This time it’s not the phone company’s fault

Around 8 AM Sunday my dial tone went “Buh-By!” and none of my phones worked. They were getting juice but no dial tone. I have Verizon FIOS and called the support line on my cell phone.

The phone company put a box on the outside of my house so with the tech on the line I disconnected my house and plugged an old phone into the test jack. Instant dial tone. Swell.

What’s wrong with my house phone cabling? Well… what’s not wrong with it?

Dad and I used to run phone and network cabling for contracting jobs and Dad would always run the cables to a closet. Each of those runs were terminated on a 66 block. Dad never liked the 110 block, he was an old timer that way.

When we cabled up my old house we did the exact same thing: straight run to the basement closet for each line, terminated on a 66 block. The phone company was on that block too and a few punches later and the whole house worked. The network cabling went the same way and the hose phone closet was an organized thing of beauty.

Not so much with this house and the closet is a horror show and somewhere there’s a short. There’s no block mounted and all the phone lines are twisted together. I’m going to have to run new cable and that’s going to mean cutting holes into some walls. This is going to suck wind loudly but maybe I can use this to finally wire up the second floor as I wanted to for years.

“If anyone else drives the car, we will impound it.”

Nice blog post title. That’s the memory that sticks out from my Dollar Rent A Car experience. It turns out that Lily and I do not react well to being treated badly when doing something innocuous like renting a car. I’ll explain.

Oh, and if you do rent a car? Call your insurance company and credit card first. You may not need to pay for extra car insurance from the rental company.

VIVA LAS VEGAS!

Recently my family went on a vacation to Las Vegas. Our flight was delayed so we arrived about 1 AM New York time and everyone from the flight was tired.

McCarran airport organizes its rental car companies offsite and we took a quick shuttle bus to the location. When we got to the Dollar counter the gentleman pulled up our reservation, looked at our ID, credit card, etc.

Soon we got down to brass tacks.

Him: “Which of these insurance plans do you want?”
Me: None of them, thank you.

The plans were arranged on a card like so.

  1. Buy this one! This one! Me! Be safe! Safest!
  2. Meh. OK then, suit yourself. But I hope nothing bad happens for your sake.
  3. You. Cheap. Bastard. You suck. See if I care.

You get the idea. The minimum plan was an additional $25 per day that we didn’t need.

Him: “What? What? You are going to drive the car with no insurance?”
Me: We have that covered via our car insurance and the credit card.

Did I mention that Lily and I have traveled before? Not our first time at the rodeo.

The credit card I used covers almost up to the KBB value of the rental car and that’s a secondary insurance. With our main auto insurance it covers more; we called both companies and checked.

Him: “Where are you from?”
Me: New York.
Him: “Well, this is Nevada, not New York. It’s different here. Your coverage doesn’t work here.”

Gee, thanks buddy. I thought we were in Newark, NJ. I’m sure you know what you are talking about.

This led to more scintillating conversation where both my wife and I were treated like idiots. The rep behind the counter kept interrupting us, explained to us repeatedly that we had to select and buy an insurance option from him.

Him: “You are going to rent this car without insurance??”
Me: No, we have-
Him: “Do you understand that if ANYTHING happens to this car we will come after YOU?”
Me: I expect that-
Him: “Are you prepared to replace this car?”

Seriously, that happened. I get that they feel that they need to “inform” the customer. But I work in support too and that’s never an appropriate way to talk to people let alone customers.

Me: So, you are refusing to rent us that car?

Now that sped things up. He began to angrily process our reservation. Honestly, he was acting like we were stealing food from his family.

Him: “Who is going to drive the car?”
Me: Just me.

And that’s when he said it. I’ll just make this a little bigger to stress that.

impound-the-car

I snorted out loud at that one. For a second I really wanted to get into it with this malcontent and ask “Even if I use valet parking and how would you know?” but we were wasting enough time. We didn’t come to here to spend time with Dollar Rent A Car.

I do all the driving on vacations. I like to, it’s not really a problem for me. I would have preferred to have added Lily as a driver but I didn’t want to prolong this any further.

While waiting for my papers I did shoot off this tweet.

Twitter is a good venue for complaining.

Hello? Dollar Rent A Car? This is not how you ever treat customers.

It’s just a car rental. While that may be a big deal for a car rental company, it’s only something I do maybe once a year. And I did accept and drive off with the car so I wasn’t mortally offended.

Next time I need a car? There’s no chance that I’ll even consider Dollar again. It’s not that I think Dollar a “bad” company but after that first impression why would I ever give them my business or recommend them to anyone?

When I’m the customer you only get one pass at me with your stunning ignorance and bad attitude.