How About A Volkswagen?

, , , | | Right | May 30, 2018

(Finishing up a car rental:)

Me: “…and you’re all set! Enjoy your visit!”

Customer: “Make sure that I don’t get no [ethnic slur] car! I fought in the Pacific theater in Dubya-Dubya two, and we shot them monkeys outta the trees! I ain’t gonna take no [ethnic slur] car!”

Me: “…”

I’m Just Dead-Horsing Around

, , , , , | Working | April 5, 2018

(My family has just flown back to the UK from a trip abroad. My sister and her husband, who no longer live in the UK, are renting a car to use for the week they are staying with my parents. After a long, very delayed flight, we are tired and sweaty, and we just want to get the car and go. Naturally, the agents at the car rental office are eager to up-sell my sister to a bigger car and go through all the tricks, even trying to convince us that we will never fit all our suitcases in the car. The agent suggests we look at the car just to be sure we don’t want the bigger one. Her husband and I go outside to see the car. The agent pops the boot.)

Agent: “See? Not a lot of room here. Not for your five bags.”

(I am so fed up at this point that I just want us to be done; I know we can fit the bags with no problem.)

Me: “I’d fit a dead horse in there.”

(I must have delivered it with a very serious tone; the agent just went silent and stared at me for a moment, before quietly closing the car, returning to the office, and completing my sister’s rental application without much more to say. It’s worth noting that both my sister and I love animals, are vegetarians, and would never dream of hurting animals… but I was fed up.)

Of Privacy And Patience

, , , , | Working | March 18, 2018

(I am the customer in this story. My husband booked a car online in his name, but we couldn’t find his credit card, so we used mine. Then, once we booked, we realised the credit card was meant to be in his name. We didn’t want any trouble when we collect the car, so we called the next day. This is an abbreviation of two days and over two hours of phone calls. Call #1:)

Me: “Hi. My husband made a booking last night for a car, but his credit card wasn’t working, so we used mine. I noticed the terms and conditions say the credit card has to be in the driver’s name. What can we do about it?”

Rep #1: “Ah, okay. Well, the driver must be the cardholder.”

Me: “I understand that. But we have made a booking, and my card has been charged. Maybe we can change the credit card number on file? Or add another one?”

Rep #1: “No. It is not possible to change the credit card on the booking once the credit card has been charged. In this case, we would need to cancel the booking, issue a refund, and redo the booking.”

Me: “Will that cost anything?”

Rep #1: “No, no, that is fine. It will not cost anything. But it’s a public holiday here in Germany, so that department is closed. You need to call back tomorrow.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll do that.”

(Call #2:)

Me: “Hi. I’m calling because my the credit card on file for my booking is not the main driver’s, and I was told to call back today to rectify this.”

Rep #2: “Yes, that is true; we need the credit card holder to be the main driver of the vehicle.”

Me: “Yes, I understand that, but I don’t want to be the driver; my husband is. That’s why I’m calling: to change the booking.”

Rep #2: “And you will not be there at the time to collect the car?”

Me: “Yes, I’ll be there, so will my husband, and so will both our credit cards.”

Rep #2: “Ah, okay, that is fine, then. Yes, you will be able to change to use his credit card when they print out the rental contract.”

Me: “Really? Even though it’s already been paid for?”

Rep #2: “Yes, that is correct.”

Me: “Great! Can you email me that, so I have proof when I go to the counter?”

Rep #2: “No, I don’t have an email here, but I will contact the German office to send you that in an email.”

Me: “Great. Thanks!”

(Six hours later, no email. I call again. Call #3:)

Me: “Hi, I just spoke to someone.” *explains the situation* “I never received the email. Can you confirm?”

Rep #3: “Well, I don’t know why she said that, but that is not the case. The main driver must be the credit card holder.”

Me: “Yes, I know that. That’s what I’m trying to fix. I was told that I could change the credit card at the counter.”

Rep #3: “No, that is not the case. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do. You will need to email customer service; they can help you.”

(I email customer service asking if they can confirm that I will be able to change the credit card upon arrival. They respond, “The driver must be the credit card holder. You can add an additional driver for €60.” Call #4:)

Me: “Hi.” *explains situation* “It is pre-booked and already paid for on my card. So, I would like to know what can we do about this.”

Rep #4: “That is fine. Yes, you can indeed change the credit card when you pick up the car.”

Me: “Really? Even though it’s already been charged? Because I’ve heard different things from different people. Can you email that to me so I have confirmation?”

Rep #4: “Let me check with my team leader.”

(I’m on hold for a while, then…)

Rep #4: “Unfortunately, actually, because the credit card has already been charged, we cannot change it. But we can change the driver to your name for €20. Otherwise, you can email customer service, and maybe they can help you.”

Me: “What?! But you just said I could! I don’t want to be the driver. Also, I shouldn’t be charged for being the driver, as that isn’t changing anything. I am the cardholder, so I am the main driver. And I was told I could cancel it for free. Okay, I will email customer service, but can you please get me the recording of my earlier call? I was told that it would be recorded, so I would like access to that, please.”

