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AK Rental Cars and Insurance-- Quick Question

AK Rental Cars and Insurance-- Quick Question

Old Aug 20, 12, 7:35 am
  #1  
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AK Rental Cars and Insurance-- Quick Question

I just wanted to ask about something that happened when I picked up my rental car in Anchorage as I assume it might be useful for other readers, regardless of which direction the advice takes.

I rented from Enterprise, and as I don’t have a car (and so don’t have primary insurance), I bought special rental car insurance which acts as primary (as far as I know this is only available to UK residents, not US residents, unfortunately). We read the policy very carefully and it said it covered everywhere in North America, including liability and all normal theft and damage.

Rental agent gave me a big song and dance about how Alaska is “different from the rest of the States” and my policy wouldn’t work “because Alaska is a no-fault state” and therefore if I had no deductible (which was the case with this policy) they “would have nothing to go after and would have to sue me for the entire cost of the damage/theft.” She gave me the very hard sell on paying for their additional insurance.

I declined and re-read my policy document but didn’t see any exclusions for AK, and also seemed to find that AK isn’t in fact a no-fault state. So was she just trying to scam me? I searched for all sorts of variations about this and haven't found anything else, so was genuinely curious.
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Old Aug 20, 12, 7:46 am
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AK Rental Cars and Insurance-- Quick Question

My experience has been that Enterprise does the hardest sell by far of any of the major car companies. I suspect it's built into their business model and employee training.

They often make a big deal about surveying the car before you leave, etc.... And may have slightly different insurance rules than the other majors.

I tend to shy away from them for this reason, though with consolidation these differences may be less than before.

The hard sell is a turnoff no matter where you encounter it. Sorry you had a bad experience - and yes, it does sound like bit of a scam.
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Old Aug 20, 12, 8:34 am
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Thanks for that feedback, Ffbloom. I haven't rented anything for probably a year and didn't have any experience with Enterprise so that's good to know. I always make a big deal of videoing the car when I pick up and drop off (hoping they note on my file that I'll be a pain in the rear end if they try it on), and did that this time.

It just bothered me that it went beyond the hard sell and into legal advice that seemed to be to actually be a lie, which I think is pretty appalling. To claim that insurance I purchased especially for the situation wouldn't work, without even looking at the policy document, is just so shady.
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Old Aug 20, 12, 9:10 am
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fti
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I have used Enterprise on airport and at E Intl Airport locations and neither has given me a hard sell. But I know what other coverage I have and am polite but persistent.

Good for you for stsnding your ground. The rental agents apparently get a huge commission for upsells and that prompts them to be unethical sometimes.
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Old Aug 26, 12, 9:59 pm
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Originally Posted by lettezilla View Post
Rental agent gave me a big song and dance about how Alaska is “different from the rest of the States” and my policy wouldn’t work “because Alaska is a no-fault state” and therefore if I had no deductible (which was the case with this policy) they “would have nothing to go after and would have to sue me for the entire cost of the damage/theft.” She gave me the very hard sell on paying for their additional insurance.

I declined and re-read my policy document but didn’t see any exclusions for AK, and also seemed to find that AK isn’t in fact a no-fault state. So was she just trying to scam me? I searched for all sorts of variations about this and haven't found anything else, so was genuinely curious.
Ugh, this frustrates me. Before I left the state of Alaska, I thought I had finally done a good job of educating the Enterprise staff that Alaska is NOT a no-fault state. (One absolutely couldn't believe me when I showed him the law, and he almost teared up as he realized he'd been unintentionally misleading customers for the previous several months.)

The downside with Enterprise is that they move their staff around so much that there is no such thing as institutional knowledge. So, it appears that my efforts were in vain, and a new crop of temp workers brought up from Seattle for the summer got wind of the rumor that Alaska is a no-fault state and are running with it. It's sad, actually.

Alaska is NOT a no-fault state and you did everything you needed to perfectly.

Originally Posted by fti View Post
I have used Enterprise on airport and at E Intl Airport locations and neither has given me a hard sell. But I know what other coverage I have and am polite but persistent.

Good for you for stsnding your ground. The rental agents apparently get a huge commission for upsells and that prompts them to be unethical sometimes.
It's a different branch manager each year you come up. Remember what I said about no institutional knowledge. Some managers are better than others about managing the sales tactics used by their employees.

Also, Enterprise sales agents do not make huge commissions (unlike at most other rental agencies). The entry-level Management Trainees and second-level Management Assistants are entered into a contest each month where they can win a small amount ($100 cash and maybe dinner at a nice restaurant with their manager) but nothing further--except the carrot dangled in front of them, which is that they are told that their success at climbing the career ladder is closely tied to their sales performance numbers. The higher-level Assistant Managers and the top dog Branch Manager do receive a bonus based on overall profitability of the branch, and while they are incentivized to maximize sales to help their profits appear strong, they are also penalized if customer service scores drop too low (I believe they lose their entire bonus if their satisfaction quotient drops below 85%, which can leave them at near poverty-level wages).

For comparison purposes, a good rental agent at a competing company can make a solid $10-12 per hour plus a monthly sales bonus of $5000 or more (I've seen some great agents push upwards of $7-8,000 per month in sales bonus on top of base wage).
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