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Discussion Starter #1
So, on a sunday two weeks ago I got a call from some construction company (by caller id). Didn't answer as I was kinda in a bad spot and couldn't figure any reason such a company would call me, on a sunday no less. Well, half an hour later they send me an SMS that it's about a rental sax, please call back. Puzzling! Half an hour later I call back and the somewhat obnoxious drunken-sounding fellow has trouble figuring out why I am calling like he had no idea whatsoever. I try to explain THEY tried to call ME and apparently it is something about a rental sax. The guy kept asking questions like what kind of apartment I have to rent until a sweet while of reaallly slooowwlly explaining the situation, he suddenly remembers everything clearly. YEAH ABOUT THE SAX.

Turns out, apparently the guy operates also a small music school, and they had lost the receipt and/or the cheap thomann tenor I rented from them (my own axes were in another country being overhauled and I really wanted to play something). Funny thing is the rent was for only two weeks, and I had personally returned the sax well over a year ago! (I think 14 months ago)

The guy was really accusative from the start and asked me to either return the sax, or provide my copy of the return receipt as they didn't have one. As I said I kinda do not have the receipt at hand at the moment, he started accusing me of bad accounting (lol). Asked him how long exactly should I, as a private customer, keep my return receipts in order to not be accused of theft in future sundays by your company, he said "five years, that's the law". Uhm. That might be for a company's financial accounting, but I'm a private customer surely that can't be. He said five years full stop.

I pointed out the sax had been returned well over a year ago, and if their sax inventory or receipt archival is not up to standard, it kinda is their problem and they should look into the instruments being returned in a little bit more timely fashion. (if he were friendlier from the start, I would have tried to sort things out like two adults would, but I was really getting annoyed by his "either you have our stamp to show, or the sax is stolen" rethoric)

I said I really can't be bothered to check if I had the receipt or not, but he is free to approach me through official channels (police).. I might be willing to go through my "archives" at that point (truth). And that I feel sorry if their financial situation is bad enough to make them go through the trouble of falsely accusing people about stealing a sax worth maybe 300 EUR no less. That might have hit a soft spot as he went on to angrily brag how they have absolutely no financial problems and "hundreds of thousands of euros worth of saxophones and other stuff on inventory" (a tiny private music school in small northern finland city...yeah...). Long story short the "discussion" kind of died from there and the guy said he probably gonna take my word on it, as it's not an expensive instrument at all and they have them dime a dozen. Not heard from them since.

I usually like to think the best of people ("never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity"). But this felt like a clear extortion plot to me :/ I wonder if any other customers have been asked for receipts after a convenient 1-2 years in which the papers are probably lost already? What would you think would be a reasonable time a private customer should be expected to store receipts as a proof of return?
 

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I’ve never rented an instrument, however I’ve rented tools many times. They’ve required a deposit on my credit card each time, refunded when the tool is returned with no damage. So the refund shows up on my card statement, which seems like it could be proof that I returned the rental. Is there any such deposit requirement for instruments?

I wonder if the drunk guy who called you was just going on a fishing expedition to see if he could get some cash out of you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Surely seemed like a fishing expedition! It was such a small shop I'm sure rentals weren't their primary source of income, maybe typically reserved for students that take also lessons from them. So it was kinda no fuss cash only kind of deal. And pretty cheap. I think I paid something like cash 60e up front, 30e of it being "deposit" I got back when I returned the thing. I even suggested they keep the deposit as I felt it was such a small price for the service. But they insisted on giving the deposit cash back as agreed upon (and the sax was returned timely, clean, and in good shape). It was such a small operation I doubt they even had the ability to process credit cards. Bigger music rental shops or schools might have more rigid policies, if they event exist in finland outside of the few big educational institutions..

I too rent tools, cars and whatnots for work but those are always billed on my clients/employers which are companies, I wouldn't know what deposits they require from private customers, if at all deal with them. I would imagine credit card deposits were the norm!
 
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