I became the victim of a fraudulent $1200 hail damage claim when I rented a car from the Enterprise location at College Park, Maryland, January 2012. The vehicle had 35, 000 miles on it, and I added another 160 miles during my 8 day rental. On return, I was shown seven very small dimples on the roof. They were very difficult to see, much less document with a camera, and the kind of thing you could easily miss or ignore as inconsequential. The agent then filed a damage claim, documented only as “significant hail damage to roof and trunk”. I asked him to write a more accurate, detailed description of the damage, but he said he didn’t have to. The fraud started here, with a damage claim that was lacking in any details, thus preparing the groundwork for a falsified repair bill.
I’ve lived in Maryland for 55 years. Although I’m sure there are occasional hailstorms in Maryland, I’ve never known a Maryland resident that has sustained hail damage to their vehicle. A forensic weather analysis, obtained by my insurance company, verified that no hailstorms occurred during the rental period.
My suspicions of a scam were confirmed when I received an invoice that described “81-100 quarter sized dents” in the roof, “16-30 quarter sized dents” in the hood, and additional damage elsewhere, all described as “hail damage”. No evidence of damage wase provided. It was clear to me that the fraudulent repair estimate (from American P.D.R, Springfield, VA) had been fabricated to suit the vaguely written damage claim made by Enterprise. For most folks caught in a situation like this, it’s your word against theirs, and they will win every time.
I was lucky on two counts. I had the presence of mind to go home and return with my camera to take photographs, as well as a 360˚ video of the car, which clearly showed a vehicle in good condition. The damage claim was high enough to get my insurance company involved, and when I contacted their Fraud Division, they became interested and got involved. The Enterprise claim was denied.
Enterprise really has nothing to lose by treating their customers this way, and everything to gain. Despite many attempts to contact Enterprise and DRU, by phone and email, I was simply ignored. Enterprise was very thorough in not responding. It really is stunning to see so many roof damage scams related to Enterprise posted on the web. In addition, you should know that regionally, Enterprise received an “F” rating from the BBB (http://www.bbb.org/washington-dc-eastern-pa/Business-Reviews/auto-renting-and-leasing/enterprise-rent-a-car-all-locations-in-metro-washington-dc-in-rockville-md-31000055/).