It's been a few years since I've worked at Enterprise, but I remember all of the stories. I have...

  • Delivered cars to celebrities
  • Gotten into an accident in a company car
  • Gotten drunk during work hours
  • Done questionable things on company time
  • Worked overtime just about every day that I was employed with the company
  • Stories for Days

My Proof: http://i.imgur.com/WORzPcg.jpg

AMA!

Comments: 318 • Responses: 35  • Date: 

_starkravingsane87 karma

Do they have an excellent corporate structure, and give you the tools to be your own boss?

ExERAC66 karma

I think Enterprise teaches you to grow a backbone for sure. They teach you how to lie and to think on your feet, but I wouldn't say they give you the skills to be your own boss.

Being your own boss would mean making your own decisions, not short-staffing people because you wanted to make numbers. It also means paying your employees fair wages and not expecting to run them into the ground with 65-70 hours of work each week.

I applaud them for being such a huge business, but have you ever gone into work and asked how some people got the job? I asked myself that every day when I saw who some of my co-workers were. Enterprise is good at recruiting, and pick people up right before they graduate. They tell you that you'll be part of a management training program, but don't tell you that you'll be working crazy hours or that you're essentially working retail with a fancy title.

Their turnaround, on average, is 4 months. Anyone who stays longer than a year is a saint.

Luder7141 karma

I rent weekend specials occasionally and I always feel sorry for those kids. They make peanuts and always have to professionally dress. In fact, it makes me feel like the company is trying to make you believe that they are all high end, but they put these poor kids in ties and suits at such an early age, like their on wall street or something.

ExERAC2 karma

Yep. I spent more money buying professional clothes than I did anything else. After I left, I never used the clothes again. I'm both sad and happy about this.

mrshernandez0939 karma

Have you found anything gross in a returned car?

ExERAC67 karma

Lots of used condoms.

Wash your hands if you ever get into a rental car. Wash them a lot.

haydenj9624 karma

I'm 18 and I rent through Zipcar sometimes but it is so dang expensive and the $9.99 weekend special sounds great.

Is there any way I can rent a car? Do they ever make exceptions? Or do I just have to wait?

ExERAC36 karma

Usually if you're over 21 they don't say anything. If you're 18 it's much more obvious and usually they'll only rent to you at that age if you were in a car accident and need a rental.

You can just lie and say you were in an accident and need a rental, but it won't be 9.99 anymore.

Jokerang23 karma

Favorite work story to tell friends and family?

ExERAC76 karma

One time I was going on a pick up in the palisades (if you don't know where the palisades are, they're by Malibu and the PCH/Santa Monica) and this black guy on a motorcycle knocks on my window while I'm at an intersection. He asks me where I'm going, and thinking he's lost, I tell him that I'm headed for the Palisades. He asks me what I'm doing there and I tell him I'm going to pick someone up.

Him- A friend? Me - No, a client. Him - Do you want to pull over and give me a blow-job?

Light at intersection turns green. I roll my window up, shake my head no, and continue driving.

He follows my car (I'm in an SUV, so I don't feel in danger, but still weirded out that this is happening) and at the next light he shouts through my window to tell me he really wants me to blow him.

I can't tell if this is a joke or not, but I don't turn to him and keep driving. I make a lot of random left and right turns to lose him, and eventually he loses interest and lets me go.

I don't know what I would have done if I was in my personal car, but thank god it was a rental and I didn't give a shit.

JuneCleaver2566 karma

Was this the only time someone almost raped you? Bonus: Was he hot?

ExERAC19 karma

Interesting way to phrase it, but good way of putting things into perspective. No, it wasn't the only time. I was one of only a few females who worked at the branch. Many customers would come in and as we were showing them cars, they would ask us out or ask us for our numbers. The guys who scared me most were the guys we had to pick up or drop back off.

Luckily, no customers ever tried to do anything while I worked for ERAC.

My co-workers, though, were a different story. At one point or another, just about every guy I worked with either tried to kiss me or asked me if I was willing to hook up with him. I guess when you spend enough hours with the same people they start to look different in your eyes.

RE: Your bonus question - I actually couldn't really tell what he looked like behind his motorcycle helmet, but let's say no so I don't have any regrets for not pulling over, haha.

stirfried20 karma

What's the best way to get an upgrade?

