3 Inspiring Ways Scorned Consumers Have Reaped Revenge
When companies treat us badly it can often leave us with a sour taste in our mouths. But these days, consumers are becoming wiser and instead of quietly seething, they are realising the power they have and using it against companies and businesses.
Too many of us have fallen victim to appalling service or terrible marketing teams that make us dread picking up the phone. However, a small few have taken matters into their own hands, and got their own back on the companies that scorned them, and we’re not just talking about angry tweets.
An unexpected bill for Sky
We all know how hard it is to cancel a service, especially Sky, but Pete Swift from Edinburgh, a customer of Sky, was furious after spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to cancel. Not only this, but he was receiving bills and being chased by debt collectors for a service he wasn’t even using.
After 18 months of being threatened, Pete took legal action and then counted up the hours he had spent trying to contact them, including meetings with lawyers. He then proceeded to charge Sky £25 per hour for his time which resulted in a £1,395 bill, plus court costs that was promptly sent to an unexpectant Sky.
Two and a half years later Sky finally admitted their failings and offered Pete a payment of £1,500.
Cold-call victim reverses the charges
Nuisance calls are indeed that – a nuisance. But after receiving a number of nuisance calls, mostly from those companies offering mis-sold payment protection, cold-call victim Lee Beaumont took revenge on his telephone tormentors.
After looking up ways to solve the problem, he soon realised there was money to be made. He turned his home number into an 0871 premium rate line, so that every time someone called him, he earned money. (Genius!)
Beaumont payed £10 plus VAT to set up the number and receives 7p per minute every time cold-callers call him. To start with he was earning £7 per month, but that has since increased, and he now finds ways for companies to call him instead of the other way around, to earn extra money.
United Airlines goes viral
During baggage handling on a united airline flight, musician Dave Carrolls’ guitar was broken due to careless handling. After reporting it, they did nothing and passed Carroll from one person to the next for the following 9 months.
However, after United Airlines failed to compensate Mr. Carroll, he decided to tell the world his story through song – and a video that reached a million views on youtube in just 4 days. In fact, in 2009 the young singer-songwriter from Canada became YouTube famous when his self-written song, ‘United Breaks Guitars’ became a viral hit thanks to its catchy lyrics and cheeky music video.
Since then, the song became so famous that he managed to bring out a book called ‘United Breaks Guitars’ and another song about bringing out the book, called ‘I’ve got a book comin’ out’ which features the guitar in question and its take on the ordeal.
United Airlines did eventually offer Carroll compensation, but he turned it away in the name of charity, saying that what he was really trying to do was ‘reform the system’. It seems that throughout the process of creating this video, Carroll realised that this wasn’t just about him; it was about every other consumer out there.
We don’t know about you, but we’re certainly feeling inspired.