zip this

I recently had an unpleasant customer service experience with Zipcar, my formerly reliable car sharing club. To make a long story short, I redeemed a coupon code for a credit to my account, made a reservation to use it before it expired, and discovered afterwards that the bonus was unceremoniously erased.

I politely inquired via their customer service email, and was promptly corresponding with a rep, whom I’ll call Mike Dang (his real last name is actually an interjection, further adding to the surreality of our conversation). Rather than acknowledge that the website had made a mistake in handling my account, Dang basically made me feel like a liar who was trying to cheat Zipcar out of a measly $25. I pleaded my innocence in my final email to him, but he gave no response. What was once mine was to be no more, and I was stuck paying for my little joyride.

Weeks later, I was riding the bus home from work, and was sitting across from a typical 20-something male commuter: khaki pants, brown nondescript shoes, black winter hat. I noticed he had a Zipcar messenger bag, and with their offices nearby, it was feasible (albeit a long shot) that this was Mike Dang. I snuck glances at him as he pored over the book he was reading. He was sprawled a little haphazardly across two seats, not entirely aware of his surroundings. I took a closer look at his book; it was a graphic novel. He was so engrossed, hanging on every word, eagerly turning the pages.

All of a sudden, I felt sorry for Mike Dang. As a customer service rep, maybe he didn’t make all that much money, and he probably dealt with people far nastier than me. Maybe he wasn’t very bright, read a lot of comic books, and didn’t have many friends. I got off the bus at my stop, and Dang rode on. I was still steamed about my experience with Zipcar, but maybe I could forgive Mike Dang.

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