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Thursday, January 27, 2005 

How to Rent Movies and Influence Store Clerks

This blog is dedicated to all those fine people who rent movies from their local movie rental stores. If you want the inside track on how to endear yourselves to the management and owners and get that coveted first day release of a new movie, read my Top 10 list of things NOT to say to the rental clerks.

  1. Do you know what time the customer will return the movie I have on hold?
    Unless the person behind the counter is the Amazing Kreskin or a member of the Psychic Friends Network, there is no way for us to know at precisely what time a movie will be returned. If I had a crystal ball, I'd pull it out, gaze into it and tell the customer what he/she wants to hear and then ask him if he also wants to know what time the world will end and then that his dearly departed great-great grandfather wants to tell him that he's disowning him for asking such a stupid question.
  2. I'm not paying overdue charges for this movie because you should have phoned me the day it was overdue. You wanted it to be overdue so you could rip me off for more money.
    This person is absolutely right. We managed to stay in business for so long because we love to rip people off and spend copious amounts of money on Haitian witch doctors to cast spells which render our clients incapable of returning movies on time. It's much more logical to assume that then to believe that we'd like our movies back on time so we can rent them again to other PAYING customers who want to see them and that we don't have to spend money and time phoning them after they're a week overdue to make sure they haven't stolen them.
  3. I'm your best customer so you should give me a discount.
  4. I'm sorry but our 'best' customers rent more than two movies per year and don't ask for a 50% discount on a 1.50 euro rental fee. If you want to bargain prices, a ferry leaves for Istanbul every day of the week. I suggest you go there and haggle prices.
  5. Here's your movie back. Just put the cost on my tab and I'll pay later.
    Excuse me? You're not Frasier. This isn't Cheers. Pay up.
  6. This DVD was broken when you rented it to me yesterday.
    And I must be Helen Keller when I rented it to you. What other explanation is there other than I was blind when I checked the DVD for damages before renting it and deaf because I didn't hear the 34 pieces rattling around inside the box like a spanish maraca.
  7. Can you phone me when my movie that I put on hold gets returned?
    I'm sorry...does the sign out front say Telemarketing Movie Rentals? Out of the hundreds of people who walk in my stores each day, I would just love to spend 12 hours a day calling them all to remind them that we have movies for rent.
  8. All the other stores never ask me for my address and ID card when I become a member so I don't see why I have to do it for you.
    Well, the thing is, you DON'T have to do it for me and I am not legally required to rent you anything. I suggest you keep renting from those other stores...if they're still in business and have any movies that weren't stolen left to rent. Another version of this complaint is "I only live a block away so I don't have to prove where I live." That's nice that you know where you live. We don't. My accent proves I'm Canadian, not stupid. Why on earth would I let someone walk out with 200 euros worth of DVDs and PlayStation games and not know where I can find them if they don't get returned?
  9. I'm a good friend of your boss so I don't pay the 60 euro overdue charges.
    If you were a good friend of my husband's, then you'd know that he doesn't give special treatment to his friends. We're a business, not a charity.
  10. I couldn't return this movie on time because my:
    grandmother/cat/girlfriend's best friend's mother's neighbour
    died/is in the hospital/was in a car accident.
    Either you're lying or you've got multiple personality disorder. If it's the former, pay up and get out of my store. If it's the latter, let me talk to the personality in charge of concocting these new tragedies every time you have an overdue charge and he'll get you to pay up.

I'm tempted to say you should have some mercy on these people. After all, I'm the kind of person who has a brain wave and decides to go rent a movie. I take it home, watch it, put it back in its box and leave it on top of the DVD player. I then find it nine months later. When I rented the movie, I took it from the "New Releases" shelf and when I take it back, the clerk put's it on the "Classic Titles" shelf. So that says it all and each and every time I do this, I try every excuse/trick in the book in order to get let off. Does it work? Well if it's the owner of the store then no, if it's one of the clerks who either doesn't really care or is genuinly stupid to believe me when I say "woah there's something wrong with your pc dude, I only rented this yesterday".

Here's a couple of scenario's you missed ;-)

I'm returning this movie on behalf of my cousin, I don't see why I should pay the 8€ late feesWell here's how it works, your cousin owes us money on this DVD. Here's how it's gonna work, your gonna give me 8 euros then go chase your cousin to get it back!

I can't believe you only have 3 copies of Dumb & Dumber, it's one of the greats!!!Well the reason we dont have more than three copies of Dumb & Dumber because unlike you, the rest of our customers have taste when it comes to movies!

OK, OK, I know I owe you 10€ in late fees but I only want to pay 5€, OK?Er... see point three, we don't haggle honey!

I'm sure there's a thousand more right Sea! :-)

PS: I do have a question for you Sea, why do video stores only hire idiots? Is there some reason for this that I obviously don't know. I'll give you an example, I'm paying for my movies and I pick up a couple of things, the total comes to 10,43€. I give the clerk a 20€ note and I then count out 43 cents in coins. I'm like "here I'll give you the 43" and she went BLANK! She's like "no I've done it this way now" and I'm like "er... I'll give you 43 cents, you give me 10€ in change" and she still had the same blank look on her face, I could tell she wasn't 100% sure I hadn't robbed her!

Heh I think you get stupid customers in all industries its just working behind a bar means your stupid customers are drunk as well!

How about "Don't you know WHO I am?".

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