Category: Criminal & Illegal

Taking A Price Hike Strike

| UK | Crazy Requests, Criminal & Illegal, Money

(I work for one of the major energy suppliers in the UK, in the department that deals with accounts that have not been paid for at least 18 months and are in the process of being taken to court for a warrant. When the energy prices surged, we got a lot of customers calling to complain about it, understandably so, but some customer’s tried to use this to their advantage.)

Customer: “Yeah, I’m calling to say I won’t be paying my bill.”

Me: “Unfortunately you will have to pay it. If you cannot pay it all in one go, I can talk you through various payment plans.”

Customer: “Nope. I’m not paying. You’re charging me too much. I’ve been watching TV. Watchdogs are investigating you lot for charging more than you need to, jacking up your prices too quickly, and not putting them down. I’m not paying these inflated prices!”

Me: “Let me check your account a moment.”

(I check the customer’s account. The price rises happened a few months ago, but the customer hasn’t been paying for about eighteen months. Also, he’s on a fixed price plan which means that his tariff will stay the same even if the energy prices go up and down. I also note his plan should have expired six months ago but due to a system glitch, it has kept him on this low plan.)

Me: “Sir, it appears you have been unaffected by the price increase. You have been on a fixed price plan, which, due to a technical error on our end, has kept you on it six months longer than it should have. As this was our error we will keep the bill at the rate it has been charged up to today, but you must make arrangements for this balance.”

Customer: “But if I’m on the low plan why is my bill so high? It’s £1000!”

Me: “That’s not just one bill, it’s six. You haven’t been paying us anything.”

Customer: “But £1000 is extortion! You must be charging it at the jacked up rate!”

Me: “What kind of home do you have? Is it a flat or a house?”

Customer: “House. Three bedroom.”

Me: “And who lives there with you?”

Customer: “My wife and our two kids.”

Me: “Well, your average monthly usage over those 18 months is about £55 which is excellent for a family of five in a three-bed house. It’s lower than the national average.”

Customer: “But the bill says £1000, not £55.”

Me: “Yes, but that is 18 months worth of bills. it’s six quarters. Six bills. If you divide £1000 by the 18 months it is for, you get £55. That’s your average. You haven’t cleared any of the balance so it keeps going up and up. Now, would you like to discuss any payment plans?”

Customer: “No! I’m not paying! This is too high. It’s too much. You jacked up your prices and in protest, I am not paying.”

Me: “I just explained you have been unaffected by the price changes.”

Customer: “So? It’s the principle of the thing. You can’t just hike up prices and expect people to pay them. I won’t pay in protest.”

Me: “Would you at least consider paying the bills that came out before the price increase?”

Customer: “Nope. I won’t pay you a penny until you lower your prices.”

Me: “This is going to court for a warrant in a few months. If you do not resolve your account before then, the warrant allows them to come into your property and fit you a prepayment meter to control the debt.”

Customer: “When is the court date?”

(I give the customer the court date on the system.)

Customer: “Good, I’ll go to the court and explain to the judge.”

Me: “The judge will not accept you are protesting price increases that you have not been affected by, or that you are refusing to pay bills that have been outstanding way before these price increases. If it goes to court, fees will be added to your account – these can be up to £300.”

Customer: “Don’t worry, the judge will take my side. They know what crooks you all are. By the end, you’ll have wiped off all my debt and be paying me money.”

Me: “The judge will not find in your favour because as I said you have been unaffected by the energy price changes, and even if they did, you’d still be expected to pay for the energy you used before the price increase.”

Customer: “We’ll see about that.”  *hangs up*

Common Sense Playing Truant: The Revenge

| OH, USA | Criminal & Illegal, Underaged

(I’m the worker in this story, where I was accused of being a teenager and illegally working in a bar during the school day It’s been a few years since that happened, I’ve now graduated college, gotten a job out of state, and am in a bar catching up with high school friends. A seemingly random woman storms up to our table.)

Crazy Woman: “YOU! You got me banned from my favorite store over your lies. And I see you’re still up to your dirty tricks, using a fake ID to drink.”

(I just stare at her in confusion for a minute before it all comes back to me that this was the SAME WOMAN who accused me four years ago. Consequences of being from a small town with exactly two bars, I guess.)

Me: “This can’t even be happening. Ma’am, I’m still about six years older than you think I am, and I was of legal drinking age the last time you ranted at me. Do these people with me appear to be old enough to drink?”

Crazy Woman: “Well, of course they do. I even know her mother!” *pointing to one of my friends* “I bet you think you’re really cool hanging out with people so much older than you and using a fake ID to drink with them when you’re barely out of high school.”

Me: “I graduated from high school with these ladies. Seven years ago. I was 18 when that happened. Can you do the math on how old that makes me?”

(My friends snicker, but confirm that we graduated high school together.)

Crazy Woman: “We’ll just see about that!”

(She goes and tells the bartender that she knows my parents or something to that effect, and knows that I am underage. Having provided an out-of-state license when we bought our drinks, the bartender comes up to our table with a bouncer in tow, slightly alarmed that she may have served a minor.)

Bartender: “I know you showed me your ID, but I now have reason to believe it’s fake. I have to call the police. Please give me your ID.”

