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View Full Version : A great way to end the night. (language, long)


Chef Geekier
08-27-2009, 07:46 AM
So, I've been losing weight recently, which is a good thing. Last night, however, I came veeeeery close to breaking and reaching for the Mars Bars which are right in front of the counter. A bit of background first:

About four weeks ago, we introduced a new policy at work. Rentals have always been meant to be back before 6pm, but the program wasn't set up to properly enforce this. Now it is, and if a new release is returned after 8, it gets a late fee of $2.50. We were just losing too much potential revenue with people returning things 5 minutes before close, so this is a way of recouping the losses, and getting the product out on the shelves in time for customers to rent it. We knew there would be customers complaining, and were just told that if they have a problem with it, the Boss will deal with it.

I should point out how our overdue system works first, for rentals that aren't returned on the day they're due back.

At 1-3 days overdue, an automatic SMS reminder is sent to people who give us their mobile numbers, reminding them that they need to bring something back. Most people just plain forget, and this way we get most things back after a day or two.

At 7 days, a letter is sent reminding the customer that they still have something. Between this, we try to call people but don't always have time. Actually, rarely have time.

At 14 days, the item is removed from the account, a late fee is charged, a replacement fee is charged, an admin fee is charged, the title is listed as written off in the system, and another letter is sent letting the customer know this. If they then bring the item back, we remove the replacement fee and they just pay the late fee and admin fee. If they pay when they return, we can even discount the fees.

Now, if someone has more than $10 owing, and there is no effort to pay this within a month, a reminder letter is sent. Then another letter at two months. At three months, we send them to our debt collectors, who also charge the customer an additional $15.

Got all that? Now, on to the customers.


To set the scene: it's 9pm. I'm tired and feeling icky. Within the space of half an hour, I get these gems, all with a common theme, which you've probably already guessed.

Customer 1:

This gentleman was quite annoyed. I think he was trying to start a fight with me, actually, but I was too tired to give a flying fuck what he thought. I just kept repeating that I had no control over it, which isn't actually true. As assistant manager (read: person in charge of the store 12 days out of 14), if it was someone being nice but who hadn't been aware of the change, I could have waived the fee and given them a warning. But he was being an ass, so I stuck strictly to policy. He demanded that Boss call him, which isn't going to get him anywhere. She's awesome, and scary as fuck when she wants to be. Suck that, mate.

And the late fee? $2.50 for a movie that had been scanned in 2 minutes before closing.


Customer 2:

A somewhat regular customer. He actually wasn't too bad about it, didn't get worked up and said he understood that it wasn't my rule. He still wasn't happy about it and said that he can't get here before 8 to return movies as he works in a warehouse. Given his history with late fees (has 22% late fee stats, and is always whining about having to pay them), I had to bite my tongue from saying something rude. But I can here, so: Pay your late fees you stingy bastard!

Didn't demand that Boss call him, but I asked her to anyway. Her explaining the policy might go down better than me. Plus I think he's kinda scared of her already, and I'm mean like that.


Customer 3:

Another somewhat regular guy had come up to the counter and put his movie down. Just as he did so the phone rang, so I asked if I could get it. He said sure and moved off to look at our retail movies.

The guy on the phone is lucky he was on the phone, or I would have slapped him. At least thrice during the course of the 6-minute conversation. He's on his second reminder letter for late fees, because he owed a total of $78.45. This is because he had a new release PS3 game which was over 14 days late, along with some other random fees. The fee for the game came to around $65. We charge $5.95 per night for new release games, or you can get them for the week for $12.95. Late fees, however, are charged at the full $5.95/night.

This genius threw a mini-tantrum, and said that it wasn’t fair to be charged that much for the game. Slap number one.

He tried to put the blame on us for not contacting him. I pointed out that he's had a total of 4 letters reminding him about the late game/fees. Second slap.

Then he said that the guy who hired it to him should have told him that the late fee would be that much if it was returned late. Slap three, you're out.

I refused to cooperate with him, and my voice got very quiet and growly. I think I scared him into backing off, and said that the Boss would call him.

I hung up, turned to the guy who was waiting and said a bright 'Sorry about that. Now, do you have your card with you?' and we went off on the usual transaction. When I got into his membership, I nearly swore aloud. There was a $2.50 late fee for something. Dreading the reaction, I turned and let him know. The reaction?

