Members of a popular Internet forum were delighted when a small business owner shared a recent encounter with a disgruntled customer.
In a viral post published on reddit‘s Malicious Compliance forum, Redditor u/PracticalDadAdvice (aka the original poster or OP), said he runs a local repair shop and describes the poetic justice that happened when a disgruntled woman tried to pay a bill using only pennies.
Entitled, “Malicious Compliance to Malicious Compliance,” the after has received nearly 15,000 votes in the past 11 hours.
Beginning with the explanation that he employs many teenagers, and that his shop is intended to help the youngsters acquire a handful of skills and make a little money, the original poster said that the woman entered the shop with a “broken electronic ‘ and sought help.
However, after receiving her repaired product, the original poster said she was clearly upset with the work and disputed the heavily discounted bill she received.
“She demanded to see the manager so I came out, listened to her tears in my children, confirmed how she felt, but pointed out that the work she asked for had been done correctly and that her bill was had to be paid upon pick-up of the piece,” he wrote.
After learning that her bill could only be paid in cash or by personal check, the original poster said she angrily wrote a personal check to cover the repair, but when the original poster tried to deposit the payment, the check was returned. .
The original poster said he quickly notified the customer of the problem with her payment, triggering a series of unexpected, but hilarious, events.
“She rolls into the office with a bag and I knew exactly what was going on,” OP wrote. “She drops — of course — a bag of pennies on the desk.”
“The pennies were loose, not in coin rolls,” he added. “She had done some work to prove her point.”
Despite the customer’s attempt to charge the repair shop with thousands of cents, the original poster said she failed to realize the store’s staff would have to count the coins before she could leave, to ensure her bill was paid in full.
Not to further upset the customer, the original poster and his staff started counting the pennies – until the customer told them to stop.
“After a while she said ‘Forget it’ and took out one hundred and twenty-five dollars in bills,” OP wrote. “We signed her agreement and she started to leave.”
“Another of my children, bless his heart, asked her if she wanted help carrying the pennies back to her car,” he continued. “She looked at us all with a face of sheer panic, mumbled ‘no thank you, keep ’em’ and shot away.”
“We loaded the bags into my vehicle… took them to the bank and used the coin machine to deposit them, then made a donation to our local shelter for the amount she deposited,” he added.
What’s worse? The store is on the second floor – and as the woman dragged up each bag of pennies, she walked past an elevator.
Angry customers, for better or for worse, are a constant presence in both the business and online landscape.
In the past months, news week has reported on numerous cases of customers at fast food restaurants throw entire orders on the floor angry, yelling at employees through drive-thru windows and in one case a customer jumped over the counter of a McDonald’s and… attacked an employee after a dispute over a food order turned sour.
For workers in general, chains like many fast food restaurants, as well as workers at smaller, local establishments like the repair shop described in the viral Reddit post, Forbes recommends following a seven-step process to appease upset customers and diffuse any heated interactions.
Many standard elements are included in the seven steps, such as staying calm and listening. But two steps – not taking it personally and working on a solution – can sometimes get lost in a traditional ‘the customer is always right’ approach.
However, in the case of the viral Reddit post and many other posts within the Malicious Compliance subreddit, the original poster and his collaborators remained cordial with an irate customer and ended up being paid twice for their repair services.
In the comment section of the viral post, Redditors raved about the sweet example of compensation and applauded the original poster for how he handled the situation.
“Yeah, you have quadruple points on this one,” Redditor wrote to u/CaptainKangaroo33.
“For helping local youth, for the patience [with] a [a**hole]to teach young people how to deal with conflict calmly and for the donation!” they added.
In a separate response, Redditor offered u/rockhall73 a similar response.
“Blessed for making the donation,” they wrote. “This is very healthy. I love it!”
“That response makes all kinds of money,” Redditor added u/SCVannevar jokingly.