237. The Rental Car (2)

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Ryan and Amelia traveled in the rented Buick to Tucson to attend a weekend gem and mineral show; the big national show was every April. They mostly browsed. Amelia was partial to natural, unpolished stones. One that she particularly liked was priced at $1,600. "We'll get that one as soon as we hit the lotto," Ryan promised her. She rolled her eyes.

Halfway back from Tucson, Ryan swerved into the emergency lane to avoid a ladder in the number four lane. The emergency lane itself had pieces of metal and other trash in it, but he safely evaded the ladder. Ten miles later, he saw a bumper in the fast lane and a wheel rim in the number two lane. "These freeways are turning into minefields," Ryan muttered. They returned the rental car at 9:45 p.m. Sunday.

The bill in today's mail was for $430.55, charged to Ryan's VISA card. Apparently, some metal from the emergency lane had damaged the Buick's air conditioning system. "I told you to buy their daily insurance," Amelia yelled. "When are you going to listen to me?"

Ryan said that he wasn't going to pay this bill. That Buick air conditioner had probably died last November, he thought. He dialed VISA to dispute the bill. If VISA didn't help him contest the bill, he'd talk to his own auto insurance company. Surely they would reimburse him if he had to pay this bill.


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