Mommy’s Little Driver

, , , | Right | February 14, 2019

(I work in billing for a car rental company and get a lot of outrageous customers. A customer is supposed to return the rental car on a specific date, and conveniently it is stolen on the same day. They are complaining that they were charged a fee for the car being stolen.)

Customer: “I don’t want to pay this fee, and I want you to refund it.”

Me: “I can’t do that, because while the car is in your possession, it is your responsibility to make sure nothing happens to it, and since it was stolen, you need to pay the fee.”

(Keep in mind this customer is in their mid-fifties.)

Customer: “This is outrageous! Wait until I tell my mom!”

Me: *long pause* “Did you just say you’re going to tell your mom?”

Customer: *ignores me and proceeds to complain for a few more minutes, then gives up and hangs up*

There Is Nothing Preferred About This Customer

, , , , , | Right | February 12, 2019

(I’m a customer in this story. There have been a series of storms that have caused some significant flight delays into the Northeast. I’ve arrived almost eight hours late after what was supposed to be two-hour flight. It’s 2:38 am when I get to [Car Rental Agency]. There is a long line of beleaguered travelers who just want their d*** cars. Several customers in line are so-called preferred members who can ordinarily skip the line when the express counter is open. It is closed between 1:00 and 4:00 am. There is obviously some displeasure at the continued wait, but none are more pointedly accusatory towards the staff than one middle-aged man who is about twelfth in line.)

Customer #1: “Why can’t I get my car now if my name is on the board?”

Desk Agent #1: “Because the express counter is closed.”

Customer #1: “But why can’t I get my car now if my name is on the board?!

Desk Agent #1: “I’m sorry, sir, but the express counter is closed until 4:00 am.”

(This repeats several times.)

Customer #1: “That’s great. That’s just f****** great.”

Customers #2 & #3: *to me, just loud enough for half the line to hear* “We’re on the board, too!”

([Customer #1] rants at various volumes for the next ten minutes, until finally, his inner seven-year-old comes out. In the warbling, modulated moaning whine that any parent or former child would instantly recognize, he starts repeating:)

Customer #1: “But I’m a preferred customer!”

(This went on for ten minutes. The staff was moving people through at the best rate that they could, but they now had to deal with this middle-aged man’s tantrum. Finally, they created a line just for him. Sadly, this was a year ago, and the voice of this forty-something child still haunts me.)

Of Pitbulls, Cigarettes, And Credit Checks

, , , , | Right | January 15, 2019

(I’m a property manager working an open house for one of our small rentals. I’m just packing up when this woman, smoking a cigarette, comes through the front door.)

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am, but we don’t allow smoking inside our residences.”

Customer: “Well, why the f*** not?!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, aside from the smell, which is darn near impossible to get out, the nicotine adheres to the paint, making it very hard on our maintenance crews when you move out.”

Customer: “Ugh, fine!” *flicks her cigarette out front door* “This is $950 a month, right?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, so with approved credit, you’re looking at $2,000 to move in, a $1,000 security deposit, $950 first month’s rent, and a $50 application fee.”

Customer: “Background check?! This is America! Ain’t nobody gettin’ my social!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, without an application, there’s really nothing I can do. We have to know what your credentials are before we can sign a lease.”

Customer: “I’ve been renting a four-bedroom, two-bath for $1,600 a month for the last six years, but my a**hole landlord just told us we need to move because he doesn’t like my daughter’s pit bull. If I can afford $1,600 a month, I can easily pay $950 for this s***hole!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, our leasing requirements don’t allow pit bulls in any of our units, so this house won’t be a good fit for you, either, I’m afraid. But best of luck in your search!”

Customer: “Well, why the f*** not?! There’s nothing wrong with pit bulls! You just don’t want to rent to me because I’m black! You racist f***! I’m going to report you and you’ll get fired!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am.” *I’ve gotten her to the front door at this point* “First off, I’m a licensed realtor, and can’t approve or deny you based on race. Second, you’ve stated that you refuse to do our application, and third, you’ve admitted that you have an animal I can’t approve.” *closes front door and locks it* “I suggest you look on Craigslist for a private owner that might be willing to accept your animal, but our company policy is to follow the restricted breeds list. Have a great day!”

