Mistakes happen all of the time, it's part of being human! Unfortunately, some mistakes can come at a price.
People on Reddit share the expensive thing they got because a worker messed up. Content has been edited for clarity.
A Great Surprise And Day
“The Saturday before Thanksgiving this year, our credit union sponsored an event at the local Humane Society where the credit union offered to pay all adoption fees that day.
My wife and kids decided it was time to have another pet in the home, so we went to the Humane Society to see if an adult cat would decide to adopt us. We stopped by the kitten area first since kittens are cute.
I picked up a little all-black kitten, and he immediately fell asleep on my arm. My youngest daughter picked up a little grey tabby, and he immediately fell asleep in her arms as well. The Humane Society worker in the room was surprised since he had seen both of those kittens fight to get away from everyone else who had tried to hold them. It wasn’t in the plans, but we were obviously claimed by these two little furballs, so they went home with us.
A while after we got home, I was holding and petting the gray kitten for some bonding time and realized his markings were weird. He had stripes on his legs and part of his torso like a tabby, but most of his back, sides, and belly were spotted. I did some research and discovered this stripe and spot pattern, along with his green eyes and distinctive markings on his forehead mean that he’s actually an Egyptian Mau. Breeders generally sell Mau kittens for $1200-$2000, and we got him for free.
He has been neutered (shelter policy for all adoptions) so he can’t be bred, but still a very nice surprise from free adoption day.”
The Beginning Was Bad, But The Ending Was Swell
“Many years ago, a bank ordered the repossession (repo) of my Tahoe even though I had made all the payments on time. The repo person was nice enough to come into my accountancy business, and inform me in case I wanted to get my belongings out of the vehicle.
I showed him my paid receipts and he said he had no choice because he had an order to repossess the vehicle. I asked if would he wait while I called the bank and my attorney. He said sure no problem. We sat in my office as I first called my attorney, and my attorney asked me to call the bank with him on the line and inform the bank my attorney was on the other line.
Now, we had the bank on the phone, and after 20 minutes of research and faxing over copies of my payment receipts, the bank had admitted that I had in fact made my payments on time every month.
I said, ‘Great — can you tell the repo person everything is fine?’
They said they could not because the legal department was closed, and they were the only ones who could cancel the repo order. So the repo had no choice but to take my Tahoe. He said I was the first person he ever heard of and saw who had proof that he had made all his payments.
It turns out the bank had misapplied all my payments as unfound cash. I asked what that was, and they said that’s when someone comes to the bank and gives them cash and leaves without telling them what it is for.
I had one question, ‘How many people actually do this?’ I also asked them, ‘Why do my receipts have the loan number on them?’ They did not have an answer.
After the call, my attorney told me to let the repo guy have the vehicle. Since he was sure my credit was damaged to apply for business loans, the next day I applied for a business loan of $250K at several banks. All of them had turned me down because I had a repossession on my credit.
Six months later — thanks to my attorney and the bank saying they did nothing wrong — I ended up receiving a brand-new Tahoe from my local Chevy dealer for free. It was the most expensive model I could find with all the bells and whistles and extended warranty and whatever else they could sell me. As a bonus, my attorney also forced the bank to pay me $250k since they had destroyed my credit, preventing me from obtaining a business loan, therefore losing out on the opportunity to buy another accounting practice to expand my business.”
What Are The Chances Of That?
“My sight had gotten to the point where I was pretty bothered. I had 20/20 sight in my left eye, and I had 20/200 or worse in my right eye. I found without my glasses I had headaches and such bad depth perception that I would run into walls while walking around a corner. In 1990, Lasik was just a couple of years into mass popularity. Locally the cost was pretty expensive, but when I’d drive to the Los Angeles area I would see billboards offering ‘$800 PER EYE’ specials. I called a few of the numbers. Funny enough when I described my situation, I was always told, ‘Oh no, we don’t offer that price for just one eye. It’s $1,600 for two eyes, thus the $800 per eye special.’ When I’d ask about the cost for just one eye it was also, go figure $1,600.
Then I went to a local health fair. A giant thing at the civic center. A local ophthalmologist was offering a drawing free Lasik. Cool. I put my name in the box and didn’t think about it because I never win those things anyway. A couple of months go by, and I made an appointment with that company for an evaluation. The doctor confirmed, lucky me, I was an excellent candidate AND I only needed one eye fixed. Next, I was off to the surgery coordinator who told me more about the process and asked the typical questions including, ‘How did you hear about us?’
