Category: Criminal & Illegal

Scoot On Back Over

| UK | Criminal & Illegal, Transportation

(I am working on the service desk when an elderly woman approaches me.)

Customer: “Excuse me, dear. Could I please use one of these scooters?”

Me: “Do you have a blue badge certificate?”

Customer: “Oh, no. I’m not disabled. I’m just old. I’m having difficulty moving around today.”

(I look her over and she indeed does seem tired.)

Me: “I understand. Normally they’re only meant for people who can provide a blue disability badge, but I’ll just call the manager and see if he’s happy to let you use one.”

(I call and he allows it. I unchain one of the scooters and move it up to her. She’s extremely grateful as I show her how to use it and after a couple of minutes she’s off to start her shopping. About an hour later I see her again, leaving the store and still riding it. I assume she’s going to her car or something so think nothing of it until…)

Manager: *running past and outside* “[My Name], call the police. We’ve got a robbery.”

(I call the police and head outside myself to see what’s happened. The woman is being escorted from the bottom of the retail park by my manager and two colleagues. The police arrive before they make it back.)

Manager: “She claims she was going home with it.”

Customer: “But, but, I thought I was allowed. I thought that was what they were for!”

(The police tried to question her and it was apparent that she was completely confused by the entire situation. She broke down crying and you couldn’t help but feel sympathetic. It was decided to just leave everything as it was and the officers offered to take her home instead. No one here has seen her since then, but we hope she’s okay.)

It’s Show-Crime!

| NY, USA | Criminal & Illegal, Movies & TV

(I’ve sold a ticket to a man for a 4:00 pm show-time. A few minutes later, I see him out of the corner of my eye entering the theater. I should note, it’s not even 1:00 pm yet. There’s an earlier showing of the movie already playing, plus a 2:00 pm showing before the one he bought tickets to. I call a manager who goes into the theater and comes out with the man. I hear the following exchange.)

Manager: “I understand you bought a ticket to the 4:00 pm show-time. If you’d like to see the rest of the current show-time, I’ll have to ask you to exchange your ticket for it or buy a ticket to get in.”

Customer: “But this one is already playing!”

Manager: “I understand, sir.”

Customer: “Why can’t I just go see this one?”

Manager: “Because you didn’t buy a ticket to this show-time.”

Customer: “But I bought a ticket to the 4:00 pm show-time! So I should be able to watch the end of this.”

Manager: “That’s not how that works, sir.”

Customer: “Why not?”

Manager: “Sir, you bought a ticket for a specific show-time. You need to go to that show-time.”

Customer: *acting like he’s the smartest guy in the world* “But I just figured I’d watch the end of this one, then I could also see the two o’clock show-time AND the four o’clock show-time!”

Manager: *taken aback* “Sir, you essentially just told me you’re paying for one show-time, but seeing three movies.”

Customer: *proud* “Yup!”

Manager: “Sir, that’s basically stealing.”

Customer: “How so?”

Manager: “You’re viewing two shows without paying for them!”

Customer: “But how is it stealing? I’m not taking them home.”

Manager: “You’re using a paid service without paying for it.”

Customer: “But it can’t be stealing if I’m not taking the movie home!”

Manager: “Seriously? You’re acquiring and using a service without paying for it. What else would you call it besides stealing of services?”

Customer: *beaming* “Being a smart customer who knows his rights!”

Manager: “Speaking of rights, you know I have the right to kick you out, right?”

Customer: *suddenly bolting towards the exit door* “I’ll be back at four!”

It’s Like He’s Half Awake(boarding)

| Coralville, IA, USA | Criminal & Illegal, Non-Dialogue

I am on the management team of a large sporting goods store. I also have a neighbor with a boat who lets me come along on occasion to wakeboard.

During one of our wakeboard sessions his buddy tells me that last time he was in my store to buy a wakeboard handle and rope, the cashier thought they were a set and failed to charge him for the handle. I’m thinking this guys is an idiot for admitting this to me, but since I’m a guest on the boat I’ll just call it water under the bridge and not make a stink about it.

Flash forward a few weeks. I’m at work and get called to customer service to approve a return. It’s the buddy, and he’s got the handle that he admitted to me he stole, and he wants to exchange it because the grip is ripping. He even confirms those facts when I ask him specifically if this is handle he admitted to me he didn’t pay for.

Still an idiot.

I kept the handle. He walked away with a blank stare. I don’t get to go wakeboarding any more.

That Power Was Just A Rental

| Hampshire, England, UK | Criminal & Illegal, Money

(I am working for one of the major energy companies in the customer service department when I get the following call.)

Customer: “Hi, I think there’s been some mistake. I’ve got this letter but I think it’s an error or something, like maybe the system sent it out by mistake.”

Me: “I can certainly look into that for you. Does the letter come with a reference number?”

(The customer gives me the number. I pull up the account and ask the customer’s name, which is the same as the one on the account, so I confirm security details like date of birth and address to ensure this is the named account holder, and the details all match.)

Me: “What does the letter say? Because the only letters I can see that we sent are your welcome pack and the bill—”

Customer: “That’s exactly it! Why did you send me a bill?”

Me: “We’re your supplier. You used energy, so you have to pay for it.”

Customer: “What? No. I’ve been paying.”

Me: “Okay, let me just check the account to see if I can figure out what’s going on.”

(I check the account. There hasn’t been a single payment, but it looks like the customer is a new tenant who moved in a few months ago, so I check the previous tenant’s account. It’s not uncommon for old tenants to leave behind their payment cards since they won’t be needing it anymore and for new tenants to use it, either by mistake or because they don’t realise they need to get their own card. However, there are no recent payments on the old account either.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I’m not seeing any payments, but if I take some details, I should be able to trace them. First, how much did you pay and when did you pay it?”