Rep #4: “Let me check.”

(After being on hold again…)

Rep #4: “I spoke to my team leader, and we cannot change the credit card number on file, as it has already been charged.”

Me: “That’s not what I asked for! I asked for the recording. It is illegal for an EU company to fail to hand over data about a customer if they request it.”

Rep #4: “No. The question is not whether this is illegal, but whether we can change the credit card for you, and we cannot do that. Please email customer service.”

Me: “This is illegal. I am requesting information, and you are refusing to hand it over. Please put me on to your supervisor.”

(More holding, then…)

Rep #5: “Hi. I understand you want to change your credit card details, but unfortunately we cannot change it, as it has been pre-booked. You agreed to the terms and conditions when you booked, so there’s nothing we can do.”

Me: “No! That is not what I asked. I am requesting information that you hold about me, and you are refusing. Agreeing to the terms and conditions did not waive my rights. If you cannot hand over the call records, I will have to take legal action.”

Rep #5: “If you want the records, you can email customer service.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll do that. But if they don’t come through, I will take legal action. All I want is to remake the booking with a different credit card, which I was told I could do!”

Rep #5: “Oh, I understand! Actually, as a gesture of goodwill, I can cancel the booking and remake it without charging you anything. And for your trouble, I can reduce the price a bit, as well.”

(I think they realised they were in trouble when I knew the EU data privacy laws!)

Small Talk, Big Problem

, , , , | Right | February 8, 2018

(I work for a car rental agency as a sales representative. Part of my job is to make small talk with customers about their plans for our vehicle and their trip to ascertain if they would like certain services. A woman walks up to me.)

Me: “Hello. How are you today?”

Customer: “Uh, fine.” *strange look*

Me: “Do you have a reservation already?”

(She does, so I take her information and begin entering it in the computer.)

Me: “So, are you going anywhere fun?”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “Are you headed out on vacation?”

Customer: “What? No, I just need a car. It’s local.”

Me: “Oh, all right. Any particular reason? Did your car break down?” *a fairly common reason local residents might want to rent a car*

Customer: *in a sharp tone of voice* “It’s private.”

(I raise an eyebrow and complete the rental in silence. I do not offer her any services. She takes the keys and leaves. I go to lunch. I return. The phone rings.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Agency]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Were you the one that helped me?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am?”

Customer: “I was just in there and this blonde guy helped me. Was that you?”

(I’m the only blonde male working today.)

Me: “Most likely, ma’am. What can I do for you today?”

Customer: “I want to speak to your supervisor.”

Me: “I’m afraid there isn’t one on duty today.”

(It’s Saturday, we are painfully slow, and managers go home early.)

Customer: “Well, I just want to lodge a complaint with somebody. You were very rude, asking me about my business with the car. It made me uncomfortable.”

Me: “I apologize, but small talk is part of the job.”

Customer: “No, it isn’t! You were prying into my personal life! I shouldn’t have to tell you anything! You have no right!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m very sorry, but asking small questions is how I find out what other services you might require. For instance, if you had never visited this city before, I would offer navigation. If you were renting to go on a bachelor party, I would offer something flashy like a convertible or a Cadillac. It’s part of my job.”

Customer: “You were rude, and you asked too many questions! When does the supervisor return?!”

Me: “He will be in the office tomorrow from 5:00 am until 4:00 pm.”

Customer: “We will see what he says about this!”

Me: “Drive safe, ma’am.” *click*

License To Kill The Sale

, , , , , , | Right | November 15, 2017

(I work at an international airport for a very large car rental company. A customer approaches the counter, provides me with a reservation number, and I request their driver’s license and credit card.)

Customer: “Here is my credit card.”

Me: “Okay, I will need to see your license as well, please.”

Customer: *begins doing something on his cell phone, seemingly ignoring me*

Me: “Sir, I just need to see your driver’s license.”

Customer: “HOLD ON, HOLD ON!” *puts hand up to shush me*

(The customer hands me his cell phone in which there is a photograph of a TEMPORARY license sitting on what looks like a kitchen counter.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. I need to have a physical driver’s license here in order to verify it.”

Customer: “This is a real driver’s license; there’s a photo right here.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. Unfortunately, I cannot accept that as a valid driver’s license.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I have a driver’s license! It is right here. This company is going to h***, I swear!”

Me: “Could you present your license to a police officer if you were to be pulled over?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Then I cannot complete this rental for you. I’m very sorry.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous. I have the license right here. Are you blind? You can see this, can’t you?”

Me: “I can see it, yes. But unless you have a valid license in your possession that could be presented if requested, I cannot legally rent you a vehicle, and legally you cannot drive a vehicle.”

Customer: “I DON’T KNOW HOW YOU GET OFF DOING THIS TO PEOPLE!” *stalks off*

Me: *slams face on desk*

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