So I said that I’d been generally aware of the practice, but had entered the drawing and gotten some information at the health fair. She told me they hadn’t had the drawing yet but they were going to do it this week! Ok. Cool. I didn’t think much of her statement ya-know… because I never win these things. I left the office saying I’d think about it.
So about a week goes by and I get a phone call, ‘You just won FREE LASIK!!!!’
Oh wow. I was shocked. I scheduled the surgery for the first available time slot. My experience was amazing. I went from not being able to see things far away to having perfect vision in no time at all.”
What The Computer Says Goes
“Many moons ago when the web was just getting started with retail sales, I was running a very busy 501c3 (charitable) Siberian & Malamute rescue, and we got a cash windfall. I immediately bopped out to my favorite website and ordered right of the drop-pin 42 dog crates. I happily explained to the gal on the phone about the windfall, and the reason the rescue needed the crates. I was pretty giddy because my crates were all haphazardly repaired and patched and I was still occasionally getting determined sled dogs wandering around the basement instead of securely crated.
She happily explained the price was down 50% because they were discontinued, and that would just cover the cost of shipping.
I gave my debit card details. Crates were duly shipped for FREE, which was huge back then. But 16 — not 8 — crates arrived. Oh, no. My debit card didn’t have that much room, and the attached checking account would be drained and my windfall suddenly looked like a personal financial disaster.
I checked with the bank & only the cost of eight crates was debited. I called the business to see about returning the extra eight crates before my account got dinged.
And I got the same gal. Who told me to hold on. She checked and came back and told me that the computer said I was only shipped 8 crates, the 8 crates I had paid for.
I said, ‘Yes, but…’
She explained, again, like fondly speaking to a dim-witted child, ‘Eight, not 16. The computer says eight, the number is eight. Have a nice day.”
Where Did The Check Go?
“Years ago the battery in my car started going bad, but I dragged around about replacing it. I didn’t make a lot of money, had a wife and 3 kids, and something always came up more important.
Besides, I had a set of jumper cables. In Alabama, all you had to do was pop your hood and hook the cables up and people would almost fight to see who could jump you off. I never figured out if it was just their hobby or if they thought it was magic or something.
Eventually, the car went from not starting every once in a while to usually not starting to just not turning on, no matter how much I cussed and kicked it. So I got stranded in the Kmart parking lot.
I ran in to get a couple of those great sandwiches they used to make, the kind where you got like six for five bucks. Great deal. I headed back out and my wife had shut the car off to save gas. I told her very clearly to leave it alone, that was my mistake. If I asked her to not do something that would be the first thing she did. Every. Freaking. Time.
By now I was pretty aggravated and completely fed up with the whole darn situation so I did a bad thing. I went right back in, went straight to automotive, and wrote a check for a battery knowing full well I didn’t have a dollar in the bank.
Now, I wasn’t trying to steal anything. I had full intention of making things right when I got paid. So come Friday I’m right back at Kmart with cash in my hand and a lame excuse for my financial miscalculations.
The guy at the counter wasn’t being very helpful. I told him I made a mistake, and wanted to pay cash for the battery I got a few days before with a check. He went to the office and said there’s no returned check in my name. I figured it was too soon and I was hoping to avoid the returned check fee. He said there’s nothing he could do until it bounced. So I thanked him and left.
The next payday I went back again. Still no check. So I told him I just wanted to pay for the battery. He said nope. I asked to speak to the manager.
I explained it to him and he asked if I had my receipt. I didn’t. He said he couldn’t help me then. I tried to explain that I’m not ASKING for anything, I wanted to GIVE them the money I owed. He didn’t get it and said no receipt he couldn’t take my money.
That check never did come back.”
Why Didn’t She Notice?
“My best friend and I live over an hour away from each other, so our hangouts usually consist of meeting in the middle somewhere in San Francisco. One day, we decided to hang out in a bit of a hipster neighborhood. It was pouring rain, so we continued to pop in and out of stores to stay dry. We ended up at a high-end thrift store and decided to try on a few things here and there.
Now, I’m a small girl with a small bladder, so the rain mixed in with my own incontinence had me needing to use the bathroom BAD.
I raced up to the cashier asking if she had a bathroom I could use, and she told us the closest one was four blocks away. We said thank you, waved goodbye, and ran all four blocks in the rain.
