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Category: Money

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Not Such A Toll Order

| PA, United States | Criminal & Illegal, Money, Popular, Transportation

(I work as a toll collector on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, near the Ohio border. Most people we deal with are friendly enough, but sometimes we get some oddballs.)

Me: “Ticket, please.”

Woman: *talking on phone*

Me: “Excuse me. Ticket, please.”

Woman: *on phone* “One sec.” *to me* “What ticket?”

Me: “The ticket you were given when you entered the turnpike. Unfortunately, because you don’t have your ticket, we need to charge you full price.”

Woman: “That’s bull****! I want to get through! I don’t need to pay you!”

Me: “Ma’am, you need to pay the toll. [Price], please.”

(At this point a line is forming. Someone honks.)

Woman: “You know what? You f****** lowlife! Scum! You’re trying to cheat me! You just want my money! You’re just like the tax collectors in the Bible! ”

(She then proceeded to throw a Starbucks cup at me, then drove off screaming. However, she’ll get charged for it anyway because I wrote her license plate number down.)

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If You Don’t Listen You Can Go Swim With The Fishes

, | England, UK | Money, Pets & Animals, Popular, Tourists/Travel

(We decide to have a day at the beach with our children. They are both being so well behaved we decide to go to the Sea Life Centre despite it being known as an expensive attraction.)

Customer: “How much are tickets?”

Cashier: “All prices are on the board to your left, but I can see that there are three of you so that would be £41. However, if you—”

Customer: “What?! That is ridiculous! How can you charge so much?”

Cashier: “Well, we operate a sea life hospital. Part of the ticket price goes to helping injured animals and releasing them back to the wild.”

Customer: “I am not paying that! Come on, we are leaving. What a rip off!”

Me: “Er… four, please.”

Cashier: “Great, thank you, that will be £55. But if you head over to the supermarket they will give you 40% off.”

Me: “Great! Thank you!”

(I dash over to the supermarket and pick up a voucher, I see the family still outside when I return but they are too busy shouting at each other to let me offer them a voucher. We ended up having a great time.)

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A Worthless Use Of Time

| USA | Bad Behavior, Money, Technology, Time

(I run IT services for a small company that assists with management of independent businesses. As the only person in the organization who is highly computer-literate, I also run an email-based helpdesk to answer IT-related questions for clients but have to charge a flat fee for phone support so as to keep the phone from ringing all the time. A known-to-be-difficult business owner pays the fee electronically without even opening an email support ticket first, and then calls in seconds after the payment comes through.)

Me: “Hi, thanks for calling [Company] IT Services. How can I help you?”

Client: “First of all, I think it’s ridiculous that I have to pay just to talk to a live person.”

Me: “I understand your frustration. What can I do for you?”

Client: “I don’t know. I just have some questions about my web presence.”

(We provide basic homepages for our clients so as to boost the profile of their brick-and-mortar locations, with a portal they can use to do things like update their hours, address, and ‘About Me’ on their own.)

Me: “Great, I can definitely help with that. Just to let you know, this sounds like the sort of thing that I could easily handle over email and then could refund your money and not have to charge you anything.”

Client: “No, no. I only want to talk to a real person. I’ll pay the d*** fee. So… umm… uh… let’s see… Can you go look at my About Me page? I don’t know if I like the wording I put on there last year. Can you re-type something for me?”

Me: “Sure, what would you like it changed to?”

Client: “Um… let’s see… can you change [word] to [synonym]. And take out that next sentence. No, on second thought, put that sentence back.” *long pause* “I changed my mind. Can you go back to the first line and put in what I originally had but then add something that makes me sound better, like that says I’m the best in my town?”

Me: “Sir, wouldn’t it be easier if you just emailed me the corrected paragraph when you know what you want it to say?”

Client: “No, your stupid fee is the same whether I have you for one minute or fifty-nine minutes so I’m gonna get my money’s worth. Just hang on. I’m waiting for my inspiration.”

(He proceeds to surf the Internet, even watch some YouTube videos, while keeping me on the line for 20 more minutes listening to him click, mutter to himself, and watch videos.)

Client: “Okay, I got it. I’m going to dictate word for word and I want you to type what I say.”

(I do this; four paragraphs worth across three separate sub-pages of his basic website.)

Client: “Now save it so I can look at it.” *pause while I do this and he refreshes* “Oh, this is much too informal. You just typed what I said without doing your part to make me sound better? What am I paying for? This won’t do. Hold on.”