ExERAC34 karma

Honestly, scout the lot before you go in or call in before and see what types of cars they have. Tell them you're not sure what you're looking for yet and want to know what options you have before going in.

If you say you want an economy car and there's only a Benz in the lot, they might just rent it to you for the e-car for the sake of getting you out faster.

Just so you know - sometimes you think you're getting an upgrade and you're not. I've lied to customers and "upgraded" them into a lower car before. The goal is to sell you up and get you to pay more than what you initially walked in hoping to get. If I can't sell you the "protection", you best believe I'm going to get you to pay me more money in another way.

Funnel_cake18 karma

How can I get the cheapest quote and do I really need to buy the insurance/waiver?

ExERAC34 karma

There's a 9.99 weekend special that you can find anywhere online.

To get the cheapest quote, check multiple rental companies and pit them against one another. Enterprise's goal is to get you to make a reservation on the phone, and they'll just about anything to get you to say yes.

No need to buy the insurance waiver. They different types that they offer you:

Damage waiver means that if anything happens to the car, you won't have to pay for it; even if you drive off a cliff. If anything happens to the car, you walk away.

Med Pay - Like your insurance, they pay for any physical damage to you or anyone in the car if you get into an accident.

Collision - If you get into an accident, this part pays for the other party if you are at fault. If you drive into a pole, they'll pay the city, if you drive into another car, they'll pay the other car, etc.

Usually your insurance covers this. Sometimes your credit card does too. Always read the fine print and never listen to what the employee is telling you. They don't have your insurance policy so they don't know.

They also like to sell things in packages, so they'll pair up the damage waiver with the medical and call is the "basic package", or make you sign for everything and call it the "full package".

DebDecatur00717 karma

Do you feel remorse for all the wrong shit you did?

ExERAC47 karma

Like I said in a prior post, I wasn't some delinquent who went around trying to fuck shit up.

I don't regret anything I've done, though. Enterprise paid me $11 an hour and told me to expect overtime, all the while working me 65-70 hours a week. They told me that I was learning how to run a business, but with that, they meant washing cars and getting harassed by other co-workers. They also meant pitting all the employees up against one another to make sales numbers while telling you that you were a manager. Apparently everyone in the company started out as a manager or had "manager" in their title somewhere.

mpo198617 karma

fuck that, tell us how you got drunk on the job and did questionable things on company time?

ExERAC16 karma

Drunk on the job: Our bosses always told us never to tell anyone, but we'd go to get drinks during lunch or sneak out in shifts to grab a beer at some of the bars nearby but clock it in as a "pickup" or a "take back" (drop off).

When the storefront officially closed at 6pm every night, the manager/ assistant manager would walk across the street to the 7-Eleven and buy us 2 or 3 12-packs and we'd finish them before we went home.

There was actually an investigation done while I was still working there and we were all written up for drinking on the job, but it was a light hand slap and nothing really happened.

Questionable things would including taking the company gas card and filling up our personal cars, or giving away rentals essentially for free. Some employees would take the rentals that weren't rented at the end of the day and drive them home or out for the night without adding miles to their own car.

Other times they would take a car for a holiday when we were closed and do road trips with them because the office would be closed anyway.

Lots of shady shit happened while we were there: Office incest, management/employee incest, car accidents that we would write off to customers who had no idea we were putting accidents against their name... even having the guys who washed the rentals wash personal cars without paying them to do it.

jmah2411 karma

Wait.....Office incest? Story?

ExERAC24 karma

Let's just say I didn't know what an Eiffel Tower was until I saw it in person as I was leaving the office one day.

jtraegs2 karma

When I was working at ERAC, the head manager of the state/region was banging the head of HR in the state/region. Both were married. Everyone in the company knew, but no one said anything to the spouses.

Also, there would routinely be company drinking parties. I know of multiple branch managers that have gotten DUIs from driving home from these parties.

ExERAC2 karma

Yup. Company drinking parties once a month. Those were my favorite parts about working at ERAC.

Tuathals14 karma

What was the weirdest customer you had?