"Oh, really? Okay, I'll pay that too."

"...Thankyou. Y'know, the last three customers have all chewed me out because they had late fees, thankyou for being good about it."

He got all embarassed. "It's only $2.50, it's not a big deal." I could have kissed him.


And the highlight of the night? Earlier, when I was carrying a big stack of DS games, some of them fell on the floor. Before I could bend to get them, a kid (12ish) who had just walked in the store ran around to my side and picked them all up for me. I was completely floored and thanked him for his consideration. His parents are doing something right.

Samaliel
08-27-2009, 08:19 AM
Customer 3:
The fee for the game came to around $65.

At that price, he could have purchased the game all the same... This guy really needs a serious application of Clue-Bat directly to the forehead.

bean
08-27-2009, 08:49 AM
I will say this is one thing I appreciate about Hollywood Video....

If you have late fees, they don't send you to collections unless it's a huge amount. They just put a hold on your account until your next rental. And let you pay a portion of the fees with your next rental, not the full amount.

Of course, that's probably got a bit to do with why they're in the shitter these days.... I'm sure I'm not the only one who may have abused that policy slightly. :angel:

I've worked for Blockbuster before, along with some smaller companies. I'm really surprised Hollywood doesn't charge more than they do, though it also explains why 90% of the TV's in the store near me don't work (they're covered with black poster board), half the lights are out, and they're still using Okidata dot matrix printers from the 80s for receipts...

Chef Geekier
08-27-2009, 09:20 AM
Actually, Samaliel, around here a new PS3 game can cost upwards of $100. But I get the point.

Bean, I did point out that there has to have been no effort to pay the fee for 3 months before it's sent to collection. Even if someone's paying $2 a week, that's enough to not get sent on. We'd much rather things get sorted out at store level.

Hibble
08-27-2009, 10:16 AM
still using Okidata dot matrix printers from the 80s for receipts...

Those dot matrix printers will last a life time, they will probably work till 2080.

stargirl195
08-27-2009, 10:18 AM
The reaction?

"Oh, really? Okay, I'll pay that too."

"...Thankyou. Y'know, the last three customers have all chewed me out because they had late fees, thankyou for being good about it."

He got all embarassed. "It's only $2.50, it's not a big deal." I could have kissed him.

Doesn't it just make your day when you get a customer that is not only nice, but who actually takes responsibility for their actions? :)

Chef Geekier
08-29-2009, 04:10 AM
I had to share this. When the Boss and I were bitching about the customers, I mentioned that I was a bit snappy towards the letter guy. Her response?

"Good. Customers like that need to be put in their place." I love my boss.

El Pollo Guerrera
08-29-2009, 05:39 AM
Yeah, the thing I don't miss about working at the video store was having to deal with the late fees. Used to have people who would rent the newest movies on the day they came out, keep them for a week, then complain that we didn't tell them that they were just 1-day rentals OR call them to tell them to bring the movies back. Which, of course, we did.

DGoddessChardonnay
08-29-2009, 08:24 PM
At that price, he could have purchased the game all the same... This guy really needs a serious application of Clue-Bat directly to the forehead.

The new product brought to you by the makers of HeadOn . .

SlapOn. When you need that extra dose of common sense, use SlapOn.

Just apply the SlapOn bat directly to the forehead and instant brainpower returns.:p

chainedbarista
08-30-2009, 01:40 AM
dgoddess, when will this wonderful product be available? i want to purchase mine asap! ;)

Darkwish
08-30-2009, 04:09 PM
Those dot matrix printers will last a life time, they will probably work till 2080.

They still make them and sell them new. They're actually more expensive than laser printers are, but the ink is cheap.

DGoddessChardonnay
08-30-2009, 04:49 PM
dgoddess, when will this wonderful product be available? i want to purchase mine asap! ;)

At the rate the research and development department runs around here, probably when Billy Mays is reincarnated.

Unless we can persuade Irv to do the commercials, that is.:p

Salted Grump
08-30-2009, 05:15 PM
I have a 15-year old Louisville Slugger that can be repurposed to that requirement.

Solid oak, so it has heft to it.

