Confrontational Receptionist

I really like what the Edmonton Animal Care and Control Centre do in the city. However, I did have a very unpleasant experience dealing with the receptionist there. I have squirrel/s that moved into the walls of my mobile home.

Last Thursday, I placed a $75 deposit on a squirrel trap and signed a paper stating that it had to be returned by the following Friday. After setting the trap, I did not catch one squirrel and knew I would be out of town that particular Friday and returning home Sunday. I called them Wednesday and Thursday with plans to ask for a weeks extension. Both times the city of Edmonton answered the phone and said that they would have somebody contact me within 24 hours. I never did receive a call and left for St Paul with hopes that somebody would return my call. Finally on

Saturday, I got a call from them and she insisted that I return the trap today. I explained that I was out of town and wouldn’t be home until Sunday. I also explained that I had called twice before to ask for the extension. She still insisted that it be returned today. I reiterated that I was out of town until Sunday. Then she said that the trap needs to be placed inside the house because of inclement weather (it was rainy). I said that was no problem and would have my next door neighbor place it inside the house as he was in charge of the trap. On Sunday, I started to get sick withe a stomach flu but drove home as planned.

Monday was not any better and I didn’t worry about returning it as they knew that I wanted an additional week for the trap.

On Tuesday, I took the trap back to the Animal Care centre and it was then that I met the receptionist and I will refer to her as Shirley. She was on the phone so I placed the trap on a desk and waited for her to finish her call. I then told her I was returning the trap. She asked for my paper work and I told her it was at home. She then asked for my name and she pulled my file. Then she says, ‘I talked to my supervisor and she said that they were not refunding me my $75 deposit as it was over due and due back on Friday’.

I explained that I had called twice to get an extension but nobody returned the call until Saturday but I was out of town. She said, ‘did you call 311?’ I said, ‘No, I dialed the number that was on my rental agreement’. Again she asked, ‘did you call 311?’ I said, ‘I just told you that no, I did not call 311! I called the number on the rental agreement’. I then asked her what number was on the agreement and she said, ‘780-442-5311…that is 311!’ This receptionist was very confrontational from the on start. Then she goes to grab the trap and I grabbed it too and I said that if I had to pay for it, I may as well keep it. She then yells out, ‘Security!’. Knowing this was not going well, I released the trap and she set it down behind the counter. Security never did come. I was very upset at this point and considered leaving. I explained again that I had tried calling twice before and spoke to two different workers from the City phone line to ask for an extension.

Shirley said that they record all calls and will have her Supervisor check it out. It will take a couple of hours so ‘go sit down’. I told her that I was not going to wait a couple of hours and to call me when they confirm that I did indeed call. This all happened on Tuesday and as of this morning (Friday), I have not heard one word from them. On Wednesday, I called the City number and asked to file a grievance. The lady that took the call was very pleasant (Sherry) and took all pertinent information and was passing it on to the proper people.

I explained to Sherry that the only reason that I was lodging a grievance was because I did not want others to experience what I just had to go through and that Shirley should not be working on the reception desk as she is very confrontational and should have some training as to how to deal with similar situations. Shirley and I were both yelling at each other which I am a little embarrassed about now. In the meantime, I am waiting for any response from the Animal Care Centre. My argument is that I did try to contact them twice and each time I was told that somebody from the Animal Centre would contact me within 24 hours. I heard from them 4 days later.

In the contract, it says that if late, a partial refund from my $75 deposit might be charged. Now they tell me that there is no refund whatsoever. I told Shirley that I could have bought two traps for $80 at Can Tire.

Am I over reacting and should I have handled myself differently? Do I have a right to be upset? I apologize for the long post but it does no justice as to how bad I was treated by Shirley.



25 Responses

  1. Paul Tracey Paul Tracey says:

    Squirrels aren’t the source of the problem. Fix the holes.

  2. Sometimes it’s not WHAT we say but HOW we say it…the wrong tone of voice…✌

  3. Rob Elger Rob Elger says:

    My brother had squirrels in his attic. He grabbed an airhorn and let blast where they were nesting. No more squirrels. Probably had heart attacks.