ExERAC48 karma

We've had questionable people come in, but I can't pinpoint the weirdest customer. A lot of the people who came in were fresh from car accidents, and one guy was bleeding in the head when he came in. We told him to go to the hospital, but he told us he had to go to work. I remember writing him up, and he pulled a piece of glass from his forehead. Scared the shit out of me, but he was functioning just fine. I never saw him return the car, but that doesn't mean he didn't.

theleveewasbri11 karma

What is the weirdest thing someone has ever left in a rental car? The most valuable thing?

ExERAC44 karma

We had to repo cars a few times - some customers would take on cars for a really long time. There was this one lady that was in a car for 7 months, but after the 5th month she stopped paying and stopped returning our phone calls.

It became a huge issue and eventually our branch manager and assistant managers would take turn stalking her and trying to find out where she was.

When they finally tracked the car down at her workplace, they brought it back to the branch. The car itself wasn't damaged, but oh my god. The lady had moved into the car. Everything she owned was in trash bags and stuffed into the car. It was a hoarder's dream.

We were required to inventory everything that had in the car, from pay stubs to Gucci glasses. She had $500+ in coins just littered in the passenger seat and in the backseat. Half of her stuff was high end stuff she could have sold to pay for the car rental.

We held onto her stuff for 2 weeks in our back office, and the surprising thing is that she came back to claim her stuff! They made her pay for the rest of her rental before releasing her stuff back to her, but I can only imagine the way she felt when we walked out of her office and didn't see her car in the lot. And then waiting 2 weeks before claiming her stuff. If she was living in her car, where did she stay? How did she know we had her stuff?

It's been a few years, but I still have questions, haha.

HouseOfTheRisingFuck10 karma

Should I get a loyalty card with enterprise? What deals can you get with it?

ExERAC21 karma

No, it's a waste of time. You think you're getting something out of it, but unless you're a corporate member, you won't get any special treatment with it.

carbonfe3 karma

I would disagree with the waste of time statement. I grant you the perks with Enterprise aren't all that great but having my info stored on my Enterprise account greatly increases the speed that I get checked in. I rent from Enterprise about once a month in slc and every time the counter is mobbed.

ExERAC3 karma

If you rent consistently (i.e., at least once a year), your information is stored in the system anyway. It doesn't matter if you are a loyalty member or not.

Kissameee9 karma

What was your ESQI ratings?

ExERAC2 karma

Good Ol' ESQI. We weren't bad, but we weren't good. We had a lot of regulars who would come in and tell us that they gave us "Completely Satisfied" as a rating, but I remember that we would always have to use "Were you completely satisfied with your rental?" whenever a customer returned a car so that we could get that phrase into their heads before they got the customer service phone call.

mandogjr8 karma

Most controversial thing you have ever done during work time?

ExERAC39 karma

I wasn't the best employee, but I definitely wasn't the worst. I have lots of stories about the co-workers that I had - people who would go into the 15-passenger vans and have sex while we were showing people cars around them. No one had any idea except the people working in the branch.

I'm not really much of a rule breaker, but I have filled my car up (and my friends' cars if they wanted to meet me at the gas station) on the company dime a few times, and there were a few occasions where I'd go for a "take back", go home, make myself a meal, watch some TV or nap, and then head back and say there was traffic.

Sycamoresonfire458 karma

What's the weirdest thing you ever found inside a returned rental?

ExERAC28 karma

I found a loaded gun once.

We worked a lot with the local PD and they would rent cars to do undercover work. They always asked for American cars that were grey or black - nothing bright, nothing that would stick out, and nothing small or slow.

Surprisingly, when we called the station to let them know they were missing a gun, no one came to pick it up for nearly a week. Is that normal?

StarbuckPirate8 karma

Have you ever taken a car off the lot, driven it recklessly and fucked it all up, then snuck it back onto the lot and blamed it on a customer?

ExERAC22 karma

I personally haven't done this, but I was working when it did happen to one of my co-workers. He wasn't the brightest, but I wouldn't say that Enterprise hires the brightest people.

He was supposed to drop off a Camaro and ended up pressing the gas instead of the brake. Drove through a wooden fence and hit a lady. Who happened to be a celebrity. Since he was in a company car and Enterprise has their own insurance, the fault would never show up on his driving record, and Enterprise paid off everyone involved.