As soon as we got to a bathroom, I screamed.
Why did I scream, you ask?
Because I looked in the mirror only to realize I walked out of the store WITHOUT PAYING FOR A THIRTY DOLLAR PAIR OF SUNGLASSES.
So the cashier looked me dead in the eye and let me walk out with sunglasses without realizing that they weren’t already mine.
Why didn’t she question why I would be wearing sunglasses in the pouring rain? Well, it’s San Francisco; she probably assumed it was a fashion statement.
So yes, the most expensive thing I forgot to be charged for were sunglasses. I still have the pair at my bedside, and I’m pretty sure they still haunt me to this day, three years later.”
This Is Why It’s Important To Be Nice To The Customer
“Back in the ’90s, I moved into a new home. After some months, I wanted to buy a TV. I went to a well known electrical consumer goods store in my city, made my choice, and purchased the TV on my credit card. It was around $800. The delivery was scheduled for a few days time.
However, the next day I had a change of mind about the model of TV – I wanted to change it to a different model. I called the store that same morning, and explained. They said, ‘Sure, come in and choose a different TV.’
I went back to the store and this time I spoke with a different salesperson and I explained the situation.
However, this salesperson for some reason made it his mission to be as difficult as possible to deal with. He made my simple request seem like a major imposition. Throughout the transaction, he continued in his disrespectful manner toward me, huffing and puffing, mumbling under his breath, making a big deal out of nothing, that I came within a hair’s breadth of canceling the entire thing and walking away (based on his behavior, anyone could be forgiven for thinking I was demanding that he give me a TV for free!).
But… I couldn’t be bothered going through the time-consuming process of looking for a TV again, so I went through with the transaction. My new Philips TV was delivered later that week.
About a month later my credit card statement arrived. I saw that my account had been credited for the previous TV, but the company did not charge me for the TV I actually took delivery of (I think he was so busy being a first-class #$@hole that he totally forgot the part where you bill the customer!)!
I thought surely they would charge my credit card sooner or later. Month after month went by, but I was never billed for it.
In normal circumstances, had I received respectful customer service I would have brought this error to the company’s attention? But at the time I felt so annoyed by the shoddy treatment at the hands of the so-called salesperson that I did not inform the company. Rightly or wrongly, at that time in my life, I chose to see their error as a form of compensation for the insult and injury of my extremely poor customer service experience.
Thus, I received a brand-new TV set (which lasted me 15+ years) for $0.00!”
All Of That For $25?
“I’m a book collector. I love old books!
About 10 years ago, I started visiting some friends once a week in the evenings and would drive by this used book store. It was never open. I would sometimes stop and peer into the window to see what I could see, but it was too dark.
I decided to go on my lunch hour one day to finally get in and see what I could get my hands on. As I drove in I noticed… it was closed. Arg!! I tried on occasion during the day to stop by, but it was never open. I would look in to see if there was ever anybody in there, but no… not a soul. I could see lots of books though! Mostly children’s books in the front room and old children’s books can be very valuable! I started wondering… what on earth was the owner doing?
I found the number for the book store online and put in a bunch of calls to see if I could talk to somebody, but no one would ever pick up. Nothing. It was a deadline. It would ring and ring and never pick up. It would just go dead.
I have read a book called ‘The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley. It was like I was living in this book. So mysterious!
I kept trying on different days, and different times as I would run errands, but this place was never open and no one would ever answer the phone! For more than five years, almost every week, I would drive by at night… longing to go into this book store. Even at night I would sometimes park and peer into the store. Nothing… ever!!!
Then one night, on my way home… The light inside was on! I parked and walked up, and the door was open! Not just unlocked… open!!
I poked my head in and said, ‘Hello?’
I walk in and start wandering around looking at all these thousands of books, for almost half an hour, picking up book after book… wonderful history books, philosophy books, some good fiction. The book store went back further and further. Off the main hallway, there was room after room full of books. Six rooms were full of boxes and piles of books! I was quite literally in MY ‘Heaven on Earth’!
By this time, I was all the way in the back. I am so ready to haul away as much as I can when all of a sudden I hear footsteps. From the front of the shop, I hear some voices. I start thinking, Oh no, I’m stuck in the back room with no other way out. If he walks back here, I’m in big trouble!
I decided to reveal my presence before he can see me. I call out from the back room… ‘Hello?’ A response came back from a man who I would learn is the owner, ‘Who’s there?’
