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Nothing Comic About This

, , , , | Legal | July 6, 2021

We order a weekly comic book from a publisher. The publishing house is very big, partly owned by the government, and publishes most Finnish magazines, comic books, and few newspapers, one of them the biggest newspaper in Finland.

My husband answers a call from a telemarketer. The telemarketer is from that publisher and he is trying to convince my husband that our subscription will be cancelled.

Telemarketer: “Starting next month, you will not receive any more comic books if you don’t order [Comic Book] Extra, an additional weekly comic book.”

My husband and I would never order anything over the phone, but the telemarketer’s claim is so ridiculous my husband wants to hear more. He argues back.

Husband: “We have already paid in advance for a one-year subscription and we still have ten months left.”

Telemarketer: “Well, you won’t be receiving that money back.”

Somehow they end the call, and the telemarketer’s last words are that now, we won’t be getting our comic books OR money back.

My husband is furious about such blatant attempted fraud. He is also worried some lonely granny is going to fall for it, so he tries to contact the publisher and tell them one of their sales representatives has attempted fraud. They have absolutely zero contact info, and upon closer inspection, it is apparent that they have outsourced their sales and customer service to a different company. My husband tries and tries calling them, finally gets hold of someone, and explains the situation, the time it happened, the number they called from, etc.

The customer service person is very understanding.

Husband: “Depending on how this goes, I might be interested in reporting that representative to the police, so please keep me updated.”

Representative: “We will!”

It’s been two years and we’ve heard nothing.

We cancelled our subscription because it left such a bad taste in our mouths.

That’s No Accident

, , , , | Legal | June 26, 2021

There are some folks who think they can pull one over on the insurance company to try to get free repairs. If a car’s in an accident, they will claim that damage that existed before the accident was caused by it, no matter how improbable it is. Sometimes insurance companies investigate; sometimes they don’t.

We get a call from a customer. He’s been in a rear-end collision and his car needs some repairs. Fair enough. One of the things that needs to be fixed is the rear parking sensors. Again, fair enough. However, the damage he’s talking about seems excessive given the details of the accident. The garage is asked to check.

They phone back and the garage owner is barely able to contain his amusement.

Garage Owner: “He’s lying about the rear parking sensors.”

Me: “How do you know this?”

Garage Owner: “Because there aren’t any. The car was fitted for them as an option, but this one never had them installed.”

It seems that when he bought the car, the customer had thought that it had rear parking sensors but that they didn’t work, and he decided to claim that they had been damaged in the accident to get them repaired for free.

The claim was swiftly referred to the fraud department.

Apparently, There’s Some Fraud In Your Network

, , , , , , | Legal | June 20, 2021

I worked for a while in the office of a railway company. At the time, the company ran both a long-distance main line and a more local network. My department dealt with delay claims; in the UK, if your train is delayed by more than thirty minutes, you are entitled to some or all of the price of your ticket back. Because long-distance main line tickets can be very expensive, all the delay claims on the main line were checked to make sure they were genuine, but claims on the local network weren’t because the company believed it wasn’t worth it, since any losses due to fraud were likely to be very small.

But then, the policy changed; checks were introduced to the local network, as well. The savings from this amounted to £8,000 in the first week alone! And a man who had appeared to be the unluckiest traveller ever was discovered to have put in for compensation for more delays than there had been on the entire network that year.

Taxing Taxing, Part 10

, , , | Working | June 4, 2021

My wife gets a letter from the UK tax office in January telling her she has overpaid and she is to get a refund of about £800. This is not a life-changing sum but not a trivial amount of money for us, so she is well pleased with this news. They tell her it will arrive in about two weeks.

A month later, she realises she still has not received this cheque. She rings the tax office up, and after about an hour on the telephone, she finally gets through to them.

Operative #1: “We delivered the cheque a month ago and made it payable to [Accountant Firm] you authorised it to go to. That’s where we posted it.”

Wife: “Excuse me? I made no such authorisation.”

Operative #1: “We have the form right here, with your signature attached and everything.”

Wife: “But I know of no such thing!”

Operative #1: “I’ll send you a copy if you like.”

Wife: “I don’t want a copy of a form I never filled in! I want my money to be paid to me!”

Operative #1: “Sorry, but there’s nothing we can do. We have paid the money, and as far as we are concerned, that’s that.”

My wife is fuming. She spends the day ringing round every accounting firm called [Accountant Firm] she can find, wishing now she had asked for details from the less-than-helpful tax operative she spoke to in the first place, but she has no luck.

Wife: *To me* “If I hadn’t been so angry and worried, I would have been calmer with her and asked her to send me all the details she had, but she was so snooty and dismissive I was seriously not in the mood.”

After attending to this all day, she rings the tax office again, and this time speaks to someone different. She explains what has happened so far.

Operative #2: “Thank you for telling us about this. We will indeed look into this. You confirm that you never made any such authorisation?”

Wife: “I certainly did not. Is there anything you can do?”

Operative #2: “Certainly, we can. It appears that they never actually got round to processing that cheque. We can stop that cheque now and issue you a new one.” *Pauses* “There, that’s done. You should now get your new cheque. It may take a few weeks to put it through the system, but it should arrive in due course.”

Wife: “Why couldn’t that be done when I first rang up?”

Operative #2: “It could and should have. I’ll look into it. Anything else I can help you with? No? Good day, then, and apologies for the inconvenience.”

We took that to mean that they will investigate what actually happened, as it looks as though there has been an attempt at fraud.

Taxing Taxing, Part 9
Taxing Taxing, Part 8
Taxing Taxing, Part 7
Taxing Taxing, Part 6
Taxing Taxing, Part 5

A Good Scam Is All About The Timing

, , , , | Legal | May 9, 2021

I was interested in buying a new smartphone and saw an offer on the website of a mobile carrier. You had to buy the smartphone and then send a form before the limit date to receive a discount.

I bought the smartphone, sent the form, and waited. I received an email from the company saying that, unfortunately, we had sent the form too late.

What made me laugh? They answered before the limit date, so it could not be more obvious they were lying.

My mother wrote them an email threatening to call our country’s Fraud Service and they promptly gave us the discount.