(I got in my company car, while she stood in the driveway and screamed all kinds of things at me. She followed me back to my office and proceeded to tell my broker how I’d told her we couldn’t rent to her because she was black, that we were all racists, and that she was going to report us to the state and get us “shut down for good.” That is, until my boss’ wife walked in. She’s a taller WOC who gave her back everything she gave and then some. Cigarette lady RAN out of our office, and no, we haven’t received any complaints from the state.)

Driven To The Edge Of Reasonableness

, , , , , | Right | December 6, 2018

(I’m working the front counter on a slow day. A customer walks in; she looks to be in her mid-twenties.)

Customer: “I want to rent a car for the weekend; I’m going up to see family in Los Angeles.”

Me: “Not a problem. I have compact car available for [price] per day.”

Customer: “That’s a really great price. I’ll take it.”

Me: “Okay. I will need a credit or debit card for the security deposit and a driver’s license.”

Customer: *surprised look comes across her face* “Oh, you need a driver’s license to rent a car?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I need a government-issued license.”

Customer: “I don’t have a driver’s license.”

Me: “That’s okay if you’ve misplaced it; a temporary paper one is accepted here, as well, as long as it has the DMV watermark on it.”

Customer: “No, you don’t understand. I never got a driver’s license. I never learned how to drive.”

Me: *shocked at this information, because a car is almost essential to live and work in San Diego* “I see. Well, how did you expect to drive the car to Los Angeles if you don’t know how to drive?”

Customer: “I… I honestly don’t know. I hadn’t thought that far ahead. I really need to have driver’s license to rent a car?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, you really need a driver’s license to rent a car.”

(The customer thanks me for my time and walks out. I go back to cleaning and organizing the front office. Two hours later, the same customer walks back in, and my coworker is working the front counter. I am on my lunch in the next room and overhear entire conversation.)

Customer: “I want to rent a car to visit family in Los Angeles.”

Coworker: “Okay, not a problem. We have a compact car available. I will need a driver’s license and a credit card.”

(The customer opens her purse and places a credit card and a driver’s license on the counter.)

Coworker: *grabs credit card and license and looks them over* “Ma’am, I need your driver’s license; I think this is your husband’s.”

Customer: “That’s not what I was told earlier by the other guy. He said I just needed a driver’s license.”

Coworker: “That is correct. You need a driver’s license, issued to you, in your name. Not a driver’s license you found on the street. Besides, the driver’s license you gave me is six years expired, anyway. I can’t take this because it is no longer valid.”

Customer: *begins yelling* “I was told I needed a driver’s license. I never got a driver’s license, so I went and bought one. I paid $200 for this license off a guy from Craigslist. Here is a driver’s license; now give me a car!”

Coworker: “Let me get my manager.” *goes to the next room and asks me to come out*

Me: “Ma’am, I have overheard everything from the next room, and [Employee] is correct. You need a driver’s license issued to you. Not one you bought online, and definitely not an expired license you bought online. We will not be renting you a car; I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

Customer: “You told me I needed a license. Take my license and give me or car, or else I will call the police!”

Me: “Don’t bother. I will call them, instead. Have a seat.”

(The customer sat in a chair. When a police officer showed up, she explained to him why they were called. He asked to see the driver’s license and promptly arrested her for identity theft.)

Give Them An Inch And They’ll Want To Drive Miles

, , , | Right | December 5, 2018

(An employee and I work at a truck rental location, and every so often customers come in asking for the wrong size truck. On this day the employee chooses to give the customer what they asked for.)

Customer: *walks up to counter where employee is standing* “I’d like to rent one of your 15-inch trucks.”

Employee: *with a puzzled look on his face* “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “What aren’t you understanding? I want to rent a 15-inch truck!”

Employee: *looks over at me before reaching for the toy truck on the sale rack behind us* “Okay, sir. That is one 15-inch truck. That’ll be $10.55. Would you like to pay cash or card?

Customer: *visibly frustrated while others in the lobby giggle a little* “You think you’re funny, boy? That not what I said!”

Employee: “Yes, sir, it was. You asked for a 15-inch truck. If you are looking to rent a 15-foot truck, I’d be more than happy to help you with that, as well.”

Customer: *looks confused, then finally puts it together*

(The next day the manager called stating the employee had a complaint against him. The manager laughed and asked if the customer got the truck. The employee stated he got them both.)

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