"My grandfather used to own a small grocery store back in the '50s. In the store was a payphone where you could make a call for a dime.
As my grandfather told it, there were quite a few people who would file down pennies to the size of a dime so they could save nine cents on a phone call.
My grandmother always used to say: 'Filing down a penny is hard work. In the time it takes to do it, you could have gone out and earned a dime.'"
"I bought tickets to a Lady Gaga concert and brought who I thought was a friend. She wasn't impressed with the location of the seats and for the entire show, she was trying to convince security at stage level checkpoints that she had cancer and was dying and her last wish was to get up close to Lady Gaga.
It didn't work. We don't speak now, and I was angry at the time because she was so wasted I missed the show I paid for to try to keep her out of jail or being thrown out because she was my ride home.
She was supposed to be my designated driver, but with all the antics, I didn't drink and just drove her home afterward!"
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"When I was in the Army, I received orders to attend a training course for six months. One day, we had a guest lecturer come in. She was tossing out free stress balls that looked like globes to people who answered a certain number of questions correctly. I'm not sure why, but it got my blood going. I was going to get one of those balls.
What followed was a fairly intense competition between myself and two other soldiers attending the course, with all of us vying to get more correct answers than the others. And, in the end, I got my squishy globe.
I held the thing in my hands for a couple of seconds before it suddenly dawned on me that I was a 25-year-old man who had acted like a complete idiot for the honor of owning a thirty-cent toy."
"One of my friends has always been stingy. He's always trying to make money by scamming or reselling stuff at a profit, and he won't buy something unless it's cheap. He's also obsessed with getting free stuff, especially free money.
A few years ago he realized that if you call Amazon and complain that you lost a gift card, sometimes they'll give you a free $50 gift card. He also realized that when you make an Amazon Prime account you get a free $50 gift card and that you can transfer to another account.
He decided that this would be a great way to spend his summer, so he started making Amazon accounts, transferring the free gift cards to his main account, calling Amazon and fake crying over voice and video chat in order to get another $50 gift card, and then transferring that additional gift card to his main account and canceling the subscription to Amazon Prime. He did this for about a month and now he's got about $4,000 in Amazon gift cards that he has never used."
"I was a movie theater ticket ripper/doorman.
I once had a guy who tried to walk past me without stopping. I called him back, he shook his head no and waved his hand and tried to keep walking. I raised my voice and pointed at the ground in front of me. He was all smiles and came over saying his girlfriend had his ticket and was already in the theater.
I told him to text her to come out and to have a seat while he waited. He said he didn't have his phone. I told him she would come out when he never showed up.
So he was sulking on this chair next to me. Trying to talk his way out of my sight. The second I had to help someone else he vanished from the chair but the idiot was so dumb that he STOPPED TO BUY POPCORN as I stared at him. So I went over (he seemed surprised I had functioning legs) and I said he could eat his popcorn on the chair then.
More sulking. I radioed coworkers to give them the heads up. I turned away for a second, then saw him jogging towards the theaters. My manager managed to get him out of the theater (no girlfriend there after all). He was all smiles saying he would go look for her and we waved bye.
Tickets were $7. He spent about 30 minutes doing this."
"I worked with a guy who didn't pay his cable bill, and he spent an entire day on the phone with their customer service trying to confuse them and play each representative against one another until they wrote off his unpaid bill as an error on their part. I was at his house when he did this, watching movies with his roommate.
The guy was taking notes, carefully monitoring what he said to each rep and what they said to him, and being mindful to twist everything just enough not to get caught lying. He said the trick was to not do it every month or they'd catch on.
He seriously spent the whole day on it. We pretty much watched the whole extended cut Lord of the Rings trilogy in the meantime. I'm pretty sure that the time and effort could have just gone to paying the bill. It was over a decade ago. I'm sure the bill was only like $100.
"When I was younger, I found a loophole that would save my friends and me a few hundred dollars.
I grew up 10 minutes away from Six Flags Great America. I was lucky enough for my family to buy season passes. With that, you also got a cool coupon book. In there, there were tickets for 'bring a friend along free day.' On certain days you can bring one friend with a season pass holder.
What I would do is bring five friends. First I went in with one friend. So now we had two people on the inside. You walked around a little bit to not look too suspicious. Then you went straight to the exit. At the exit, they asked you if you wanted your hand stamped so you could get back in. Both of us said yes. They stamped our hands with this invisible ink that glows under a blacklight.
From there you hightailed it to your other four friends who had been waiting around the corner. The two with the fresh stamps breathed a bit on your hands to make the ink a little bit wetter. Then you carefully pressed and roll your stamp onto another person's hand.
If you did it correctly and quickly, a fresh stamp could be copied onto another person's hand twice. So two people with fresh stamps could become six people with stamps.
Of course, the copied stamps were mirror images, but no one noticed it any of the times I did this when we walked in.