(A few more minutes of silence pass.)

Client: “All right. Since I’m having to do everything, I don’t know what I’m paying for, but I’m sure gonna get my money’s worth.”

(His basic website is supposed to be self-managed, so he’s clearly not “having to do everything”!)

Client: “So, here goes. Go back to that first page and I’m gonna dictate again. This time we’ll get it just so.”

Me: *after we get to the last page* “Great, your website has been fully updated. We’ve added or revised content on every page and it’s fresh and new. Do you have any other questions?”

Client: “Nope. I still don’t see why I had to pay for this, but I need to get on with my day. Have a good day.”

(He’s taken up 52 minutes on the phone, not counting my time logging all of this in his consulting file. A couple minutes later, he calls back.)

Me: “Hi again. Is there something else I can do for you?”

Client: “Yeah… I was watching something else on YouTube and I want to get it added to my site.” *starts reading off the YouTube URL, not clearly enunciating any of the letters*

Me: “Sir, could you email that to me instead?”

Client: “I don’t like using email since I just want to talk to a real person, but I guess I can email you just this once.”

(I receive the link and embed it in his site and let him look at it.)

Client: “Umm… I guess I just wanted to see what it would look like having a video on my website. I don’t really need it there. Take it off. But I got my money’s worth, didn’t I? You have a good day now.” *hangs up with a chuckle*

(He spent a total of 59 minutes and 40 seconds on the phone. He must have had a timer or something running on his end to “make sure he got his money’s worth.” I ended up working almost an hour late that day trying to catch up on the things I actually needed to be doing in order to keep the company’s computer systems maintained.)

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That Deal Has Fully Checked Out

| Ansbach, Germany | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money, Popular

(Our store has a deal where you buy €200 worth of merchandise and you get €50 off. You have to have a flyer/coupon that we spammed everyone with for two weeks. Knowing most people will forget to bring them in, I stash a few extra away and help people out that are close to €200 that don’t have a flyer. Now I have just one left. I ring up a woman.)

Me: “Your total is €198 plus change. You can grab anything you wants in the store for less than €51, since it will effectively be free.”

Customer: “Why? I don’t want anything else!”

Me: *explains the promotion to her*

Customer: “I just want the things I have.”

Me: “I notice you have a pack of gum already rung up, if you hand me another pack I can save you €49 and change.”

Customer: *irritated* “I don’t want it!”

(I comply with her demands and finalize the sale. I ring up the next customer, a young American soldier; while she is pondering over her receipt.)

Soldier: *stating loudly* “I am getting a video game system and it will break the €200 barrier!”

(The conversation between the woman and me FINALLY sinks in.)

Customer: “Wait! I want to add to my total!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m in the middle of a transaction; it’s not possible.”

(The soldier secured my last ‘up for grabs’ flyer. The woman was upset and demanded a refund, which I was not allowed to do. She demanded to speak to the manager. When my manager spoke with her, I was out of earshot. When I was approached by the manager about what happened with the lady customer, whatever she said had me in hot water. The soldier then came back in, having seen or heard the commotion, and explained that I did everything I could to save the lady money. My Real American Hero!)

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Too Much Meth, Not Enough Math

| NY, USA | Extra Stupid, Math & Science, Money, Popular

Me: “Okay, just so you know, sir, a three-month supply of this medication is going to cost you about $400.”

Customer: “What?! No. You’re wrong. When I picked it up last it was a third of that!”

(I look up his payment and pick up history in the system.)

Me: “It looks like this new prescription is the same medication as the last but you’re allowed to pick up three months at a time instead of just one. Is that correct?”

Customer: “Yes! But it’s never this expensive!”

Me: “Well, you’re picking up more at one time which is why it is a higher cost.”

Customer: “No! You’re wrong. It’s not supposed to be this expensive!”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t set the prices. Your insurance company tells us what to charge you based on your plan.”

(This commences a 10 minute rant about how this medication is too expensive and he KNOWS he shouldn’t owe this much because he has been in the industry for 20 years and has a PhD.)

Customer: “When I picked it up last month it was only $133! It shouldn’t be $400!”

Me: “So… you previously picked up a one month supply for $133? And you’re upset because this three-month supply is three times the cost of the one-month supply?”

Customer: “YES!”

(Sadly this man did not see the math and proceeded to stay for the next 45 minutes and tell me exactly what was wrong with the entire industry and why it was my fault. Unfortunately, I have more stories about this guy from this 45 minute encounter alone.)

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