Column Archives Tim's Ebooks Building Tips Products I use and recommend Online Store Multimedia Media Info Ask Tim Carter
Ask Tim Carter

September 26, 2007

Enterprise Car Rental

If you are thinking about renting a car or truck from Enterprise Car Rental, you may want to read about what happened to me at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car facility located near the San Diego, CA airport.

On Sunday September 23, 2007 Enterprise Rental Car really goofed up and made me very unhappy.

What happened? Well, here are the facts. I am an expert in facts, as I write a syndicated newspaper column.

I made an online reservation for one of the Enterprise Rental Cars on August 4, 2007. The efficiency of the online reservation system of Enterprise Car Rentals lead me to believe it was going to be a great experience.

My flight landed on time at San Diego - about 10:20 a.m. PT - and I was able to get my luggage and walk to the Enterprise Rent-a-Car shuttle van by 1:43 p.m . The shuttle left within a minute or two of me getting on, so we were off to a great start. But everything went downhill from there.

It took about ten minutes to get to the Enterprise Car Rental off-site lot, which was not too bad. As I got off the shuttle at 10:55 a.m., I looked at my watch. I was monitoring the time, because I had to be at a luncheon in Wrightwood, CA at 1:30 p.m. It is a two-hour drive to Wrightwood from San Diego.

But once at the Enterprise Car Rental facility, things got ugly. It took 25 minutes to grind through the line at the counter and do Phase One of the paperwork. I say Phase One as I was shocked *not* to receive the keys to the car so I could be on my way. The Enterprise Rent-A-Car counter clerk said, "Please stand over to the side or outside. Someone will call your name in just five or ten minutes." I was starting to do the slow burn. It was 11:20 a.m. At this point I had just enough time to make it to my luncheon.

Thirty minutes later a young man finally called my name and walked me to the car. It took an additional five minutes to complete the high-pressure sales pitch about upgrading to a more expensive car, do the damage walk-around and to listen to the car insurance pitch. My stress and anger level was so high, I nearly lashed out, but I kept my cool. It was not this young man's fault. My problem was an upper-level management issue.

But the unpleasantness was not over. I started the car, drove to the exit and a young woman signed me out. Another young man was there to ask me how things were, and I told him as politely as possible, "To be honest, I am not happy at all. I have been here on this property for an hour. It is totally unacceptable for it to take one hour to get a rental car. This is the last time I will ever do business with Enterprise Car Rental."

The young man stared at me with a smirk, didn't apologize and just glared at me as if I was being too demanding.

The next day I woke up early because of the three-hour time difference. I decided to do the right thing and go to the Enterprise Car Rental website to lodge an official complaint. All of the facts above were given to them, and the confirmation email I received said someone would get back with me in 48 hours.

That in fact happened last night when I looked at my cell phone. A voice-mail message from the manager of the Enterprise Car Rental facility in San Diego had called me about my complaint. I have not yet returned his call, as it is quite early in the morning. I will call him today to see what he has to say.

Posted by Tim Carter at 10:38 AM

Email Tim Carter