[Resolved] Enterprise / car rental
I ended up filing a complaint against this company when it threatened to charge me $4000 after driving its car for 1 day.
I rented a car with a manual transmission from Enterprise at the Dublin Airport. My husband and I noticed that the car had a burning smell, which we reported to the Enterprise employees standing there. They said nothing about it, but immediately "upsold" me insurance, stating they were sure my own insurance wouldn't cover it. They handed me an electronic pad I could not see because I was already sitting in the car in full sunlight. I asked how much more insurance would cost, and he said that, in addition to the $500 for the car rental, it would be another $595 for the insurance, then pointed to where I should sign. (I've since received by email a contract showing he was billing me for $1595). After I drove 2 km from the car park, the burning smell was even stronger. We reported it to Enterprise, which said there was no problem. The next day my tire went flat. Enterprise sent someone out to change to the spare, which was rated at only 80 km. We called Enterprise at Dublin airport to switch out the car so we would have a spare as we were leaving for Kerry. They said "no" and sent someone out to give us a new spare. We also told Enterprise again that there was a burning smell coming from the car. They said it was no problem. Next, after I had driven 400 miles to Caherciveen, I was on a two lane highway in the mountains above Caherciveen. I pulled off to the side when I could to let a driver pass, then pulled back onto the highway. When I depressed the clutch to shift from first to second gear, the clutch went straight to the floor. At this point there was nowhere to turn off, so I shifted into 2nd. The clutch remained flat to the floor of the vehicle, so I could not shift again. Given that I could not pull off the road, I drove down the mountain in 2nd gear--I had no choice. To do otherwise would have risked the lives of my family. When I arrived near Bridge Street in Caherciveen, I had to stop the car to wait for oncoming traffic to clear so that I could turn onto Bridge Street. The car died in the middle of the intersection. We were helped to move the car off the road by passersby. We called Enterprise Dublin, who instructed us to stay with the car until a tow truck came. After the car was towed away, as we were instructed, we took a cab to our destination, a house we had rented in Caherciveen. Today, we were informed by Enterprise Dublin that I would be charged $750 to replace the clutch, which they said failed because of my negligence. (Later in the day, they told us that we would have to pay $2500 for the clutch. Later we were told that they did not know yet if that was the problem because they had mechanics who could diagnose whether I was the customer who caused the clutch to burn out, or if it was the customer before me, or the one before that. Of course, they do not have mechanics who can do any such thing, and the clutch had a burning smell before I had even driven off Enterprise's lot. Even later we were told that they hadn't even taken! it to the mechanics yet, so they couldn't tell if it even had a burnt out clutch, or if it was some other problem. Yet the first words out of the mouth of the rep we called this morning predicted I would be charged $750, then $2500. Essentially, I am stranded in Caherciveen with my family, as Enterprise now states that unless I sign that I am willing to pay whatever they want for a new clutch, I will have to pay the whole rental period, with the insurance, plus the clutch, or they will strand me and my family here. This constitutes extortion, in my view, as I now appear about to be charged in excess of $4000 for a car I drove for only one day. I know of no other business on the planet that rents cars for $4000.
Since then, I've done research on the internet and discovered that this is a common scam run on Americans, who are believed by car rental agencies in Ireland to be incapable of driving a manual transmission. I owned nothing but manual transmissions for 30 years before buying my first automatic, and I can assure you that I have never had any clutch go out after 400 miles.) I have rented from Enterprise for 25 years in the United States, driven their rental cars across the entire country several times, and never had a problem with them. This trip to Ireland was supposed to be a last reunion of my family in Caherciveen because my husband has stage 4 bladder cancer. It is terminal. This trip has been ruined by what I perceive to be a bigoted attitude toward Americans and a culture of extortion among car rental agencies in Ireland.
Customer care service did everything in their power to resolve this complaint. All attempts to contact the complainant have failed. Therefore, this complaint has been annulled and must not be considered where image of the company in question and it's services are concerned.
Enterprise Holdings Customer Care's Response, May 16, 2018
We’ve noted your comments and would like to have the opportunity to look into this for you. Please send us a detailed email to [protected]@mailca.custhelp.com include the exact rental location, your contact telephone number, your claims, rental agreement or reservation numbers and any further information regarding your experience with us.
We look forward to hearing from you.
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