)

    If you have that receipt confirming no damage on receipt, they can't bill you later.

    Lesson hopefully learned. Ensure you get a receipt as to condition when you return a hire vehicle (just as they insist you sign one when you pick it up)

    If you do cause damage, you do have to pay for it (unless you have insurance in place to cover such damage)
    Tyre damage, particularly to the side wall, is not fair wear & tear - it is damage.
    Last edited by Premier; 18-04-2012 at 10:37 AM.
    "Now to trolling as a concept. .... Personally, I've always found it a little sad that people choose to spend such a large proportion of their lives in this way but they do, and we have to deal with it." - MSE Forum Manager 6th July 2010
  • Notmyrealname
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 12, 12:46 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 12, 12:46 PM
    My biggest problem is not the cost of hire, or the fact that the excess was so high and the extra we paid was a waste. It's the fact that the 'damage' was not caused by us! I signed the forms when checke dthe veicle over, but not being and expert tyre inspector i have no idea i the 'tear' in the tyre was about to happen or not.
    Originally posted by agray2812
    It was caused by you if it wasn't there before. Tears in the sidewall aren't something that "just happens". So you at some point have kerbed the tyre, run up a kerb or driven over something in the road or the local tip or wherever it was you went to with the van.
    • thenudeone
    • By thenudeone 18th Apr 12, 1:25 PM
    • 4,402 Posts
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    thenudeone
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 12, 1:25 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 12, 1:25 PM
    Enterprise tried to charge me for returning a hire car with a nail in the tread of the tyre.

    They had collected the car from a permanently manned gatehouse during the day, when I was in an office 50m away, but hadn't inspected it at the time and hadn't asked for me to check it before taking the car away.

    I told them that I wouldn't entertain their claim for the above reason. That was the last I heard.

    However, Although I knew there was a nail in it when I finished using it, I have no idea whether it was there before. I did inspect the car but there's no way either of us could know that - it could have been on the bottom of the wheel when I inspected it.

    In any case, I would consider a puncture as a fair wear and tear issue, not a damage issue [it's not covered by a comprehensive insurance policy after all], and I would have fought it if they had pursued the matter further.

    A sidewall tear, however, is slightly different, especially on a (presumably) modern well-maintained car. But if you signed the forms to say there was no damage on the car it's going to be a difficult one to defend, but still worth a try.
    We need the earth for food, water, and shelter.
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    We belong to the Earth
    • GolfBravo
    • By GolfBravo 18th Apr 12, 1:30 PM
    • 1,082 Posts
    • 1,556 Thanks
    GolfBravo
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 12, 1:30 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 12, 1:30 PM
    You just can't trust these people.... And that goes for every single vehicle hire company out there.
    Originally posted by Strider590
    Unfortunately this is true.

    A friend of mine is a finance director at one of the largest car hire companies, and he says that most of the franchises are crooks - and one of their franchised branches tried to rip him off as well.

    To cut the story short, he hired a car through his employer (he gets 50% staff discount) for a short break. When he returned the car they charged him €800 insurance excess for allegedly scratching rear bumper. About three months later he did a internal follow up to find out how much the actual cost of the repair was - as it turned out the local franchise never made any insurance claims, never repaired the car (it wasn't even theirs, they leased it from Ford Europe), and charged 8 other drivers €800 excess for the same scratch.
    "Retail is for suckers"
    Cosmo Kramer
  • LSfan
    Due to the decline of qualities such as Good Morals, respect, honesty, politness and patience the world is sadly becoming a less desirable place to live in and we will only see more of this kind of thing
    • marlot
    • By marlot 18th Apr 12, 7:47 PM
    • 3,069 Posts
    • 2,197 Thanks
    marlot
    ...as it turned out the local franchise never made any insurance claims, never repaired the car (it wasn't even theirs, they leased it from Ford Europe), and charged 8 other drivers €800 excess for the same scratch.
    Originally posted by GolfBravo
    I hope he reported them to the police for fraud!

    This is what I've always suspected. I think hire companies should be banned from doing the checkout on a blank form - you should always be given a copy of the previous checkin form, so you can see what it was like at the end of the last hire.

    They are the experts in car inspection, not you. And the current system works entirely in their favour.
    • dld2s
    • By dld2s 18th Apr 12, 7:54 PM
    • 373 Posts
    • 200 Thanks
    dld2s
    I got a car from enterprise in place of my own car which was in getting work done after being hit by another driver. I collected it from their garage, it was quite dark and had a car in front of it quite close, inspected the car with the guy as best I could, looked ok, drove straight from there to Asda (5 min drive) no problems with anything, came out of Asda and noticed from a distance that underneath of the front bumper was badly scratched and marked (no way I could see it at enterprise with the car in front of it and probably still wouldn’t have seen it even if no car there) I was thinking barstewards I’m going to phone them and tell them about it and argue the point if they said it wasn’t there.

    Had a second thought about it as I had signed it was okay, took it to a friend who is a car spray-painter, he buffed out the scratches and marks, I took the car back to them 3 days later, the same guy inspected the car that inspected it going out, he couldn’t hide the surprise on his face when he inspected under the front bumper and it was in perfect condition, I couldn’t resist asking him why he inspected under the front bumper coming back in when he didn’t when it went out, I just got a flustered "oh! did I not I should have"

    It only cost me a couple of pints for my mate to fix the damage, but tell you what, best couple of pints I ever bought just for the look on the guys face if nothing else J

    I only use small local firms now, have never had anything like that with them
    Last edited by dld2s; 18-04-2012 at 7:56 PM. Reason: spelling
    • plane_boy2000
    • By plane_boy2000 18th Apr 12, 8:17 PM
    • 1,467 Posts
    • 473 Thanks
    plane_boy2000
    I hire at least 3 cars a month, and never had a problem upon return - always have a quick walk around first to check for damage,but never been charged for anything other than the rental
    • ukjoel
    • By ukjoel 18th Apr 12, 8:36 PM
    • 1,388 Posts
    • 1,255 Thanks
    ukjoel
    Unfortunately this is true.

