Enterprise Rent A Car
26 reviews from the community
Review of "Enterprise Rent A Car"
I am back, and determined to start posting regularly agan!!
After being a bit rubbish with my review writing of late, my personal new year's resolution is to get writing more regularly, and to make a start I have a nice positive five star review for you about receiving excellent and courteous service...an extremely rare beast to encounter in today's brave new world.
The Journey BeginsIt was the day before Christmas Eve and a crowd of us were travelling the length of this fair country of ours from most southerly tip of Southampton to the Highlands of Scotland to spend Christmas with our infant grandson....not his first Christmas as he arrived unexpectedly early the previous year, but the first Christmas he was aware of. In the travelling party were myself and Hubby, our eldest daughter and her husband, our youngest son and our big hairy hound, Zac. Not of course to mention the biggest pile of presents you have ever seen.
We had considered hiring a car for the 600 mile journey, but decided that we would really need either two cars to be comfortable or a small minibus/people carrier and the price of this put us off. During this search we used the Enterprise website with it's distinctive green colour-way, getting a quick and competitive price via simple "where, when and what car" questions....no personal details were needed unless we went ahead with the booking. In the end we decided to travel in my daughter's spacious Chrysler Voyager, no spring chicken it's true, but a car originally built for motorway cruising in style.Setting off at 5am, we should have read the bad omens when the car refused to start. But we all agreed that we had been in and out of the largely electronic car all evening, opening and shutting doors as we loaded the car, which combined with the frosty conditions and short night time trips during the previous days had caused the battery to run down.................no of course it wasn't an omen telling us not to go!!
So like the five not so wise men, we set off to see the infant baby in our trusty camel. And despite everyone being grumpy and tired, we made good progress, reaching Lancaster Services in five and a half hours, where we pulled over for a coffee and a breakfast of bacon sarnies!
DisasterUnfortunately our trusty camel wasn't so keen on making the rest of the journey! When we piled back into it refreshed and ready for the second leg of the journey, we found that the automatic gearbox had given up the ghost completely, refusing to change up out of first gear! We limped to a local garage in a nearby village, but it was too specialised a job for him and certainly not a quick fix, and everyone else we phoned was knocking off for Christmas week, understandably.
Holding a council of war in a local pub, we decided not to abandon the trip entirely, but to hire a car for the rest of the journey. My son-in-law, however, felt he needed to go back home with his car in the recovery vehicle, knowing it would be a trip of several relays, and my daughter insisted on going with him so he wouldn't spend Christmas alone.
The Starship EnterpriseNo the story hasn't gone all Trekkie....I am referring to Enterprise Car Rental, the company my son-in-law called when he went all Tarzan on us and took charge of the situation. He didn't bother ringing round, because he had used Enterprise before in the past, their prices had been comparably good when we had been researching before the trip started, and most importantly they come and pick you up free of charge.
He was quoted £385 for a seven day hire of a Ford Mondeo sized car by the girl at the national call centre, and soon received a call back from the local branch in Morecambe/Lancaster confirming the booking and our location for the pick up. The Manager explained that although the call centre had promised a Mondeo type car, he wasn't sure if he had one available at such short notice, but would do his best to fulfil the order. He also explained that it may be nearer 5pm before he could have us picked up, would that be ok? As we were happily ensconced in a warm pub at that point we had no problem with that at all.
Service with a smileAs it turned out, they were able to pick us up at 3pm and by 3.30 we were on the road again. The driver waited patiently while we transferred, a huge pile of presents, suitcases and a Christmas cake over to the pick up minibus in a downpour of rain, and then parked very close to the office door so we could stack them all in the office foyer, subsequently packing them carefully in our hire car inside the dry garage.
The five or six staff in the Morecambe branch all seemed to know about our tale of woe, expressed sympathy and enquired about our trip. The manager came out and introduced himself shaking our hands, and explaining once again how he had tried his best to fulfil our requirements. As it happened, he had been able to upgrade us from the Mondeo we had chosen to a Toyota Rav 4, a much larger car with plenty of room for all our stuff, and a better driving position for Hubby who is used to a van and finds cars uncomfortable these days.The price turned out cheaper than the original quote too as they charged us just £340 plus a £200 deposit with a drop off back in Southampton anytime before 6pm on the 30th, damage waiver and unlimited mileage included. We considered this to be an excellent price considering it was a one way trip and were getting a much better car than we expected. As the standard excess on their cars is £1000, we were offered their excess protection policy ( normally £11.99 per day) and their roadside assistance policy (normally £4.99 per day) for a combined total of £15 per day. We hummed and haahed over that as we wouldn't normally be taken in by such extras, but Hubby felt that our trip had been dogged by disaster so far, and he didn't want to take a chance. I pointed out that these sort of policies can be bought online cheaper, and the chap who was serving us, said of course we had that option and there was no pressure to take Enterprise's policy. In the end Hubby decided to accept the excess protection policy alone, for £10 per day, which reduced our obligation to just £100 excess per incident and gave Hubby peace of mind...................a very good move on Hubby's part as it turned out.
