It is a Saturday and it has been very quiet all day. I’ve just had a flight land which all my reservations for the day are on and so I have a very long line of customers. As I am helping customers I am continuously letting the people behind them know I will be with them soon. A young girl approaches my counter.
Young girl: *exhasperated sigh* *throws her card and drivers license down on the counter* I’ve been waiting for twenty minutes already!
Me: I’m very sorry. All of my reservations for the day were on that flight just landed. But we’ll get you going here. My name is (name) and Ill be helping you out today.
I take her card and drivers license and examine them. I see that her reservation was for four hours earlier.
Me: I see that you are using a debit card. I want to make sure that you are aware of our debit card policy. You need to be at least 25 years of age and we do a hold of 500 dollars on the card as well as a credit check.
Young girl: Why do you need to do that? That’s absolutely ridiculous!
Me: Well a debit card is connected directly to a bank account. Banks do not establish credit when they issue a debit card so we have to do the security hold of 500 dollars and also perform a credit check through equifax.
Young girl: *rolls eyes and sighs exhasperatedly again* Fine. Just hurry up.
Me: Okay… So I have you dropping off in Madison later tonight?
Young girl: Yes I’m going back to college.
Me: *I continue typing in her information. And going through the process. When I get to the very end the computer informs me her card did not pass the credit check. Generally debit cards do not work well for young people to rent cars simply because they aren’t old enough to have established credit.* I’m very sorry but your card did not pass the credit check. Do you have a major credit card I would be able to use instead?
Young girl: This is RIDICULOUS! I’ve been here for a HALF HOUR now! Why can’t you use my f***** card?
Me: Well it did not pass the credit check. That is all the computer tells me. You can call this number at equifax for further details if you want but I can not use that card.
Young girl: Well try it again. I know there’s enough money on there.
Me: That may be, however the credit score is not related to the amount in your bank account. I have no way of bypassing a declined credit check. Unless you have a major credit card I can not rent to you.
Young girl: Run. The card. Again.
Me: That is fishing for credit and I could lose my job for that. The card will not go through again if it did not pass the first time.
Young girl: *stamps foot* Can I use my dads card?
Me: No. If you are going to be the main driver of the vehicle we need to have a card in your name. It is illegal to use someone else’s card.
Young girl: Even if he signs for it?
Me: Even if he signs for it. Every car rental requires this. Here are your card and drivers license. I am very sorry but those are our policies. I can not rent to you today.
The young girl stalks out of the airport and the next customer approaches the customer. I apologize for the wait and move on to help him. He is very gracious and kind. As I am in the middle of the transaction with this customer a man comes stalking up to my counter and barges in front of the man I am helping. He starts screaming at me.
Man: I HAVE BEEN PARKED OUTSIDE FOR *FORTY FIVE MINUTES* WAITING FOR MY DAUGHTER TO GET HER CAR AND YOU WON’T USE HER D****** CARD?? YOU HELP MY DAUGHTER RIGHT NOW AND YOU USE HER CARD!!!
By this point I’m getting quite tired of this. I still have a line of customers and I have not done anything wrong. I know they have all been waiting just as long as he has.
Me: *trying to keep my voice from shaking while I look him straight in the eye* Sir, the reservation was for *noon*. You chose to arrive at four thirty when I have a flight arrive and happens to be at the busiest time of my entire day. I will be happy to help you but you need to go to the back of the line so I can help these people who have also been waiting.
Man: WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FORTY FIVE MINUTES TO RENT A F***** CAR! *grumbles and steps aside*
I finish with the current customer and look up to see the man has budged in front of the man who was next in line. I smile apologetically at the man and ask him if it is okay that I help these people. He nods.
Man: *throws his card on the counter* Use my f***** card then.
Me: Sir, in order to use this card you have to be the main driver of the vehicle and we need to put the rental in your name.
Man: *points at daughter* She needs to get back to college. YOU EXPECT ME TO JUST DRIVE HER ALL THE WAY BACK THERE?
Me: In order to make this a legal rental that is what would be required if you want to rent with your card.
Man: THIS IS ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS. I WANT TO SPEAK TO A MANAGER.
Me: He’s not in right now. But I would be happy to take your information and have him call you on Monday when he is in.
Man: Just do the rental on my card and add her as a driver.
Me: Technically she needs to also have a major credit card to be added on as a driver.
Man: USE MY CARD THEN!
Me: In her name. It needs to be in her name.
Man: USE HER CARD!
Me: Her card is a debit card.
Man: RUN IT AS A CREDIT. IT’S BOTH. EVERYWHERE ELSE IT CAN BE USED AS A CREDIT CARD.
Me: It is not a credit card. My computer can not run it as credit because it is not a credit card. It is attached to a bank account.
Man: Rent me the f**** car then and I’ll f***** drive her all the f***** way to Madison then. Like I don’t have better things to do.
We process the rental with me only asking the absolute necessary questions. I give him the keys and he and his daughter walk out while he is cursing up a storm. I can see the apple does not fall far from the tree. I move on to the next and last customer.
Me: I am so sorry about that….