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This is a question Ripped Off

A friend who worked in a second hand record shop told us about a Japanese guy who regularly bought "rare" records in their shop. One time, he was looking for a signed copy of "Never Mind the Bollocks".

They didn't have one. Four people and one magic marker later, they did. Ker-ching!

How have you been ripped off? Who did you rip off? Are you a British Gas customer?

(, Thu 15 Feb 2007, 16:28)
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Divorce Lawyers.....
I'm sure I can't be the only one with a story like this:

I'm in the midst of getting divorced. It's all amicable, we've agreed what we want to do, and all my solicitor has to do is draw up the financial agreement. Now, we've actually divided up almost everything in advance, all that's left is the house, so when the lawyer tells me "If it's straightforward, it'll cost around £1200", I assume that's about what I'll pay.

Some months later, no contest on anything from the ex-wife, (who hasn't even bothered with a solicitor), we haven't even got to sending the documents to court yet, and the cnut has already charged me more than £2400. I'm getting a bit tetchy, but I want the thing finished, so I put up with it. The judge calls myself and my wife into court to make sure everything is clear, and rejects my £2500 worth of financial agreement out of hand, as it's completely unsuitable. Now, of course, I'm trying to contest their charges and get them to put their mistakes right for no extra charge. In the process of this, I've requested a breakdown of their charges, which I've received. It made for extremely entertaining reading. Some of my favourite parts included:

A total of £80 or so, charged for drawing up my bills over the period. They are charging the time they spend charging me what they're charging me? Awesome!

After the court hearing, I instructed my solicitor not to take any further action, since I felt he wasn't handling the case competently, and to wait to hear from me. The bill includes a charge the next day for time spent having a meeting with his boss to say "Oh Shit, Sammy is really upset!" and to have her look over the file, and then a charge for her to write me an unsolicited letter saying, essentially, "Sorry you're pissed off, but we're not going to do anything about it".

Lots of charges for "Perusal and Preparation". I wondered why, in a 6 week period where, to my knowledge, he had done nothing, he managed to charge me £800. It appears that every few days, he got my file out, had a bit of a read through, and then put it away again, charging me between £16 and £80 for the privelege.

These last three belong together, and are my personal favourites in a bill that ought to be eligible for the Orange prize for fiction.

18th December - £16:50 for "receiving letter from court". This letter was six lines long, and said that my ex and I had to appear, and the date. By my reckoning, allowing for him to have a hard time opening the envelope, the 6 minutes he billed me gave him time to read that letter 25 times. Despite that, however, he didn't manage to understand the part where I was supposed to appear as well. So........

19th December - £16.50 for "letter to client". This was another 5 liner, telling me that there was a court date set, but that I didn't have to appear. Stapled to the back of it was the order from the court, saying that I DID have to appear.

20th December - £16.50 for "call from client". This was me phoning up to say "Your letter says I don't have to appear, but the court letter says I do. You've made a mistake, haven't you?". So, a total of £49.50 for misreading a letter, advising me wrong, and then taking a call confirming that he'd fucked up.

I can only conclude that I'm in completely the wrong job, and look on open mouthed as they try to charge me a further £450 for work undertaken, and estimate that the cost to bring the job to a close will probably be "less than £1000". Click "I like this" if you think I should go on a brief killing spree. Surely no court in the land would convict me?
(, Fri 16 Feb 2007, 14:12, Reply)

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