You are reading content from Scuttlebutt
@dangerousbeans

Car is missing

I hire out my vehicles on YourDrive which is a sort of AirBnb for cars.

It goes out maybe once or twice a week for a few days, normally everything is super chill.

Today it's 2 days overdue back - a lady rented it out, explaining her car with getting fixed, so I showed her how it all worked and helped her get her two kids inside and put on the child locks.

Then on the day it was due back, Wednesday morning, it didn't come back at 8am like she'd agreed.
But then she texted to say "oh hey can I extend an extra day?"

I said yes, but do it through the site so the insurance covers it.

She did, all good, but then it was extended to yesterday morning.

I let it get to mid day before I started hassling her - phone goes straight to voicemail. No response from texts.

The last one I got from her said she'd renew the booking when she got better signal but that was days ago.

Have contacted the rental thing, they say it's still covered by their insurance.
Now I wait I guess

@dangerousbeans

Screen Shot 2019-04-05 at 12.33.03 PM.png

@angelica
Voted this
@dangerousbeans

Okay I have had to report it stolen to the police

User has chosen not to be hosted publicly
@Powersource
Voted this
@moid

Bummer, sorry for your troubles @dangerousbeans ✨𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒖𝒎✨ I hope it was just one of your porsches and not the ferraris you let out to premium scuttlebutts.

@Dominic
Voted this
@dangerousbeans

Ben, one of the employees at the p2p car rental thing, has now given me his personal number.

He's been sort of in touch with the lady but she hung up on him after he instructed her to return it.

He's let her know that now it's getting handed over to the police and he said to call up and put him down as one of the 'Victims' so he can pass on all the details.

The police didn't really understand all this and are also confused because I'm not registered as the vehicle owner (I'm looking after the car for a friend, who knows I hire it out)

What's so weird is they have all the details of these people, they've even paid for a few days rental.

I'm suspicious of two things now that I think about it with more focus. I'm pretty sure the two kids she had were the same two kids who the precious renter had.

The previous renter was a bit troublesome, he paid okay and did return the car but he behaved differently to all the other humans who'd rented the car before. He kept over-explaining stuff, like offering reasons why he would want to rent the car a bit too quickly (like I don't care why people want the car, none of my business really)

He also made a big deal of asking me where to fill up the fuel and where the nearest gas station was and then actually didn't fill the tank up, it was a tiny bit away from full (for simplicity you're meant to start and end on a full tank)

So I think this guy was testing the water a bit and seeing what he'd get away with (I didn't kick up a fuss about the fuel) and then this lady is some how related to him.

He'd said he was actually from Australia so maybe their plan is to rinse out as much free rental time as possible and then leave the country

Ben warned me that probably the car will come back in bad condition

@dangerousbeans

Things that are upsetting to me about this:

1 - These outlier people are gaming the system and the only way to defend against them seems to be more rules, more fines, more checks. Maybe there's another way? Like maybe if the car wasn't owned by anyone?

2 - I try really hard to not profile people based on their appearance or manner of speaking, but I'm aware that I do do this, and I do it because of past experiences with people who look or sound or act similarly. I do the same with cats based on which ones have gouged flesh out of my hands in response to petting vs which ones have happily been petted. These people have bitten me when I trusted them to some extent so now I know I will trust similar people (maybe just everyone?) a bit less - and I don't like that.

Like now I'm considering taking my van off the site, so more people will need to buy vans

@📱 Christian Bundy

This sounds like a sucky experience. Sorry you have to deal with people taking advantage of the commons, I'm long-term optimistic for sharing but short-term bummed about sketchiness and theft.

@bob

Bummer @dangerousbeans ✨𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒖𝒎✨
And I share your sadness that part of the outcome for all of us, becomes a loss of trust, and the profiling you speak of.

Leigh runs a large store here, and fights an ongoing battle against shoplifters, or more precisely nowadays, folk who just walk in, pick up what they fancy and walk back out. There seems to be a small but significant segment of society who live their lives like this, and there is no compunction. On the retail front, the inevitable response will be increased surveillance and facial recognition as a means of trespassing these people. They will then go looking for other soft targets.
In the meantime, part of the 'game' is to maintain pressure wherever possible, by way of trespassing and court actions. And the reason for that (beyond the obvious) is so as not to appear a soft target, since the word goes around as to where the pickings are easy.

