Connect with us

Business

Enterprise charges customer more than $3,300 for damage incurred after truck returned – CBC.ca

Published

 on


Samuel Wardlaw expected to pay $200 for his truck rental. Instead, Enterprise Rent-A-Car added more than $3,300 to his bill — for damage that occurred after he dropped it off.

He’d only used the truck for five hours, to move some belongings to his new apartment.

But a week later, an unexpected email from the rental giant said he was responsible for damage that occurred on the Enterprise lot after hours.

  • Have a question or something to say? CBC News is live in the comments now.

The email didn’t explain what had happened or why he was responsible — but it struck fear in Wardlaw, 29, a delivery driver for a lumber company.

“I was anxious about what the price was going to be,” he said. “So to see over $3,300 in damage? I was totally shocked.”

Enterprise said later that, after Wardlaw parked the truck and put the keys in a secure drop box, as instructed by an employee, someone stole its catalytic converter, a part of the exhaust system that contains valuable metals.

Enterprise pointed to a clause on page 7 of its rental contract that says drivers who drop off a vehicle after hours are responsible for any damage or theft until it’s checked in by an employee.

“It’s their truck, their lot, their catalytic converter. Everything about it is within Enterprise’s control,” said Wardlaw. “For them to say it’s my liability is pretty ridiculous.”

After Go Public got involved, Enterprise said in an email it had “decided not to pursue the claim.” 

The company did not explain why and said no one was available for an interview.

Go Public has checked the terms and conditions for the three major companies that account for an estimated 95 per cent of all car rentals in Canada: Enterprise (which owns National and Alamo), Avis (which owns Budget) and Hertz (which owns Dollar and Thrifty).

All the contracts contain similar clauses, claiming drivers are responsible for any damage or theft from the time they drop off a vehicle until it is checked back in.

An employee at this Enterprise location in north Toronto told Wardlaw he could drop off a truck after hours. Wardlaw says there was no mention that he’d be responsible for the truck until it got checked back in almost two days later. (Samantha Nar/CBC)

A consumer advocate and lawyer says Enterprise and other car rental giants give the impression there’s no downside to dropping off a vehicle after hours.

“We’ve all been there — the car company says, ‘No problem, stick the keys through the slot in the door,'” said Jennifer Marston, who works with the free legal clinic Pro Bono Ontario.

“But how many times do they say to you, ‘If anything happens when the car is parked on the lot, you’re responsible’? That’s never happened to me.”

‘Just put the keys through the drop off slot’

Wardlaw says when he arrived to pick up the truck, there was little discussion about the terms and conditions in the 30-page (English and French) contract.

“They told me that since they were going to be closed at 12 o’clock that day and I would be returning at around 1 p.m., to just put the keys through the drop off slot when I returned the vehicle,” he said.

Marston says big car rental outfits can’t hide behind lengthy contracts they know most people won’t read and may not understand when they contain ambiguous or unusual terms.

The rental contracts for Canada’s three biggest vehicle rental companies all contain similar clauses; claiming drivers are responsible for any damage or theft from the time they drop off a vehicle until it is checked back in. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)

“They wrote it. They had the opportunity to put more effort into making it clear and they didn’t,” she said. 

She says legal precedent exists due to an Ontario case which found Tilden Rent-A-Car was required to bring unexpected terms to the attention of the consumer if it wants them to be enforceable. 

“When there’s an onerous term in the contract, a heavy term that puts a big burden on someone, if it’s buried in the fine print, then the company in a consumer transaction like this has the responsibility to bring that to the consumer’s attention,” said Marston.

The companies also have to meet a standard of proof when holding customers responsible for damage, said Marston.

When Enterprise told Wardlaw a thief had stolen that catalytic converter, it sent photographs of the damage, but they weren’t time-stamped. 

“We don’t know when those photos were taken,” said Marston.

Lawyer Jennifer Marston of Pro Bono Ontario says car rental companies are required to point out unexpected clauses in the fine print to their customers. (Samantha Nar/CBC)

“Maybe they were taken a week later. The burden is on the company to prove that.”

She says people caught in a dispute need to know one thing — the rental company isn’t the judge.

“They will send you a letter saying you’ve caused this damage, you owe this amount of money. But they’re actually not the ones who get to decide that,” said Marston.

“That’s just their position as one of the parties to a legal claim. And you have the opportunity to respond,” she said, with the understanding that the matter might end with a collection agency or small claims court. 

Go Public has learned that the same Enterprise location in north Toronto had half a dozen catalytic converters worth $24,000 stolen from its trucks shortly after Wardlaw’s incident. 