  4. Shirley sounds like a bitch

  5. Not overreacting at all. They fucked up. I would contact Better Business Bureau or even the media.

  6. So you knew you would be out of town an decided to be an entitled ass instead…. your fault suck up the $75 and get on with life.
    As you quoted “Last Thursday, I placed a deposit on a squirrel trap and signed a paper stating that it had to be returned the following Friday ” then your excuses…”I knew” idiot…”I knew I would be out of town that particular Friday” …. So you know in advance returning the trap on time was not going to happen…. you are way to entitled and happy to hear they kept your money… maybe think twice next time.

  7. Why rent a trap knowing you won’t be able to return it on time? You knew you had to go out of town you should have made the proper arrangements. You just assumed that you could keep it longer. This is case of “I know there’s rules, but the rules clearly don’t apply to me”. You were in the wrong.

  8. Well, this helps pull things into perspective a little more. Should a person catch an animal in a trap, ACC will come pick it up. If no animal is caught, the renter is on the hook for bring it back on time. Sounds like the OP did not plan for there to be no animal caught. Not that I approve of obnoxious city workers, but I smell poor planning here.

  9. Liz Dubray Liz Dubray says:

    My comment got deleted. Must not have liked hearing the truth. Lol. No one seems to think your negative and self righteous response to not getting your way, was valid in any way shape or form. This whole situation is on you! This is YOUR bad. You agreed to something and signed said agreement to return it within a certain timeframe. It’s your own fault that you didn’t comply with the terms set out in your agreement. If you knew you couldn’t meet the timeframe provided, should have returned it sooner. I would not have refunded your deposit either. You brought it on yourself. That receptionist was just doing her job and refused to take your shit and let you bully her. You didn’t want to meet your end of the bargain. Why should you be reprieved. Just saying.

  10. City civil servants have always been confrontational. Years ago I had a big fight with the assessment department who refused to come out & see that my house was NOT the high value they were placing on it. I finally found a fellow whose business was arguing their assessments, & we won.

  11. I think this was handled poorly on your end to be honest…you knew when it was due back, and just decided to keep it anyways…

  12. Hmmmm ok, so she rented the trap knowing what the contract read. Life happens things change whatever…she called 2 times to get an extension and no one called her back. One would think there would be a higher level of customer service where the occasional exception can be made. There obviously are exceptions as the contract read that if the trap wasn’t returned on time “the $75 charge my be charged to her credit card”. This whole thing would probably not have happened if the OP was called within the time frame promised. For the receptionist to ask multiple times if 311 was called only for the OP to give her the same response that she called the number on the contract was ridiculous. The receptionist knew that the number was actually 311 so it was unnecessary to so snidely tell the OP that the number she’d been calling was 311. Sounds like an non compliant customer and a totally off the wall and unacceptable attitude from the receptionist.

  13. Brad Daniels Brad Daniels says:

    It’s called an agreement for a reason. If that contract or “agreement” is broken then they have the rights. Read everything before signing anything next time

  14. I’m sure you weren’t very delightful either ! Knowing you were going away . Why didn’t you just booking a longer time frame when you picked
    Up the trap ?

  15. Tyler Seguin Tyler Seguin says:

    A high powered pellet gun works wonders.

  16. It would seem you knew the rules when you placed the deposit and decided not to follow them. I would like to hear the receptionist’s side as well. She will probably remember a customer who was loud, rude and miserable.

  17. The coffee went out my nose again, I stopped reading after squirrels, that’s nuts, and don’t call me Shirley

  18. sounds like you could have had your neigbhour return the trap since you said they were responsible for it. Sounds like you fucked up and are trying to blame others for your mistake. “Oh I have to go out of town, but let’s get a squirrel trap first”

  19. Submitted twice for anyone else thinking they’ve gone crazy

  20. It was due back Friday. If you could not reach someone to ASK for another week, why would you just assume it was ok to keep it? I think that this ‘Shirley” could have handled the situation better…but this is what a deposit is for. You didn’t return it on the original agreed date, they have the right to keep that money.

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