Category: Money

Keeping The Card Is Not In The Cards

, | UK | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

(I work in the restaurant in a large chain of department stores that have their own store credit card. I am making coffee and my coworker is next to me on the till. Very few of these store credit cards are under the branding of the old store which closed down 10 years ago but is still fondly remembered by the locals. Usually the holders of these cards consider is a sort of status symbol but these old cards have recently been phased out.)

Coworker: “That will be [price], please.”

(The customer hands her an old branded store card.)

Coworker: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t accept this card. Do you have another form of payment?”

Customer: “Why can’t you accept it? There’s never been a problem before.”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, sir, but we have been given instructions from head office to not accept these cards anymore. I don’t know anymore than that, I’m afraid.”

Customer: “Why? There’s never been a problem before!”

(I decide to step in as I know a little more information.)

Me: “[Company] has decided to phase out the old cards and replace them with new ones. The old cards have now been deactivated and will no longer work with our tills.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I won’t be able to use my card anymore? What am I supposed to do?”

Me: “You should have been issued with a new card by now. It would have been sent through the post.”

Customer: “I was but I don’t want a new card; I want to use my old one!”

(My coworker and I sigh internally.)

Coworker: “If you like I can get a manger for you but I suggest you take this up with customer services; they will be able to give you better assistance.”

(He insisted on speaking with a manager who told him the same as we did. The manager, however, told him to enjoy his coffee and cakes and return later to pay when he can arrange another form of payment. Of course, he didn’t come back.)

Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 5

| USA | Health & Body, Money

(I work in a medical supply company, and most orders are taken over the phone. We do not take insurance.)

Customer: “Do y’all take insurance?”

Me: “No, you’d have to pay by credit card and then go through them for a reimbursement.”

Customer: “How about if I have Medicaid? What’s the price then?”

Me: “The price is the same, because you’ll still be paying with your credit card.”

Customer: “I don’t understand.”

Me: “We only take credit cards. We do not accept insurance.”

Customer: “I don’t understand. How much is it with Medicaid?”

Me: “We don’t accept Medicaid. We don’t accept insurance.”

Customer: “Yes, but how much is it?”

Me: “It’s 7.25, but you would have to use your credit card.”

Customer: “What about if I pay through Medicaid?”

Me: “We don’t accept Medicaid.”

Customer: “I don’t understand.”

Me: “We don’t accept insurance. You would have to pay with credit card and then get a reimbursement from your insurance.”

Customer: “But what about if I have Blue Cross/Blue Shield?”

Me: “We still don’t take insurance, no matter what company it is.”

(She finally got the picture with that final quip.)


Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 4
Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 3
Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 2

Paying The Price For Smugness

| USA | Bad Behavior, Hotels & Lodging, Money

(At our hotel, we have a little convenience store that people can choose snacks and bring them up to the counter to buy. We have a price list, but I’ve mostly memorized the prices.)

Customer: “I’d like this ice cream, please.”

Me: “OK, $3.”

Customer: “Are you sure? That’s a little much. Look in the price book, please.”

Me: “Okay…”

(Even though I have a line behind her and phone ringing, I check the prices while she stands there smug.)

Me: “Oh, sorry, it’s actually $4.50.”

Customer: “I’d like the $3.”

(I made her pay $4.50. She screamed obscenities, but too bad!)

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So Much Entitlement It Could Be Metered

| UK | Criminal & Illegal, Money

(I work for one of the major energy suppliers, dealing with accounts that haven’t been paid in 18 months and are in the process of being taken to court to get a warrant so we can fit a prepayment meter to contain the debt. I receive a call from a customer who is deeply unhappy about a letter which tells her we have been granted a warrant from the courts and are coming to her house next week to fit a prepayment meter.)

Customer: “You had better not fit that. If you fit it, I will sue. You do not have my permission; I don’t want one.”

Me: “Unfortunately we have been forced to go to court to get one in order to contain your debt. We have received no contact from you until today despite our many letters and calls. The only way to stop this from happening is to pay at least half the balance, and then set up a payment plan. You haven’t been paying your bill so we need a way to stop the debt getting bigger.”

Customer: “Well, I can’t afford to pay that. Look, I don’t give you my permission to fit that meter. My husband and I will be on a cruise in the Caribbean. We’re away for two weeks so we won’t be there.”

Me: “The warrant grants us entry whether you are there or not. They will call a locksmith, which you will be charged for. Unless you can get a friend to wait in for you while you are out who can let them in? I can also negotiate for the debt to be reclaimed through the meter over a number of years instead of over just one year if you like. I understand it would be hard to pay off such a large amount over just one year.”

Customer: “You are not listening! I DON’T WANT A PREPAYMENT METER! There, now you cannot fit it without my permission.”