Me: “Look, that crazy woman went off on me a few years back when she thought I was much younger than I am. Can I try to clear this up?”

Bartender: “I don’t know how you could clear this up without the police running your ID to confirm it’s valid.”

Me: “I do.” *digs through my purse* “Here, does this help?”

Bartender: “Yes. Yes, it does.” *turns to the bouncer* “Tell that woman that she has to leave her alone or leave.”

(The crazy woman refused to comply with their request to leave me alone, and was kicked out. Me: 2, Crazy: 0. How did I do it? One of the reasons I was visiting was that I had to get an official birth certificate to apply for a passport, had done that several weeks before, and had submitted my passport application at the local Post Office after getting the birth certificate, out of convenience. I had my shiny, new passport and official, sealed birth certificate in my purse, having just received them both back. My friend told her mom about the incident, and her response was, apparently, “that woman has always been insane.”)

Related:
Common Sense Playing Truant

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Beginning To Understand Why You Have A Criminal Record

| WI, USA | Criminal & Illegal, Time

(This conversation happens on the telephone at my office.)

Me: “Good afternoon, [Name] Law Offices. Can I help you?”

Client: “Hi, I have a case and need an attorney. I’ve been victimized by the courts. I agreed to a misdemeanor charge, but on my records, it’s recorded as a felony! This is outrageous!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, the attorney is out right now, but I can make you a consultation appointment. Can I have your name and phone number?”

Client: “Oh… I don’t know. I’m very busy. Maybe if I can call you and see if he is in?”

Me: “Ma’am, the attorney tends to be out quite a bit. It would be best if we could make an appointment.”

Client: “But I’m a victim of an injustice! We can’t let anyone get away with it! How do I know the attorney is worth it?”

Me: “Ma’am, the attorney that specializes in criminal defense is very good. We have people calling from all over our state, and from neighboring states as well. Please, can I have a name and a phone number? We can at least call you back!”

Client: “I don’t know… I’m going to be driving, so I won’t be able to answer my phone. I’ll just call later.”

Me: “Ma’am, can I at least have a name so the attorney can know to anticipate your call?”

Client: “Well… I don’t think so; I don’t want him trying to call me when I’m not available!”

Me: *tearing my hair out* “Ma’am, really, any information would be helpful.”

Client: “No… I’ll just call later… You have a good day.” *click*

Me: *to myself* “Well that was just the biggest waste of time EVER.”

(The kicker? I spent half an hour with this woman, which is worth a great deal of money in billable hours, and I ended up horribly behind on my work. And she NEVER called back!)

Their Ballooning Criminal Ambitions

| CA, USA | Bizarre, Criminal & Illegal

(My brother opened a tasting room just off a main street in our town. Since he’s the owner, occasionally my parents and I will help out and are doing so when this happens. Note that we have an A frame sign on the sidewalk with a balloon to catch customer’s eyes.)

Mom: “Is he really doing that?”

Me: *I come out of the office* “Doing what?”

Mom: “Someone stole our balloon.”

Me: “Really?”

Mom: “Yeah, he was stealing it for his girlfriend. I saw them running away, and she was holding it.”

Dad: “Let them go. It’s better to have them keep the stupid balloon rather than come back the next day with a brick through your window.”

(We would have given them the balloon if they just asked, but who would be so desperate to steal a balloon?)

It’s The Prescribed Law

| OH, USA | Crazy Requests, Criminal & Illegal

(One of my coworkers is relatively new and often sounds unsure when repeating information or instructions. Clients tend to try to take advantage of that, and my coworker isn’t confident enough to know when to put her foot down.)

Coworker: “Can you help me with this call? [Client] wants a prescription refill for [Patient]. I checked with [Doctor] and she said we need to do an exam since we haven’t seen [Patient] in so long, but [Client] isn’t liking that answer.”

Me: “Yeah, sure.” *picking up phone, to [Client]:* “Hi there, this is [My Name]. [Coworker] said you had some questions about a prescription refill for [Patient]?”

Client: “Yes! I need a refill of [medication] for [Patient], but the other girl said that [Patient] needs to be seen first! She HAS been seen!”

Me: “According to our records, we haven’t seen [Patient] in almost 18 months.”

Client: “No, no! I took her to a vet in [State]! She HAS been seen!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, pharmacy law states that in order to write a prescription we have to have physically seen a patient within the last 12 months.”

Client: “That’s ridiculous. I can’t believe that!”

Me: “I apologize, but the law is the law.”

Client: “Well, what am I supposed to do, then?!”

Me: “I can either set up an appointment to get [Patient] seen–”

Client: “But she HAS been seen!”

Me: “—or you can contact the vet in [State] that saw [Patient] to see if they will send over a prescription.”

Client: “Can’t you call them and get the visit history?”

Me: “I could, but that doesn’t change that we need to physically see [Patient], here, in the office, for an examination, before one of our doctors would even consider writing a prescription.”

Client: “I just don’t understand why you won’t write a prescription!”

Me: “Because it is illegal. You are asking us to break the law.”

Client: “Well, you’re useless, aren’t you!?” *hangs up*

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