Only Scratching The Surface

, , , , | Working | November 16, 2020

My car is at the mechanic, and I am renting a vehicle from a well-known nationwide business.

Rental Agent: “…and you can also purchase our insurance in case the car is damaged while you’re renting it!”

Me: “No, thank you. I’ll only be driving to and from work, and I don’t anticipate having it longer than three days.”

Rental Agent: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes, thanks.”

I drive the rental car for two days — true to my word, only to and from work, not more than forty miles all told — and then get my car back from the mechanic and return the rental car with a full tank of gas. The next day:

Rental Agent: “Hi, I need to know your insurance and your deductible.”

Me: “Why?”

Rental Agent: “Your rental car sustained damage while you had it, and since you didn’t purchase our insurance, you’re liable.”

Me: “Please describe the ‘damage.’”

Rental Agent: “Scratches and mud on the lower door panels.”

Me: “There was mud on the door panels because it rained for the two days I had the car. And I want photographic evidence of the alleged scratches.”

Rental Agent: “Um… the scratches were discovered by our Damage Agents; they are specially trained to notice damages that other people overlook.”

Me: “And how was I able to accrue scratches too small for anyone but your special Damage Agents to notice?”

Rental Agent: “Well, driving on roads…”

Me: “Let me get this straight. You want me to pay for alleged damage I can’t see, after renting me a car so fragile that it incurs damage by driving on roads?

Rental Agent: “You should have purchased the insurance; then I wouldn’t have to be doing this!”

Me: “Please transfer me to your supervisor.”

I ended up escalating to the regional representative, but the “damage” report was thrown out and I never had to pay a dime. I’m never renting from them again, though.

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