One weekend I had to bugger off to another city to hit some servers and network gear with a hammer, so another Arsehole decided that they’d crash at my place and buy a bunch of questionable stuff online (including Savage Garden’s entire discography).
In exchange for this rapacious exploitation of my abode and internet connectivity, it was agreed that this other Arsehole would arrange for some professional cleaners to be admitted to my abode such that they could delouse my apartment in my absence.
Upon my return, I was greeted by a very clean apartment and the news of “Those cleaners are idiots. They parked in a no parking zone and asked who was going to pay for it.” I suspected that the spotlessness of my home was about to be offset by a quagmire of stupidity on the part of the cleaning company. Much to my disgust, my suspicions were correct.
I received an e-mail with an invoice attached. This e-mail explained that the amount charged as $125.00 higher than the amount quoted because of the parking fine that was incurred when the staff parked their vehicle “where I told them to.”
We are not amused!
Suffice to say, I was not going to put up with such impertinence. I responded to said e-mail thusly:
Dear Dodgy Cleaning Company,
The parking fine was levied by the council that administers the area and was applied due to the rules of the area not being followed by your staff and said staff choosing to park illegally. I do not endorse illegal behaviour and neither suggested nor enabled it in this instance (as I actually was not present). You are not to take a payment from my card for this amount and any attempt to do so will result in all amounts deducted by your company being subject to chargeback requests.
At this point I would have settled for acknowledgement and agreement on the issue of the parking fine, however I was clearly dealing with someone who was certain they were right, like those nutters that reckon the Earth is younger than the fossil fuel products sloshing through their Falcon’s oversized engine whilst insisting petrol would be cheaper if their racist views on immigration were made law.
Your representative told our staff where to park, therefore we have decided that you are responsible for the parking fine.
Yours in Cricket and Cheesecake,
Dodgy Cleaning Company (DCC – part of the Fully Half Dodgy Group)
I spoke with my fellow Arsehole, and they recalled their conversation with DCC with wonderful alacrity. They stated that their words were, “I don’t live here, I don’t drive, I don’t know the parking rules so I can’t really help you out beyond looking at the street signs.” How exactly this translates to telling someone where to park puzzled me, but I was concerned that providing this information to DCC would be as helpful as using 700mL of vodka in place of Viagra. With that in mind, I took the logical path:
The fine has been levied to the registered owner of the vehicle as the empowered enforcement officer involved determined that the party in control of the vehicle had committed an offence. Your company and their representatives have no legal (or other) basis for determining that another party is responsible for the illegal conduct of your staff.
For the avoidance of doubt, I will be issuing chargebacks should these words be ignored.
Say hello to your mum for me,
Some brilliant prole at DCC decided that they’d escalate to a bloke named Igor to try and deal with me, still insisting that they were correct.
This issue has been escalated to me. I am the General Manager of Operations here and have a very nice office under the stairs and one of those newer model C64s to send e-mails with.
It is my job to determine who is responsible for the fine and thus who will pay it. Why should you not pay this fine?
I think there’s a splinter in my buttocks,
One thing that makes me laugh and cringe simultaneously is the thought of an issue being escalated to someone who claims to be important and said person not knowing a single thing about the situation they’ve been asked to resolve. I decided that I should actually check my account to see whether the “good” people at DCC had been as dodgy as their parent company’s name would indicate. It turns out that a charge was present for both the cleaning service and the parking fine amount.
Advantage: Arsehole! Chargeback FTW!
I wrote back to Igor in a very balanced, considerate fashion.
I would have expected that someone with your lofty station properly equip themselves with an understanding of the issue they are attempting to address prior to making contact with a customer. I have explained the way law actually works and I am disgusted by the idea that your organisation conducts business in a fashion that is grossly unprofessional and fraudulent. Your only course of action should you have a concern with the levying of the fine against your staff is to appeal the issuing of said fine with the council.
Additionally I have noticed that my instructions have been completely discarded by your staff and a payment was processed by your company for both the cleaning service and the parking fine as a single amount. At no point did your representatives relay this, instead focusing on paltry attempts to have me accept responsibility for your staff having a blatant disregard for law and/or an inability to read.
As originally stated, I have instructed my card issuer to commence the chargeback process for the transaction initiated by your company. The fees involved and the increased MSF that will be levied against you should serve as timely reminders of the grossly inappropriate conduct that your organisation has decided to engage in.
At this point, my mobile rang, my desk phone at work (!!) rang, a rambling SMS landed on my phone and another e-mail from Igor landed in my inbox:
Please do not be raising the chargeback. We will talk to the driver about the parking fine. You are a valued customer and we do not want to have to deal with chargebacks.
At this point, poor Igor had failed to grasp that it was too little, too late:
I provided a specific, detailed response to the initial statements by your staff with regard to this issue and have been ignored at every turn. Your company’s ingrained malfeasance has been appropriately recognised by the chargeback process being initiated.
Do not contact me again unless the time that I have already spent on this issue is going to be paid for by your company (2 hours at $200 / hour, but I charge a 4 hour minimum) and additional recompense provided to accompany your company’s written apology.
Igor begged some more whilst completely failing to comprehend the actual issues and was told to kindly bugger off lest I raise chargebacks for the previous services his company had provided to me whilst encouraging my friends (yes, I have friends – don’t laugh!) who I had referred to his employer to do the same.
Igor did attempt to dispute the chargeback that was raised. Igor did not succeed. Igor’s company had to change banks.
And this particular Arsehole got their house cleaned for free. Victory!