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Malicious Compliance: Bad Retail Slaves Get Their Comeuppance


Malicious Compliance 2From vikingzxMaliciousCompliance

This happened years ago, when I was a student at college. Me and my friends rented a house, and we had to manage utilities. Normally not a problem, but one time ...

So it's Christmas. We're all heading out home one by one to be with our families, but I've got one minor problem: the utility bill hasn't shown up yet. I delay my departure as long as possible but it's nowhere to be seen. Eventually, I can't wait any longer. I lock the place up and head out.

"It's a college town," I think to myself as I leave. "And Christmas. They'll figure it out."

A week later I get an automated phone call, telling me that my bill is now overdue, and unless I pay now via phone, I'll be charged a large fee.

"Crap," I think, knowing that they also charge a "convenience" fee for paying over the phone. But that's only five bucks, better that than a late fee. So I call our utility provider.

"This office is currently closed until X date on account of the Christmas season. Please call back after this date."

"No problem then," think I. "They will understand that I could not pay, and the bill wasn't sent out early enough." So I enjoy my Christmas.

When I get back, a new bill arrives within a few days, detailing the missed bill and the seventy-five or so dollar late fee. Once they're open again, I call.

I explain the situation, that they didn't send out the bills early enough and that they hadn't arrived until well after everyone had left on break. And then that when I'd tried to pay over the phone, the bill finally coming in, the offices had been closed.

The person on the other end says, "Yeah, sounds about right."

Me: "Well, can you knock off the late fee? There was no way to avoid it."

Power Employee:"No."

Me: "Why not? I couldn't have paid it, it was too late in coming."

BADRETAILSLAVESPower Employee: "We know."

Me: "Couldn't you have sent the bill earlier? You knew Christmas was coming."

Power Employee: "Of course we did. This happens every year."

Click I get it, now.

Me: "So you're telling me you know you've set it up so that you'll hit a ton of college students with late fees because you'll be closed after the bills go out?"

Power Employee: "Yeah." No shame, this individual. Then the golden moment. "What are you gonna do about it? We're your only option. Do you want power or not?"

So yeah, this is a deliberate scam to make some extra money off of the college kids.

"I'll pay it," I say. "In person." I then collected the money for the utilities and called my bank.

Now, the office for this place closed at 7. I stopped off at my bank, then walked into this office at 6:45 PM with their money.

In quarters, dollar coins, and a few one-dollar bills.

A two-hundred and fifty dollar bill + late fee.

SCAMMERSThen I sat there and made the two employees count it out. Twice, so there weren't any mistakes! It took them until about 7:30, and there was a line behind me at that point. Both were glaring massive daggers at me, since they clearly wanted to leave.

I waited until they were done and closed the bill, then I looked at them and told them, "Pull this again, and I'll make sure every single payment you receive is in pennies, ten minutes before closing on the weekend!"

They never sent a bill late to our place again. Never assigned another late fee either. Our bills came right on time, early even.

I did pay!




Misty Meanor

You deserve a Retail Balls Award!


I was going to say that's a mean thing to do to the poor office people, until I saw what you said to them and the results.

Excellent job, you made a point and I'm thinking maybe a few other made it too. Services should never hold people to ransom because there are no other options. It's all a bit V for Vendetta, you are keeping them in business, whether they are the only ones or not.


I'm sorry, but I can't help but disagree with both of the previous commenters. Just because the company and the person OP spoke with on the phone were dicks does not mean the people OP made count all that coinage had anything to do with billing. They're small cogs and you're just being a dick.

Next time contact news outlets and social media and leave the poor workers alone.


Well, Cronje, for all you don't agree it worked for the OP. After all everyone knows how rich students are.

Tech Support Survivor

I'd have pitched a royal fit if I was charged extra like that. Screw that company. Whatever it takes to get them to stop being so shady.


A utility company isn't like some vast national company - they are usually small and service several towns surrounding their hub so if there is ever an outage or emergency they can get to where they need to be within a reasonable amount of time. So I'm sorry Cronje but the person who answered the phone and admitted they were scamming the college kids worked in the same building and maybe was one of the people who ended up counting the coins themselves. Clearly this scam was well known among all of them thus why he suddenly stopped getting late bills. I've been an adult too long and have had to deal with my fair share of utility companies to know that sometimes they can and will do some sketchy shit and think they can get away with it. I'm glad one of them got a thumb in the eye.


Reminds me of my college days with Verison being the only phone provider in the area. Our phone bills would often come a week late, with the late fee of $45 already attached. It was extremely obvious that they were scamming college kids in the same manner and we'd have to call in every week to get it taken off, which they would do. But I knew so many others that would just pay the late fee because they didn't have 3-4 hours to wait on hold to dispute it.

Unfortunately, they didn't have a store in town, or within 150 miles of the college. So if you couldn't convince the person over the phone to take the charge off, you were screwed.

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