Is Customer Service Dead?

middle-finger1Let’s talk a bit about customer service, shall we?

As a business, I feel as though you should try to please loyal customers. I’m not talking about giving away free stuff or treating them like royalty, but simply keeping them happy. These return customers obviously have money and want to spend that hard-earned money with your company. Why would you want to displease them?

I ask this question because of a situation that happened a couple of weeks ago with Enterprise Rent-A-Car. I went online and booked a rental car for my boyfriend to pick up in Michigan. I received a confirmation email telling me the car would be ready the next morning for him to pick up. Easy enough, right?


He shows up the next morning to pick up his rental car in Lansing, MI and is told that he could not rent the vehicle without a major credit card since he has an out-of-state license. He told the representative that he doesn’t use credit cards but he would pay for it with a debit card, to which he was told that wasn’t allowed. Wait one second, Enterprise doesn’t allow you to use your debit card with an out-of-state driver’s licence? That’s funny, because when we were in Hawaii in October, that’s exactly what I did! I don’t have a credit card because I don’t want to rack up debt. I used my debit card and out-of-state license two months prior to this, so what’s the problem?

Trying to find a solution, Ryan’s mom offered to put the rental car on her credit card since she had an in-state license, but the representative wouldn’t allow that. He was done with them and unwilling to work out a solution. Which comes back to my question, why would you want to displease your loyal customers? We have rented from Enterprise multiple times this year. When I received the confirmation email for the rental car, it didn’t say ANYWHERE that you had to use a credit card with an out-of-state license. When was this rule put into effect?

Naturally, I took my frustrations to Twitter. The company’s handle happens to be, laughably, @enterprisecares. Enterprise responded to my tweet with a DM saying, “Hi Rachel, pls send us an email to w/exact branch location, reservation # if you have one, & contact details.  (Amelia).”

I gave the information to Ryan and he wrote his email to Enterprise explaining the situation. Meanwhile, on Twitter, my timeline was exploding with comments from my fellow tweeps about their terrible experiences with Enterprise. For example, “I used to rent from them all the time, then they said I couldn’t rent unless I had a utility bill. Terrible,” and “I’ve had the worst experiences with Enterprise and refuse to ever use them again.” With so many different options for rental cars, why would Enterprise give such bad customer service?

The email did little to no good. Ryan expressed his concern with having his holiday plans with his family foiled due to not having a rental car. All hopes of the situation being remedied had gone down the drain, and it wasn’t until hours later that evening that a manager from the branch called him to ask what the customer service problem was. Ryan explained the situation, and the manager said he was under the impression that the problem had to do with customer service, not the credit card policy that could not be changed. He couldn’t do anything to help him, so see ya later!

Through this experience, I have vowed to never use this terrible company ever again. Everyone we dealt with that day was rude, from the representative at the counter to the manager who called later that night. The Twitter account didn’t help at all either; what good is it to send in an email when you need a rental car RIGHT NOW? If you’re going to use social media for your business, at least make it count. And shame on you, Enterprise, for all of a sudden having a “policy” that isn’t stated anywhere saying you can’t use debit cards.

Apparently, quality customer service is a dying notion.

14 thoughts on “Is Customer Service Dead?

  1. Wow, what assholes! I’m also not a fan of the ‘can’t rent a car by yourself if you are under 25.” When my car was stolen, my insurance (thankfully) allowed me to have a rental car for 2 weeks. I went to Enterprise, and since I was (and still fucking am) under the age of 25, I had to have a parent drive all the way from Terre Haute to Indianapolis in order to give their credit card information. Because somehow, since I’m under 25, I am not trusted. I wonder if the person who stole my car would be trusted because they’re over 25. Assholes.

  2. I feel if you don’t have a major credit card, they just make up excuses to let you go away. Yesterday when I tried to pick up a car from a branch that is 2 miles away from my home, they said I cannot use debit card unless I rent it from the branch in the city I live. And I do have an in-state license.

  3. They want your credit card to fraudulently charge you for damages that you did not cause, which is what happened to me. Even after AmEx gave them over $300.00 for the damages. They said damages were 328.40, admin fees $50.00. and loss of use $117.13, totaling 495.53

    Funny, my deductible is $500.00, which they wanted that day and I refused. Amex paid for the damages without proof, but won’t pay the others without proof that the car was in demand and no other cars available. However, on Enterprises “agreement”, it states that it doesn’t matter if there are other cars available and that you DO agree to pay the $50.00 admin. fee.

    Enterprise called me today saying they would split the remainder due to me, so it would only cost me $86.00. I think I’m screwed and will have to pay that! They lost another customer!

    My experience was also in MI.

  4. They are total douche bags. I had a similar experience but I did have an in state license. I booked the car online but when I went to pick it they would not let me use my debit card because I do not use a credit card either. I use my debit card with the Visa symbol at every retailer in North America as a credit card without using a pin number. The guy at the counter was rude and said I should have known it was not a credit card. I will never ever use enterprise again or recommend them to anyone ever.

  5. Ever thought about this… Someone rents a car on a debit card for 3 days. They pay the cost of the rental plus security deposit. Then as soon as that transaction is finished they withdraw everything from their bank account and vanish with the car…. Credit cards provide additional security to rental companies and hotels alike. You can’t just cancel a credit card without satisfying the debt owed. As for using a debit card in Hawaii the company policy is when flying in you can use a debit card when accompanied with return flight conformation.

