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We Sure Hope He Re-Tired

, , , , , , | Working | May 20, 2021

My first car was great right up until the moment it wasn’t. It was that quintessential first car that wasn’t anything fancy but it ran and it was paid for. Just shy of reaching 200,000 miles, however, everything started falling apart, almost literally. The air conditioning quit, which is a big deal in Florida, the head gaskets started leaking, causing the car to overheat, and finally. the alternator gave out so I couldn’t even start it anymore. It was going to cost way more than my fifteen-year-old Neon was worth to fix it, so I found a local company that would scrap it. Notably, their website claimed “$250 minimum guaranteed, even if it doesn’t start.” They’d even come haul it away.

I called and scheduled the pickup, making sure to verify the $250 and that they knew it wouldn’t start. It was a small company and the man I spoke with gave me his name and identified himself as the owner. He agreed it would be $250 no matter what.  

The day it was scheduled to be hauled away, the driver knocked on the door and asked for the keys. I told him the key would unlock it but it wasn’t moving on its own.

Driver: “Well, since it doesn’t start, my boss says I can only give you $200 for it.”

Me: “Umm, that’s not what your website says. I also verified the $250 just last week when I called to schedule this pickup and I told them then it wouldn’t start. The owner agreed it would be $250.”

Driver: “Well, he just called me and said we can only do $200.”

I was starting to smell a rat. 

Me: “Then I’m going to call him back and tell him his website is misleading and that he shouldn’t have promised me $250 since he knew last week it wouldn’t start. I’d like to tell him who I’m working with. What was your name again?”

Driver: *Stammering* “Well… well… let me just give him a quick call back and clear things up for you.”

He walked off, had the most comically fake phone call of all time, and then came back. 

Driver: “I explained that whoever you talked to last week told you it would be $250 even if it didn’t start. [Owner] didn’t know who you’d spoken to but said he’d have to talk to the employees about making promises like that. He said you should get the $250 this time, but next time it might be lower.”

Me: *Super fake voice* “Wow, thanks so much for getting your boss to agree to cover what that dishonest employee was doing and treating customers so badly!”

He forked over the money and towed the car away. Once he was gone, I called the company and asked for the owner. I told him that whichever driver he’d sent to my place was skimming from him and lying about his business to customers. He got really quiet, apologized for the driver’s behavior, and promised he’d deal with him.

This story is part of our Best Of May 2021 roundup!

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