Internet Delights in the Plight of the Penny-Paying Woman

Members of a popular internet forum were thrilled after a small business owner reported a recent run-in with an angry customer.

In a viral post published on Reddit’s r/MaliciousCompliance forum, Redditor u/PracticalDadAdvice (aka Original Poster or OP) said he runs a local repair shop and described the poetic justice that ensued as a dissatisfied one Wife tried to pay a bill with just pennies.

The post, titled “Malicious Compliance to Malicious Compliance,” has received almost 15,000 votes in the last 11 hours.

Beginning by explaining that he employs a large number of teenagers and that his shop is designed to help youngsters pick up a handful of skills and make some money in the process, the original poster said the woman came into the shop with a “broken electrical appliance”, ‘ and sought help.

After receiving her repaired product, the original poster said she was clearly upset with the work and disputed the heavily discounted bill she received.

“She demanded to see the manager, so I jumped out, listened to her scratch my kids, confirmed how she felt, but pointed out that the job she asked for was getting done and was done correctly and her bill was due on-call -up of the play,” he wrote.

After learning that her bill could only be paid by cash or a personal check, the original posterist said she angrily wrote a personal check to cover the repair, but when the original posterist attempted to deposit payment, the check bounced back.

The original poster said he quickly informed the customer of the problem with her payment, which set off a chain of unexpected but hilarious events.

“She rolls into the office with a bag and I knew exactly what was going on,” the OP wrote. “She drops – of course – a bag of pennies on the desk.”

“The pennies were loose, not in rolls of coins,” he added. “She had done some things to prove her point.”

Despite the customer’s attempts to charge the repair shop with thousands of cents, the original poster said she failed to realize that the repair shop staff would need to count the coins before she could leave to ensure her bill was paid in full.

Not wanting to further upset the customer, the original poster and his staff started counting the pennies – until the customer told them to stop.

“After a while she said ‘just forget it’ and pulled out $125 bills,” the OP wrote. “We signed her agreement and she started walking.”

“Another of my kids, thank goodness, asked her if she needed help carrying the pennies back to her car,” he continued. “She looked at us all with a face of pure panic, mumbled ‘no thanks, just keep them,’ and ran away.”

“We loaded the bags into my vehicle … took them to the bank and used the coin machine to deposit them and then wrote a donation to our local animal shelter for the amount she gave out,” he added.

What is worse? The store is on the second floor — and as the woman lugged each bag of pennies upstairs, she passed an elevator.

Angry workshop customer
Members of Reddit’s r/MaliciousCompliance forum laughed after a man explained how his young employees dealt with an angry customer.
AaronAmat/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Angry customers, for better or for worse, are a constant presence in both the business and online landscape.

in the last few months, news week has reported numerous cases of customers in fast-food restaurants throwing entire orders on the floor in anger, yelling at employees through drive-through windows, and in one case, a customer jumped over a McDonald’s counter and grabbed an employee after an argument to about a meal order that went mad.

For employees of large chain establishments like many fast food restaurants, as well as employees of smaller local establishments like the repair shop described in the viral Reddit post forbes recommends following a seven-step process to placate angry customers and diffuse heated interactions.

There are many standard elements included in the seven steps, such as keep calm and listen. But two steps – not taking it personally and working on a solution – can sometimes get lost in a traditional “the customer is always right” approach.

However, in the case of the viral Reddit post and many other posts in the Malicious Compliance subreddit, the original poster and his staff remained cordial to an angry customer and ended up being paid double for their repair services.

Throughout the comments section of the viral post, Redditors adored the cute example of Comeuppance and applauded the original poster for the way it handled the situation.

“Yeah, you got quadruple points for that,” wrote Redditor u/CaptainKangaroo33.

“For the help for the local youth, for the patience [with] a [a**hole]for teaching youth how to calmly deal with conflict and for the donation!” they added.

In a separate comment, Redditor u/rockhall73 offered a similar answer.

“Thanks for the donation,” they wrote. “It’s very healthy. I love it!”

“This answer makes all sorts of cents,” added Redditor u/SCVannevar jokingly. Internet Delights in the Plight of the Penny-Paying Woman

Rick Schindler

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