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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.

For A Few Dollars More, Part 6

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: HenriquesDumbCousin | March 14, 2021

I work for a car rental company as a specialist. Basically, when a customer demands a supervisor, I take the call.

Before transferring me to the customer, the agent who received the call explains to me the situation: the customer wants to make a one-day reservation for both pickup and dropoff at the airport.

When booking a reservation, you have two options: pay at the counter or pay in advance. If you pay in advance, you get a better rate. The customer is requesting a supervisor because she wants to pay at the counter but get the prepaid rate.

Customer: “They told me that if I pay in advance the rate will be $38 and if I pay at the counter it’ll be $41, but I never pay in advance. Can you do something about it?”

Me: “I do apologize for the inconvenience, ma’am, but it’s not possible to give you the prepay rate if you don’t pay in advance.”

Customer: “Don’t you have a discount or a coupon?”

Me: “No, ma’am, I don’t have any coupons available and I don’t see any specials right now.”

Customer: “What’s the base rate you have?”

Me: “$23.99.”

Customer: “Why is that? I’m on your website and it shows $22.”

Me: “It is possible that the website has its own special right now. I know it’s weird, but even though we’re the same company, sometimes the website has better rates than my department.”

Customer: “What about that wholesale food company? I have a membership. Don’t you guys offer a discount for that?”

Oh, God… she’s a member of [Company]. I’ve had some really bad experiences with them.

Me: “Yes, we do have a partnership with them.”

Customer: “How can I apply the discount? I don’t see any options on the website.”

Me: “I’d strongly recommend you go to their website.”

Customer: “Why would I need to do that? Why can’t I do it on your website?”

Guessing that I won’t get rid of her anytime soon, I figure I might as well just make her a reservation and move on, even though I am technically not meant to bypass the partnership stage like this.

Me: “That’s okay. I’ll add the discount myself. Can you please provide me your membership number?”

She provides me her membership number.

Me: “Very well. With unlimited miles, taxes and fees included, and your discount, it will be $38.”

Customer: “Pay at the counter?”

Me: “Pay at the counter.”

I’ll admit, that feels wholesome. I ask her for basic information like her email and phone number, we even laugh at one point, and then…

Customer: “And this is for a Ford Fusion car, right?”

God d*** it.

Me: “No, ma’am, this is for an intermediate-size vehicle like a Corolla or Chevy Cruze.”

Customer: “What? No, I told the agent that I wanted a full-size car like a Ford Fusion.”

I check to see the rate for a full-size car, and much to my dismay…

Me: “A full-size vehicle would be $42.”

Customer: “Don’t you have, like, an upgrade coupon?”

I check, but I can’t find an upgrade coupon – not that it would help; if I attached that type of coupon, she would get a standard-size vehicle anyway, not a full-size.

Me: “I’m truly sorry, ma’am, but this is the best rate I can offer. Should I proceed with the reservation?”

Customer: “Pffft… No. So you’re willing to lose a customer just for three dollars?”

Me: “I can’t go any lower, sorry.”

Customer: “Guess I’ll have to go with another company; I won’t rent from you guys anymore.”

Me: “So be it. I am sorry to hear that.”

Customer: “Wait… did you just say, ‘So be it.’?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Customer: “Tcht, such great customer service you have.”

I can hear her talking to someone in the background:

Customer: “Can you believe this? He just told me, ‘So be it.'”

Click.

Nearly ten minutes trying to assist her just for her to tell me, “Are you willing to lose a customer just for three dollars?” Don’t like the rate? Feel free to shop around. Such a novel concept.

Related:
For A Few Dollars More, Part 5
For A Few Dollars More, Part 4
For A Few Dollars More, Part 3
For A Few Dollars More, Part 2
For A Few Dollars More

Throw Their Logic Back At Them

, , , , | Right | March 8, 2021

I work for a rental car company. It is company policy to require certain documentation from customers using debit cards: a utility bill with a local address and proof of employment. Even regular renters need to provide this every time. I have just transferred to this branch.

Me: “Hello, sir, how are you doing today?”

Customer: “Reservation.”

Me: “Okay, I just need your driver’s license and a major credit card.”

The customer hands me his license and a debit card.

Me: “We can definitely use your debit card, sir. I will just need your proof of residency and employment.”

Customer: *Yelling* “I’ve been coming in here every week for months! You should know who I am! I shouldn’t have to give this to you! This is terrible customer service! I’m going to complain!”

Me: *Calmly* “Sir, do you know my name? Have you even seen me before?”

Customer: *Calms down a little bit* “No. I don’t think I’ve seen you before.”

Me: “Okay, so what makes you think I would know who you are?”

Customer: “I guess you wouldn’t. I’m sorry. I just don’t see why I have to provide those things.”

Me: “That’s all right, sir. I’ll explain it to you, and then we can move forward.”

The customer and I got along great for the remainder of my time with the company. He brought his documents with him every time after that first exchange. This is why employees shouldn’t make exceptions to company policy; it makes it harder for good employees to do their jobs.

Let Me Just Wipe This Surprised Look Off My Face

, , , , , | Working | February 16, 2021

My mother and I were taking a leisurely trip to Arizona as I, twice a year, fly to places I’ve never been to see a concert and then make a long weekend of it and tour the surrounding area. Someone often accompanies me for the adventure, and this time my mum met me at the airport, flying in from a different city.

As we inspected our rental car, I noted that the rear bumper was very loose on the left side and pointed it out to the agent. She shrugged and said it was fine, but I insisted she note it, which she did with a literal huff.

We spent most of our travels on the smaller roads, but there was a stretch where we had to drive on the Interstate. The speed limit was a blistering eighty miles an hour, which was the absolute fastest I, a city girl, was comfortable with, so I hugged the slow lane doing the posted speed, pickups and massive trucks passing me like I was standing still.

As I raced along at eighty miles an hour, I could see the left side of my bumper starting to give at that speed. Suddenly, the left side gave out with a cracking noise and I pulled over to find it hanging by the still-attached right clips, but that was it.

Fortunately, I could see a home improvement store at the exit just back from where we’d stopped. I backed up the fifty meters or so and exited, dragging my bumper with me, and went in to buy a roll of duct tape. I called the rental company asking permission to tape their car, and they were reluctant to give it, asking me to come and exchange the car, but there were no near rental spots, so they acquiesced and I taped that bad boy up.

Returning the car was a bit of an ordeal but I was glad I’d had them note my concern. Over and over, they asked about an accident or crash and I kept saying that it had just fallen off.

They had me fill out an incident report and I wrote, “Noted it looked like bumper would fall off. Bumper fell off,” and handed it back to the agent.

To his credit, he chuckled at the description of the incident and sent my mum and me off to catch our respective flights. I asked for, but never got, reimbursed for my duct tape purchase.

If They Can’t Handle Two Dimensions, Wait Until They Discover There’s A Third

, , , | Right | January 7, 2021

Customer: “What size trailers do you have?”

Me: “Either 5′ x 8′ or 6′ x 12′.”

Customer: “What does 5′ x 8′ mean?”

Me: “It’s five feet wide and eight feet long.”

Customer: “But what does that mean?!