Citi, Enterprise – Is crappy service contageous?

I wrote about companies with crappy service before. American Airlines, Home Depot , Facebook – these are some of my recent experiences. Today I’m writing about two more companies with crappy service: Enterprise car rental, and Citi credit cards.


My recent experience was in Arizona. I usually rent with National, they have a very good service, give me discounts and free rental days, and overall deliver a very good quality product for my money. But, they’re not cheap. I wanted to save a bit this time, and since Enterprised teamed up with National to provide service to the Emerald Club members – I decided to give it a  try.

The problems started showing up pretty quickly:

1. Unlike National, you cannot change (or even see) your reservation with Enterprise online, you have to call them. At least you can find the reservation number on your Emerald Club account page, but that’s about it.

2. They do not provide upgrades to Emerald Club members (National do).

But with the above problems I wouldn’t be upset. I usually don’t take upgrades anyway, and didn’t mind calling to cancel one of my reservations (although its a bit uncomfortable).

3. At the rental facility they give out damaged cars. In Phoenix, it seems like windshield chipping is a problem. The agent said specifically that they check for chips in the windshield and will charge me if they find any. But, once I started driving the car, I noticed that the windshield was already chipped. Had I missed that – they would undoubtedly charge me for the damage I didn’t cause.

Moreover, once I returned to change the car, I noticed that the replacement car had the same problem as well. Again, only after driving out of the facility I could see the damage, because its too dark inside to see. One might think that they’re using this to charge “damage” fees from unsuspecting customers over and over again, for the very same damage. I hope that’s not the case, but I decided not to try and find out. I returned the replacement car as well. With the third car, I wouldn’t leave the facility until they marked on the rental document that it had windshield damage. I suggest any Enterprise renter to inspect their cars very thoroughly.

This whole ordeal delayed me by more than half an hour.

4. They overcharge. Plain and simple, the charge on the receipt doesn’t match the charge on the credit card. The difference is very small (13 cents, in my case). But, they have hundreds of thousands of clients. Imaging cramming 13 cents from a hundred thousand people – thousands of dollars of pure profit. And many won’t even notice. Remember Verizon? This, for me, is the red line. No more business with Enterprise.


I applied for the CitiBusiness MasterCard World as a backup for my AmEx (which I have never had any issues with, and they have awesome service). The reasoning was that some merchants won’t accept AmEx (because it is expensive for merchants), so I need a Visa or Mastercard as a backup. I knew that Citi’s service is not the best there is, but I haven’t though it would be that bad…

1. Application was submitted online some time beginning of December. I have experience with online applications, and have excellent credit. As with Amex and Chase before, I expected either instant or very quick (within a day or two) decision. I didn’t get any response for more than a week.

2. Citi had some trouble verifying my information. Understandable. I called them and asked them what they need, the representative gave me a list of options and said that any one of those would be sufficient. I sent a document from the list. Waiting another week. Starting getting upset.

3. More than two weeks after the application, they still can’t verify my information. Apparently the document I sent wasn’t what they needed. But I was told to send it! “Can’t help you with that, sir, we need something else”. Got upset. Another mistake (other than applying to begin with) was not to cancel the application at this point.

4. Another two weeks past and they finally approved the application, with a nice credit line. Thanks. Yet, my troubles are not over yet.

5. When the card has finally arrived, more than a month after the application, I wanted to log in to my on-line account I requested to have set up with the application. I wasn’t able to do that. After talking to 5 or 6 customer service and tech support representative I was told to “create a new on-line account”. Why? Don’t know.

6. After using the password recovery feature, and a couple of hours of frustration, I was able to log in, just to find many features disabled because “a new card has been ordered, if you received it call …”. I just called, and activated, and talked to several clueless representatives. Why is that note still there? Don’t know.

Bottom line – I’m likely to keep this card in the drawer (just because I don’t want to talk to their representatives again to cancel it), and get a Chase Ink instead.

Had I read this before applying – would probably skip Citi to begin with.

Your Little Advisor.

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