    A friend of mine is a finance director at one of the largest car hire companies, and he says that most of the franchises are crooks - and one of their franchised branches tried to rip him off as well.

    To cut the story short, he hired a car through his employer (he gets 50% staff discount) for a short break. When he returned the car they charged him €800 insurance excess for allegedly scratching rear bumper. About three months later he did a internal follow up to find out how much the actual cost of the repair was - as it turned out the local franchise never made any insurance claims, never repaired the car (it wasn't even theirs, they leased it from Ford Europe), and charged 8 other drivers €800 excess for the same scratch.
    Originally posted by GolfBravo

    Dont know about the other 8 cases but this is standard practice. They never carry out the repairs unless its a safety issue like a nail in the tyre.

    Otherwise every hire car would be looking like new.
    • ady_j
    • By ady_j 18th Apr 12, 10:06 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    ady_j
    Whenever i've had hire cars or courtesy cars, if it's been delivered to my home, I inform them I won't sign for it, if they turn up after dark and I try to make sure it's not raining on the day too.
    Originally posted by Strider590
    Cool, tell us how you do that then.

    Could come in useful for a BBQ I'm planning.
    • gilbert and sullivan
    • By gilbert and sullivan 18th Apr 12, 10:24 PM
    • 3,162 Posts
    • 2,140 Thanks
    gilbert and sullivan
    Renting vans and trucks is shark infested waters for the unwary and the private customer.

    I rented a 7.5 tonner some years ago, as i was back at work the following morning the rental company collected it.

    I was later billed for a tyre repair as they found a rear inner wheel punctured which it wasn't when i left it the previous evening, i know beacuse i checked the whole vehicle over properly and it was quiet being a Sunday so i would have heard a leaking puncture..

    As in the OP's case i had no proof and was glad they didn't stitch me up for something worse.

    They probably had a regular long term rental customer who had a puncture and didn't want to charge them, they simply waited until the next one off renter mug comes along and get him to pay instead.

    As suggested above, honour and its sisters honesty and integrity are gone.
  • Notmyrealname
    I was later billed for a tyre repair as they found a rear inner wheel punctured which it wasn't when i left it the previous evening, i know beacuse i checked the whole vehicle over properly and it was quiet being a Sunday so i would have heard a leaking puncture..
    Originally posted by gilbert and sullivan
    Lorry driver here. You can have the inner or outer tyre go flat on a twin wheel hub and not notice it if the vehicle is unloaded or lightly loaded. You can drive around with it and it'll look perfectly OK. The only way to check it is either with a tyre gauge or kicking it. Have you ever wondered why you've seen lorry drivers kicking tyres?
    • property.advert
    • By property.advert 19th Apr 12, 2:12 AM
    • 4,037 Posts
    • 2,158 Thanks
    property.advert
    I hired a van from Enterprise the other week and paid around £35. They even picked me up. Dropped it off, no problems. I use them almost exclusively nowadays.
    • gilbert and sullivan
    • By gilbert and sullivan 19th Apr 12, 7:31 AM
    • 3,162 Posts
    • 2,140 Thanks
    gilbert and sullivan
    Lorry driver here. You can have the inner or outer tyre go flat on a twin wheel hub and not notice it if the vehicle is unloaded or lightly loaded. You can drive around with it and it'll look perfectly OK. The only way to check it is either with a tyre gauge or kicking it. Have you ever wondered why you've seen lorry drivers kicking tyres?
    Originally posted by Notmyrealname
    Been driving trucks for some 35 years so know a fair bit about tyres and vehicle inspections, i did kick the 4 rears thats why i know it wasn't punctured, my raod was silent being Sunday evening so a puncture enough to flatten a truck tyre by morning would have been audible..

    My problem is i was raised by a man of honour and have had to teach myself (not enough it would appear) how to ouwit the increasing hordes of con men and shysters.
    • Mrs Imp
    • By Mrs Imp 19th Apr 12, 8:23 AM
    • 956 Posts
    • 1,557 Thanks
    Mrs Imp
    I got ripped off by them too. I paid the extra insurance to reduce my deposit. The car was damaged when I collected it, some of it quite old damage, so no repairs had been carried out at any time.

    I checked it before returning it and all seemed fine. The man at their office went to check the car and came back tutting. He'd found a 'scuff' on the bumper, which I hadn't spotted, otherwise I'd have polished out or touched it up. I lost my entire deposit and he laughed and said 'good job you paid the insurance or you'd have lost a bigger deposit'

    I requested a receipt for the cost of repairs as I didn't believe that such a small scuff would cost so much to repair. It never arrived. I can't believe that a scuff that small would cost that much to repair, and I really don't believe it was ever repaired judging by the state of the vehicle when I collected it. Is it really right that they can retain the entire deposit, even if the repairs wouldn't cost that much?

    I would never use them again, and I tell my friends not to use them. I found a much friendlier rental place that only charged me £50 for about £100 damage (car reversed into me), and have ignored scuffs (overhanging hadge that I didn't spot till it was too late). I've used them since, and would use them again.
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