Category: Criminal/Illegal

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Doug Himself A Hole

| Endicott, NY, USA | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal

(It’s Halloween, 2013. I am with my parents, handing candy out to trick-or-treaters. At about 6 pm, the phone rings. We don’t recognize the number, but assume it is a telemarketer, so I just pick up and immediately hang up, so we wouldn’t have to deal with the ringing. Less than a minute later, the phone rings. Same number. I repeat the process of picking-and-hanging up the phone. Almost immediately, the same number calls back. Somewhat annoyed, I answer finally.)

Me: “Hello.”

Telemarketer: *speaking with a very thick, almost cliché Indian accent* “Hi! My name is Doug! I’d like to talk to you about upgrading your home security system! We have plenty of offers…”

Me: *interrupting, but staying polite* “…Oh, thank you very much. But we don’t have a home security system and aren’t interested. You have a nice day, Doug. Take care.”

Telemarketer: “Oh… ok. Thank you and good-bye.”

(I hang up the phone and sit down. Five minutes later, the same number calls back.)

Me: *answering the phone* “Uh… hi.”

Telemarketer: “Hi, my name is Doug! I’d like to talk…”

Me: *interrupting* “Hi. You just called us. Sorry, we’re not interested. Have a nice night, though.”

Telemarketer: “Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to call back. Thank you and good-night!”

(Less than 10 seconds after I hang up, the phone rings again.)

Me: “Please stop calling this number. This is the third time I said we’re not interested.”

Telemarketer: “Hi, my name is Doug! I’d like to…”

Me: “Ok, first of all… Your name isn’t ‘Doug.’ You’re clearly speaking with the thickest Indian accent I’ve ever heard. Second. Stop calling!”

(I hang up. This time there was a pause of five minutes before good-ole “Doug” calls back.)

Me: *answering* “Listen, ‘Doug’… Stop calling us! If this keeps up, we will contact the police and report this number for harassment.”

Telemarketer: “Oh.”

(I hang up and he calls right back. This time I hand it off to my mother, who is furious about the fact that he has already called numerous times.)

Mom: “Stop calling us! We don’t want what you’re offering!”

Telemarketer: “May I speak to the man of the house?”

Mom: “No, you may not. I own this house with my husband. He doesn’t want to talk to you, so you’re going to talk to me. And I’m telling you to stop.”

(She hangs up on him and he calls back yet again a few minutes later. This time we hand the phone to my step-father.)

Step-Father: “We’re calling the police.”

Telemarketer: “What?”

Step-Father: “You’ve spent the past 15 minutes harassing us over the phone. We’re calling the police.”

(They argue back and forth for several minutes. My step-father hangs up and informs us that “Doug” evidently doesn’t understand why we are calling the police, and in fact, seems to barely understand who the police even are. Needless to say, he calls back again. This time we let it ring through, hoping he’ll leave a message and then stop calling. He doesn’t leave a message. He just calls right back again about four more times before we pick up the phone again. My mom answers this time.)

Mom: “Ok, ‘Doug’… you pushed my ‘a**hole button’ too many times.”

(She proceeds to threaten him with the police again, before launching into a barrage of insults, evidently because he ignored the threat of police and tried to sell her a home security system again. We hang up. We try to call the local police department about a minute later, but “Doug” interrupts us. He has just called as we pick up the phone to start dialing; he is already on the line. We just hang up and immediately call the police before he can call again.)

Step-Father: *a few minutes later, while on phone with the police* “Oh, my god! The phone just beeped! He’s trying to call us again!”

(An officer that was nearby showed up about five minutes later. While we were waiting for the officer, “Doug” tried to call our house again three more times. The officer took the number, and had to leave to take care of something else. “Doug” tried to call us one more time, before the calls suddenly stopped. He returned a short while later just to check in, and informed us that “Doug” was not going to be calling back. Evidently, the police had contacted the number in the meantime, and reported “Doug” to a number of superiors.)

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The Bad Value Of Loyalty

| Nottingham, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Criminal/Illegal

(I work in a major entertainment retail chain that have a purchasable loyalty card which we all feel is poor value, but we’re supposed to “upsell” to every customer. This happens in my end of year review.)

Manager: “Your numbers on the [Store] card are too low.”

Me: “That’s because it’s a rip off. A DVD costs £10, the card adds another 30% onto their total, and people don’t want to pay that.”

Manager: “Then why does [Colleague] get the numbers?”

Me: “Because he aggressively oversells the card to people who don’t really understand what they’re signing up for.”

Manager: “Well, why don’t you do that?”

Me: “You want me to lie to vulnerable people to sell it?”

Manager: “If you don’t want to we can find someone that does.”

(The business went into administration not long after. I left for a different job but after restructuring my old manager was demoted to sales assistant.)

