Award Winning Blog

Thursday, June 10, 2021

When a Confirmed Reservation Means Nothing of the Sort

A few hours before the time for delivery of a rental car, a local rep called to renege: no apology, no explanation, no offer to mitigate damages; nothing but nastiness.

I'm confused about the email Enterprise previously sent me about a "confirmed" reservation.  What would a reasonable person understand confirmed reservation to mean?  Perhaps a better question: what prevented Enterprise from blocking rentals it knew (or should have known) that no vehicle would be available?

This shameful episode has absolutely nothing to do with force majeure that absolves a contracting party from liability for abrogating a contract.  How could Enterprise not consider the impact of Covid recovery and chip shortages?

Enterprise can fail to perform duties in a contract it created with impunity, but in most transactions, "no show" consumers have to incur 100% of the financial loss. You miss the flight, you lose.  You cannot make it to the concert, tough.  How can Enterprise not suffer any consequences for its negligence . . .dare I say fraud?

Libertarian economists typically would answer by suggesting the company would suffer revenue declines and an even worse reputation.  Maybe not, particularly when lax antitrust law enforcement allows markets to concentrate.

Enterprise can have a cavalier attitude toward misrepresenting rental car availability, because the company suffers no significant penalty for its contemptable behavior.

For what it's worth: shame, shame, shame on Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

I do not feel better, and I will be without transportation of any sort for 4 days as my wife uses our single vehicle to care for an ailing parent.  So much for cutting my CO2 load.