It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of renting a Hyundai Accent, yet not that Hyundai Accent ... Obviously, it wasn't the best of times for Aurelie Joseph -- she was in a rental Hyundai Accent after all -- but it was her birthday and she rented a car from the Downtown Orlando Enterprise location. However, times were good enough until she was pulled over for "speeding" in the State of Georgia, detained at gunpoint after the rental car came back stolen and eventually arrested for other infractions.
Shinedown's lyrics are metaphorical; Enterprise's errors helped make the concept a reality.
How Can a Rented Car Come Back as Stolen?
That's an exceptionally good question. As multiple sources report, the Downtown Orlando Enterprise received a call to come pick up their gray Hyundai Accent at the local Salvation Army. The staff of Enterprise embarked upon a series of grievous errors upon arrival at the Salvation Army, where there were two gray Hyundai Accents owned by Enterprise in the parking lot. Enterprise retrieved the wrong rental car, which leads to a series of questions easily answered by our Magic 8-ball.
Question: Did the staff look at the license plate of the recovered car?
Magic 8-ball: My sources say no.
Question: Did the staff check the VIN of the recovered car?
Answer: Very doubtful.
Question: Wouldn't the staff realize that the need to rekey a car from scratch meant something was wrong with the vehicle identified?
Answer: Don't count on it.
Question: If I came out of the Salvation Army and my rental car was gone, would I call the police?
Answer: Without a doubt.
So Enterprise's crack recovery team came back with the wrong car and the person who rented the car that disappeared (retrieved by Enterprise) reported the second vehicle as stolen. The car Enterprise was told to pick up? Still at the Salvation Army, as Enterprise was being slow on the uptake.
Into this web of ineptitude steps Ms. Joseph, who rents the car retrieved from the Salvation Army (after it's rekeyed, of course). She even gets a call from Enterprise that there's something wrong with the rental, comes back into the shop, was told that the car was marked as stolen, but is allowed to leave again with the same car. Yes, the staff committed a set of fantastic errors, got an alert that a car they had rented was reported stolen, and still assumed all was well.
And all was relatively well until Ms. Joseph was pulled over for "speeding" (and other violations) and arrested at gunpoint, when the suspected "stolen" vehicle was an Enterprise rental the Enterprise staff had "stolen" from another customer. And the detainment at gunpoint is the second recent incident made much worse by Enterprise's "capabilities" in Florida; a pregnant woman was arrested (and had her license suspended) in December after being issued a car with expired plates.
"We are very sorry about what happened to Ms. Joseph. The odds of two of our cars (exact make, model and color) being parked in front of the same location at the same time have to be minuscule. We had hoped that we had rectified the situation with Ms. Joseph, but it now sounds like we did not. Clearly we have not lived up to our customer service expectations with Ms. Joseph. We are going through our normal procedures to make sure this unlikely event never happens again."
Ms. Joseph is suing Enterprise for the "stolen" component leading to guns drawn on the side of the highway (after all, it's 2018). She's not suing the Perry (Georgia) Police Department (or any other entity) and she wasn't arrested for the stolen vehicle!
Repeat -- The "Stolen" Vehicle had Nothing to Do with Her Arrest!
While the news articles we cited focused on "speeding", online databases suggest she was arrested for speeding, following too closely, and reckless driving. We've reached out to the Chief of Police in Perry for verification as Houston County, Georgia removes arrest records after 30 days. Ms. Joseph's story made the news ... 33 days after the arrest! Coincidence? Probably not ...
Ms. Joseph has likely already earned a permanent berth on the Enterprise (plus subsidiaries Alamo and National) Do Not Rent list due to her driving habits! So although Enterprise made a series of horrendous errors, we're not willing to say that Ms. Joseph is exactly blameless. In fact, driving like a reasonable individual would have avoided the entire police interaction!