Would’ve Been Cheaper To Take His Two Cents

, , , , , , | Working | July 24, 2020

This is a story my uncle told me after he decided to switch cell phone carriers due to terrible customer service. He has closed his account and started with a new company; about a month later, he receives a final bill in the mail.

Uncle: “Hi. I have canceled my service with you and just received a bill in the mail for eight cents. I was wondering if you could write that off.”

Agent #1: “No, sir, we expect full payment. If you do not pay the remaining balance, we will charge you a late fee and eventually turn you into collections. I can process the payment over the phone but there will be a $3 service charge, or you can mail a check.”

Uncle: “But it’s eight cents; it will cost more to mail a check than that. Are you sure you can’t just clear out the balance?”

Agent #1: “No, sir, and if we do not receive payment by [date], you will be charged a late fee.”

Uncle: “Okay, I guess I will mail you a check.”

My uncle then mails them a check for sixteen cents and waits for a month to pass when he receives his next bill.

Uncle: “Hi. I just received my bill and I have a credit on my account for eight cents, but since I have closed my account with you I would like a check mailed to me for the remaining balance.”

Agent #2: “But sir, it’s only eight cents; it costs us more to print a check than that, plus the cost to mail it. Could we just close out the account?”

Uncle: “When I called a month ago about just writing off the eight cents I owed, you threatened to charge me a late fee and turn me into collections over eight cents, forcing me to write and mail a check, so no, I will not allow you to just close the account. I want my check for eight cents, and if I don’t receive it, I will file with small claims court and you can pay legal fees on top of it.”

Agent #2: “But it’s only eight cents.”

Uncle: “It was also only eight cents last month when you demanded I pay my bill. I’ll be waiting for my check, thanks. Have a nice day.”

A week later, he received a check in the mail for eight cents, which he happily deposited next time he went to the bank. The company has since gone out of business.


This story is part of our July 2020 Roundup – the best stories of the month!

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