Recently, a Nova Scotia woman said that Enterprise Rent-A-Car stuck her with a huge $47,000 bill for a car that was stolen. If the car was stolen while it was in her care, this bill may have been understandable. However, the woman said that she was given this bill despite the fact that she had already returned the car to the lot.
The woman, Kirsten Cockerill, said that she hired a Ford Mustang at an Enterprise Rent-A-Car location in Dartmouth, N.S. She rented the car for just two days in October of last year. After the two days, her partner took the car to the Enterprise Rent-A-Car location on Sunday evening. Since it was Sunday, the store was closed. As instructed by the rental contract, her partner put the keys for the car in the secure drop box.
The very next day, Cockerill received a phone call from Enterprise saying that it got the keys for the car in the drop box, but the vehicle was not in the parking lot. She later found out that Enterprise had reported the car stolen to the local authorities.
However, she was not really upset until she received a bill for the sports car, nearly four months later. Apparently, the company wanted her to pay for the car that was stolen, despite the fact that it was stolen from its own lot.
Cockerill told the local media that the news came as a huge shock to her. She said that the company never once told her four months ago that she was going to be held responsible for the stolen car. Enterprise did tell her later that, “technically,” the car was in her possession at the time it was stolen. The company only takes backs possession of the vehicle after it is able to inspect it.
A spokesperson for Enterprise, Laura Bryant, made a public statement saying that everyone needs to keep in mind that there is a sign on the drop box that reminds consumers that the car is still in their care until it can be examined by an employee. By the time an employee got to the car, it was gone. As a result, customers like Cockerill remain financially liable for any of the damage that the car takes during the rental transaction. They have to pay for these damages regardless of negligence or fault. They have to cover it, just like it was their own vehicle.
Enterprise added that it is still reviewing the case. It went on to say that it fully intends to work something out with Cockerill and her insurance company. Everyone wants to achieve a reasonable and fair outcome.
Cockerill added that her partner did not see the sign that Enterprise indicates is there. She believes that many consumers may not take notice of this sign in the dark when returning cars. She also said that Enterprise has not tried to contact her at all since she was delivered the bill on January 6.