Driven To The Edge Of Reasonableness

, , , , , | Right | December 6, 2018

(I’m working the front counter on a slow day. A customer walks in; she looks to be in her mid-twenties.)

Customer: “I want to rent a car for the weekend; I’m going up to see family in Los Angeles.”

Me: “Not a problem. I have compact car available for [price] per day.”

Customer: “That’s a really great price. I’ll take it.”

Me: “Okay. I will need a credit or debit card for the security deposit and a driver’s license.”

Customer: *surprised look comes across her face* “Oh, you need a driver’s license to rent a car?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I need a government-issued license.”

Customer: “I don’t have a driver’s license.”

Me: “That’s okay if you’ve misplaced it; a temporary paper one is accepted here, as well, as long as it has the DMV watermark on it.”

Customer: “No, you don’t understand. I never got a driver’s license. I never learned how to drive.”

Me: *shocked at this information, because a car is almost essential to live and work in San Diego* “I see. Well, how did you expect to drive the car to Los Angeles if you don’t know how to drive?”

Customer: “I… I honestly don’t know. I hadn’t thought that far ahead. I really need to have driver’s license to rent a car?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, you really need a driver’s license to rent a car.”

(The customer thanks me for my time and walks out. I go back to cleaning and organizing the front office. Two hours later, the same customer walks back in, and my coworker is working the front counter. I am on my lunch in the next room and overhear entire conversation.)

Customer: “I want to rent a car to visit family in Los Angeles.”

Coworker: “Okay, not a problem. We have a compact car available. I will need a driver’s license and a credit card.”

(The customer opens her purse and places a credit card and a driver’s license on the counter.)

Coworker: *grabs credit card and license and looks them over* “Ma’am, I need your driver’s license; I think this is your husband’s.”

Customer: “That’s not what I was told earlier by the other guy. He said I just needed a driver’s license.”

Coworker: “That is correct. You need a driver’s license, issued to you, in your name. Not a driver’s license you found on the street. Besides, the driver’s license you gave me is six years expired, anyway. I can’t take this because it is no longer valid.”

Customer: *begins yelling* “I was told I needed a driver’s license. I never got a driver’s license, so I went and bought one. I paid $200 for this license off a guy from Craigslist. Here is a driver’s license; now give me a car!”

Coworker: “Let me get my manager.” *goes to the next room and asks me to come out*

Me: “Ma’am, I have overheard everything from the next room, and [Employee] is correct. You need a driver’s license issued to you. Not one you bought online, and definitely not an expired license you bought online. We will not be renting you a car; I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

Customer: “You told me I needed a license. Take my license and give me or car, or else I will call the police!”

Me: “Don’t bother. I will call them, instead. Have a seat.”

(The customer sat in a chair. When a police officer showed up, she explained to him why they were called. He asked to see the driver’s license and promptly arrested her for identity theft.)

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