Fight Club starring Jean-Claude Van Man

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Where I stayed
So Hotel - Absolute luxury

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Friday, November 12, 2010

We woke up with Erica needing the loo at 6am again. We both had a bit of a hangover and the last thing we wanted to do was pack up our stuff and clean the van out. None the less we set about cleaning everything up and getting our rucksacks back out for the first time in 5 and a half weeks. When we had them loaded we were starting to feel a little bit gutted to be giving up the Gimp. We actually were not due to hand the van back until the next day but we just wanted to get it over and done with. When we were packed and tidied up we drove back to Christchurch we thought it would be easier to drop off then van on a Friday than a Saturday as the depot isnt open all day on a Saturday. Oddly Wicked vans are collected with no fuel and you hand it back without fuel. We therefore decided to drive the last 150km with the warning light on that we were running out but refusing whole heartedly to fill up. We had visions of pushing the van the last kilometre but we found the depot pretty quickly without having to go into town. We also spent a lot of money again putting the van through the car wash but it looked immaculate.

Oddly the depot appeared to be shut but there were about 6 other people in 3 couples hanging around outside already apparantly looking to hire vans. We assumed someone had gone to lunch or something as there were no signs around to say it was closed or anything so we made a call from one of the German couples telephone. We managed to sell our inverter to another of the couples which was a win win situation, we no longer had use for it and they were hiring for over a month. We managed to get through to the Wicked office who told us they did not know why the office was closed but would try and find out and call us back. We waited for over an hour without a return call in which time two of the other couples left and gave up. We tried to call again and were told that someone was on the way but that it was public holiday none the less someone was on the way. We obviously therefore waited as someone was on their way and after another half an hour a Wicked van whizzed into the car park.

The reaction of the driver quite simply amazed us, as he jumped out of his van he simply came charging at us shouting at the top of his voice "right which one of you F*ckers is going to pay me $50 I cant f*cking believe you f*ckwits". We simply sat still and got screamed at by this guy for a few minutes before what was presumably his wife got out and then started "can we not even leave this place for one day we need to have a life away from this place". In hindsight I think they must have had a blazing row with the Australian head office then wound each other up in the car on the way there. All we had done was ring the help desk and tell them we were there with other people wanting to hire vans and there was no-one about. I tried quite politely to explain the situation before the guy just squared up to me shouting at me "read your f*cking contract you f*cking d*ck it head I'm not having this I'm ringing the guy who owns the business and give him what the f*ck for". Again we tried politely to explain that if there was a sign up at the door we wouldnt have called the help number and as there was no sign we did call the number and they didnt tell us it was a public holiday or that the depot was shut or open otherwise. I started to get annoyed enough to offer a bit back and politely suggested he was over reacting and not to take it out on innocent customers, he went banana's and Erica was sending me away because she thought the guy was going to smack me. I read the piece of the contract that said you could drop the van off early but would not get a refund and he was bumping into me shoutin "I'm not a f*ckwit you f*cking dick", "look around you does this look like a f*cking normal day you f*cking idiot" it was just one of the most bizzare things I have ever seen again we tried to explain we have driven in from Akaroa that morning and not knowing the city nor having been into the centre we would never know if it looked like a normal day or not, again we were told we were "stupid f*cking idiots". The reaction to asking why not let the helpdesk know they were having a day off or put up a sign simply saying "public holiday please come back tomorrow" i.e. indicated you were intending to have a day off was quite frankly ridiculous the guy was just screaming and swearing in our faces.

I did end up getting into a right slanging match for about 3 minutes but Erica could see that there was no logic or reasoning to be done and sent me away knowing that the guy was going to hit me. I have waited 3 days until writing this and still feel absolutely shocked at what we saw and heard in terms of a customer service industry. The woman then reappered sarcastically asking if the van was clean so we let her inspect it. The guy obviously got the paperwork in order then sent his 12 year old daughter out to tell us "we were free to leave" presumably he was going to smack me if he saw me again. 

Perhaps more amusing is the fact that the German couple couldn't understand quite what was going one, they wanted a van and turned up on the door that morning with two other couples all waiting to hire vehicles, they were met by this mad man charging around screaming at them into their faces probably not understanding what he is shouting about and who i can only imagine how badly that hire was handled. Anway as a consequence Wicked lost two hires, and probably 4 extremely annoyed customers who will no doubt be passing on the tale to many other travellers for the rest of our long trips. Oh well you cant beat word of mouth advertising can you.

We picked up our bags and walked the 10 minutes to our hotel which we booked in the library the day before. It was 4 more than a private room in a hostel but Emma and Stuart had recommended it saying it was small but complete luxury with brand new en suite bathrooms, mood lighting, flat screen tv's, wifi etc. We stunk again and couldn't wait to shower and wash our clothes. We had a quick mooch around Christchurch, and found Burger King too cheap to walk by, it is cup week here (horse racing) and for 2.50 we got two burgers and chips which is pretty good value really but we can both tell we are piling the weight back on. Christchurch seems pretty nice really it almost seemed like a different country seeing shops and so many people around. We however were looking forward to lying in bed and watching junk tv. So we bought a pack of beer to put in our room fridge and sat in bed watching tv having cold beers. It was great. We refrained from ringing Wicked preferring to let the tension go out of the situation before contacting them perhaps we would feel differently after a good sleep and lie in.
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Cheryl chin on

Junk TV and a tussle with the locals - WICKED!!!!! ;-) !!!!!!

Rorie on

Dont know how the hell you didnt deck the d..khead Stevo, you were way more patient than i probably would have been. Remember how i got when chinese people started barging into us at the Expo - GO GO GO and the guy that we thought ripped us off with the ferry trip between Hong Kong and Macau, oh ya!!!!!!!!!!!!!

farknash on

i'm just glad the van was immaculate....

James Black on

Hey Guys

I work in Brisbane at Wicked's Headquarters and I am really sorry for you having to put up with this! It's not on at all!

You'll be pleased to know that this couple no longer work for Wicked - they were definately not the peace & love type we prefer at Wicked :)

Please email me: and I'll personally see to it that you are compensated for this!

Again - we do not endorse this kind of behaviour at all in our staff! Looking forward to hearing from you,

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