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Enterprise Rent-A-Car charges customer over C$47,000 after car returned [UPDATED]

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Kristen Cockerill of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada rented a Mustang GT convertible from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, but was shocked when she received a bill for C$47,271 months after the two-day rental car was returned. CBC News reports that Kristen used the car for a day trip in October and returned it to the rental lot on a Sunday.

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Kristen Cockerill (CBC)


Kristen told the CBC reporter, “It was nice. It was a Mustang GT convertible. Yeah, it was, I don't know Mustangs the way that other people might, but it was a nice car.” Because the Dartmouth Enterprise was closed on Sundays, she followed instructions she was given and parked the convertible, locked it, engaged the car alarm, then dropped the keys in the businesses’ secure drop box.

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The secure key drop at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car lot. (CBC)


Kristen said she got a call from an Enterprise manager at noon on Monday. “‘We have the keys. Where’s the car?’ And I was very surprised and said, ‘What do you mean? Where’s the car?’” Kristen recalled. “And told him where it had been parked, right by the front door under the light.” Kristen was understandably panicked and left directly from work that evening to speak to the Enterprise staff in person.

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Enterprise Rent-A-Car lot (CBC)


Kristen explained, “The police contacted me, the first and only time I had contact with them was on October 16th. So it was about a week later um, and I kind of went through all the information with the female officer that called and never heard anything again after that until a couple days ago.” The investigation determined that some point after Kristen dropped the car off, and before the first Enterprise employee arrived at work, the Mustang was stolen.

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(CBC)

Enterprise asserted that Ms. Cockerill was responsible for the vehicle until it was checked back in by a company employee, despite the fact that the rental agreement ended on Sunday night when they were closed. However, Kristen’s insurance company feels that the vehicle wasn’t in her control so she should not be held responsible for the loss.

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The C$47,271 bill Kristen Cockerill received from Enterprise. (CBC)

If her insurance company will not cover the Mustang’s replacement cost of C$47,000, Enterprise said they would charge the credit card she used to rent the convertible. Kristen knows that her credit card cannot handle a charge as large as C$47,000, and is worried about the financial ramifications of this issue. Enterprise Rent-A-Car told CBC that they are currently working on a response to Ms. Cockerill’s concerns.

Video and more info: CBC

UPDATE January 8, 2014 8:08 AM PST :
Kristen Cockerill will not have to pay the C$47000 replacement cost for the rented Mustang GT that was stolen from the Enterprise Rent-A-Car lot. Ms. Cockerill's insurance company is negotiating with Enterprise and will be covering the charge. Kristen said, "It is in the small print of the contract that I am responsible for the vehicle until they receive it...So the insurance is going to cover the cost of the vehicle." The car renter also added, "They [Enterprise] offered an apology for the experience I've gone through over the last week or so."

The company issued this statement to CBC News: "We are now thoroughly examining our processes and looking for ways to better communicate with our  customers. We want to acknowledge and thank you for bringing this matter to our attention so that we could properly address it."

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