    • That’s fine, except for two things: Enterprise never told us we needed a credit card and not a debit card, and what about all the people that prefer to stay out of debt by not having credit cards? Are they never supposed to be able to rent a car? Also, you have to give them your driver’s license in order to rent the car, along with your plane ticket flight numbers and confirmation. They know how to find us.

  6. Ok, here’s what happened to me yesterday. I flew over 7 hours from Orlando to Sacramento. I notified my landlord that I would be there in about an hour and a half. I had pre-paid for a rental car 3 weeks ago from Enterprise so it would be a smooth transition. I decided on an off airport site because it was a lot cheaper and they said that there was a free shuttle. I get to the Sacramento airport and at 2:30pm and call enterprise to ask where to catch the shuttle. The woman says, “There is no shuttle. I don’t know who told you that.” The Enterprise phone representative, I tell her. She says that they were mistaken. “Sorry.” She says that I have to go to the offsite place and gives me the address. I pay $40 for a cab, who drops me off at Enterprise in downtown Sacramento. 103 degrees out. I pull my luggage to the door and push, but it’s locked. And it’s dark on the inside too….closed. I turn around and there is the car I rented. There must be an after hours lock box with keys or something, I think. I call to get the box location and the combination. The Enterprise rep says. “Ma’am, that location is closed.” I tell her that I know that. She says, “There is no lockbox or any after hours vehicle pickup” I asked what I am supposed to do. She replies. “I don’t know what you expect me to do. That location is closed.” Maybe she doesn’t understand what I am saying. Standing in the hot parking lot, I give her my confirmation number and say that I rented this car 3 weeks ago and that it is prepaid. She says, “I’m very sorry that you are going through this. The location will be open tomorrow. Perhaps you should return then.” …….yes she said that. I said, “MAYBE YOU AREN’T HEARING WHAT I AM SAYING! I RENTED A CAR AND PAID FOR IT 3 WEEKS AGO. I AM STANDING NEXT TO IT IN THE HOT PARKING LOT WITH ALL OF MY LUGGAGE.” She says, “I’m so sorry. Come back tomorrow and it will be open.” I said, “I RENTED THAT CAR TODAY, NOT TOMORROW.” “Well, ma’am, I don’t know what to tell you. You rented a car from a location that closes at 2pm on Sundays. All of the other locations are closed also, so unfortunately there is nothing I can do for you at this point.” “WELL YOU’D BETTER DO SOMETHING! IF YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING, THEN PUT SOMEONE ON WHO CAN!” “Well, ma’am, I can escalate this to the escalation department.” “Yes, thank you, that will be fine.” The escalation dept gets on the phone and we go through the same rigamaroo. They actually try to RENT me another car for over $500. I say that I have already rented a car and PAID IN FULL. They tell me the same thing, that they are sorry. For over an hour they refused to help me in any way. I keep calling, I call John and then call Enterprise again. I’m soaked with sweat; I’m tired and I’m furious. They keep trying to blame me for renting from a location that is closed. I scream to them that I didn’t know it was closed. I asked why they let me rent a vehicle from a location that closes a 2pm; and why did the rep tell me to take a cab to a location that’s closed. The supervisor of the escalation dept said. “I am so sorry that this is happ…” “I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ANYMORE EXCUSES! I AM A ENTERPRISE CUSTOMER AND YOU ARE ABANDONING ME.” “I wish there was something I could do…” “THAT IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE ANSWER! IF I WERE YOUR MOTHER OR YOUR DAUGHTER, WOULD YOU THINK THAT THAT WAS AN ACCEPTABLE ANSWER?” “Ma’am, there is no need to yell…” “WELL APPARENTLY THERE IS BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT HEARING ME.” “Ma’am, if you would simply come back tomorrow, we could resolve this issue at that time.” “I RENTED A CAR AT THIS TIME FROM THIS LOCATION. NOW GET OFF YOUR ASS AND DO SOMETHING RIGHT FUCKING NOW! I AM STANDING HERE 3200 MILES FROM ANYONE I KNOW WITH ALL MY LUGGAGE AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. THIS WAS YOUR MISTAKE AND YOU KEEP TRYING TO BLOW ME OFF. THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.” “Ma’am, what do you expect me to do?” “Have someone come and pick me up; call the manager of this location come and open it up. Do something.” “I’m sorry, Ma’am, I can’t do any of those things.” “WELL THEN PUT SOMEONE ON THE PHONE WHO CAN.” Anyway it went on like that from 2:45 until about a little after 4. Finally, I took a cab for 48 bucks back to the airport where they rented me another car. I had to pay the difference. Can you believe that? I couldn’t argue anymore. I was stressed and shaking and my nose started bleeding. lol. I figured I would call the corporate offices during the week. Now is as good a time as any. My vocal cords have recovered from screaming at them.

  7. Yep, it sucks. Just tried it today, visiting Indiana. Not even a government veteran card would do. I was highly upset after making the reservation online.

  8. I worked in customer service at the erac home office for a year and a half and i had to handle this problem thousands of times. the simple truth is enterprise just doesnt want to rent cars to people who only have a debit card. They cant publish that as a policy they can only restrict who can rent. The problem is actually with the banks. If someone charges up a huge bill on credit card then disputes the charge, enterprise hs a chance to recover at least some of it. If they use debit card however the banks protect their depositor. enterprise is just trying to protect itself because not everyone is a law abiding, stand-up person like yourself. They have to make sure the person they are handing the keys to is going to pay. Also the debit card policy is right there when you make a reservation. Now, all that said, the chances of this happening were rare and they would rather you book the car and hear bad news later than be up front about it. I hated representing that company and their stupid policies.

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