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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!’.

STORY CONTINUES BELOW

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.

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57 COMMENTS


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57 Responses

  1. ACC isn’t the only city facility with overzealous and nasty workers. Good luck.

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  2. Susan Taylor Susan Taylor says:

    You signed an agreement, and if someone didn’t get back to you with an extension, it was still your responsibility to return the trap before the Friday. That’s pretty simple.

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  3. Nobody got back to you so you should have brought it in. From this story you Seem really entitled to me.

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    • Jason Ellard Jason Ellard says:

      Really? Know what you sound like?

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    • Yeah she tried to get an extention no one called her back. She assumed someone would call her back first mistake.
      Weather sucked your neighbour brought it inside. Could have asked to bring it back for her but didnt bother. Assumed that they knew she wanted an extension but never had approval. Second mistake.
      She got what she got. And this is what assumptions do.
      May seem little but at the same time. Who was next inline to get a cage probably didnt get one. But i dont know cause that was an assumption.

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  4. I think the real question here is; what happened with the squirrel?

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  5. Awe. Its a little ovr reacted. Bt dont feel too bad. Evryone has bad days. Nd personal stresses. Lots ppl hve been feeling really stressed. Thers been allot of negativity around. I really recently ovr reacted. Nd embarrassed myself too at the dr.s office. I knw my fault bt sure see theirs too. I jst tell myself. Well tht ws a bad day. It isnt me. Thts not my usual behaviour. I hope they knw they were wrong toi. i knw its other stresses tht caused me blow up. Dont be too hard on yourself. Things will get better. Hope the squirrels get caught.

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  6. If your neighbor could take the trap into the house then you should had them return it when asked.

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  7. Sounds like squirrels aren’t the real issue.

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  8. Lyn Hessels Lyn Hessels says:

    Sorry you had that experience. I’m kind of surprised that there is no way to request an extension electronically. If you haven’t caught your squirrel I have a trap you can keep as long as you need to. PM me if you want it.

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  9. I am so sorry that this happened to you. Animal Control is a wonderful facility and an asset to the city….I would call and ask to speak to a supervisor and explain the situation to them.

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  10. Shirley seems rude and maybe she needs a latte.

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  11. Diana Graham Diana Graham says:

    You probably should have returned the trap when you couldn’t have gotten ahold of ACC but why weren’t the professional enough to return the call? Not sure. As for Shirley? You were the customer when you went in there. She should not have acted like that to you. No matter what. Simple customer service. In the future though when someone like her is acting nasty? Kill them with kindness. It irks the crap out of confrontational people!

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  12. A contract is a contract. It sux ass and they handled it poorly but without confirmation of an extension you’re still required to return it on time.

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  13. Lora Grass Lora Grass says:

    So what if it was a contract and she returned the cage late. The City got their property back, and should return her money. FFS treating their citizens this way, is ridiculous! Sounds like it was a deposit to ensure she returned it, NOT A RENTAL FEE!!!!!!!!!!

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    • It was a deposit to return it on time, or at least that’s what it sounds like from the OP’s narrative. But it’s not surprising to learn there’s more than one person in Edmonton that thinks they should be the exception to a rule, policy, or contract.

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    • Lora Grass Lora Grass says:

      Piss off bitch. LIFE happens. What if her loved one died? She loses her deposit for that too? She made every attempt to reschedule, they didn’t keep THEIR WORD to get back to her in 24 hours! Are you that stupid to not see they also broke their word? smh

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  14. The reason they have strict deadlines is because they only have so many traps and people … like at one time myself …. are also waiting to use them. I eventually bought my own trap because it was 2 weeks past due for my turn due to shortage in traps because of people either not returning them or not returning them on time. I’m honestly glad I just bought my own and used it, then sold it on Kijiji!

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  15. Sandra Wells Sandra Wells says:

    You sound a bit entitled to me! You didn’t look after your end of the deal!! Suck it up princess!

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  16. Sounds like Shirley needed a Snickers and I am sure it would have all been better.

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  17. Mike Pierce Mike Pierce says:

    You felt like breaking the rules and then going down to an office building and ruining the day of a public employee. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for that alone, nevermind for the fact that you are too cheap to buy a trap yourself. All this over nice squirrels? I’ve been alive a long time and I can’t recall ever being put out by goddamn squirrels.

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  18. Vince Gillis Vince Gillis says:

    Watch more Judge Judy.

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  19. Squirrels moved into the walls?

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  20. Karen Nelson Karen Nelson says:

    My guess is that someone else yelled at Shirly because they had booked a trap, but you hadn’t returned yours, so they didn’t have one to lend out. I imagine it is a small department and perhaps understaffed due to illness or? And so didn’t get back to you. You should have returned it, but I agree that keeping the full amount was likely over zealous of Shirley.

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  21. Liz Dubray Liz Dubray says:

    It’s your own fault really. If someone hadn’t gotten back to you before you left, then that’s on you. An agreement is and agreement. It’s a signed contract. If you needed an extension that bad, you should have just gone into the establishment to notify them before your trip if you weren’t having any luck with receiving a phone call back. I would have not refunded your deposit either. No offense but that receptionist has a job to so as well. It’s not fair that you get your money back when you weren’t even sure if you were approved for a week extension. It doesn’t work that way. A contract is a contract. If anything, that receptionist was within her rights to refuse the refund of your deposit.

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  22. You were in the wrong…. you shouldn’t have left town before returning it ….

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  23. Call the Citizens Action Centre and complain about Shirley. It’s her job to serve the citizens of the City of Edmonton not enforce arbitrary rules.

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  24. They have good people working there and useless fucking twats as Well, my advice would be to buy you’re own trap and never rely on a agency cuz this is what can happen with inept assholes

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  25. Shari Heiser Shari Heiser says:

    Even though you should have returned it, if you weren’t being over the top yourself, she didn’t need to be short and shitty.

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  26. In all the years I’ve dealt with animal control only once have I had a pleasant experience there every other time nothing bud rudeness

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  27. 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. https://www.edmonton.ca/residential_neighbourhoods/pets_wildlife/wildlife-pests.aspx

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  28. M Lissa Sch M Lissa Sch says:

    You built a mountain out of a mole hill. She yelled, you yelled. Sucks but it’s done.. Move on lol.

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