Customer: “£600 on the first of every month since September.”

(I become a little suspicious, something isn’t quite right – this seems a ridiculously high amount to pay for gas and electric.)

Me: “Sorry, did you say £600? Six-zero-zero?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “And you said you’ve paid this every month? It’s not the total of all your payments so far?”

Customer: “No, it’s £600 every month. So like… over two grand by now.”

Me: “Who told you to pay that much?”

Customer: “The landlord.”

Me: *starting to see what’s happening* “That’s your rent, isn’t it?”

Customer: “Yeah. I’ve been paying every month without fail.”

Me: “This is for your energy bill, not your rent.”

Customer: “I know. But I’ve been paying my rent, Why do I need to pay for the electric if I’m paying my rent?”

Me: “Does your tenancy agreement say that utilities are included in the rent?”

Customer: “My what?”

Me: “Your tenancy agreement.”

Customer: What’s that?”

Me: “It’s a contract outlining how much rent you pay and the conditions of your tenancy. You would have signed one before you moved in.”

Customer: “Oh. I think I signed something like that. But I pay rent, so I don’t have to pay for my bills. Everything is covered. You shouldn’t be sending me a bill.”

Me: “Unless your tenancy agreement states bills are included, you are liable for the balance. Do you have your tenancy agreement to hand? I’ll go through it with you and help you find the part which details what your rent covers.”

(The customer goes off to fetch the paperwork, and then comes back. I get him to read me the table of contents and I guide him to the page the information we need is likely to be on. I’ve dealt with enough new tenants and disputes of liability to know my way around a tenancy agreement – particularly as most landlords use the same standard template. It’s not uncommon for a landlord to charge an extortionate amount of rent and justify it by claiming it includes utilities but then not pay it, or put the tenant’s name on the bill to try and weasel out of it. I am concerned that this is what is happening to this customer. Then the customer reads aloud to me.)

Customer: “Oh, here we go, this says ‘rent is not inclusive of utilities.’ What does that mean?”

Me: “It means your rent does not include your gas and electric or any other services such as the Internet. So you have to pay this bill. We can discuss payment plans if you cannot pay it all in one go.”

Customer: “But… but I pay rent.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but your rent only covers you for the property, not any of the bills, unless the tenancy agreement says otherwise which yours does not.”

Customer: “You have my name on the bill… How did you get it? I didn’t call you.”

Me: “It looks like the landlord sent us all your details when you moved in.”

Customer: *smugly* “Well, I’m not liable for the bill. He is.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we’ve already established that is not the case. You live in the property and are responsible for all the bills—”

Customer: “Look, I’m studying law at uni. I know my rights. I didn’t sign a contract with you, so you can’t bill me without my permission. If my landlord did it, well, that’s fraud.”

Me: “That’s not how it works with utilities, sir. We were your supplier when you moved in, therefore you or your landlord were obligated to inform us that you moved in.”

Customer: “But you don’t have my signature on a piece of paper giving you permission, right?”

Me: “Like I said, we don’t need it; we’re a utility company.”

Customer: *laughs* “Yeah, good luck with that, lady. You’ll never get a penny from me. I know the law; I’m top in my class. You need my signature, and I need to be fully aware of entering a legal, binding contract.”

Me: “So you’re saying you won’t pay unless you signed a legally binding document agreeing to do so?”

Customer: “That’s right.”

Me: “Your tenancy agreement is a legally binding document. Would you agree?”

Customer: “I’m not f****** stupid; of course it is. It’s a f****** tenancy agreement.”

Me: “Go to the next section, the heading should be ‘tenant’s obligations.’ Read me what it says.”

Customer: *pauses, groaning down the phone* “Fine. But I don’t see what an agreement you said was just for the property has to do with this bill…”

(Customer begins reading. The first line says they must pay rent on time and then the very next line is: Tenant MUST pay ALL utility bills. As soon as the customer reads this line they pause and the line goes quiet for a while.)

Me: “Would you like to pay the bill in full, or would you like to set up a payment plan?”

Customer: “You think you’re so f****** clever. This doesn’t change anything. I’m not paying the f****** bill, I never agreed I would, and I’m paying my rent so I shouldn’t have to! I know my rights! I’m a law student!”

(The customer started going on and on about how he knew his rights, how he’d never pay because he was paying rent, and how if he was paying rent it was illegal for us to charge him for energy. The call was going nowhere and the customer was getting more and more aggressive by the minute, swearing up a storm. In the end, I informed the customer of the consequences if he didn’t pay and informed him that unless he wished to discuss payment, then I would terminate the call because it was going around in circles. The customer then threatened to come down to the office and (his exact words) “smash your face in,” so I terminated the call, informing the customer as I did so as per company policy. The customer called back and asked to talk to my manager, trying to get me fired by claiming that I swore at him, called him an idiot, and that I threatened him. Obviously I didn’t, so I wasn’t fired.)

Should Print Them Out A Copy Of The Law

| USA | Crazy Requests, Criminal & Illegal

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store]. This is [My Name] in the print department; what can I help you with?”

Customer:” I need to speak with someone in the print department.”

Me: “Yes, I am in the print department; how can I help you?”

Customer: “Can you make copies?”

Me: “Yes, we can make copies.”

Customer: “So, can you, like, make copies of a large $600 book?”

Me: “Well, the first question I need to ask is: is the book copyrighted?”

Customer:“Yeah. I’m not gonna lie; it is.” *giggles nervously*

Me: “Well then, as reproducing copyrighted items is illegal without express permission from the publisher and creator, we cannot.”

Customer: “So since it is illegal, you can’t?”

Me: “That is correct.”

Customer: “Can’t you just do it anyway?”

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