Me: “A judge has given us permission. As I explained, it is to control the debt. You have not paid for your energy in almost two years. There is still time to fix this without the need to have the meter in. If you can pay at least half the balance and set up a payment plan, I can stop the warrant.”

Customer: “You didn’t tell me I had any overdue bills.”

Me: “You haven’t received any letters?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Let me just check the system to see what has happened.”

(I quickly check and see that we have sent her 12 letters informing her the bills were overdue — three were hand delivered by field agents. I also see that we tried to call her several times and each time she refused to talk to us, and when the field agents tried to talk to her in person, she refused to open the door even when they reassured her they were not bailiffs.)

Me: “We’ve sent you 12 letters—”

Customer: “Well, I never got any of them. Not my problem.”

Me: “Three were hand delivered. We know you got those.”

Customer: “You must’ve put those in the wrong letter box. I never got them.”

Me: “The field agent would’ve taken a photo of your door, including the number. But like I said, if you pay half the balance, I can stop the warrant. I can even set up a payment plan to spread the debt over two years instead of one, to make it more manageable.”

Customer: “Why should I pay if you never sent me any letters?”

Me: “Like I explained, we have been sending you letters. You haven’t paid for almost two years. If you weren’t getting your bills when we sent them, why didn’t you call to ask where your bills were?”

Customer: “It’s your job to make sure I get my bills. Why should I chase you?”

Me: “We did send you your bills; if they didn’t get there that is an issue with Royal Mail not us. We did everything we were supposed to do. You know you are using energy and you know you have to pay it. You have a responsibility to ensure you get your bills as well.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t want a prepayment meter. Nobody is going to be there to top it up and our electric will go off and if it does I will be sending you the bill for our fish! They will die without their pump and they cost £300 each!”

Me: “If you don’t want a prepayment meter, you will need to pay half your balance 48 hours before the warrant team are due to go out, and then set up a payment plan. They need 48 hours notice to cancel the warrant. If you can get the money to pay at least half the balance between now and then, I can stop the warrant and we can set up an arrangement for the rest of the balance.”

Customer: “I can’t get you that much money! My husband and I need that for our spending money; I told you we’re going on a cruise to the Caribbean.”

Me: “Well, then, I can’t stop the warrant action. They will be there next week, and will fit that prepayment meter. All I can suggest is to get a friend to wait in and also to top up to meter while you are out to save your fish.”


Me: “You have to pay for your energy whether you have a prepayment meter or not. If you had paid your bill, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I have given you your options: pay half the balance between now and 48 hours before the warrant officers come out and then set up a payment plan for the rest, let them fit a meter and get a friend to wait in and top it up while you are away, or just let them fit it while you are on holiday and hope for the best. Do you have any questions?”

Customer: “Why are you making me have a prepayment meter?!”

Me: “Because you haven’t been paying your bills. Now, which option do you want to take?”

Customer: “…do you take Visa?”

(The customer paid half the bill and I cancelled the warrant visit, but I explained that if she defaults on any of her payments, the warrant is good for 6 months and they will come straight out and fit that meter and the only way to stop that will be to pay the rest of the balance. A few months later, the customer defaulted on her payment plan and the warrant team went out and fitted a prepayment meter. We sent 3 letters to the customer prior to this, one of which was hand delivered. The customer wrote in to complain saying that I told her if she paid half her balance, I would write the rest off and she would have nothing else to pay. She also said we killed her 6 £300 tropical fish and wanted us to compensate her – she wanted £1800 for the fish and £2000 for ’emotional trauma.’ She even sent in receipts proving how much they cost and they did indeed cost £300 each. Our manager obviously said no. The customer then said she was going to take this up with our CEO. We never heard anything about it so I’m not sure if she wrote to the CEO or not.)

Probably One Per Inch

UK | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Money, Rude & Risque

(I’m working to returns desk handling a small line which has gathered.)

Woman: “Is it possible to return this? It has been in my bag for the past month; I just completely forgot about it!”

Me: “Do you have a receipt?”

Woman: “No, sorry.”

Me: “I can return it, but you will only get the current price, not the price you purchased with.” *scans item* “It would be £9.99.”

Woman: “Oh, that’s not so bad. It was £12.99, I think. Sure I can live with that.”

(Suddenly the man behind her sniggers.)

Man: “That’s not how you do a return, lady.”

Woman: “Excuse me?”

Man: “You’ve got to make them feel small. Kick up a fuss. Get loud. Demand a manager. You’d get that £13 back, no bother.”

(The woman stares at him for a long time, making his confident expression falter, before turning back to me.)

Woman: “How small does your d**k have to be to get a thrill out of £3?”

(The man turned red with embarrassment and fled the store. The rest of us had a chuckle and, while I couldn’t refund the woman full price, the rest of the line coughed up the remaining £3, for the entertainment.)

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