While we all drove recklessly (NEVER BUY AN ENTERPRISE USED CAR), no one ever died (thankfully). But yes - we've done stupid things in cars and have blamed it on customers.

StringerBell348 karma

Does the management training program actually provide good experience? Do people leave the program and move on to have solid careers or is it just a ploy to get college grads to work for them?

ExERAC20 karma

I have many qualms about working for Enterprise, but I don't regret working for them. I know just about everything there is to know about cars (Rental hack: turn on the car (don't start the engine) before filling up the gas so you know exactly when to stop and never over-pay for gas you won't be using.) and can probably identify one just by looking at it. I know how to rent a car (the under-25 rule almost never applies), and I know what to look for when it comes to cars.

I lucked out and ended up at a very good company after I left. Most of the people that I worked with either stayed (about 25% of the people at the branch I was at), went back to school to further their education, or moved on to companies that were in no way related to ERAC or its business principles (marketing, etc. vs. sales).

ERAC targets college grads - everyone starts at the bottom - you can't go into the company at a level higher than management trainee, and you can't work for the company without a college degree, so they rope you in by making you think that you are better than anyone else who doesn't have a degree, and then you work and quickly realize that your degree was just a piece of paper all along.

buttresidue4 karma

Can you please elaborate on this under 25 rule never applying? This would be very helpful as a young person.

ExERAC2 karma

Just that we never really checked for age unless it came up in some way. The company doesn't require you to charge for underaged people, and more often than not you can talk your way out of it.

savethetransithotel2 karma

and I know what to look for when it comes to cars

Mind sharing?

ExERAC3 karma

Sometimes if we know a car will be seen as damaged, but don't want to take the hit as a branch, we'll rent the car out and wait for a customer to take the insurance before reporting it.

ALWAYS walk around the car and inspect it before you rent it. Point out any damage, and if the associate doesn't write it down, make him. What one person defines as damage to the car, another can easily ignore, but it's the guy who thinks it's damage that will do you the most harm.

Now they have these little ruler things that tell you what constitutes as damage, but even then - better safe than sorry. At least you have that "damage" in writing.

CougarAries7 karma

[deleted]

ExERAC6 karma

You are probably one of the favorites, aren't you?

I hope they get the beer. More often than not, the car preps would take what was in the car.

I would start a corporate account so that you get a better rate for yourself. If you rent enough, they'll start to upgrade you without you asking.

If you want to make it easier on the guys, I would write the mileage that you returned the car at and the gas level down so that they don't have to check it immediately and can close you out on the spot. If they know you and trust you, it'll save them a lot of time. It also helps if you are a repeat customer and you DO get into an accident - sometimes they'll cover for you and write it off on the next guy that gets the rental.

ninjawasp7 karma

How strict were you when looking for dents and scratches on returned cars? Any tips on what a customer should do if they get scratched/dented?

ExERAC3 karma

It depends on how good of a customer they were. For the regulars, we'd let it go and rent it to the next person, then write it up on the other person's damage waiver if they signed up for it.

If your car is scratched or dented: All scratches under 6 inches that aren't very deep will be ignored, and all dents less than 2 inches wide will be ignored.

If the car is scratched or dented and you know you'll be fucked for it, there isn't really anything you can do except wait for them to find it (sometimes they won't) (maybe try returning the car after the sun sets) and then adamantly claim that it wasn't you and that you didn't do it, etc.

fightins267 karma

Couldn't pass the grill?

ExERAC5 karma

Hah! I actually put in my two weeks notice 2 days before I was supposed to grill and they gave up on me. My AM actually came to the branch and said that if I brought a "toxic" vibe to the branch, that they would have to terminate my employment that day.

I guess he was afraid I was going to go back and tell everyone it wasn't worth it. oops. :)

I_Key_Cars3 karma

Do rental car workers expect a tip?

ExERAC2 karma

No, but it's nice. I can guarantee you I remember every person who has given me a tip while I was with the company. Technically we weren't allowed to take tips, though.

twopntfivo3 karma

Now I work at a automotive dealership and when a customer gets a rental car from enterprise, enterprise usually comes and delivers a car and picks another up.. The question is, do you guys only hire beautiful women? We never had any females over that were bad looking. Automotive so the whole place shuts down when a good looking woman comes in.

