Driving You Crazy, Part 2

, , , | Right | July 3, 2015

(It is the Friday before Memorial Day, and we only have enough cars for people who made reservations in advance. My coworker and I check our reservation sheet regularly and call any same-day reservations to tell them we do not have a car for them and to check back at the end of the day in case of no-shows. We cannot reach one such customer, who comes in only an hour after making her reservation.)

Customer: “My name is [Customer], and I have a reservation for a car now.”

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am, but due to the holiday weekend, we are completely out of cars right now. I tried calling you—”

Customer: “How dare you tell me you’re out of cars?! I made a reservation! I demand a car!”

Me: “I understand you made a reservation, which is why I tried to call you as soon as possible to explain the situation. We will have more cars coming in about two hours, and if any come earlier, I will be happy to call you and let you know.”

Customer: “I don’t believe this! Can’t you tell I’m dropping this off at the airport? I need a car now!”

(Her reservation does confirm she is dropping her car off at an airport, but it is a two-day rental and the airport is about an hour away.)

Me: “I see that, ma’am. Unfortunately, that does not change the fact that we do not have a car for you on such short notice. As you can see, there are no cars in our parking lot right now. I’m not trying to keep one from you.”

Customer: “This is unbelievable! I am a [Rewards Club] member! I am guaranteed a car when I reserve it!”

Me: “You are guaranteed a car if you make a reservation at least twenty-four hours in advance. And because you are a member, you are put at the top of our list when more cars come in in the next couple of hours. Otherwise, I would be telling you to come around closing in case of no-shows.”

Customer: “I work for this company! I work at [Other Location]! I know how things work around here!”

(My patience has worn thin at this point. It is my second to last day at this job, my next job is secured, and I know there will be no real consequences if this customer ends up complaining to my manager.)

Me: “Then honestly, you should have known better than to make a same-day reservation at a small location on a holiday weekend.”

(The customer’s jaw drops, but she remains silent.)

Me: “As I said, I would be happy to give you a call as soon as we have a car for you, which will likely be in an hour or two. Is there a number I can better reach you at than [cell phone number on file]?”

Customer: “No… No, that’s a good number… I’ll wait for your call.”

(The customer literally ran out the door, which only barely closed behind her before my coworker burst into a laughing fit at my comment and the customer’s response. We had an unexpected return fifteen minutes later, and I rented that car to the customer less than an hour after her reservation.)


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