The Competition Bureau has reached a consent agreement with Enterprise Rent-A-Car Canada over misleading advertisements in which the car rental company will pay a $1 million penalty. According to the bureau's investigation, they found the advertised services were not available because Enterprise had additional mandatory fees which increased the advertised price by as much as 6 percent to 48 percent.
Included in part of the settlement, the car rental company which belongs to Enterprise Holdings, the world's largest car rental company, their subsidiaries of National Car Rental and Alamo Rent-A-Car in Canada will review their practices to ensure that its advertisements across various media comply with the law. Enterprise is the latest and the last of the three major car rental companies in North America, the bureau has taken action to resolve similar pricing-practice concerns. In June 2016, Avis Budget Group, which includes Avis and Budget Rent A Car received a penalty of $3 million. In April 2017, Hertz and Dollar Thrifty paid a penalty of $1.25 million.
In the previous cases, the bureau had further concluded that some of the fees were described in a way that implied they were mandatory taxes or surcharges imposed by various government agencies when, in fact, the companies chose to add the mandatory fees to recover operational costs. The Bureau's work has led to a total of $5.25 million in administrative monetary penalties against the three car rental giants. "I commend Enterprise for collaborating with the Bureau to reach a resolution that ensures truth in advertising. Consumers will now be able to trust that the prices they see advertised are the ones they will pay, and won't be surprised by extra fees," John Pecman, the Commissioner of Competition. Over the last few years, the Bureau has been actively fighting against dip pricing. Dip pricing is the practice of additional fees are added later in the purchasing process which is a different advertised price.