I Did Something that (Maybe) I Shouldn’t Have
I spent my weekend playing Inspector Gadget more than I’d like to admit. Friday night, two event organizers walked out on a $1400 bill. To say it sickened me would be an understatement. I just didn’t know that people could be so brazen. (This is such an amazing word brazen: bold and without shame).
It wasn’t just that they walked out (that's happened before). It was the rouse that went with it. I knew it was going to happen early on in the night and I tried to call the police when I sensed it, but they didn’t come in time to catch the rotten scoundrels.
After they actually left (and this is a much longer story that sounds more like a scene from a movie), I made a second call and an officer finally arrived. After I asked him what happens next, he told me probably nothing because it would be hard to catch them. I asked what if I knew where they would be in the next few days and he replied that if I knew their location in the next day or two I should call dispatch, explain the situation and have them send a unit out so they could be arrested.
After a couple of glasses of wine while reading stories where something similar has happened to other people, I decided to put their information on social media to try and get help in catching them. This is where things got a bit tricky. A lot of people felt I shouldn’t have done it and I wasn’t expecting that. It worked in Australia!
Anyway, this is probably a situation where I should have just been still and trusted that God would handle it, but I failed that test. On Saturday that’s probably all I would have said about it. But after the results of my stakeout on Sunday, I’m not so sure I completely regret putting this out there. I was able to find them and the Georgia Tech police came and questioned them but it was out of their jurisdiction. In an attempt to show the officer how often they’re harassed because they are so important, one of them admits to being sued like 11 times. Errrr….that’s not normal. Maybe if you’re a celebrity or you’re rich, that could be the case. However, random citizens with not much going on don’t get sued that much....unless…
I've been doing some research on this and I was really surprised how much fraud happens. Chargebacks alone cost business owners 11 BILLION dollars in lost profits annually. And I’m not talking about identity theft or something like that. I’m talking about people spending money and then calling their credit card companies to say it wasn’t them. When I was talking to the officers on Sunday they said this type of thing happens all the time and they’ve actually seen much worse. Oy vey.
It happens so often because most business owners don’t have the time to see this process through. Even for me, I don’t know if I feel like being the 12th person to sue them. I’ll undoubtedly win, but then what? I have zero faith that they’ll ever pay a dime of it and I would have just ended up with more wasted time.
So, maybe I shouldn't have put this on social media. It is definitely not something I would normally do (especially something so ill designed) but if it prevents this from happening to even one business owner, I don't regret it. I would have wanted to know. And I know some people might be thinking that it might just create a culture where business owners are just telling on people all the time (I'm not condoning this). But, if consumers get to rant on Yelp, why can't business owners say anything about egregious customers?