Skip to comments.[Update] Enterprise willing to 'work' with woman on hook for $47K Mustang
Posted on 01/04/2014 10:17:26 AM PST by rickmichaels
An international car rental company says it wants to work with a Dartmouth, N.S., woman who's on the hook for $47,000 to replace a stolen Mustang convertible.
"We are continuing to review the case," Enterprise spokesman Ned Maniscalco wrote CBC in an email.
"It is our intention to work with the customer and her insurance company to achieve a fair and reasonable outcome."
Kristen Cockerill rented the Mustang GT convertible from Enterprise Rent-a-Car in October. At the end of the two-day term, Cockerill returned the car to the Enterprise rental lot on Portland Street in Dartmouth.
She dropped the car off on a Sunday. Most Enterprise locations in the Halifax region are closed on Sundays and people who need to return vehicles that day are instructed to leave the key in a secure drop box.
When Enterprise employees arrived at work the next day, they found the keys, but no Mustang.
Police determined it was stolen.
In response to Cockerill's situation, Maniscalco wrote CBC, saying: "Keep in mind that a sign prominently displayed on the key drop-box reminds customers that the vehicle remains their responsibility until it can be checked in by an employee."
I was pretty panicked, wondering where this car went, and actually went in to the shop that evening after work just to speak to [the manager] in person and kind of find out what's happening here, Cockerill said.
After police contacted her in October, Cockerill didn't hear anything more until Enterprise sent her a bill last Monday for the replacement cost of the car.
"Sometimes customers mistakenly believe if they didnt personally cause or witness any damage that they are not responsible," Maniscalco wrote.
"This is one of the most common misconceptions," he said "In fact, customers are financially responsible for any damage or theft that occurs during a rental transaction, regardless of fault or negligence just as if they owned the rental vehicle themselves."
Cockerill's insurer said the car wasn't in her control, so it shouldn't be her problem.
Wrong answer, Enterprise! They’re getting killed on their Facebook page over this.
“a sign prominently displayed on the key drop-box reminds customers that the vehicle remains their responsibility until it can be checked in by an employee.”
And her Insurance will only likely pay up to the value of the car she owns, NOT the Mustang, unless she has a rider that specifically covers rental cars.
Most people don’t actually read the rental contracts, and have no idea what their liabilities really are.
Doesn’t Enterprise have their own insurance to cover theft from their own lot?Or are they trying to double dip?
Out-the-door price of $42,500 includes taxes, plate and transfer fees (doc fee of $500 waived also).
“Cockerill’s insurer said the car wasn’t in her control, so it shouldn’t be her problem.”
She is responsible for the car until the location opens, as stated in the rental agreement.
No mention of cameras covering the lot. Did she even return the car, or just the keys?
Enterprise Self-Insures, which means they keep a liability bond on file with each state they operate in. Not sure how it works in Canada.
I’ve had a couple of bad experiences with Enterprise and won’t go near them again.
“Did she even return the car, or just the keys?”
You would be amazed how many times that happens, and the car is later found in the ravine where the renter wrecked it.
What if you purchase Enterprise’s insurance they always try to sell you?
The sign on the key drop-off box gives them a little cover but not much. If they're not going to be there at certain times and expect the customers to drop off the cars, then it's their responsibility to provide adequate security and the consequences should fall on them if they don't, not on her.
The company has a system whereby the renter can drop off the car. It is their system made available to their customers by them. They can shove the bill you know where.
I have too, and I try to steer clear, but situations come up like on one recent trip they were half the cost even of Budget. Still had to put up with the counter guy being a dick, though.
Or you could blame it on your dumb return policy. No security cameras??
Good point, I never thought of that. Must not have whatever the Ford equivalent of On-Star is or LoJack or they’d just call the cops and go get it.
meanwhile, the rental company should have insurance against theft on their own property.
it's up to them to secure their own lot.
That's why your insurance company tells you it's not necessary to buy the insurance offered by the rental company....it's already insured.
When I drop off a rental car, even at an attended facility, I make a point of making a short video of the car, inside and out, all angles, to have a record that the car was good when I dropped it off. If attended, I also record the attendant acknowledging receipt of the car.
All you say is reasonable and would definitely work as a defense at any trial or adjudication...IF she is lucky enough to get before a Conservative judge. And that likelihood grows smaller by the day.
Assuming she actually dropped it off. Several posters have made the point she could have wrecked it or kept it and just returned the keys.
Then if something happens, they hit YOUR insurance.
Pretty easy law case. The company doesn’t provide a “secure” area for the car. Their problem.
This gives Enterprise a huge incentive to have poor security and let their returned vehicles get stolen from their lot. Could be an inside job.
That doesn’t make sense because the renter would gain nothing.
A lot of bad PR for a mere $47,000
She no longer had control of the car as soon as the keys were dropped off as per Enterprise’s drop off instructions. In addition her contract required the car be returned on Sunday. If Enterprise has no way to secure the car on that day, don’t ask the customer to return it on that day.
Enterprise can go suck an egg.
Someone said inside job...I tend to agree....
true, but it’d be unheard of for a car lot not to have some security... if even just a camera... to secure a lot with 10+ cars worth $25k+ each
That seems to be Enterprise's MO. I've never been in a transaction with them that "went bad", but even in just routine matters it seems like half of them are belligerent moronic azzholes. They get real huffy if you have the nerve to point out that their policies or procedures don't make any sense. Like the other poster, I try to avoid doing business with them if possible.
