A Brutal Return

, | UK | Bad Behavior

(As an online retailer we send thousands of parcels out every day. Occasionally we make mistakes or have items with small insignificant faults sent back. But this has to be one of the best complaint letters ever received. No name or return address; just a letter that reads as follows, and a small 15cm line of paper that gets peeled off the sticky strip on the parcel when it’s sealed:)

Note: “Hello there, I think you put this in my delivery by mistake. I enclose it here as I do not want your rubbish. Hopefully you have driven to the sorting office to collect it and pay for the stamp I forgot to put on the envelope. #Keepyourtrash #Notimpressed”


A Questionable Transaction

| USA | Extra Stupid

(I’m a photographer and sell some of my photos as stock images. They’re not the extra professional photos that you will find at an art exhibition, but are clear, bright, and detailed photos that can’t (or can hardly) be taken by a point-and-shoot camera. They’re mostly from moments like testing a new lens or when I get bored and just snap a shot of a pair of shoes for no reason. I just figure I can squeeze some money out of these shots. Please also note that it’s instant download: you click the payment button on my website, pay, and then get the link to download, so no communication is needed. I believed it couldn’t be any more simple. I guess I was wrong since sometimes I receive emails, and this one is recent:)

Customer:” I’m writing some books for children and I need two photos. How much would this cost?”

(The price is cheap and the policy that is already written on my website is simple. It’s basically “just pay me and you get the image without watermark to use for whatever purpose, as long as you want and as many times as you want.” I do have an FAQ page for obvious reasons, though. So, out of courtesy, I just copy-paste a part of the FAQ for them.)

Me: “Price is [price], which is visible next to each image on my website, and also in the FAQ page.”

Customer: *two days later* “I have some more questions. Will I have commercial rights for the photos and do you need to be credited as the photographer on my book.”

Me: “Yes and yes.”

Customer: *another two days* “But you don’t expect to receive anything from book sales? I only have to pay one?”

Me: “Please read the FAQ page for my terms. All the answers are in there.”

Customer: *disappears for a week before sending another message* “I will order this weekend.”

(On Monday, I receive this:)

Customer: “One last question before I order: My children’s book 8 x 11. Will the 72dpi work for a book that size or does the book need to be smaller for the 72dpi drawings to work?”

(I have two different prices for 72dpi and 300dpi.)

Me: *really wanted to tell them I’m out of business now, but also wanted to see how this would end* “If you’re going to print it out, you’ll normally need 300dpi. But if it’s just ebook then 72 dpi is enough.”

Customer: “Can you crop the images for me?”

Me: *I thought your last question was… the last question?* “Sure, if you pay extra.”

Customer: *disappears*

(All of this is over two $5 photos with unlimited usage.)

New Lengths Of Stupidity

, | MD, USA | Extra Stupid, Home Improvement, Non-Dialogue

Email from customer about an item she just purchased: “Your listings says that the item would be 20″ wide, but it didn’t say how wide twenty inches was. It is way bigger than I expected!”

PayPal Payback

, | Bad Behavior, Money

(I know the owner of a cleaning supplies company whom I see every week at a networking group. One day, I place an order on his website for some toilet roll and a few other cleaning bits and bobs. I realise shortly after that I put the wrong delivery address (the address I put is outside his area of delivery) so I email him to let him know. I don’t hear back. A few days later I see him.)

Me: “Hi, [Owner]. I put an order through on your website, but I put the wrong address. I emailed you. Did you see it?”

Owner: “Oh, no, my email’s been down. Email me your details and I’ll sort it out.”

(I resend the email. When I see him the next week…)

Me: “Hey, did you get that email I sent you about my order?”

Owner: “I’ve just got a new secretary and I’m training her to deal with my emails. She mustn’t have got to that one yet. Write it down for me now.”

(I do so. The next week…)

Me: “Hi, [Owner], I still haven’t heard from you regarding my order…”

Owner: “My new secretary is s***. Sorry, send me another email, this time on [new email address]. I’ll sort it out.”

(This continues for about two months. Eventually I ask for my money back.)

Me: “Look, it’s been a while. I’ve bought some toilet roll. Can I just have my money back? I paid Paypal.”

Owner: “Sure, I’ll just reverse the transaction.”

(Lo and behold… next week…)

Me: “Hey, I haven’t got my refund yet.”

Owner: “Oh, yeah. How much was it again?”

Me: “About £30.”

Owner: “I’ll bring cash next week.”

(It took three more weeks for me to get my money back.)

They’re Not Pay Pals

| Seattle, WA, USA | Liars & Scammers, Money, Popular

(I’m a freelance web designer currently negotiating a job with someone who wants to give their website a complete overhaul.)

Site Owner: “So, I’m a big fan of [Popular Movie Franchise] and was wondering if you could do a template based on that.”

Me: “Sure thing! I love [Popular Movie Franchise], too! I could show you a few designs I whipped up previously.”

(Things proceed as normal, with me growing increasingly excited at finding a fellow fan who wants me to indulge one of my own geeky passions.)

Me: “Okay, and I just need your PayPal address to send the invoice.”

Site Owner: “Sure thing. I’ll send it right now.”

(He emails me his address, which I recognize as one that belongs to someone I dealt with a year ago. Specifically, this someone asked for a site design that he then never paid me for, and proceeded to vanish without a trace when I tried to follow up on his non-payment.)

Me: “Wait… is this [Name]?”

Site Owner: “Yes, is there a problem?”

Me: “You’re the guy who asked me to design a site for [Web Address] in June of last year?”

Site Owner: “Oh… wow, you remember that, huh? Yeah I had to put an end to that plan due to budget problems.”

Me: “Yes, I know. I’ve been trying to get you to pay your bill on that ever since! Did you not get any of my reminders that you had an outstanding invoice?”

Site Owner: “Uh… maybe? Is this going to be a problem?”

Me: “Heck, yes, it’s going to be a problem! You still owe me $400 for that last job and now you expect me to do more work for you?”

Site Owner: “Well… I mean it was such a long time ago. I thought if you remembered it’d be like ‘Oh, it’s you!’ And then we’d have a laugh about the craziness that went on.”

Me: “That ‘craziness’ is why I was late on several bills due to not having your payment to cover things! This isn’t a sitcom! People don’t just laugh it off when you refuse to uphold your end of a business agreement.”

Site Owner: “Seriously?”

Me: “Much as I really wanted to do this job, I’m going to have to decline now, given you’re too great of a risk.”

Site Owner: “What?! Well, what if I agree to pay up front for the new job?”

Me: “You’d still owe me the $400 for the last job.”

Site Owner: “Well, I don’t have that kind of money right now! I’m trying to run a business here! Can’t you cut a break for a fellow [Popular Movie Franchise] fan?”

Me: “Sorry, I’m trying to run a business here too. You’ll have to find someone else.”

(I blocked the guy on IM and posted warnings to every forum I know telling them not to do business with him if contacted. Blows my mind anyone could be so brazen or stupid as to change their name and contact details but still use the same PayPal address for someone they previously stiffed on a payment!)

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