His Assumption Is Not On The Money

| West Allis, WI, USA | Right | September 15, 2014

(I’m a legal secretary at a law firm, and I answer a call.)

Me: “Hello, this is [Law Firm]. My name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi. You guys handle bankruptcies, right?”

Me: “Yes, we do.”

Caller: “Oh good. So, I think I need to file bankruptcy…”

(The caller explains his financial situation.)

Me: “Okay, I can go ahead and schedule an appointment with an attorney for a free consultation if you’d like.”

Caller: “Yes, let’s do that. I just have a question, though. What would the cost be?”

Me: “It would be [attorney’s fee] plus costs.”

Caller: “And I pay that after it’s all finished, right? I don’t pay anything up front?”

Me: “Actually, you have to pay one-third of the fee up front.”

Caller: “What! But I just explained that I have no money! That’s the whole point! Why do I have to pay up front?”

Me: “Well, because if we allowed that, then clients would just cut and run once the bankruptcy is concluded, and we end up paying the cost of the case ourselves. It’s happened too many times before. It’s just our policy now.”

Caller: *trying to sound sweet* “It’s such a shame that a few bad apples have ruined the process for everyone else.”

Me: “Yes, it really is.”

(Long pause.)

Caller: “So, can I pay after the bankruptcy is concluded?”

Me: “… No.”

Caller: “D*** it! What’s the point?!” *hangs up*

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