It all started a week or so ago when I realized that I was paying a chunk of change monthly for a service I couldn’t remember purchasing. After some sleuthing, I discovered that I’d signed a contract with AutoAssure, an outfit out of Plano, Texas (I should have known) that provides insurance for everything that can go wrong with one’s car, except those repairs as a result of an accident.
At the time I signed the contract, I thought it sounded like a good idea. I’d just purchased my 2014 Kia Soul, after having leased it for three years. Who knew what could go wrong? A blown engine? Bad brakes? A broken A/C system?
What went wrong was the monthly fee. So, I decided to bite the bullet, take a risk and cancel my contract.
Easy, right? Not so fast.
“I’d like to cancel my contract,” I told the “gentleman” who picked up my call.
“Is there a reason why?”
Of course, there was a reason why. “It’s too much money.”
He didn’t skip a beat. “Well, let me see what I can do about getting that monthly fee reduced.”
“Thanks, anyway. I just want to cancel my contract.”
“You know what can happen, don’t you? One calamity and you could face financial ruin.”
That’s what a home equity is for. But I didn’t want him to know anything else about me. And I was beginning to lose my patience.
“I just want to cancel my contract.”
“Why are you getting so angry?”
This guy was a piece of work. “I don’t need a therapist. I want to cancel my contract.”
He blabbed on as if he hadn’t heard a word I said.
“Is there someone else in the room?,” he asked.
“What the hell does that have to do with anything? It’s none of your damn business.”
“Well, m’am, you don’t need to swear at me like that.”
Ah, a slick sales tactic: blame the customer. I wasn’t taking the bait.
“Look, you’re giving me a hard time. I just want to cancel my contract.”
“Is there someone else in the room with you?”
What? Did this slime ball have some new fangled spy gadget that could see into my office? (I think I was still in my pajamas.)
My husband who’d been standing next to me grabbed the phone and hurled a few zingers. His language gave this guy more fodder. He was like one of those life-size rubber dolls with the sand in the bottom. Every time you punch, it stands right back up.
“Let me talk to your supervisor.” The word please was no longer part of my vocabulary.
“And what are you going to do? Swear at her, too?”
I lowered my voice. “Look, I’ve been on the phone for five minutes. All I want to do is cancel my contract.”
The guy would not budge. He started to rattle off all the problems the Kia model I owned has had over the years and what I had in store when the brakes failed, the engine blew, the A/C went kaput.
“Where did you get your training? An online sales course from Trump University before the government shut it down?”
I have no idea where that came from, but when under extreme stress, the synapses in the brain take some surprising twists and turns.
He didn’t respond, but I was certain that he’d voted for Trump.
“I want to talk to your supervisor.”
In the background but loud enough for this jerk to hear, my husband suggested that I try to have the guy fired.
Suddenly, his demeanor softened. “I heard that. Why would you do that? Have I done something wrong?”
Oh, poor baby. Now he was pulling the “Whoa is me bit.” He had about as much of a chance of making me feel sorry for him as my throwing him at a lavish dinner party with roasted pig, choice cuts of sirloin, and a bar full of whatever beer Texans prefer.
“You know, there’s really no point in talking to my supervisor. She taught me everything I know.”
If I’d had a phone cord, I would have symbolically wrapped it around his puny, little neck and pulled until he gasped his last breath. (I’d seen that exact mode of murder on the first season of “Marcella” on Netflix. It got the job done.)
“So, she attended Trump U, too.”
Silence. Thank god. He finally shut up.
At least, for a matter of seconds. By this time, sweat dribbled down to the small of my back. My face burned red; my stomach did a few flips like so many of Trump’s cronies.
“For the umpteenth time. I want to cancel my contract. And if you don’t take care of that right now, I’m calling the Better Business Bureau and will then write scathing reviews on Angie’s List, Yelp, Facebook, and any other social media site that reviews companies like yours.”
Defeated, he verified my email address where he would send a cancellation form that required a frigging signature from a notary public. I was waiting for him to demand my first born.
Within an hour, the email arrived. I had wrangled with the most aggressive salesman on the planet and won.