A warm spring day! pdb is fixing PS2s and pondering the meaning of life when a customer intrudes!
“Hey, I’ve got this game, and we’ve had it for a while…”
“Sure, lemme see.” Simpson’s Hit and Run for the PS2 is laid on the counter. *clicky* “Ooooh. It’s four months overdue.”
“Er, yeah, we totally forgot about it and you guys never called!”
*clicky* “Says here your phone was disconnected a week after it was due.”
“Yeah, we had it changed because the bill collectors kept calling us.”
“So, uh, how much is it?”
“Well, 123 days overdue at a dollar per day plus tax is gonna run you $131 and change. Tell ya what, give me $20 and we’ll call it even. It’s an older game we don’t even rent out anymore anyway.”
“Wait, how much would it be to just buy it?”
“If you wanted to buy it, it retails used for $15.”
“Can I just do that, then?”
“Sure! Total is…” *clicky* “…$37.60.”
“I thought you said that it would be $15?”
“It is, but you also have to pay the late fees, and tax. I am willing to cut you a significant deal if you can pay today.”
“Aw, man! So I have to pay the late fees even if I buy the game? I can buy this game for $20 new!”
“Correct, but you didn’t sign an agreement to buy the game, you agreed to rent it. And there are rules about that that apply to everyone.”
“Aw, man! Well, hell, let me just pay $5 on that late fee and we’ll catch up with the rest later.”
“Sure.” *ding*! *clicky* “Thanks, and just as long as we get the rest in the next 21 days, we’ll be even.”
THIRTY DAYS LATER…
pdb arrives at his lair in the late afternoon on a Friday, retaking the reins of power from his newly acquired and broken in lackey, Justin!
“Hm,” pdb says as he ponders the counter.
“What’s wrong?” Justin asks, collecting his belongings before departing.
“Something disturbs me, Justin. There is something that is supposed to happen today. Something important.”
“Yes. Yes there is. Do not concern yourself, it will come to me. You may depart.” pdb waves in the air and Justin trots out the door just as his ride pulls up.
“Ah!” pdb exclaims to nobody in particular, “I have a Deadbeat!”
With a deft *clicky*, pdb pulls up the proper report, and notes that Mr Simpson’s Hit And Run has not only failed to make good on his promise to repay his awesomely reduced debt, but that he hasn’t even set foot in the store since making his worthless promise!
Two *clickys* later, and pdb enters numbers into the Magic Money Box! It whirs and grinds for a second, then speaks the blessed code!
Yay! pdb staples the slips to the receipt and files it away for what is sure to be an entertaining conclusion!
THE VERY NEXT DAY…
*ring*! “Thanks for calling pdb’s game store, this is pdb.”
“Why did you take $126 out of my checking account?”
“There are many possible reasons, but I would need to know your name and phone number to nail it down.”
“This is Henry Henderson!”
*clicky* “Ah, Henry! Do you remember the conversation we had about 31 days ago? How I offered to reduce your late fees by 85%, a frankly staggering and rather uncharacteristic discount that I offered you in the interest of retaining you as a customer? Do you remember how you promised to pay me that $15 in the following 21 days?”
“Uh. Uh, yes….”
“Good! I remember that too. I even gave you an additional ten days to make good on your promise. Sadly, you didn’t come through for us, so we had to charge your credit card for the entire amount.”
“You can’t do that!”
“I believe you are mistaken, it’s already happened.”
“You didn’t say that you’d do that!”
“I seem to recall that you didn’t ask what would happen if you failed to make good on our deal. Come on, what did you think would happen? Were you just going to ignore your debt with us in the hopes that we’d forget?”
“No, I was going to pay!”
“Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I doubt your sincerity.”
“So if I pay you that $15, can you reverse the charge?”
“But you have to! I’ll dispute that charge!”
“You can try, but since we have a signed rental agreement that lists this very outcome as a possibility that you agreed to, you will not be successful. And in some states, may be considered fraud.”
“But I didn’t authorize you to take money out of my checking account!”
“On the contrary, you did when you signed up to rent with us. Why else do you think we asked for your credit card?”
“But you said it was to secure the account against loss or theft! That’s what you said! Not for late fees!”
“Henry, did you not read the agreement before you signed it? Collecting late fees is listed right on there.”
“Look, you have to give us that money back. We’ve got checks out there! We’ve got a negative balance now!”
“Oh, that is unfortunate. But the appropriate time to have cleared this up would have been anytime in the last month. It’s really not our problem anymore.”
“You’re a real fucking asshole, you know that!”
“Yes, I have been told that before, usually by people who owed me money.”
“I’m going to call my bank, I’m going to dispute that charge, and then I’m going to come down there and kick your ass!”
“That’s nice. By the by, how much does your bank charge for non-sufficient funds? I think mine charges $25 per item, but it’s been a while.”
“Have a swell day!” *click*