After some form filling in, production of driving licence and credit cards as ID, and more hand shaking and good wishes for Christmas and our trip, we left the Lancaster depot feeling positive and happy, not a feeling I often get when dealing with the service industry in Britain these days.
Going BoldlyThe rest of the trip included rain, snow, sleet, fog, wind and darkness, and unfortunately the car charger for our satnav blew a fuse and so we had to struggle on with google maps on Hubby's smartphone causing a lot of missed turnings and arguments. At one point we were going across a deserted moor road, probably miles off the route we should have been on, and the car went into a skid on the newly laid and blowing snow. Luckily, Hubby's skill at the wheel and the all-wheel-drive of the Rav 4 kicking in saved us from ending upside down in a ditch on a deserted moor at midnight! Eventually, however, we ended up at our holiday home, twenty one hours after leaving home.
The car continued to serve us well all week, but unfortunately, on the last day some kind gentleman in a sports car flicked his cigarette butt out of his window....and it flew in ours! Panic ensued as I searched in vain for the glowing red butt in the the driver's side floor well, as Hubby found a safe place to pull over. We found it too late on the seat between Hubby's legs, a hole already burnt in the nylon upholstery!
Call centre heavenTowards the end of our week, we became aware that we had lost the contract we signed for the hire car. Whether this few out the window on the moor road when we were checking the car for damage, or just lost in the Christmas mayhem, we have no idea. Finding the customer services number on their website, I rang and was answered by a real person after the normal button pressing rigmarole followed by a short wait. The lady I spoke to, again young, was polite, helpful and friendly and most importantly spoke in a normal conversational tone instead of the robotic pre-written schpiel we so often receive from call centres.
She assured me that the loss of paperwork was not a problem, confirmed our drop off time and date, and offered us a choice of two drop of locations in Southampton, I chose a different one than the original, assuming it was closer to my daughter's home, but the young lady assured me that I could switch back if I changed my mind. She also provided a rapid quote on keeping the car for an extra 3 days, which was an option we had considered, offering it at £41.50 per day including the excess protection.
A friendly returnThe long trip back to Southampton on the 30th took the expected 12 hours with a couple of stops for coffee and a wee, but no unexpected incidents. We unloaded the car at my daughter's house, swept out the worst of our week's debris from the inside, but made no attempt to wash the motorway backwash from the pristine white paintwork, and returned the car to the Southampton depot by 4.30pm.
As the friendly young man briefly inspected the exterior of the car for bumps and bruises and checked that we had returned the fuel tank to the half full level we received it at, we explained the incident with the cigarette butt, accepting our responsibility to pay the insurance excess for the incident. He rang through to the Morecambe depot, who were responsible for dealing with any damage, and put us on the phone to explain once again, exactly what had happened. The girl on the other end was polite, concise, sympathetic and explained the procedure well, offering to back up her statements in writing via email. I was assured that we would be responsible for just the £100 excess, which they would deduct from the £200 deposit we had left, and if the repairs turned out to be less expensive than this then the difference would be returned to us.The young man in the Southampton office, then checked we were happy with what had transpired, shook our hands, wished us a happy new year and we were done. So easy quick and efficient, and the fact that we had lost our paperwork batted not one eyelid.
My overall Opinion
All in all my one and only experience with Enterprise cars was very much a positive one. All the staff we encountered were friendly, helpful and not at all pushy, we were treated with politeness and respect to the point where we felt quite special, especially in the Morecambe/Lancaster office, where they were all concerned for our plight.I felt that on two occasions they had the opportunity to take advantage of us..once when we were broken down and had no other option than to hire a car, they could have quoted a much bigger price, or offered us the larger car but asked for more money.
Also when we returned the car with damage, they could have told us that it wasn't covered by the insurance and we would have to pay, or that we hadn't actually taken out excess protection...after all we had no paperwork ourselves to prove that we had.Instead we were treated with kindness and courtesy, offered a great car at a very good price and to cap off the experience, I received an email from Dayna at the Morecambe branch the same evening that we dropped off the car, explaining the exact procedure of the insurance claim process, the contact details of the insurance company who would be dealing with it, confirmation that £100 of our deposit would be returned to us, and the very welcome bonus of a £25.01 refund for returning the car early!
I have been completely bowled over by the level of customer service at Enterprise...I had almost forgotten what it feels like to have the customers needs as a priority.Well Done Enterprise!!
Product Information : Enterprise Rent A Car
Manufacturer's product description
Listed on Ciao since: 11/08/2001