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They’re Not Pay Pals

| Seattle, WA, USA | Liars & Scammers, Money

(I’m a freelance web designer currently negotiating a job with someone who wants to give their website a complete overhaul.)

Site Owner: “So, I’m a big fan of [Popular Movie Franchise] and was wondering if you could do a template based on that.”

Me: “Sure thing! I love [Popular Movie Franchise], too! I could show you a few designs I whipped up previously.”

(Things proceed as normal, with me growing increasingly excited at finding a fellow fan who wants me to indulge one of my own geeky passions.)

Me: “Okay, and I just need your PayPal address to send the invoice.”

Site Owner: “Sure thing. I’ll send it right now.”

(He emails me his address, which I recognize as one that belongs to someone I dealt with a year ago. Specifically, this someone asked for a site design that he then never paid me for, and proceeded to vanish without a trace when I tried to follow up on his non-payment.)

Me: “Wait… is this [Name]?”

Site Owner: “Yes, is there a problem?”

Me: “You’re the guy who asked me to design a site for [Web Address] in June of last year?”

Site Owner: “Oh… wow, you remember that, huh? Yeah I had to put an end to that plan due to budget problems.”

Me: “Yes, I know. I’ve been trying to get you to pay your bill on that ever since! Did you not get any of my reminders that you had an outstanding invoice?”

Site Owner: “Uh… maybe? Is this going to be a problem?”

Me: “Heck, yes, it’s going to be a problem! You still owe me $400 for that last job and now you expect me to do more work for you?”

Site Owner: “Well… I mean it was such a long time ago. I thought if you remembered it’d be like ‘Oh, it’s you!’ And then we’d have a laugh about the craziness that went on.”

Me: “That ‘craziness’ is why I was late on several bills due to not having your payment to cover things! This isn’t a sitcom! People don’t just laugh it off when you refuse to uphold your end of a business agreement.”

Site Owner: “Seriously?”

Me: “Much as I really wanted to do this job, I’m going to have to decline now, given you’re too great of a risk.”

Site Owner: “What?! Well, what if I agree to pay up front for the new job?”

Me: “You’d still owe me the $400 for the last job.”

Site Owner: “Well, I don’t have that kind of money right now! I’m trying to run a business here! Can’t you cut a break for a fellow [Popular Movie Franchise] fan?”

Me: “Sorry, I’m trying to run a business here too. You’ll have to find someone else.”

(I blocked the guy on IM and posted warnings to every forum I know telling them not to do business with him if contacted. Blows my mind anyone could be so brazen or stupid as to change their name and contact details but still use the same PayPal address for someone they previously stiffed on a payment!)

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It’s A Deal-Breaker

| Boston, MA, USA | Bizarre, Extra Stupid, Money

(A customer comes up to my register with four clearance items.)

Customer: “These were in the clearance bin; the sticker says they used to be $17 but now they’re $9.”

Me: “No problem.” *scans item and discovers they’re actually $4 and used to be $8* “Oh, turns out they’re only $4. They must’ve been labelled incorrectly.”

Customer: “Really? How much were they before?”

Me: “$8.”

Customer: *thinks for a moment* “Never mind, then. $4 off isn’t as good as $8. I thought I was getting a better deal.” *leaves*

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Always Loyal

| NJ, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(I used to work at the local store of a chain. I’m now in the same store doing some shopping, and come across someone making a scene in one of the aisles.)

Customer: “Now, you listen to me. I’ve been coming here for ten years. Every time I come here, you people are nothing but rude and unhelpful, you never have what I want, and everything is ALWAYS the wrong price!”

Me: “Hey, miss, can I give you some advice?”

Customer: “Huh? Oh, do YOU know how to deal with these people?!”

Me: “Yep. Leave.”

Customer: “Wh… what?”

Me: “You’ve got a completely full cart there, crammed to the gills. It’s stuff from pretty much every section of the store, so I figure you were probably here for at least an hour. I KNOW you’ve been here for at least twenty minutes, because your voice carries like the screech of a crow. Half the things you’re asking the staff to do, they can’t; the other half you’re asking them to do they probably would, if you hadn’t been making their lives miserable from the moment you walked in. I also saw your husband or boyfriend or brother or whatever; he is over there trying to tell people to leave because you think these guys are crooks. He’s an a**-hole.”

Customer: *stumbling over herself in rage* “How DARE you!?”

Me: “Oh, and by the way, you have thirty days to return items. It’s on the receipt, it’s on the huge sign up at Guest Services, and it’s online. That garbage you’re yelling about them being ‘required’ to return is from last year’s collection, which I know because I have a set at home. It’s good quality stuff, so how you broke yours I can only imagine.”

Customer: “Who do you think you are to talk to me like that!?”

Me: *totally deadpan* “I’m the god-d***ed Batman.”

(I don’t really know what possessed me to say that. At least it got the poor, shell-shocked store employee to laugh his head off. The woman sticks her nose up in the air and storms off.)

Employee: “Oh, my gosh, THANK you. We’re never allowed to tell off the customer unless they’re being offensive or violent, and she hadn’t hit that yet!”

Me: “Semper Fidelis.”

Employee: “What?”

Me: “I was here 2002-2004, worked every section in hardlines, and spent three Christmases in the toy section. I also dealt with that EXACT problem from your end. That was about a decade of steam I just let off my chest!”

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