Unfiltered Story #209650

, | Unfiltered | September 24, 2020

[In our store you have to pay for your rented movies when you return them. The price depends on how long you‘ve had the movie. We automatically send out reminder letters to all customers who have not returned their DVDs after 10 days, and we repeat the process in intervals of 7 days if the customers do not react, adding a fee for all letters after the first.]

An older man enters and hands me a DVD case.
I open it and find not only one, but two of our DVDs, both heavily scratched.

Me: „Uh, what happened to the case of the other DVD?“
Customer: „I got it like this.“

I know this cannot be true, as all of our DVDs have their own specific cases with a barcode glued on the inside, which corresponds to the number written on the DVD itself. We do not and cannot give out DVDs without their cases.
So I set aside the unpackaged DVD and return the regular one first. Usually I would have given the other one back to the customer, asking that he return it with the case. But I can see that he had already had the other one for 21 days, and I‘m glad that he brought them back at all, so I decide to process the return manually.

Me: „Okay, that‘s 44 Euros, please.“
Customer: „No.“ * pulls one of our reminder letters out of his pocket * „You sent me this, and it says only 32 €, I‘m not paying more.“
Me: * points at the date on the letter * „Sir, we sent you this letter on the 5th, and on that day that was the amount you were due. Today is the 11th, which is 6 days later, so you‘ll have to pay for 6 days more.“
Customer: „But I only got that letter yesterday. I didn‘t get it on the fifth!“
Me: „Well, I‘m sorry for that, but that‘s not our fault. You see, we did send it to you on the 5th…“
Customer: „And it also says „2nd reminder“. Where‘s the first? I didn‘t get a first one.“
Me: All I can tell you is that we did send you one automatically and the letter wasn‘t returned to us. So we have to assume that you got it.“
Customer: No I didn‘t. You can‘t charge me for this if you didn‘t send me a first reminder. You could at least have called me. You have my number.“
Me: „No, we don‘t. [Which is true. We don‘t have our customers‘ phone numbers in our files.] And we don‘t call people, we send out letters. Automatically. But that‘s not relevant anyway. You can see here that you rented these films on March 19th, so it‘s counting from that day on…“
Customer: „How much are these DVDs if you buy them?“
Me * slightly confused *: „If we buy them we also have to pay for the permission to rent them, and then they are at about 30 € each.“
Customer * aggressively *: „That‘s not true. You have all these over there for less than 10 €.“ *points to rack with DVDs for sale *
Me: „Sir, those are used DVDs. They have been rented several times already. Of course they are cheaper, but if we have to buy new ones…“
Customer: „You can‘t make me pay this much for these movies! That‘s not what they‘re worth!“

At this point a younger man appears next to the customer. From his looks and demeanor I assume that it‘s the customer‘s son. He silently slides a 50€-bill across the counter at me. The customer stops it.
Customer: „No, I want this sorted out. These DVDs are not worth this much. What if I lost them? What would I have to pay then?“
Me * trying very hard not to lose my patience *: „You would have to pay the rent up to this point plus the cost for buying new ones. Which would be an additional 30 € each.“
Customer: * scoffs *
Me: „As I already explained. You had these DVDs for 21 days. When you rented them you agreed to our terms, which say that you have to pay 1 € for each day you have them. It‘s not about the value of the items, it‘s a service you use and pay for.“

The younger man then takes the bill from the older man‘s hands and gives it to me directly. He still doesn‘t say a word and smiles apologetically.
I gladly finish the transaction, and he leads the older man away, who still grumbles „Service – hah! Rip-off, that‘s what it is.“

Before he‘s out of earshot, I say loudly: „You should be grateful that I didn‘t also charge you for the scratches on the DVDs and the case that you still owe us!“

The Kicker: When my blood pressure had finally normalised, I noticed that the DVDs had been rented under the younger man‘s name! The one who had paid the whole amount without a word.
I wish I knew what exactly the older guy caused this commotion for…