I introduced myself and we started talking, and I’m relieved to find out he is actually a really nice guy. He says he was hauling all his books out tonight, and was going to sell them all at a big, local book fair that happens annually, but I could have my pick of the litter… $2–$5 a book for all the books I can take.
There was too much to look through in one night. I only had $25 on me and my wife was expecting me, so I grabbed a few books that caught my eye that I know I absolutely want.
A couple of good history books, a biography of Joe Montana (my 3rd favorite NFL player ever), some children’s books for my daughter, a hardbound copy of The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin, both by J.R.R. Tolkien and, wait for it…
Two hardbound sets of…: THE LORD OF THE RINGS!
One is a 1965, 2nd edition Houghton Mifflin (with dust jacket), the other, a 16th printing Houghton Mifflin with no date…
Both in excellent condition!
I think to myself that this guy will not let these books go for five dollars. He would be out of his mind if he doesn’t say anything, but he doesn’t. To my shock, amazement, and joy, I actually price him down to $25 for both sets and the other books! I part with all my cash, grab the books and run!
I get home and go online to do some recon and estimate that I just bought over $600 worth of books for $25!
The Tolkien books alone averaged about $400-$500. I also found out that one of the history books I bought is an original edition of a Civil War history and map book… worth about $100, (I gave that one to my father in law who loves history), and another $50 book on the Napoleonic wars.
Not a bad day.”
A Neighborly Gift
“Our first house. Like most people, we put everything we had into getting this house. Days later, my car blew up. I ended up going to the nearest dealership and buying a ‘$99/mo no money down’ car – a real piece of trash Chevy Chevette, no A/C in Tidewater, VA. With the first crack of cold weather, the furnace breaks down. I had no money for a professional, so I went to the library (pre-internet days) to get a bunch of trade books, and learned how to fix it myself.
Man, homeownership is hard. Spring rolled around, and things were looking up. I came home one day and I notice these strange…deposits… all over my yard – front, back, and sides. The deposits were straight, long lines of rotten, decomposing matter. Gross. They were 8 to 10 feet long and basically surrounded my house. I seriously had no idea what it was. I went around the house two or three times looking at the foundation, examining the yard for holes where some varmint might be causing this. Nothing.
Then the neighbor from across the street comes ambling over. I only met him once before. He had recently retired.
He came up to me and said, ‘How are you enjoying your new gutters?’
Huh? It was then he told me how he had ordered new gutters for his home, and that they were supposed to be installed that day so he and his wife went out so they wouldn’t be disturbed by the work. He got back in time to see the workmen cleaning up at my house.
He said, ‘Free gutters are the best kind.’
He told me he already cleared up the mistake with the company, and they’d be installing his soon and that they couldn’t exactly return my old ones so…
No one ever contacted me trying to even get a portion of the payment (which I would have declined to pay anyway).”
Lisa Really Came In Clutch
“It was October 1998 and I mentioned to a friend we’ll call ‘Lisa,’ who was the personal assistant of a major movie star, how bummed I was that I was headed to New York, but couldn’t get affordable tickets to the World Series.
The next day she called, gave me a phone number, and said the movie star’s ticket agent would help and he was expecting my call.
When I called the agent, he first tested me on my knowledge of the Yankees to ensure that he wasn’t helping some Hollywood idiot. Then, he asked if I wanted one ticket or two. When I asked what they would cost, he just said we’ll worry about that later. I said two and he asked me to vouch for my companion as a true fan. After I gave him that assurance, he told me the tickets would be waiting at my hotel.
They were, and my deliriously happy friend and I arrived at the stadium to discover we were seated in the box seats directly behind home plate among celebrities and legendary former players. A young man, who said he worked for the agent, found us in order to make sure I hadn’t sold the tickets.
Immediately after the games, I called the agent to find out what I owed him. His number was disconnected. I didn’t even know his name, was unable to reach him, and Lisa just shrugged, completely unconcerned, when I told her.
I never paid a dime for thousands of dollars worth of tickets.
I can only guess at what happened. Perhaps this was a favor to Lisa who spent a fortune with him on her employer’s behalf. Or maybe Lisa, who was more affluent (and generous) than I, paid for the tickets and didn’t want me to know as I’d have insisted on paying her back. And it’s even possible the tickets were billed to the star’s account where they would almost certainly go unnoticed as he typically spent unimaginable amounts of money on entertainment.”