Monday, January 1, 2007

I don't believe you

Date of Incident: Mon. Jan. 1, 2007 at 1:50p.
Place of Incident: A parking facility in Houston Intercontinental Airport, Houston, TX

On Jan. 1, 2007, I returned from a trip to Japan with a friend of mine. It was a six-day trip which involved us visiting three major Japanese cities.

Once we arrived at the airport and cleared Immigration and Customs, we realized that we were missing the parking ticket. We did have the ticket for the location of the car though. We knew we were in for an interesting time, but then we remembered the exact time we arrived at the parking lot as we were actually late for our flight. We should not have a problem we thought.

We waited for the parking shuttle for about fifteen minutes, I saw one coming abou two lanes over. I signalled to the guy thinking that he saw us, but alas, he drove away without even stopping. Of course we were furious as we had already waited fifteen minutes. I called and asked them to have the driver turn around and come back; the lady said she would, but actually another bus showed up in about 7 minutes.

The driver, a lady was very pleasant and greeted us well. We told her what happened and she apologized on the driver's behalf. She also took the time to wish us both a Happy New Year which we reciprocated and tipped her on our departure from the bus.

We got into the car and searched some more for the parking ticket. Still no sign of it. We got to the gate and told the agent there that we do not have our ticket, but we knew that we arrived on Wed. Dec. 27, 2006 at about 9:45a, it was now about 1:50p.

She then asked us for our itinerary, I said we did not have it, as we did not. So I said, I guess you don't believe me when I told you we arrived last Wednesday, do you? She said, "Sir, i need your itinerary." I then took out my passport and showed her the stamp that said Tokyp, Japan Dec. 28, 2006. She still did not get it. I said our flight was at 10:45a on Dec. 27, 2006 and we arrived into Tokyo on Dec. 28, 2006. She still insisted to see the itinerary. I insisted that the passport stamp was sufficient as I did not have the itinerary. Thank God this was an international trip.

As we talked to her, there was another agent with her who walked off to the line of cars behind us. We thought it rude that she did not mention that she was leaving. Her body language showed that she was disgusted with us.

She then began to tell me about her procedures, for which I did not care to listen, but listened anyway. She then finally took the passport and asked me for an ID. I said, the passport you are holding is an ID. She then said I need an ID. So I said, you have it in your hand. She then said she needed another piece of ID; good grief, I guess my passport is a fake! I then gave her my driver's licence. [Their policy is to get two pieces of ID, I wonder what would happen if I did not have another piece of ID]

They took the paperwork and copied them and then returned them to me. I asked if one does not have their itinerary, what would happen; they said they would look at the video tapes. I wondered how long do they keep the video tapes?

Meanwhile, my friend had to fill out a "lost ticket" form that included his life story plus his insurance and registration information.

After all the documentation, we were charged from Wed. to Mon. as we should have. Now that I think about it, it sounded like we were overcharged, as it was about $30 or so and I thought the daily rate was $3.50, there must be a boat load of taxes...

During all this I asked to speak to the manager and guess what the lady who was being nasty is the Assistant Manager! She did give me her name and the business card of the manager though. She was at least polite about that part.

The thing that ticked us both off is that she thought we were lying and she kept talking instead of listening to what we had to say. I think if I wanted to lie, I would have said I arrived the day before, I would not have said 6 days ago.

A complaint letter is on the way to the Manager of that sad operation.

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