Unfiltered Story #128682

, , | Unfiltered | November 30, 2018

(I work for a roadside insurance company. I deal with phone calls from people who need help outside the Netherlands. Lots of things turned out to be very typical. One of these was quite often made by people who probably travelled from the Netherlands to Morocco by car (through France and Spain) and suffered a breakdown while on the way back:)

“But I can’t pay for the repair costs. The vacation was expensive and I haven’t got any money left.”

I understand that people want to have a vacation and I also understand people who like to visit their fatherland or family abroad. But is it really so hard to budget for emergency expenses? Like… not spending all your money?

The Long Summer Of Rental

, , , , , | Right | November 15, 2018

(We do roadside assistance insurance. Depending on what kind of insurance you have, we might cover the costs of a temporary replacement vehicle, but only if the repairs will take longer than 48 hours. If that is diagnosed, we look for a car at a car rental company. Since we deal with members traveling through Europe, these often need to be international rental cars. After one summer working at the company, I really hate the word “rental car.” Here are some examples why.)

Caller #1: “Why the h*** does it take so long for you guys to get my son another car? Come on; your company is so big! You have cars in stock in Europe…”

Me: “My colleagues are working on it, ma’am.”

Caller #1: “Oh, come on! Just make it happen! You are working at [Company], so don’t try to make me believe you can’t do it right now for me!”

Me: “I assure you that I can’t, ma’am. I’m not qualified, and I have never rented a car in my life.”

(Yes, because I work there, I’m supposed to push some button that makes a car available right now. Another example is people expecting service late at night and everything magically showing up in front of their face.)

Caller #2: “Will the people of the car rental pick me up here?”

(Also, some people not only expect the car to appear out of thin air, but they also misunderstand when my colleagues tell them the estimated time they will call back.)

Caller #3: “Hey. I was told there would be a rental car here in an hour, but I still don’t see anything.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. Sometimes it just takes a little longer. I heard things are very busy in Germany today. You’d better make sure you find a place to stay.”

Caller #3: “WHAT?! THIS CANNOT BE! I’M HERE ON THE STREET WITH ALL OF MY STUFF BECAUSE THE GARAGE IS CLOSED! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW? I HAVE TO BE BACK AT WORK TOMORROW! REALLY, YOU CAN’T DO THIS! I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I really can’t help this. But Google Maps shows there’s a hotel very close to you, a few streets away.”

Caller #3: “HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WALK THERE WITH MY STUFF? AND I’VE ONLY GOT ROMANIAN MONEY WITH ME!”

Me: “Do you perhaps have a credit card, sir?”

Caller #3: “HA, AS IF THEY WOULD TAKE A ROMANIAN CREDIT CARD! YOU KNOW WHAT? I’LL WALK THERE, BUT I’LL TAKE A PICTURE OF MY STUFF. IF I GET BACK AND ANYTHING IS MISSING, I’M HOLDING YOU GUYS RESPONSIBLE!”

Me: “We can’t help this situation, either, sir. Do you want to know how to get to the hotel or not?”

Caller #3: “You know what? I’ll just hang up and call back, and then I’ll get another guy on the phone!” *click*

(Apparently, we are responsible for his poor preparation and his far-too-high expectations? Finally, there are also people who REALLY don’t get the 48-hour rule.)

Caller #4: “Hello, I had a breakdown a few weeks ago, in Germany. I rented a car, but how do I get compensation for that from you guys?”

Me: “Let me check the file, sir. Um… I see you had a breakdown on [date]. You rented the car yourself, sir?”

Caller #4: “Yes. But I can get the money back through my insurance, right?”

Me: “Well, sir, sometimes that’s possible, if later it turns out to take over 48 hours to repair. But I see the car was ready next day, is that right?”

Caller #4: “Yes, but because of that I had to wait, anyway.”

Me: “I understand, sir. But if the car was ready the next day, the repair clearly took under 48 hours. A replacement vehicle is only covered if it takes over 48 hours.”

Caller #4: “Yes, but I had to wait, anyway.”

Me: “I heard you the first time, sir. But under 48 hours, the costs of a rental car aren’t covered. I’m sorry.”

Caller #4: *some vague sounds implying the caller has gotten angry and handed the phone to his wife while arguing with her*

(And all of this… only a few examples of a very tiresome summer!)

