How Enterprise Rent-A-Car lost my business tonight.

Here is my letter to Andy Taylor, the CEO of Enterprise:

Mr Taylor,

I’ve been using Enterprise Rent-A-Car almost exclusively for over fifteen years; all the way from Highland Indiana to Oakland California. I’ve always been happy, until tonight. Oddly enough, it’s been over a month since I have rented a vehicle, but sometimes errors have a way of building up to a climax…

I rented a cargo van from the Enterprise Rent-A-Car at 3030 Broadway, Oakland, CA on 08-26-08. I did not notice until I was well on my way home with the vehicle that the rear driver’s turn signal was burned out. Not having the time to drive back to the rental location, I picked up a bulb and replaced it myself. $5 for a bulb and an hour of my time, since you have to disassemble the left light assembly to replace the bulb, per the owner’s manual. That was annoying, but not a complete turn-off to your company; though it does indicate that your company does not have a pre-rental checklist they run through.

I returned the vehicle in the early afternoon of 09-02-08. It was a simple one week rental. We went through the check-in process without hitch. The staff at the rental location offered to reimburse me for the $5 light bulbs (two to a pack, I left the spare in the glove box), but I declined. It wasn’t worth the hassle.

So, here we are, over a month later. What happened? I received a parking citation from the city of Oakland CA. The citation is for a white cargo van that was illegally parked at 3068 Broadway, Oakland, CA at 2:03AM on 09-03-08. This bothers me for several reasons. The van is not mine, therefore someone at Enterprise provided my information to the city of Oakland. I would not mind this, had the citation actually occurred during my rental period. Since it did not, it means that someone at Enterprise received this citation from the city of Oakland and failed to correlate the date/time of the ticket with the period under which the van was rented by me.

The light bulb incident cost me time, but not nearly as much time as this ticket is going to cost me. I have long since shredded the rental agreement, so now I must physically go to the Enterprise office in question and get a reprint of my contract so that I can dispute this ticket. Then I have to deal with disputing this ticket. I am a contract sysadmin, and I only get paid for the hours I work; every hour I spend dealing with this ticket during business hours is money out of my family’s pocket. I simply can’t afford this kind of hassle and lost wages when I rent a vehicle.

I have requested that the City of Oakland provide me with any written documentation provided by Enterprise claiming that this vehicle was rented to me at the time of the citation. I’ll send you any documentation that I receive if you would like.

If you have any questions regarding my complaint, please feel free to call me: [redacted]



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