Man says rental car company charging for damage that doesn’t exist

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THORNTON, Colo. -- A frustrating car rental dispute left a customer owing hundreds of dollars. Zach Maes of Thornton said Enterprise is charging him for damage he says doesn’t exist and has the pictures to prove it.

Enterprise said there was a dent and Maes is responsible for the cost to fix it.

Maes said the issue started when he returned the 2016 Dodge Ram he rented from an Enterprise location in Thornton. He said during the car inspection, the Enterprise representative pointed out a dent on the side of the truck.

“He said there was a dent on the back right side of the truck near the tailgate,” Maes said. “I asked him if he could show me. He pointed and kind of rubbed it a little bit and there was nothing there."

Maes said he took a picture and got his father, Luca Maes, involved. By the time the father showed up, Lucas said the body shop had already marked the dent in question. He also took pictures of the reported scuff.

“They were like 'Here’s the damage' and I don’t see no damage,” Lucas said. “Then that’s when I asked if I could go get a second opinion, but they wouldn’t allow me to have someone come look at the truck."

Enterprise informed Maes it would cost him $459 for the cost to repair the dent.

“I don’t think I should have to pay for something that’s not there,” Maes said.

He said he tried reaching out to the district manager and got nowhere. According to a spokeswoman for Enterprise, two body shops of the company’s choice agreed there was a dent and that Maes still owes the $459 balance.

The company also pointed out that customers are financially responsible for any damage or theft that occurs during a rental transaction, regardless of fault or negligence.

Maes said he understood the company’s policy but that in his case, there was no dent or damage.

“I think it’s wrong. I don’t think it’s good business,” Maes said.

As for the cost of repairing the damage, Enterprise said the figure includes labor, paint, parts and other costs, such as towing. The company passes on high-volume discounts it receives on to the customer.

Also according to Enterprise, Maes had the option to purchase a collision damage waiver that would have cost less than $200 based on  the specified car rental location and the length of Maes rental.

For the time being, Maes does not plan to pay Enterprise for the reported damage and plans to contact a lawyer.

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