  • Read stats about the growing problem of catalytic converter thefts

The company declined to say what it is doing to prevent further thefts and damage. 

Marston says the companies should ensure their vehicles are being stored under safe conditions.

“The rental company could secure the perimeter. They could install security cameras. They can install anti-theft devices on vehicles,” she said.

“These options aren’t available to the consumers, so why should the consumer bear the loss?”

‘This is absolute BS’

Stuti Narula of Toronto says an Enterprise employee also told her to drop off the keys when she returned a car after hours, to a location in the city’s north end last December.

The next day, an Enterprise employee called to say she was responsible for a scratch on its passenger door — and owed $1,000.

Narula says the car was in perfect condition when she returned it, but — as with Wardlaw — an employee said she was liable for any damages incurred before it was checked back in and that the matter would be sent to a collection agency if she didn’t pay up.

“This is absolute BS,” said Narula. “If I have to be held liable for any damages to the car, I might as well keep it in my careful custody until the office opens the next day.”

She says the drop-off location had closed-circuit cameras, but she was told she couldn’t see footage.

WATCH | Enterprise charges customer more than $3K for damages incurred after truck returned:

Man charged $3,300 for damage after rental truck returned | Go Public

13 hours ago

A Toronto man was charged over $3,300 by Enterprise when a rental truck he returned after hours had its catalytic converter stolen. CBC’s Go Public investigated the clause in most rental contracts that makes the renter responsible when a vehicle is returned after hours. 2:10

Narula also says she was told the damage was discovered after an employee drove the car to a car wash — and she questioned whether that’s when the damage occurred.

“I’m entitled to know what investigation Enterprise carried out at its end before slamming the damage cost on me,” Narula wrote in an email to the car rental giant.

After fighting Enterprise for several months, Narula reluctantly asked her car insurance company to submit a payment, but she’s sworn off ever renting from Enterprise again.

Enterprise wrote in an email to Go Public that allowing customers to return vehicles after hours is a “convenience” and that “it is important to understand that the rental transaction is not complete until the vehicle has been inspected.”

Wardlaw says he’s relieved he’s no longer expected to pay his damage bill, but says Enterprise has lost him as a customer, too.

“Basically, from the moment I called them, they were arguing with me. I didn’t feel that there was any interest in resolution — other than to have me pay the full amount.”


Protect yourself ‘after hours’

  • Ideally, return your vehicle during operating hours and have an agent check it over and sign off on rental.
  • If you must drop off the vehicle after hours, note whether there are security cameras on the lot and try to park within view.
  • Set your smartphone to add a date and time stamp to photos and take pictures of the sides, front, back and roof of vehicle and — if possible — the underside, wheel wells, interior and trunk.
  • Take a photo of the mileage on the odometer.
  • Hold onto photos for at least six months.

Submit your story ideas

Go Public is an investigative news segment on CBC-TV, radio and the web.

We tell your stories, shed light on wrongdoing and hold the powers that be accountable.

If you have a story in the public interest, or if you’re an insider with information, contact GoPublic@cbc.ca with your name, contact information and a brief summary. All emails are confidential until you decide to Go Public.

Follow @CBCGoPublic on Twitter.

Read more stories by Go Public.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

TD raising dividend, plans to buy back up to 50 million shares – BNN

Published

 on


Columnist image

TD Bank Group kept pace with its peers in dishing out rewards to its shareholders on Thursday.

The bank announced it will raise its quarterly dividend 13 per cent to $0.89 per share, effective Jan. 31. It also said it’s seeking regulatory approval to repurchase up to 50 million of its shares. 

All five of the big Canadian lenders that have reported this week announced similar moves after the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions recently ended its ban on buybacks and dividend hikes. Bank of Montreal, the last of the Big Six banks to report earnings, will announce its results on Friday. 

TD’s full-year profit climbed to $14.3 billion compared to $11.9 billion in 2020, the bank also announced on Thursday. In the fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Oct. 31, net income fell to $3.8 billion from $5.1 billion a year earlier when it got a $1.4-billion lift from the sale of its stake in TD Ameritrade. 

On an adjusted basis, TD earned $2.09 per share in the most recent quarter. Analysts, on average, were expecting $1.96.

TD’s American unit was the primary driver in the fiscal fourth quarter, as the division’s net income surged 66 per cent year-over-year to US$1.09 billion. Stripping out an investment in Charles Schwab, profit for the core U.S. retail banking operations soared 123 per cent to US$897 million as revenue climbed and US$62 million was freed up after previously being set aside for loans that could go bad. 

