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You are price gouging and that’s illegal!

I work for a car rental company as a specialist. Basically when a customer demands a supervisor I take the call, even though I’m not really a supervisor, but I get better tools to work with.

To be honest, I wasn’t even going to share this story (it was last week), but after being forced to spend nearly 20 minutes with this customer, and what she did at the end of the rental really pissed me off.

Last week was an absolute nightmare thanks to hurricane Dorian, the amount of calls we took was insane, both for regular agents and specialists. Most of my calls were pretty simple, refund customers who had Prepaid their reservations and document everything. Other calls were more complex, customers who were on areas affected by the hurricane. Due to safety concerns, they were told that they could return the vehicle on any location as long as it was the same state. If they chose to return the vehicle on a different state, then they would be forced to pay the One Way Fee, which in some cases was insanely high. This lead to many arguments with customers who booked their flights on different states, the best advise I could provide them is to return the vehicle on any location as long as it was the same state, and then book another car. Of course, many disagreed, with one old lady swearing that she’d get my ass fired (spoilers: she didn’t succeed).

Another big issue was that many customers who lived in Florida but were on another state wanted to keep their vehicles longer, but refused to pay for additional days. I mean, I get it, they had to change their plans due to the severe weather, but it’s not possible to give them free additional days, and as usual, when extending the rental of your vehicle, the daily rate normally increases.

As you’ve already guessed, my customer was a resident of Florida, so she felt entitled to extend her rental and keep the same daily rate. Unsurprisingly, like most idiots I have to deal with, she chose to call us and extend her rental AFTER the drop off time. Based on the tone of the agent who transferred her to me, she had a pretty bad time, warned me ahead of time, but as usual, that rarely helps.

H: HenriquesDumbCousin EC: Entitled Customer

H: Thank you for calling Car Rental Company, my name is HenriquesDumbCousin, with whom do I have the pleasure to speak with?

EC: Entitled Customer.

H: Thank you very much, how can I assist you today?

(It wouldn’t surprise me if she wrote the following speech trying to impress her friends and intimidate me)

EC: First of all I want to tell you that right now I have you on speaker mode and you’re being heard by me and many other persons. I live in the state of Florida and due to Hurricane Dorian I had to reschedule my flight, and the previous agent I spoke with told me that you would increase my daily rate if I extended my rental. What you’re doing is price gouging, you’re taking advantage of people due to this disaster and what you’re doing is illegal. Rest assured, as soon as I’m done with this call, I’ll report you for doing this.

H: I apologize for the inconvenience, I’ll do my best to help you out. I do see that you were going to return the vehicle today on the airport, will you still return it to the airport?

EC: No, I’m not on that area.

H: Very well, on which location would you like to return the vehicle.

At this point she told me where she was located, there were some locations where she could return the vehicle. We discussed for a while how much it would be to return the vehicle the next day, or the following day. In the end she chose to return the vehicle 2 days later.

EC: How much would it be if I return the car on September 4?

H: 196 dollars for the full reservation.

EC: Pffft… 70 dollars just for one more day. Fine, I’ll do it.

H: Very well.

I modify the contract.

EC: And HenriquesDumbCousin, is there anything you can do to help me out?

H: I do apologize, this is the best I can do for you.

EC: So you’re telling me that you refuse to help me further?

H: … this is the best I can do for you.

EC: So let me get this right, you’re telling me and all the appalled persons who are listening to the conversation that you refuse to help me further?

(I’m not de-escalating this, fuck you Karen)

H: This is the best I can do for you.

EC: What’s your name?

H: HenriquesDumbCousin.

EC: And your last name?

H: I cannot provide that information.

EC: Your employee ID?

H: I cannot provide that information.

(Taunting me)

EC: Why, are you afraid that you’ll get in trouble?

H: No, it’s policy, we’re not allowed to provide that information, if you wish I’ll give you the case ID of this call.

(Gave her the Case ID, thought this was the end of it… then…)

EC: I want you to send me an e-mail with all this information.

(FUCK!)

H: I apologize, that’s not possible.

EC: Excuse me?

H: It’s not possible to send you an e-mail with this information.

EC: Why not?

H: I don’t have any tool that sends this information, this information remains with us, but the contract has already been updated, you can return the car on the established date at the established rate.

EC: But what if I go to that location and they tell me something different?

H: That’s why I’m documenting all this information. It has been successfully updated, they will have the same information.

EC: There needs to be a way, I want you to send me this information.

H: I apologize, it’s not possible.

EC: Okay, just one last time, in front of all these people, you’re telling me that you refuse to send me an e-mail?

Fuck this, I just ended the call. Felt miserable the rest of the shift. I arrived the next day wondering if EC had returned the vehicle earlier, but she didn’t, so fine, guess she’ll return it on the established date.

I checked again on September 4, and the contract was still open. So basically she made a big fucking deal about returning the car that day only to return it THE NEXT DAY in the morning. Of course she was charged an additional day. It’s been a week and she hasn’t bothered to call us back, so I don’t know if she accepted her final rate, or if she’ll be back. Regardless, another example of why I hate extension calls.

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