6 People Who Demanded Outrageous Refunds – And Got away with it

If our coffee is cold or our food is late, all too often we still mumble thanks and keep our rage inside. But here’s what you can get if you demand a refund

Nothing’s too cheap to fight about

If the internet has taught us anything about the business-customer relationship, it’s that the customer is always right – except when they’re blatantly, hilariously wrong.

Remember the guy who complained that there was no topping on his pizza, only to realise he’d opened it upside down? Ah, that guy. He really deserves some royalties.

Sometimes, though, the customer manages to pull off refunds, monetary compensation and profuse apologies whether or not they deserve them. If you’re strapped for cash this month, feel free to try these out:

1. Because another passenger was fat

‘Cuddly’ would be more diplomatic

Australian blogger Rich Wisken managed to get refunded the extra $25 he’d paid for an emergency-exit seat on a Jetstar flight from Perth to Sydney, as well as $100 (£51) compensation. Jetstar’s crime? Seating him next to an overweight man.

Wisken penned a rant that referred to the man as “an infant hippopotamus” and claimed he smelled “like the decaying anus of a deceased homeless man” – however, he offered no background as to how or when the smell of the decaying anus of a deceased homeless man became lodged in his memory.

2. Because I can’t fight off vampires

I’ve got my in-date garlic at the ready

@AlfrescoDB tweeted at Tesco that his still-in-date garlic was mouldy and asked, “How am I supposed to fight off vampires now?” Tesco replied with great concern, “I do hope that by the time you receive this you have not had to encounter any vampires”, agreeing that mouldy garlic is “not the suitable tool”.

They sent a £2 giftcard, “to help you fight off the undead hordes” and apologised for not carrying silver bullets.

3. Because… nothing

Getty ImagesYoung couple chatting on sofa

Make sure EasyJet has your email address, because their self esteem has apparently sunk so low they’re now giving out refunds for imaginary incidents.

The customer relations department of EasyJet sent one man a refund of £355.42 “in reply to an email from my wife… which was never sent and only existed in the imaginations of those wonderful cretins at EasyJet”.

4. Because you didn’t follow the rules I made up

I BELIEVE you’ll find you owe ME

We’re all pretty sick of companies sneaking things into the small print. We all probably owe Apple a kidney and Facebook our first child, but who knows? Well, Dmitry Argakov might.

He is a Russian man who not only read the small print on a credit card agreement, but changed it to give himself unlimited credit, no fees, a 0% interest rate and an exemption from paying any bank tariff fees and charges. No one at Tinkoff Credit Systems read it, and they sent him his credit card.

When he was late paying the minimum on his card, the bank sued him for 45,000 roubles (£564).

His outstanding balance was only 19,000 roubles (£238), but the bank also wanted the fees and late payment charges Argakov’s new smallprint hadn’t included.

The judge ruled against the bank, saying that they, “signed the documents without looking. They said what usually their borrowers say in court: ‘We have not read it’.”

5. Because my wife said no

REUTERSApple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook speaks
Apple says yes

In 2011, the Apple iPad 2 came out. They had a lot of returns and reports of defects, but one reportedly came back with a note that stated, simply, “Wife said no”. They gave him the refund but also sent him a free iPad 2 with a note, “Apple said yes”.

6. Because you’re Tom Hanks

Sorry about being me – have a refund

What do you get when you criticise a movie star, to his face, about his latest movie? A Russell-Crowe-style punch in the mouth? A Robert-Downey-Junior-style walkout? Nope. If it’s Tom Hanks, you get a refund.

While filling up his car at a petrol station, a couple approached him and told him they’d just seen his latest film, Larry Crowne. When he asked if they’d enjoyed it the man told him it “wasn’t that good”.

The nicest man in Hollywood is reported to have said, “Gee, I’m sorry you were disappointed, how about letting me refund your ticket money?” It seems flattery will get you everywhere, but insults will get you $25.

How to complain

Your first option is to contact the company directly, whether that’s phoning the customer services number, emailing them or calling them out on Twitter.

If you can’t sort it out, you may want to turn to a third party complaints resolution service. For financial service products, the Financial Ombudsman may be able to help, while the Property Ombudsman deals with renting issues.

You can also try Resolver for complaints about companies in general.


One reply on “6 People Who Demanded Outrageous Refunds – And Got away with it”

Dmitry Argakov, you are an inspiration to us all!! Take THAT for not reading the fine print on your own credit card agreement…

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