EricKei
08-30-2009, 06:23 PM
I have a 15-year old Louisville Slugger that can be repurposed to that requirement.

Solid oak, so it has heft to it.
"'PC Loadletter'?! What the :censored: does that mean?!"

... they were just 1-day rentals OR call them to tell them to bring the movies back. Which, of course, we did.
Last time I checked, 1-day rentals came in a completely different box color...and had ONE-DAY RENTAL or something similar printed on them in humongous lettering ._.

Jay 2K Winger
08-30-2009, 09:15 PM
Before you can purchase your SlapOn, you must read the fine print.

This product is meant for educational purposes only. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. List each check separately by bank number. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Use only as directed. No other warranty expressed or implied. Do not use while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment. Postage will be paid by addressee. Subject to approval. This is not an offer to sell securities. Apply only to affected area. May be too intense for some viewers. Do not stamp. Use other side for additional listings. For recreational use only. Do not disturb. All models over 18 years of age. If condition persists, consult your physician. No user-serviceable parts inside. Freshest if eaten before date on carton. Subject to change without notice. Times approximate. Simulated picture. No postage necessary if mailed in the United States. Breaking seal constitutes acceptance of agreement. For off-road use only. As seen on TV. One size fits all. Many suitcases look alike. Contains a substantial amount of non-tobacco ingredients. Colors may, in time, fade. We have sent the forms which seem to be right for you. Slippery when wet. For office use only. Not affiliated with the American Red Cross. Drop in any mailbox. Edited for television. Keep cool; process promptly. Post office will not deliver without postage. List was current at time of printing. Return to sender, no forwarding order on file, unable to forward. Not responsible for direct, indirect, incidental or consequential damages resulting from any defect, error or failure to perform. At participating locations only. Not the Beatles. Penalty for private use. See label for sequence. Substantial penalty for early withdrawal. Do not write below this line. Falling rock. Lost ticket pays maximum rate. Your cancelled check is your receipt. Add toner. Place stamp here. Avoid contact with skin. Sanitized for your protection. Be sure each item is properly endorsed. Sign here without admitting guilt. Slightly higher west of the Mississippi. Employees and their families are not eligible. Beware of dog. Contestants have been briefed on some questions before the show. Limited time offer, call now to insure prompt delivery. You must be present to win. No passes accepted for this engagement. No purchase necessary. Processed at location stamped in code at top of carton. Shading within a garment may occur. Use only in well-ventilated area. Keep away from fire or flame. Replace with same type. Approved for veterans. Booths for two or more. Check here if tax deductible. Some equipment shown is optional. Price does not include taxes. No Canadian coins. Not recommended for children. Prerecorded for this time zone. Reproduction strictly prohibited. No solicitors. No alcohol, dogs, or horses. No anchovies unless otherwise specified. Restaurant package, not for resale. List at least two alternate dates. First pull up, then pull down. Call toll free before digging. Driver does not carry cash. Some of the trademarks mentioned in this product appear for identification purposes only. Record additional transactions on back of previous stub. Decision of judges is final.

This supersedes all previous notices.

