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Frustration Is Ramping Up

, , , , , , | Working | April 27, 2021

It is August in Phoenix, Arizona — a desert. The day starts over 100°F/38°C and it’s going to be 115°F/46°C later in the day. We are moving from one house to another.

My wife has to stay at the house we are moving from for a while and then has to get to the new house to meet the cable installer, and we have three little kids who cannot carry heavy boxes.

We have rented a large truck with a ramp to help with the move. We rented from a location near the new house so it wouldn’t be that long a drive at the end of the day. A friend was supposed to help me, but he broke his toe the night before, so I am on my own. Did I mention the temperature? I have to load items from the old house, drive to a storage locker and load items from there, and then go to the new house.

All day, the ramp doesn’t work correctly. It’s difficult to pull out of the back of the truck and nearly impossible to get it back in when I’m done. I have been fighting with it all day, and it’s hot and I’m frustrated. At each stop — sometimes twice at a stop — I call the rental company to tell them the ramp is broken and that they need to send someone to fix it. Each time, the customer service rep tells me that they will connect me to technical support where they can explain to me what I’m doing wrong. As far as they are concerned, it’s not broken, so it must be user error. Each time, I try to convince them it’s not me but the ramp, but they won’t send anyone.

At the end of the day, I finally unload the last of the items into the house or the garage. The ramp is sticking partway into the garage, so we cannot close the garage door. And at this point, the ramp. Will. Not. Go. In. I try all the tricks I have used throughout the day to get the ramp to move and it won’t go.

I call customer service again, and again they want to transfer me to tech support. I stop the woman right there.

Me: “Do not transfer me to technical support. It’s not that I do not know how to do this. I have been fighting this all day and I have been transferred to technical support three times already today. It is not user error. It is broken. It is 10:00 pm and I am hot and tired. Right now, the ramp is sticking into my garage so I cannot close the garage door. I was told when I picked up this truck today that it was heading out on a long-distance move tomorrow morning. So, you have two choices at this point: you can send a mechanic to fix this and I can return the truck, or I will drive it back to the rental center a mile from here now with the ramp dragging the whole way and I will not be responsible for any damage to the truck.”

She agrees to send a mechanic and, in the meantime, I hop into the pool to cool off. When the mechanic arrives at around 11:00 pm, I explain the problem. He gets under the truck and takes one look at the latching mechanism.

Mechanic: “Yeah, this thing is completely busted. The metal was fatigued and it snapped. I’ll have to take it back to the shop and weld it back together. This isn’t going anywhere tomorrow morning.”

He told me to slowly push the ramp back in while he held the broken latch out of the way, and we got the ramp back in. He followed me back to the rental center to make sure I got there safely, and I presume he got to work on the repair.

Sometimes, when a customer says it’s not user error, they might even be right.