Even if you didn't get a complete perfect copy they would let you in because the stampers make mistakes sometimes and sometimes the stamps rubbed off a bit.
It was a great way to save a few hundred dollars."
"I work at a low-cost vet clinic and a notorious womanizer came in (my first time meeting him). He got his dog a round of shots and there was a note in his file to no longer allow payment arrangements.
I went to check him out and he was flirting so hard, but I politely shut him down, though he kept trying. I cut him off by telling him his total ($40) and he flipped his lid, gave me a chuckle, and motioned for me to come near him. He whispered: 'I know you're new, sugar, but I'm not supposed to pay for this,' and winked. I'm not new, he's just always come in on my days off. I blankly stared at him and told him we didn't accept payment arrangements from him anymore, and I'll be darned if he didn't keep trying to flirt his way out of that $40!"
"In college, I had to go 40 km from my rented room to my campus.
I had three options: by train - a one-hour ride plus a 20-minute walk: $2.5 one way ride, so $5 daily or $50 for monthly ticket; by bus a two-hour ride: with two changes at $1.10 per bus ride, $6.60 per day or $110 monthly ticket; or using network of interconnected free bus lines spanning whole metropolitan area that ran to and from supermarkets. That was a four-hour ride, but it was free. That helped with my total budget that was going strong at $20-30/month.
So for half a year, I spent equivalent of full-time job saving $100 per month before it occurred to me to ride by train, and find a half-time job near the campus that paid $300 that covered the cost of transportation as a benefit - and I had to work anyway to eat at all.
I was not a smart man, then."
"Oh, let me tell you about the Snowbirds. These are geriatric vacationers from Canada/Minnesota/Wisconsin that come to Florida during the winter for their vacation. They are the cheapest humans on the planet. I have enough stories to write a book; let me share a couple of my favorites:
A server came over to me and mentioned that the lady at table 47 was on her second glass of iced tea, and the appetizers weren't even ready. I replied: 'So what, she's probably thirsty.'
A few minutes later the server came back and informed me the lady had a gallon Ziploc plastic baggie in her purse and she's pouring her iced tea in there, saving it to take home later.
One morning, an old couple joined us for breakfast. We had coffee pots on each table, and we sold the cup for $1.50, all the coffee you could drink.
They ordered one cup. The old guy poured himself a cup, drank it, then filled the cup for her. She drank it, then passed it back to him. This went on for their entire meal.
When Snowbird season hit, we'd remove all the condiments from the table, otherwise, they'd take all the sugar, sweeteners, and anything else they could.
A popular bumper sticker in the area read: 'If it's Snowbird season, why can't we shoot them?'"
"My buddy once saw an online (Target?) ad for a miss-priced Wii U console for about $70. He then went to Walmart and after about 10 minutes of arguing with the manager, they agreed to price-match the console for $70.
He then went to the next Walmart to try and get the same deal. but by the time he got there, Walmart had already sent out a company-wide email telling them to not price-match the Wii U console, and that it was a mistake by the online company and that if you try to purchase it online, it wouldn't let you.
He thew a small public fit and the Walmart manager agreed to give him a $25 Walmart gift card for his time/travel. He then went to four more Walmart stores in the area and proceeded to con them each out of $25 gift cards."
"My mom made me sell crap around the house for small change, or put them up for free to get rid of them.
She was making me sell this ugly candle thing, that she dropped the price on about 10 times after no one wanted it. Then when it was free, we got a bite.
She asked if she could meet me half way to point X. It was no problem as that was legitimately my work at the time, so I told her when I was working.
She arrived at my work, 35 minutes after we agreed, and I was working obviously by then and wasn't answering my phone. She walked in and asked for me and I told my manager what happened and she said it was all good, just be quick.
So I walked her to my car to grab the thing, she told me she was sorry that she was late, but her friend dropped her off at the shopping center up the road, which was a good 20-minute walk, then said that her son was supposed to pick her up here after a meal, drop her off somewhere else and that her husband would take her back home.
All for this ugly free candle holder thing."
"A few years ago, I had a plane ticket that I needed to reschedule because I wasn't going to be flying to a conference any longer. I called and gave them the excuse that my 'uncle had died,' and to my immediate relief, they canceled and gave me a refund.
Right after, the agent said: 'Before you hang up, can I please have the name of the funeral home and the priest performing the eulogy?' I sheepishly agreed to call them back, while panicking inside.
I looked up an obituary online, called a local funeral home and said I'm the brother of the deceased, and asked who would be officiating the funeral. They transferred me to the funeral director who asked me who I was about three times and then finally gave me the name.
I hung up, called the agent back, gave him the information, and never heard from them again.
I may burn for this, but at least I didn't get charged for a rescheduled ticket."
"A certain airline once did a deal where you could spend money at its shop and the money would count towards your frequent flier miles. Of course, when you have a certain number of FFM's, you could travel places for free by spending those miles.
