Category: Transportation


Refunder Blunder, Part 21

| Wales, UK | Crazy Requests, Money, Popular, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

(I am approached by an initially-pleasant elderly couple.)

Me: “Prynhawn da, good afternoon; may I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, we were wondering if you know anything about yesterday’s car crash?”

Me: “The one at [Tiny Village] about six pm? Yes, it affected my route home – I took a quick diversion through a mountain pass that runs parallel to the main road.”

Customer: “What happened, then?”

Me: “Well, I’m not privy to all the details but from what I hear, nobody died.”

Customer: “Well, that’s good. The poor dears.”

Customer’s Husband: “The poor dears. Anyway, since you said nobody died, we’d like to know how we may apply for compensation?”

Me: “Sir, if you were involved in the accident or a witness you need to contact the police straight away! You could have vital information. Your insurance company might want to know too.”

Customer: “Oh, no, dear, no! Nothing like that.”

Customer’s Husband: “The road had been closed for over an hour when we got there and we didn’t see a thing.”

Me: “Then how could you possibly need compensating? I’m really sorry, but I don’t understand.”

Customer: “Well, the policeman at the road block gave us directions.”

Me: “O… kay?”

Customer’s Husband: “He offered us two routes back to [Town I am working in].”

Customer: “One sounds like that single track road you said you used.”

Customer’s Husband: “And the other was sticking to the main roads and driving back around the mountain range the other way.”

Customer: “We didn’t want to go into the mountains, you see. Imagine if we met another car!”

Customer’s Husband: “So we went the long way. And now we’d like to claim our money back for the extra fuel.”

(I am dumbstruck and stand there with my mouth open for a good few seconds whilst I think of something useful to tell them.)

Me: “Well, sir and ma’am, I’m not aware of any council-run schemes to compensate people for inconveniences or extra costs incurred for those not involved in a roadside emergency. I can give you the number for the department in the council that deals with roadways, but if anything like this IS available, my guess is that it would take the form of an insurance payout from the companies the vehicles actually involved were insured with. I have no idea if you can even get that information, but I can give you contact details for the nearest police station, who should be able to tell you.”

Customer’s Husband: “That sounds complicated.”

Customer: “We were hoping you might have a refund button on your till for it and could just give us cash today.”

Customer’s Husband: “We don’t mind if you have to refund it on our card, though.”

Me: “Sir, you’ve come to a tourist information kiosk. The ONLY functions on my till are for the sale and returns of maps and souvenirs. On the off-chance that there IS a law somewhere that says you may claim compensation for the type of issue you had yesterday, it would be dealt with centrally anyway and you’d get a cheque in the post. As I’ve said, it is NOT something we can deal with here. You would need to contact the police, a solicitor, or perhaps our roadways department.”

Customer: “Okay, well, that’s not really what we wanted to hear, but thank you, dear.”

(I needed to go and make a very strong cup of tea after they left!)

Refunder Blunder, Part 20
Refunder Blunder, Part 19
Refunder Blunder, Part 18


The Engine Of Your Destruction

| Denver, CO, USA | Extra Stupid, Transportation

(This customer has had their vehicle towed in.)

Me: “So, what issues are you having?”

Customer: “It won’t start.”

Me: “Okay, let me take a look and I’ll call you right back.”

(As I approach the vehicle I can see metal pieces on the ground. The customer’s engine had literally exploded and chunks of broken engine parts fell out whenever it was moved. I look up their service history to see if they could even hope for warranty coverage. They had no oil changes in over 28,000 miles.)

Me: “Due to lack of maintenance your engine is destroyed and needs to be replaced. The cost for this repair is around $6000.”

Customer: “Well, it’s a lease, so can’t I just turn it in?”


Locked Yourself Out Of Your Brain

| Denver, CO, USA | Extra Stupid, Popular, Transportation

(I’m the customer in this story. I got in on a very late flight on a business trip, rented a car, and received what appeared to be the valet key set, without a remote. I’m not able to open the car door the next morning using the key. When I call the rental agency, I’m polite but feeling very self-righteous over having been given something obviously defective. After a rather lengthy phone call, they agree to send a locksmith to meet me in front of my hotel as soon as possible. I meet him & walk him out to where my car is parked.)

Me: “Thanks for coming. I have a coworker who can take me into the office, but the agency said I needed to meet you here to see if you can get the door open so I can take the car back.”

Locksmith: “No problem. So, the key doesn’t work to unlock it?”

Me: “Yeah. Last night I was able to turn the car on and I was able to lock it, but now I can’t get the key to turn in the lock!”

Locksmith: “Okay, there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with this lock. You said you were able to lock the car with your keys last night?”

Me: “Yes. Well, I think. It was late, and now I don’t remember if I used the key or just flipped the lock manually before closing the door.”

Locksmith: “Uh huh. So, it’s not hard to pop these kinds of doors, but there are a couple of things. One, we wanna make sure you can turn on the car after I open the door, just in case the key is warped.”

Me: “Definitely!”

Locksmith: “And also, I’m noticing there’s an identical gray Kia SUV five parking spots down in the parking lot. Now, opening this door is pretty much like breaking into a car. Are you completely sure it’s this one and not that one?”

Me: “I know where I parked last night!”

Locksmith: “Well, if you’re sure. You said it was pretty late.”

Me: “Umm, now that you mention it…”

(Yes, I had mistaken a total stranger’s car for my rental. I’m just lucky I didn’t try to have that total stranger’s car towed, thinking there was something wrong with it!)


Time For Her To Re-Tire

| MD, USA | Extra Stupid, Transportation

(I work at a large chain auto parts store.)

Customer: “Do you plug tires?”

Me: “No, ma’am, we do not.”

Customer: “I have a hole in my tire. I just got air and it’s leaking out. It’s on top and I need something to put on it so I can drive home.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I don’t have anything you can put—”

Customer: “Do you have any tape?”

Me: *stifling a laugh* “The only tape I have is scotch tape and that won’t work.”

Customer: “Can I have a piece?”

(I tear her off about six inches of tape and watch as she goes outside, puts it on her tire and drives off!)


Doesn’t Have The Drive To Study Geography

| WV, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography, Transportation

(As I ring up a customer’s purchases, she gets chatty.)

Customer: “My neighbor is from Puerto Rico.”

Me: “That’s neat!”

Customer: “Yeah. Have you ever been to Puerto Rico?”

Me: “No, I haven’t. It would be nice to visit, though.”

Customer: “I think I’m going to try to go with them to visit sometime.”

Me: “That sounds fun.”

Customer: “How long do you think it takes to drive to Puerto Rico?”

Me: *thinking she’s kidding* “Oh, about as long as it takes to invent a floating car.”

Customer: “Oh. So, like, a long time?”

Me: “Yeah…”

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