Getting Up Early Can Knock You For Six

, , , , | Working | October 23, 2018

(I work in an office, usually from 7:30 am until 4:00 pm. It takes me about half an hour to get there by bike. A coworker, who lives further away and has different working hours, will be going out with me tomorrow to pick up work from a client. It will take at least two hours to get there, and before we can take out the work, we have to prepare it first.)

Boss: “Tomorrow, [Coworker] will try to be here as early as possible. But be prepared; you might be finished at [Client’s location] late, like four pm.”

Me: “That’s okay; I anticipated getting home late.”

Boss: “Yes, sorry. I wanted you both to leave here at 7:30 am, but [Coworker] says she might be a bit later, because otherwise she would have to get up at 6:00 am.”

Me: *sceptical* “Six am? Wow. That would be tough, eh?”

Boss: “Yup.”

Me: “I mean, I only get up at six am, like, every day I work.”

Boss: “And I am already on a bus to get here by six am.”

Me: “Pity her.”

Boss: “Yes. Pity her.”

Usurping The Border

, , , | Right | October 19, 2018

(I get a phone call from one of our client members.)

Member: “Hello, we’re here in Germany, at Rees, and our car broke down. Our membership number is [number].”

(I fill in the number. It shows a roadguard insurance for Netherlands only.)

Me: “I see you only have insurance for the Netherlands, sir. Is that right?”

Member: “Yes, but we are very close to the border. About twenty kilometres.”

(I look up the location.)

Me: “That’s true, yes. Hm… You’re still out of the country, but I might be able to do something. Can you hold, sir?”

Member: “Yes.”

(I go and talk to my superior about this.)

Me: “One of our members has broken down in Germany, very close to the border. But he only has an insurance policy for help in the Netherlands.”

Member: “Hm. There is a policy of sending out Dutch roadguard to certain German areas close to the border. But it really has to be the right area. You should call the inland department to ask them. If it’s the right zone, we could tow them to the Netherlands, out of courtesy.”

(Courtesy indeed, since they officially have no policy for help in foreign countries. I call the inland department, and tell the story.)

Colleague: “I’m sorry. I can’t put the location through. They’re clearly in the wrong zone.”

Me: “All right, then. At least we tried. Thank you.”

(I go back to the client, who is still on hold.)

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but it turns out we can’t send out a Dutch road guard over there, due to legal jurisdictions and everything. The only thing I can do is text you the phone number of the German road guard. That way, you could at least receive some help.”

Member: “And we have to pay for that ourselves?”

Me: “Yes, sir. I’m very sorry, but your insurance does not cover for help on foreign soil. But I’ll be texting you the phone number of the German road guard.”

Member: “Well, I think I won’t use it. I’ll just contact a local towing company. I mean, it’s all good that you usurp all these bureaucratic rules, but to be honest, I’m quite fed up with this! We’ve been members for years, and this is no service!”

(I’m still not quite sure what he meant with us “usurping” rules. Later I recount the story to another coworker.)

Coworker: “I don’t get the man. Either you have an insurance or not. If you don’t have a fire insurance and your house burns down, you won’t go to your health insurance, will you?”

(I’m still quite amazed that he blamed us for not being insured himself. And that, with all the effort I put in it, he still acted as if I hadn’t done anything.)

This Bureaucracy Is Killing Me!

, , , , | Healthy | October 13, 2018

(I am working the night shift in a student team. One of our tasks is getting blood and stuff for the operating surgeons all around the hospital. This night a sixteen-year-old boy on a scooter has been hit by a car and is haemorrhaging profusely. I am called to get blood for the blood transfusion that needs to be done. However, due to the fact the boy is being reanimated while receiving a blood transfusion and an operation, there is no time to fill in a form. This is the conversation I have with the man at the blood lab:)

Me: “Hey, I don’t have a form, but I need blood for the sixteen-year-old patient that’s bleeding out downstairs.”

Blood Lab: “If you don’t have the form, you don’t get the blood.”

Me: “But they don’t have the time to fill in a form, as they are operating on him while giving a blood transfusion, and he was just reanimated.”

Blood Lab: “But you don’t have a form.”

Me: “Yes, I know, but the boy is dying.”

Blood Lab: “Well, it’s not my fault if he dies; come back when you have the form.”

(Sir, I know that you were technically right, but is a form more important than the life of a sixteen-year-old boy?!)

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