So some customers found out that the store sold mint coins, which had the same monetary value that they paid for it, or something like that (so $1 bill would get you $1 mint coin). They then figured out that this mint coin was legal tender, so they would deposit that coin into their bank, resulting in a net money spent to be $0. Well, since that transaction went through, it counted towards their FFM.
So people started doing this process over and over, spending a net $0, but still getting free FFM. That meant they got a ridiculous number of FFM to anywhere they wanted to go, without spending a cent."
"I don't work in fast food, but I do work at a movie theatre.
We get calls once or twice a week from people trying to get free tickets. And let me just say, they are the most RIDICULOUS claims.
My favorite was either the time someone called up and claimed they were in a movie being 'harassed.' I asked them what movie it was, and they said 'Scary Movie 5.' That movie wasn't due to come out for another week. When I told them this, they quickly said it was 'Charlie McCloud.' I told them we hadn't had that movie for over a week. They hung up.
Or the time someone called up and claimed that people in the movie were 'making fun of her for being fat' and 'throwing food at her during the movie.' After stringing her along for awhile asking her how many people were with her, and how many people were harassing her, I promptly told her that the movie she claimed to be in was empty all day. Not a ticket sold. She got angry and hung up.
Just this past Sunday, a woman called up and claimed she had sat in 'cat poop.' I asked her how exactly she knew it was cat poop. She muttered something incoherently so I humored her by saying that if she brought up the 'cat poop pants' and their ticket stubs, I would give them passes.
Before they were demanding a refund on the pants (at a movie theatre?) and free concession.
They still haven't shown with the poop pants."
"My buddy and I had a need for a new futon in high school. One day, we decided to hangout in the senior lounge during lunch and mess around on our phones. We started looking at Craigslist and we found one north of us in Vermont. We called our parents and got dismissal phone calls placed and we dipped out of class.
We jumped in the 1996 Camry and darted up 91N to get that futon. We arrived at the guy's house. The snowy, icy, winding slick slope of a driveway was in the way. We slowly climbed the Camry up the slope and parked in the guy's driveway. We met him in his basement walkout.
He gave us tools to disassemble the futon and shoved it in the Camry. Unbelievably, we got the whole thing, frame and all, onto or into the Camry. Then the guy, out of nowhere, charged us: he needed us to move his upstairs couch downstairs. We bravely lugged the massive sleeper couch through two feet of snow, around the house, and into the walkout.
We said our goodbyes and drove back down 91S and started moving the futon up his three-story colonial. Winding staircases and all! It was an awesome but desperate afternoon."
"I bought a $5 microwave on Craigslist when I was at NYU. Once I got there and picked up the microwave, I realized I didn't have a way to get back since I had walked there. It was maybe only a 15-to-20-minute walk from my dorm, but it was a lot easier not carrying a microwave. This thing weighed a lot, and there was a heavy glass plate inside that made it difficult.
So then I thought: 'Do I take the subway or a taxi?' A subway ride would have been about $2.50, which would greatly inflate the cost of the microwave. And the taxi would have been far more. I seriously considered the subway but realized there would be no easy route anyway and I'd still end up walking almost just as much distance ultimately.
So, I carried that thing the whole way, pausing several times to rest. I made it, though, and the best part is that about three years later I sold it on Craigslist for $10."
"I had been collecting Bing points to buy the Fallout 4 Season Pass. It took a while to save up, and I cash them out $10 at a time. I was really close to the $50 or so needed and was just waiting on my last $10 reward to buy it.
Then when I hit it, literally two days before about $20 expired!
I was really upset about that, and I messaged Xbox support about it. I said that I already had a purchase in mind, and the $20 just expired two days ago. I asked if there would be any way they could credit it back just so I could make the purchase.
If you've ever tried contacting Xbox support, that's a struggle on its own. Nobody I talked to could do anything, and I eventually got them to finally escalate the issue, but that person wouldn't help either, which really bothered me because here I've been paying for Xbox Live since its inception and buy several Xbox games over the years, and they're going to be uber strict over $20?
So, I tried other things. I tweeted at Xbox. I think I even tweeted their CMO and a few other employees who I could find (not working grunts, but important folks), but I don't think that went anywhere. During one of the support calls, I asked to have my Xbox Live membership canceled. And I think this is what might have helped things along. (Also, when the support guy canceled my Xbox Live, he canceled it that same day, despite me having three months left on my subscription.)
I think it was about a week or two after that when I got a response from someone, I think a DM on Twitter or something. I don't remember exactly, but essentially it was a real person at Xbox who reached out about helping me. I had a call with him directly and explained the whole situation and he sent me an email which was a typical support ticket, but one I guess he was handling personally. Through that exchange, I managed to get like a $25 credit or something, plus three months of Xbox Live free to make up for what I had already had left in my original subscription at cancellation.
So, I then bought the Season Pass and have been in Nuka-World ever since!"
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