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A Watered-Down Gesture

| Europe | Coworkers, Criminal/Illegal

(It’s July and the company owner has decided to provide water for the convenience of the workers, who are toiling in the sun with very little opportunities for a break. Two pallets of bottled water are placed in the workshop, leaving the workers free to take as many as they need. Bear in mind these are half-liter bottles, easy to carry around but highly impractical for domestic consumption. At five pm, a worker comes in.)

Me: “Hi, [Worker].”

Worker: *somewhat embarrassed* “Hi…”

(He then proceeds to take at least three six-bottle packs, too much for a single person, especially since his shift just ended. I have a realization.)

Me: “[Worker], you aren’t taking the bottles home, are you?”

Worker: *yelling* “I’m poor! I have a large family!”

(Sadly, because of this guy and many others like him, the following year the workers were left to fend for themselves regarding water…)

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‘Y’ Won’t You Listen?

| OR, USA | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Employees

(We have a service with a cable company that had gotten Dad’s name incorrect on the bill.)

Dad: “Hello, it seems that the last name has been misspelled on my bill. Yes, you’ve spelled it [John Smyth], but it’s really [John Smith]. Can you fix that for me? Thanks.”

(One month later:)

Dad: “Hello, there seems to be a misspelling on my bill and the name is incorrect. I would like it corrected please. [John Smith]. You have it spelled with a Y instead. Thanks.”

(One month later:)

Dad: “Okay, I know this isn’t your fault, but I’ve tried twice to have my name correct on the billing, but now I would like to request that you not sell my name and address to other companies. I am getting offers for [John Smyth] and YOU are the only company who has made that misspelling up until now. Please correct my name and stop selling my information to outside companies.”

(One month later:)

Dad: “I would like to talk to a supervisor, please. Yes, hello. Okay, I’ve tried being polite three times. I want my name spelled correctly on my bill, and I need you to stop selling my information out. Yes, I’ve been promised that it would be corrected before, and it hasn’t happened. I know it’s not your personal fault, but I am getting rather tired of trying to get it fixed. Let me put it this way… there is no one named [John Smyth] at this address. There is a [John Smith]. If [John Smith] doesn’t get a bill addressed to HIM, then he won’t feel any need to pay [John SMYTH]’s bill. This is the last call I’m going to make trying to get this fixed. After that, you will simply stop getting [John SMITH]’s money and be told to find a non-existent [SMYTH] for money owed.”

(When the next bill arrives with the wrong name, Dad decides to end our relationship with them completely. My dad takes the equipment into one of their locations and turns it in. Everything seems handled and Dad gets a receipt saying so. A few months later, we move to Oregon. Five days after we move, we get a “bill” from this company saying that we still owe $5.54.)

Dad: *contacting them* “Regarding this charge, I have a receipt printed up saying that we don’t owe any money.”

(The charge is dropped. Two months after moving, they sent us a letter stating that Dad did not turn in the equipment, and that if he doesn’t turn it in we owe $500 to replace it.)

Dad: *contacting them yet again* “Again, I have a receipt printed up, saying that we don’t owe any money.”

Representative: “I am unable to locate the supposed center that you visited in person on my computer.”

(Dad’s receipt is packed somewhere, so he doesn’t have it in his hand at the moment. When she tries to tell him that the charges are legitimate, they have a very heated discussion.)

Dad: “Look, my receipt is currently in a box, but here’s what’s going to happen… I am going to go box by box through this house. When I find that receipt, I’m going to call [Name], my lawyer, and we are going to pursue this harassment and fraudulent charge in court. I will make absolutely sure that I cost you in massive amounts of court fees as well as an insane amount of bad publicity.”

(Suddenly she “found” the record in her own computer stating that he was “paid in full,” and that all equipment was turned in. We’re going to be on high alert for months to come, because we still don’t trust that this is over…)

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Clearing The House Of Scams

| CO, USA | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Liars/Scammers

(I receive a call on my cell phone.)

Caller: “Hello! This is [Name] with Publisher’s Clearing House, and we’re calling to tell you that you have won a large sum.”

(I immediately know this is a scam, so I decide to mess with him.)

Me: *pretending I’m really excited* “OH, my GOD, REALLY?!”

Caller: “Yes, you have won a large sum, and in order to collect it—”

Me: “HONEY!” *I call out like I’m doing it across the house, even though my wife is right next to me* “Honey, all our money problems are over! I won something from PCH!” *talking to the person on the phone* “Thank you! Thank you! You know, it’s really amazing, isn’t it, that I won this money even though you have to enter all the drawings and I never did?”

Caller: *silence*

Me: *still feigning excitement* “You see, my mom was always the one to enter the drawings, and she never won a thing, so isn’t it incredible that I’ve NEVER spent a dime entering anything and I win the money? Isn’t that just AMAZING?” *I lower my voice to one of mocking consideration* “You know, it’s almost like this isn’t really a call from Publisher’s Clearing House, but instead someone trying to scam me out of—”

Caller: *click*

(I haven’t heard from them since.)