This web site does not reflect the thoughts or opinions of either myself, my company, my friends, or my cat; don't quote me on that; don't quote me on anything; all rights reserved; you may distribute this message freely but you may not make a profit from it; terms are subject to change without notice; illustrations are slightly enlarged to show detail; any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is unintentional and purely coincidental; do not remove this disclaimer under penalty of law; hand wash only, tumble dry on low heat; do not bend, fold, mutilate, or spindle; your mileage may vary; no substitutions allowed; for a limited time only; this message is void where prohibited, taxed, or otherwise restricted; caveat emptor; message is provided "as is" without any warranties; reader assumes full responsibility; an equal opportunity message; no shoes, no shirt, no message; quantities are limited while supplies last; if any defects are discovered, do not attempt to read them yourself, but return to an authorized service center; read at your own risk; parental advisory - explicit lyrics; text may contain explicit materials some readers may find objectionable, parental guidance is advised; keep away from sunlight; keep away from pets and small children; limit one-per-family please; no money down; no purchase necessary; you need not be present to win; some assembly required; batteries not included; instructions are included; action figures sold separately; no preservatives added; slippery when wet; safety goggles may be required during use; sealed for your protection, do not read if safety seal is broken; call before you dig; not liable for damages arising from use or misuse; for external use only; if rash, irritation, redness, or swelling develops, discontinue reading; read only with proper ventilation; avoid extreme temperatures and store in a cool dry place; keep away from open flames; avoid contact with eyes and skin and avoid inhaling fumes; do not puncture, incinerate, or store above 120 degrees Fahrenheit; do not place near a flammable or magnetic source; smoking this message could be hazardous to your health; no salt, MSG, artificial color or flavoring added; if ingested, do not induce vomiting, and if symptoms persist, consult a physician; may cause drowsiness, alcohol may intensify this effect; use caution when operating a car or dangerous machinery; possible penalties for early withdrawal; offer valid only at participating sites; slightly higher west of the Rockies; allow four to six weeks for delivery; must be 18 to read; objects in mirror are closer than they appear; disclaimer does not cover misuse, accident, lightning, flood, tornado, tsunami, volcanic eruption, earthquake, hurricanes and other Acts of God, neglect, damage from improper reading, incorrect line voltage, improper or unauthorized reading, broken antenna or marred cabinet, missing or altered serial numbers, electromagnetic radiation from nuclear blasts, sonic boom vibrations, customer adjustments that are not covered in this list, and incidents owing to an airplane crash, ship sinking or taking on water, motor vehicle crashing, dropping the item, falling rocks, leaky roof, broken glass, mud slides, forest fire, or projectile (which can include, but not be limited to, arrows, bullets, shot, BB's, shrapnel, lasers, napalm, torpedoes, or emissions of X-rays, Alpha, Beta and Gamma rays, knives, stones, etc.); other restrictions may apply; Contest ends 12-31-2099.

EricKei
08-31-2009, 01:45 AM
Jay2K - you forgot one:

Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Ball SlapOn

TTAZ
08-31-2009, 04:43 PM
Am I the only one who immediately thought:

"SlapOn...apply directly to the clueless"
"SlapOn...apply directly to the clueless"
"SlapOn...apply directly to the clueless"

DGoddessChardonnay
08-31-2009, 10:02 PM
Hey, J2K . . . you forgot to list the potential side effects of SlapOn:

Possible side effects include: itching, rash, hives, stomach upset, diarrhea, constipation, excessive flatulence (farting,) nervousness, sleeplessness, headaches, double and/or blurred vision, tinnitus (ringing in the ears,) joint pain, loss of liver function, cataracts, depression, disturbing or obscene thoughts, risk of heart attack or stroke, increase in libido, loss of libido, thoughts of suicide or homicide, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inflamed hemmerhroids, bleeding ulcers, infrequent urination, too frequent urination, lowered home value, lowered car resale value, lowered stock value, higher medical bills and anal seepage.

Please discuss with your doctor before using SlapOn to determine if the benefits outweigh the risks.:lol:

Irving Patrick Freleigh
09-01-2009, 03:15 AM
I can't help but notice priapism is not listed as a possible side effect. I can't pitch a product knowing it could cause boners that last for weeks without making customers aware of that fact.

If we can get that taken care of, I can offer the use of several of my co-workers for the program-length advertisement.

Mamadrae
09-01-2009, 10:45 PM
Slap on? Bah! I'll go with...

http://blackout-resonance.deviantart.com/art/Shotgun-Demotivational-Poster-125464696

DGoddessChardonnay
09-02-2009, 12:05 AM
I can't help but notice priapism is not listed as a possible side effect. I can't pitch a product knowing it could cause boners that last for weeks without making customers aware of that fact.

If we can get that taken care of, I can offer the use of several of my co-workers for the program-length advertisement.

Hey! At least I remembered to include the anal seepage . . . that's gotta be bad enough.:lol:

dalesys
09-02-2009, 03:38 AM
I can't help but notice priapism is not listed as a possible side effect. I can't pitch a product knowing it could cause boners that last for weeks without making customers aware of that fact.

If we can get that taken care of, I can offer the use of several of my co-workers for the program-length advertisement.
Check out this cartoon from the Austin Lounge Lizards Progenitorivox: The Drugs I Need (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYodDH4qZQo):D