ExERAC2 karma

Hah! TBH I hated going on pick ups because there was a chance that the person I picked up didn't want the "protection plan", which would hurt my sales numbers, so I'd always stay as close to the branch as possible in order to rack up sales. I'd volunteer to swap cars out because when you come back, you're almost a saint; especially if the lot is running low on cars.

r08shaw2 karma

Give us a few celeb names you've delivered cars too. What cars did they get?

ExERAC2 karma

Justin Timberlake. Kobe. Gwyneth Paltrow. Always big SUVs - Cadillac Escalades or Lincoln Navigators.

svclax2 karma

Hey I was an ERAC employee as well, 2 wonderful years... which type of conversations did you prefer.... "This Impala does not drive like my BMW!!!" or "The car didn't get damaged, why should I still have to pay for the insurance??"

I'm sure there are more and I could go on for days with the shit the employees get at Enterprise but i'll leave you with that.

ExERAC3 karma

My favorite was always, "I drive a Prius - I expected a Prius!"

If your insurance only covers you for a Corolla, you're getting a Corolla.

DJ81811 karma

Is there a particular time of year that fleets are refreshed and new cars are rolled in? In other words, is there any time of year where I'm more likely to get a new car as a rental? I'd love to rent a car that actually looks, feels and smells new for once.

Also, at what point does Enterprise bother to fix cosmetic damage to a car (bumper scrapes, door dings, scratches, road rash)? Does it depend on the value of the car (e.g., a C Class would get fixed for some stuff while a Corolla wouldn't)?

ExERAC2 karma

New cars come in all the time. Our Branch was near the VA, where all new cars were brought in for the area, so we'd go and pick them up all the time. If you're genuinely interested in trying a new car, I would just call them and ask them to tell you when new cars roll in. Promise that you'll buy the "basic package" and they'll set aside a nice car for you. Everyone in the branch loves someone they can sell "dub" (damage waiver) to.

HeadOfSlytherin1 karma

What do you think makes Enterprise different/better than other rental car companies? Personally, I rent a car about twice a month for work, and I always rent with Enterprise, the customer service is so much better.

ExERAC2 karma

ERAC Prides itself in customer service. The manager is concerned with your customer service score and the employees are worried about their sales scores. The customer is always right. If you have a bad experience or a good experience, find out what the employee's name is, and if you mention it in the customer satisfaction phone call you get, you can either get them fired or praised.

mikevad1 karma

There's a surcharge/fee for picking up a rental at one location and dropping it off at a different location. Is there any way to avoid that fee or is it set in stone?

ExERAC2 karma

You can definitely avoid it - Just talk to a rep. Tell them you'll take the shittiest car or something, like a car that says it needs an oil change. The branch needs to see it as a benefit and not as losing a car to another branch.

burritoconjuror-7 karma

So your proof is a business card that has the names covered? How do we know you're not just some schmo that got a card while renting a car and decided to do a bullshit AMA. I'm not saying that this is the case; I'm merely questioning the validity of what is considered proof.

ExERAC8 karma

I mean, as I said before - I haven't worked for the company in a few years. We didn't have anything: no name tags (in fact, sometimes, we were encouraged to use fake names if we knew we were going to have problem customers), no uniform, etc. There really is no way I can prove it outside of the card. I don't even have pay stubs because that was all done electronically. I can tell you who our biggest customers were at that branch, and which cars I'll never drive, if that makes a difference.

abcdefghijklmnopq339-11 karma

Hi, my name is Lloyd Turner. What is your favorite part of the job?

ExERAC11 karma

Based on your history of posts, you go by a lot of different names, and apparently you only write in AMAs. Are you genuinely interested or do you just like trolling?

Since you asked a valid question, I'll respond.

I don't ever regret working for Enterprise because I learned a lot. Favorite part was probably meeting all of the celebrities. I've delivered cars to Justin Timberlake, Gwyneth Paltrow, and a few other lower level celebrities. Marketing was the coolest part. I guess the other cool part was being able to drive new cars with 0 mileage. I've driven just about every type of car and have taken the plastic off cars, which I can say most people probably haven't seen or ever been exposed to, so there's that.