I’ve become that person.
I’m not exactly sure what elements in my life have banded together to create this person that I have become but I think living in third world countries and being a single mother have certainly contributed.
Long story short: Last night I took my iPad to a kiosk in the mall to be repaired. Over the summer the glass got stepped on, broke and I subsequently tried to fix it at home. Bad idea – I messed up the wifi receptor and had to have it replaced.
After being thoroughly rebuked by 16 year old Ron at the kiosk, “In the future, never try to fix this at home.” I was given a quote of $65 to replace the wifi thingy and to clean off some remaining adhesive and restick the glass. Thirty minutes to fix.
Thirty minutes later he hadn’t even started. I had all four kids with me. In the mall. They had already raided Sephora and were covered in make-up. Loads of kid homework and exhaustion were looming at home. The best decision seemed to be: go home and pick up the repaired iPad the next morning. Young Ron said that was fine and that, no, I did not need a receipt.
This morning when I returned to pay, a different man charged me $75 for the job. $75. WHAT! I was quoted $65. The man talked to the kiosk owner on the phone again and again but the owner refused to budge on the price.
There was nothing left for me to do but wait. I was told the boss would be there in person in 20 minutes. *I seriously considered plopping down $70 in cash ($65 + 7% sales tax) and taking my iPad and leaving. If he said anything I was going to reply, “Arrest me!” and walk off. But the ATM only gave out $20s.*
I knew the owner wouldn’t be there in twenty. Still, I stood right there in front of the guy at the kiosk for 20 minutes. He became increasingly uncomfortable. Then I waited 10 more minutes and when the guy still would not charge me $65 for the repair, although I asked him, I spoke to a security guard and asked where I could make a complaint.
While I was writing out the complaint at Guest Services, the owner finally arrived. He had kept me, a customer, waiting for 40 minutes. For $10. The owner then called Ron and asked how much he had quoted me the night before (wait, couldn’t the boss have done this 40 minutes ago?) The owner hung up and charged me $65.
I own my own business. The amount of money that I could have made in those 45 minutes at the mall had I been working is MORE than the $10 I was fighting for. I actually lost money. But, you see, I have become that person. I knew I was being scammed. The owner of the kiosk assumed that I would grumpily pay the extra $10 in order to move on with my life. He was wrong.
He had no earthly idea that he was dealing with that person, although he probably has a more colorful name for me.
I suppose Single motherhood, Being a woman and Vast experience overseas in bargaining and rip-off techniques have formed me in to that person. I stood up for my ten dollars. I stood up for all our ten dollars. In the end, I felt really good.