@dangerousbeans

Okay it's been escalated to the CEO who's supplying the details to the police (they wouldn't directly give them to me)

This situation has Auckland police totally confused because they need to fill in a little form from 3 separate people instead of just 1 person.

I had to verbally grant TOW AUTHORITY for if they find it - presumably they are now going to hunt it down and drag it back to my house?

I have no idea what the outcome of all this is going to be.

Will the car be just outside their house? Will it be a wreck somewhere? Am I going to get beaten up?
Did they just park it somewhere vaguely near my home?

If anyone sees this plz let me know
Screen Shot 2019-04-07 at 1.54.18 PM.png

@Linas

My personal experience of mom+kids+trouble == mom is actually broke, can't pay the repair guy to get her car back, needs your car to get to work, which is minimum wage job with boss threatening to fire her cause of short hours cause she's always running out to get her kids. Oh and maybe she's slightly manic-depressive or schizo, just to add to the pile of problems. The social safety net for the bottom socio-economic classes is mighty frayed, and these people are always about $50 away from being homeless.

I mean I have no clue if that happened in this case, but this was never infrequent in the US, and has been getting increasingly common. I've witnessed some of these things and they've been heart-breaking. I mean, not like I want to give away my car to solve their problems, but .. its whack. There's a problem.

@dangerousbeans

Police called last night, they have FOUND THE CAR

They were pretty confused because it was not being driven by the lady who rented it, but by someone else. Also the back of the car is apparently 'very damaged'

They have towed it somewhere to dust it for fingerprints and have arrested the driver

Apparently I can pick it up soon?

User has chosen not to be hosted publicly
@Andrei Cociuba

I come from a country where when 3 people gather, one of them bickers about the second to the third behind his back.

I mean, not everyone, but enough of them for this saying to go around.

I have very mixed feeling about your story.

On one hand, i feel for you. i do understand (at least in part) what you are doing and where you are going with this car rental thing. On the other hand, i am like "you were NOT expecting something dodgy to happen?"

I am confused that the police are confused that theres so many people involved. but on the other hand, it is a quite infrequent situation, so i am not surprised the bureaucracy is not accomodating it.

Being an adult and having the ability to hold conflicting ideas in your mind at the same time is complicated and exhausting.

i cant really help, and wishing you the best is probably not going to ACTUALLY DO you any good in any practical sense, but i do wish you all the best.

also, i have to admit, this is also better than any entertainment i can find around me, please keep us posted how it all works out.

@bobhaugen

I will be very surprised if the first driver did not sell the car to the second driver.

@bob

Nah @bobhaugen it tends to be very amorphous and informal here...which may well be part of the problem. Quite likely it was "...need wheels? use this one I got..."

But hey @dangerousbeans ✨𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒖𝒎✨ while I can sympathise with your exposure to this reality...do me a favour and stop referring to the police as 'confused'. It seems to me you have an unrealistic expectation of what the Public Service's involvement should be in your choice of private arrangements:
I am reminded of a cartoon from the 60s, a hippy standing in the doorway of a trashed room, shouting 'We've been robbed, man...call the pigs!'.........................

@bob

On reflection @dangerousbeans ✨𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒖𝒎✨ that was harsh, and I apologise.
I admire your conscious effort to avoid profiling people. And it is a sad thing that your open nature is taken advantage off.

@ktorn

@dangerousbeans ✨𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒖𝒎✨ glad to hear thatyour car has been found. Hope the insurance can fully cover the damages.

I'm curious as to what kind of reputation system YourDrive uses. Do new users (without in-app reputation) need to put a deposit in place, or does the company foot the bill in order to keep a low barrier of entry for new users?

Remember, if you find someone's homework in the back of the car you know what not to do. :wink:

@dangerousbeans

@IBob @ktorn @Andrei Cociuba some things I should clear up about this:

1) YourDrive, the p2p rental thing, has insurance which covers the cars while they're being rented, so really I am not in much danger of loss, just drama.

2) When people request a booking it is very similar to AirBnb - you have a tiny picture, their name and their messages. I would only reject a booking if I'd forgotten to take the car off as 'unavailable' when I actually needed it or if I didn't see the message in time.

