When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

28 October 2009

Dear Enterprise Rent-A-Car [UPDATED]

28 October 2009

Andy Taylor, CEO
Enterprise Car Rental

Dear Mr. Taylor,

On 20 October 2009, Enterprise’s Citations Department sent me a letter informing me that on 24 September 2009 at 9:11 AM, a red light camera captured a photograph of an Enterprise vehicle rented to me, running a red light in Cary, NC.

They were kind enough to inform me that Enterprise would be charging me $10 as a fee for passing on this information to me, and also for the service of transferring my information in turn to the private firm that runs Cary, North Carolina’s red light camera system. Happily, I had six days from the date of this letter to dispute this amount.

Since I received the letter on 27 October, I fear that it is impossible to dispute that amount within your firm’s stated timeframe. And when I tried to call the Citations Department, I was on hold for a long, long time before I finally concluded that I was wasting my time, in fact.

(The service at your Franklin Street branch in Chapel Hill, NC could not be better, which is why I’m mystified that these same high standards of customer service don’t apply on the phone.)

Mr Taylor, here are the facts of the matter:

(1) I did indeed rent a car from Enterprise for several days, from 23 to 27 September. It was, if memory serves, a Chevrolet Impala, and there are rather a lot of them on the road, I’ve noticed.

(2) I was nowhere near Cary, NC on the morning of 24 September; I was hard at work in my home office in Chapel Hill, and I have several date- and time-stamped e-mails (with many recipients, all of whom can corroborate time of receipt) to prove it. These are, if I may say so, long, thoughtful and detailed e-mails, and to put it mildly they are not the sort of thing one could manage while driving, even if one were stupid enough to text and drive simultaneously.

(3) I accept that Safelight Cary, the private company running Cary, NC’s red-light camera revenue generation—pardon me, traffic enforcement—service, feels that they have identified a car that has been linked to me as a renter, and clearly they have reached out to Enterprise to identify the wrongdoer.

(4) Since we’ve eliminated the possibility that I was driving in Cary on the 24th of September, the remaining possibilities would seem to be -

a. The red-light camera company is mistaken. (This strikes me as likeliest.)

b. My wife is lying to me when she tells me that she was driving our Mazda 5 that day, and she has dark reasons of her own for wanting to be in Cary, NC at 9 o’clock on a random morning, in a car that I rented for myself. (This strikes me as rather unlikely.)

c. Elvis and Jimmy Hoffa materialized in my yard on the morning of the 24th and decided to take a joyride… to Cary. In my rentacar. Poor bastards.

I’m sure there’s got to be some mechanism for resolving this within your company—and with Safelight Cary, the private firm running their red-light cameras--but so far I can’t figure out what it is. Can you help me? I’ve found an attorney here in town, but I’d really rather not go down that path.

Yours sincerely,

Barry T. Campbell

Confirming copies to:

Enterprise Car Rental – Citations Department
PO Box 22233
Tulsa, OK 74121


Anonymous said...

Hi, did you solve the issue? I got a similar letter from Enterprise as yours and would like to dispute. They notified me that I did not pay a toll when I rent their car. I can easily prove it's a mistake (the violation place is 340 miles away from my rental place and my contract indicated that I only drive 280 miles).

Anonymous said...

Hi, I got similar letters (9 of them) and when I tried to contact them at telephone number on letter, I was put on hold and then disconnected. Cannot find their email address and then I noticed your email. Did you get any satisfacdtion and did they charge your credit card,, as threathened in my letters. Appreciate hearing from anyone as I think this is a scam. I was not anywhere near their locations.

Marie Mathis

Anonymous said...

I think it's a scam also. I was in florida last November and just received a letter from Enterprise saying that I have a $1.50 toll violation plus a $10.00 admin fee. I check my online bank statement, and there it was, a $11.50 charge. It don't seem fair. I have no idea about any toll booth.

Anonymous said...

I am in the process of writing the CEO, also. The Citations Department is just a way to cover the calls because you can never get anyone to answer the calls.

Barry said...

Hey, everybody. This seems to have struck a nerve.

I wound up paying the "citation" because there was absolutely no way to fight City Hall's outsourced subcontractor.

Not happy about it either.

Anonymous said...

I also have 3 letters from enterprise and cannot get thru to the 800-935-0112 number due to "unusually high call volume" whenever I call. I called Delaware ez pass and they told me that the citations are for DE river and bay authority for the Del Mem Bridge which I have not crossed in years, especially not in a rental car. They knew of a way I could dispute the $1.00 toll taken care of but not the $10 enterprise fee. WHen I called the enterprise branch they said they can't help me.

Anonymous said...

I also received a letter today dated 2/2/10. A $1.86 toll violation and a $10 admin fee to be charged within 6 days. Well I received the letter on the 6th day. Not familar w/Tx tolls. OK Don't mind paying the toll but admin fee of $10--what a rip off. I rec'd the ltr late in the day and therefore, the office I needed to speak w/was closed. I'm furious to say the least. It's the "principal" of the thing.

Anonymous said...

Hi, everybody. This is very fishi, my brother in law was on vacation in Fl in july 09, he lives in south america and got the same letters, exept they came from Alamo.I told him not to pay anything for now. It will nice if we could get somebody from the media involve.

Anonymous said...

I just made a call to Enterprise Customer Service and Support 1-800-264-6350 and asked if they do truely have a citations department. Customer service had looked up that department and gave me the phone number of 1-800-935-0112, which is the exact number listed in the letter(s). She says these letters are valid.