In Canada, TD’s retail banking division saw profit rise 19 per cent year-over-year to $2.14 billion. Similar to the U.S., revenue rose year-over-year and credit quality improved. However, those factors were partially offset by an eight per cent rise in expenses — which TD said was due to higher variable compensation and investments in technology. 

Meanwhile, the bank’s wholesale division — which comprises activities like capital markets and investment banking — was a drag on profit as net income from that unit slid 14 per cent to $420 million. TD said its trading revenue in the quarter fell to $510 million from $761 million a year earlier. 

“We  ended the  year  in  a  position  of  strength,  with a  growing  base of  customers  across  highly  competitive  and  diversified  businesses  and  a  robust capital  position, enabling  us  to increase  our  dividend  and providing us  with a strong  foundation  upon which to  continue  building  our  business  in  2022,” said TD President and Chief Executive Bharat Masrani in a release.

Editor’s note: The original version of this story incorrectly presented the dividend increase as being 11 per cent. We regret the error.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Tentative deal between union workers and beef producer Cargill struck | CTV News – CTV News Calgary

Published

 on


With less than a week to go before workers were set to go on strike at Cargill’s High River, Alta. beef processing plant, the company says a tentative deal has been reached.

The company announced the development on Wednesday and says it is “encouraged by the outcome” of recent talks.

“After a long day of collaborative discussion, we reached an agreement on an offer that the bargaining committee will recommend to its members. The offer is comprehensive and fair and includes retroactive pay, signing bonuses, a 21 per cent wage increase over the life of the contract and improved health benefits,” Cargill wrote in a statement to CTV News via email.

The company adds it also “remains optimistic” a deal can be finalized before the strike deadline.

“(We) encourage employees to vote on this offer which recognizes the important role they play in Cargill’s work to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. While we navigate this negotiation, we continue to focus on fulfilling food manufacturer, retail and food service customer orders while keeping markets moving for farmers and ranchers,” it wrote.

The United Food and Commercial Workers’ Union (UFCW) Local 401 was expected to go on strike on Dec. 6.

It rejected the most recent attempt at a deal on Nov. 25 by a 98 per cent margin.

‘FAIR OFFER’

According to a statement from UFCW Local 401, the negotiating team engaged in “a marathon day” of talks with the company on Tuesday.

“Late in the evening, our bargaining committee concluded that they were in receipt of a fair offer and that they were prepared to present that offer to their coworkers with a recommendation of acceptance,” it wrote in a statement.

The union says the tentative deal will “significantly improve” the lives of Cargill workers and will be the ‘best food processing contract in Canada.”

Highlights from the deal include:

  • $4,200 in retroactive pay for many employees;
  • $1,000 signing bonus;
  • $1,000 COVID-19 bonus;
  • More than $6,000 total bonuses for workers three weeks before Christmas;
  • $5 wage increase for many employees;
  • Improved health benefits; and
  • Provisions to facilitate a new culture of health, safety, dignity and respect in the workplace

While UFCW Local 401 president Thomas Hesse calls the deal “fair,” he will support workers on the picket line if they decide to reject the proposal.

“If they do accept it, I’ll work with them every day to make Cargill a better workplace,” Hesse said in a statement. “I will do as our members ask me to do.

“I respect all of the emotions that they feel and the suffering that they have experienced.”

Employees are expected the vote on the new deal between Dec. 2 and 4.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Afterpay delays vote on $29 billion buyout as Square awaits Spain’s nod

Published

 on

Afterpay Ltd will delay a shareholder meet to approve Square Inc’s $29-billion buyout of the Australian buy now, pay later leader, as the Jack Dorsey-led payment company awaits regulatory nod in Spain.

The investor meet was set for Dec. 6, but Afterpay said it would likely take place next year as Square, which has rebranded itself to Block Inc, is likely to get an approval from the Bank of Spain only in mid-January.

The delay is unlikely to impact the completion of Australia‘s biggest deal, which is set for the first quarter of 2022, Afterpay said.

“We continue to believe the risks of the transaction closing are minimal,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Chami Ratnapala said in a brief client note.

Meanwhile, Twitter Inc co-founder Dorsey is expected to focus on Square after stepping down as chief executive of the social media platform as it looks to expand beyond its payment business and into new technologies like blockchain.

Afterpay shares fell more than 6%, far underperforming the broader Australian market, tracking Square’s 6.6% drop overnight in U.S. market on worries over the Omicron variant.

 

(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian, Sameer Manekar and Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Rashmi Aich and Arun Koyyur)

Continue Reading

Trending