3) When I'm saying "the police were confused" it reflects a noticeable, unexpected lack of understanding of the situation or an inflexibility of the database they're using. For example Ben had requested the police to contact him as he had all the details of the renter. But the first police clerk could not make phone calls (??) or give me her direct number and instead asked Ben to release the information to me, so I could pass it on. Ben knew this was private information and releasing it to me would be illegal, so refused

@Zenna
Voted this
@Andrei Cociuba

@dangerousbeans ✨𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒖𝒎✨ i got you the first time, i wasnt expecting some dumbfounded individual policemen, i quite got the sense of an inflexible and confused bureaucracy/database/forms.

dealing with insurance is quite the hassle for the beneficiaries of the money and quite swift for the guilty party (if totally unpleasant). which is the exact opposite way they market it. i mean, its SUPPOSED to make your life easier as the person who suffered damages through no fault of their own.

insurance is practically reverse-betting. they bet you that nobody damages your car, and they pay if someone does. and the odds they give you are such that the statistical odds in real life work out that they also get to keep some money. insurance companies are by all intent and purposes bookies, and like all bookies, they are completely uninterested to pay out money, or to make it any easier if they must.

i am rambling, but the gist of it is that i feel for you.

and don't get me started with the market paradoxes of the symbiotic relationship of insurance agencies and car dealerships. i have quite the soap opera going on at the moment for a damn piece of plastic on my car. getting the doors replaced when they got bent (my fault) was totally a lot easier.

@bob

@dangerousbeans ✨𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒖𝒎✨ it will be interesting to see how this works in NZ.
There is a segment of the population for whom periodic court appearances hold no stigma and are an accepted part of life. And while I am not an advocate of stronger measures, the penalties handed out for the sort of offenses involved here are not even an inconvenience: a fine is unlikely to be imposed where the offender is unable to pay, if one is imposed it is unlikely to be paid, it then becomes the responsibility of the plaintiff to pursue it through civil action, with all the costs involved in that.
A sentence of periodic detention may be imposed, involving supervised weekend work. That is unlikely to be completed either, should the offender prefer otherwise.
A driving license may be suspended or disqualified, this will have no practical effect either, apart from a possible increase in future court visits fro driving without a license.

I'm sorry if this paints a jaded picture, but this is (part of) how it is. My wife runs a large department store, and returned this week from the annual HO gathering. She reported, amongst other things, that they are considering the possibilities of self-checkout. We laughed over that for several minutes, it painted such a funny picture. The joke (and you have to laugh or you would cry) is that this is the very thing they are constantly trying to prevent.
I will give you a practical example: Masterton hosts an annual shearing competition called The Golden Shears. (It's actually a lot more interesting than it sounds, even if you're not into sheep.) It is attended by shearers and shearing gangs and their families and their supporters from all over the country. A lot of them stay with relatives and acquaintances in the community. Which creates a bedding shortage. So folk just wander into stores and take sheets and blankets off the shelves. Several sets at a time. All weekend. And they have very good taste too, so it's not the cheap stuff. And they shove them under babies in baby buggies, or down their pants, or in their bags, and they walk out.
A full time security crew would minimise this...and add 50% to the wage bill.
As it is, they are filmed, the police visit routinely to pick up a copy of the film. Frequently they recognise the offender, they then go issue a court summons and trespass the offender from the store. In due course, the offender goes to court, where the offense is added to their list of offenses, no fine is imposed since they have no way of paying, and some community service or periodic detention sentence is imposed, which the offender may or may not complete.
And that's how part of the gitalong goes.
Soon, now , most large retailers will have facial recognition, also numberplate scanning, linked to national databases, and the repeaters will be stopped at the door. And for inside, there will be modelled behaviours.
The action will then shift to softer targets.

And I don't like any of this either. But what are the options?

@dangerousbeans

The police have lost the keys for the car. Lol.

Great.

I know where it is now at least! It's incurring heavy storage fees at a towing facility in south auckland.

The officer who dusted it for fingerprints said it was full of makeup and bags so 'maybe I can get some money back from that' (suggesting I should sell these random possessions)

@dangerousbeans

20190417_113921_resized_1.jpg
20190417_113917_resized_1.jpg

@miles

what a drag man, so sorry to hear this booo to outlier people

@neftaly
Voted this
@Rich

wishing you bottomless compassion to keep sailing through this with your dignity and goodwill intact

User has chosen not to be hosted publicly
Join Scuttlebutt now