This is my conversation that I just had with the high school kid working at Hollywood video, as best as I can remember it.
Kid: Phone number please?
Me: [Murray's phone number]
Kid: Murray Terreno di Amore?
Kid: Cicada Terreno di Amore?
Kid: This shows you have a late fee. Would you like to pay that now?
Me: Yes. [Pause] But what if I said no? How many times am I allowed to say no?
Kid: Uh... technically they don't tell us that. And actually, even when someone's account comes up as "DO NOT RENT TO THIS PERSON" we still rent to them. So basically we'll rent to you no matter what.
Me: Hmm. I'll pay the fee.
Kid: [Rings me up for my movies and my late fee.] Would you like to buy damage protection on these movies for 25 cents each?
Kid: It means that if they come back damaged, you don't have to pay to replace them.
Me: I don't want to pay it.
Kid: Okay. What would you say if I just charge you 50 cents damage protection for all three movies?
Me: Not gonna pay it. I mean, what, it's 20 bucks if I damage the movie? I just have to pay 20 bucks to replace it?
Kid: Yeah, so wouldn't you rather pay 50 cents to protect yourself than 20 bucks?
Me: I don't want to buy the protection. Boy, they sure do tell you to do this, though, don't they?
Kid: Yeah. We have to do it. They keep track. And if I don't meet my weekly quota, I could lose my job.
Me: You're kidding.
Kid: Well, I wouldn't lose my job because my boss is really nice and he wouldn't do that. But his boss really gets on his back, and he could lose his job if we aren't meeting our quotas.
Me: Well, if it helps you meet your quota, then I'll pay the 50 cents.
Kid: No, no. That's okay. I'm not going to charge you for it.
Me: I mean, how can they prove it anyway? How can they prove that I damaged the movie?
Kid: If it's damaged, they'll bring up the name of the last person who rented it.
Me: I'd say, "It didn't work that well for me, either, but I was able to get past the rough parts."
Kid: They'd make you pay anyway. It's a horrible company.
[With my powers of negotiation, they wouldn't. But I didn't go into that.]
Me: What's your name:
Kid: William. [Name changed for protection.]
Me: William, next time I come in, I'm going to buy the protection, only to help you reach your quota and keep your job.
Kid: That's really nice of you. In fact, it's so nice of you that I'm going to ring you up for a free movie, and in my own way I can stick it to the company.
Me: You stick it to them. And thank you. That's really nice.
So basically, William will be my go-to guy at Hollywood from now on. Until he loses his job that is, because people get wise to the whole "Hollywood would like to offer you its protection" scam.