Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Fight Back

4:00 pm New Years Eve - Washington D.C.

The Editor returns to his mother’s house after helping our university-aged son open his first bank account.

“You’re not going to believe this. He actually read the entire agreement before he signed it.”

We share a warm moment of parental accomplishment, pack our bags and head for the airport.

7:00 pm Budget Rent a Car Return Desk

“What do you mean our rental costs more than twice our guaranteed rate? No, I am absolutely sure I declined all the extra insurance because we are covered by our credit card. Your agent said to initial ‘here’, ‘here’ and ‘here’ to indicate that I had declined. [Editor confirms this statement to Manager] Yes, I see that ‘accepted’ is circled. Yes, I see my initials.”

OK Budget, there’s no denying that I am an idiot.

But your sneaky practices (late arrival after long haul flight = inattentive customer = padding of contract) have earned you an admonition from No Crowds and lost you a customer for life. Plus, my first resolution of 2009 is in place.

This year, I will read the fine print of every thing I sign very, very carefully.

Just like my son.
Photo Credit: Eloise Hedges

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the warning about the fine print. I too have stood at the Budget desk, lost in a jet lagged fog, and just initialed where they pointed. Never again!

    Here’s some other fine print items I wish I’d read prior to proceeding:

    On my mortgage: Warning: the value of your home could decline below the value of your mortgage, but you will still owe us all this money!

    On my Retirement Account: Warning: the value of these accounts may decline to the extent that you will have to work till you are 90, and will fervently wish that you had lived your life fiddling like the fabled irresponsible grasshopper, and spending all that you invested on good (no make that great) champagne & scotch.

    On my birth control pills: Warning, these will only work if you remember to take them.

    On the subsequent cost centers that resulted from the failure to heed warning 3: Warning: these adorable little creatures will one day tower over your head, consume more food than Paul Bunyan in his prime, and spend your money faster than Zimbabwe can print million dollar bills.

    Well, I’m off to buy more champagne. Miss you guys!

    Lorraine Carulli