If they don’t have cameras and write contracts that require the car be returned on days they choose to have no one from their company present, it is entirely by their choice and entirely their fault.
I’d find it amazing if they don’t have cameras on their lot. They likely have a record of both the car being dropped off and the keys being inserted in the drop box as per their instructions. Otherwise they’d be saying the car was never returned - which they aren’t.
True. If everything is as reported, then I’m firmly on her side. A couple posters mentioned the possibility she’d tried to game the system and I just posted my 22 because I hadn’t stopped to consider the possibility.
It sounds more like she may have been in a hurry to return the car and didn’t think to really read the sign; only the secure box return of the key.
Until last year, I routinely would rent from Enterprise because of extensive business travel (even have a preferred customer card) until a car I rented from them last summer was damaged by a "phantom" car (hit & run)in a parking lot. When I returned the vehicle, the agent told me it was less than $500 damage, and since I had a $500 deductible on my auto insurance I just paid out of pocket. A month later, the legal department at Enterprise sent me a demand letter for $2,500 damage to the vehicle I rented from them. I turned over to my insurance company and have NOT rented a car from them since.
“If you return it to our insecure lot, we will stop charging you.
If you keep it an extra day to protect yourself, we will charge you extra.”
Sounds as if they are monetarily coercing the customer into a risky situation.
Did she buy the stop-loss insurance?
I find Enterprise to be a scumbag operation. After a long flight, the last thing I want to encounter is a sales guy trying to ram additional options on top of what I specified in my reservation while I am loading the car up with luggage. That never happened with any company I’ve rented from aside from Enterprise. It happened to me twice with them. I’ll never rent from them again for that simple reason.
Every other company seems to get the simple fact that people are frigging groggy after a flight and don’t need a drone trying to scare you into additional nonsense that you already took care of making the reservation :-)
I can’t believe they don’t have these cars insured for theft, etc. This can’t be the first time a rental car has been stolen.
Geez, Spitz[on]her vs. Enterprise — hard to pick a dog in that fight. Is there a way they can BOTH lose?
Exactly. Why let you specify what coverage you want when you reserve, if they’re only going to ignore your selection anyway and try and upsell you? I never had they try and talk me out of options I purchased ahead. They only seem to think the people who didn’t buy are the ones who don’t know what they want.
I have to say, though, I’ve got the upsell from companies other than Enterprise before though, so it’s not unique to them. I had one guy on a recent rental trying to upsell me to a better grade even. He asks me what I have at home and I tell him and he tries to put me in a truck for two or three times what I reserved the full size sedan for.
“....just as if they owned the rental vehicle themselves.”
But presumably if she owned the vehicle herself she’d have it insured. That’s what I don’t understand, why does it seem there is no insurance coverage in place covering the true owner of this vehicle.
And still thinking, do you mean if I’m driving a rental car and someone sticks a gun in my face (or not) and steals it, it’s like I myself stole it and now have to pay the rental company for it?
This is all crazy, if they need to sell insurance to the renters, let them do so, they already offer insurance. And some people who rent cars don’t own cars, so they have no auto policy in place.
it’s already insured.
That isn’t true.
After an accident isn’t the time to find out what is covered, and what isn’t. It depends on your policy, and what state you are in.
In some cases, your insurance may only cover you if your covered car is in a certified repair shop. In others, (most actually) they may only cover you for damages up to the value of your covered car, not the rental car. If you go cut-rate, I assure you that will be the case. I’ve seen it way to many times.
In addition, few insurance policies cover the loss of revenue to the rental company, they will come after you for that.
I pay for a specific rider on rental cars, since I travel so much, and that even has limits ($65,000 max value covered.)
“That doesnt make sense because the renter would gain nothing.”
Yes, it does. They say “It wasn’t me!”, and then you have to go through all kinds of legal hassles and lawyer fees to recover anything.
see post 37
Depends on the state. I worked for a rental company (not Enterprise) and the renter’s insurance was primary. IOW liability reverted to the renter during the rental period and we informed the customer of that policy.
I confess that I am surprised at some of the comments here - the customer is responsible and that fact is stated as part of their selling instructions - and the it’s-not-my-fault attitude is really something I would expect from the left. I am not unsympathetic to this person by any means, btw. But I can tell you that no one who purchased our insurance ever regretted it when the car was damaged or totaled with no further cost to that customer. At my location we did not allow dropoffs after hours for the customers’ own protection but you would not believe the verbal abuse we endured because the customer could not be bothered to return to the airport fewer than ten miles away. Everyone says “I’ll take the risk” leaving it after hours, but you can be sure that if that risk resulted in a stolen car, they would be singing a different tune. Instead we were called inflexible when we were really doing the customer a favor. So if and when Enterprise changes their policy and does not allow after hours dropoff, people will start bitching about that next.
“dont need a drone trying to scare you into additional nonsense that you already took care of making the reservation”
Until you face a situation like the one described in this article.
That’s New York.
They have a specific law requiring the car rental company to carry customer liability on every rental. (BIG money for the ambulance chasers. Also, NY is a vicarious liability state.
Because of this, many smaller franchises won’t allow their cars to be used in New York State.
If Enterprise was selling additional liability in NY, they were violating that law, I believe.
“if and when Enterprise changes their policy and does not allow after hours dropoff, people will start bitching about that next.”
Many companies do not allow it, especially at high-risk locations (Inner-city).
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.