Customer Bills Phone Company For Time Wasted, Gets Paid

–>It’s the dream of every angry customer — sending a bill to the company that wasted your time. Well, it’s finally happened.

Howard Schaffer was having such an awful time with his phone company that he alerted the local media — who ran a column about the debacle. That happens all the time, but what makes this case interesting is that Howard was keeping a record of the time he spent dealing with the phone company (One Communications of Rochester, NY) as well as the expenses that he was racking up while the phone company apologized over and over, but didn’t fix the problem.

“I’ve received nine apologies,” Schaffer, whose phone bill is usually around $500 a month, told the Times-Union. As time dragged on, he was forced to have employees use cellphones and to borrow a phone from his landlord. The phone company promised at least $2,000 in credits, but no phone service.

After the column ran and his problem was resolved — Howard tallied up the expenses and sent One Communications a bill. For $5,481.16. And the company agreed to pay it.

You can learn a few things from Mr. Shaffer, who is a PR professional by trade. Follow his example by taking detailed notes of all the time and money you spend dealing with an issue. You might not be able to get a check for your expenses, (unless, perhaps, your story gets published in the newspaper like Mr. Shaffer’s did) but it certainly can’t hurt.

Hold My Calls. All of them. [Times-Union]
$5,481 check is in the mail after phone snarl [Times-Union] (Thanks, Laura!)
(Photo: nfarley )

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