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August 29, 2008

Can you waive my late fee?

August 29. Day 60.

Irresponsible. Sloppy. Lazy.

I know, I know, I know.

I was supposed to pay my car insurance bill on August 13 and only got around to doing it today. Terrible!

When I called to pay with a phone check, the agent explained that there's a $7 late fee included in the total. For a second, I felt like I deserved it. (Refer to opening line.) And then I decided I didn't.

"Can you please waive that?" I asked. No explanations, no eyelash batting or ingratiating excuses.

"Ok," she said.


Thanks, AAA! By the way, these people gave me the lowest annual rate by far, after I compared between three or four companies. Hey, I'm all about spreading the word about good peeps. And making the bad ones squiiirm.

Speaking of evil merchants, today I helped a friend draft a letter to a Venetian antique dealer. A week ago, she bought a ceramic menorah from Antichita Al Ghetto, assured by the dealer of its authenticity, only to discover on Google that it's most likely a contemporary Moroccan inkwell. Her credit card company will refund the 110 Euros but told her to send back the item and ask for a refund in writing. At the end of her letter, I slipped in a line that said, basically, "If you don't cooperate I'll report you to the Italian IRS and the Venetian tourist authority." (I was tempted to add, "You will also be the featured Evil Merchant of the Week in a dazzlingly popular new U.S. blog which has millions of daily visitors from all over the world," but I realized that would be a slight overreach. No one from Burma has checked out this page yet.)

Either way, I doubt they'll be intimidated, since it takes a lot more than a transatlantic threat to make an Italian merchant sweat, I suspect. But, worth a try.

Gained: $7.
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