“It’s not self-service, sir…”

REZQ have a de facto monopoly in recovery services in many of the less-well-explored and more desolate sectors of this arm of the galaxy. This means they charge way too much for a subscription to feel affordable, but are just cheap enough that companies will take a subscription to REZQ rather than have their employees try to fix dangerous, potentially expensive problems themselves. The problem comes when you get somebody who is a subscriber, but who wants to try and negotiate down the cost of the recovery once REZQ have arrived.

This usually takes the form of trying to strip back “extras” like voidwear hire: if part of the recovery would involve extra-vehicular activity for the customer, and they don’t have a vacuum suit (fewer spacefaring people own them than you’d think), Thom would normally rent them a cheap one that is kept aboard the ship for that purpose–but some customers would rather close their eyes, put their fingers in their ears, hold their breath, and hope for the best.

Sometimes, though, they will actually manufacture a means to dispute the final invoice. This could be by trying to carry out parts of the recovery themselves–going for a PHOME thrower to repair their own damage (even when using it would be even less safe than usual). Or they might supply their own janky home-made tools with cracked software and insist that Thom use those intead of his own, to avoid the tool hire surcharges.

“I’m not paying for that, I did it for you!”

“How much? I’ll do without!”

“You broke that. I saw you. I want a discount.”

The customer is always right. And out here, the customer is often some kind of poor dickhead not unlike your average REZQ Peripatetic Frontline Team recovery operative. Unfortunately, that means they’re probably just as impoverished, tired, desperate, and willing to cut corners as they are. It’s a delicate balancing act: acquiesce to the customer too much, and margins can shrink in a way that get you sanctioned. But if you don’t give the customer enough, you can kiss goodbye to the high feedback rating you’re compelled to collect after every job–or they might even sue you.