The following is a story of someone I knew briefly in college. I’m telling this story because it’s an interesting story, but it’s for entertainment value only, please don’t think about mimicking his technique!
Today, with all of the camera and security mechanism attached to merchandise, I’m willing to bet that theft from stores is at an all time low. I’m sure it’s lower than it was in the past before such theft deterrents devices and cameras existed. But if you are a clever person with little scruples you can still get away with theft, even with big-ticket items.
A while ago, I had a friend that unfortunately had a problem with his shower, in particular with a certain part. Unfortunately, when he went to order the part, it wasn’t possible to get the piece individually. Angry and smart, he came up with a way around having to purchase a $400 dollar replacement system. Not to mention the additional cost of installation of an entire new shower door.
To get around the exorbitant expense, here is what he did:
- He went into a local hardware store and bought the entire kit.
- He then called the support line and complained that the kit was missing certain parts.
- He then identified the part that he needed, and a few extra parts too.
- The company then shipped him the supposedly missing pieces.
- Once he receive the additional pieces, he then proceeded to return the original kit to the store saying something along the lines that it was the incorrect model.
- Next he used the piece that the company shipped him, effectively getting a free shower part for free (obviously).
- He then sold he other pieces to a friend that he knew needed such pieces for his shower (at a greatly reduced price of course).
- He joked that he could have sold the pieces via other means for more money, but I won’t go there…
He justified his actions by saying that they should have provided the piece individually for sale. Had they done that, he said he wouldn’t have done what he did, etc. He seemed to feel pretty guilty about it, and I don’t think he will do that again, but who knows.
I’m guessing that less than 1% of the population uses techniques like my friend and that’s why he was able to trick them, saving himself a bundle. That said, I’m sure if this become a regular occurrence, large corporation would have to come up with a deterrent to counter this sneaky method of theft.
What do you think, and what should be done?
Pretty clever, but wrong of my old college acquaintance, huh. I think this is a riskier move these days, especially with the advanced computer system applications and databases. I don’t think I would want to try such a bold move…
I hope he doesn’t still do this!