Corporate 'revenge'

There is a large company that has provided me with the actual worst customer service experience of my life, and they are about to send me a shipping label to return a piece of equipment to them.

What else should I put in the box? I am thinking a cinder block, but I also have about 40lbs of barbells I was planning to donate to Goodwill.

Where is your line on these things, and how do you pass up such an opportunity, if you do?

I’m likely to just send them their thing and leave it at that, but the chance to make things right is such a human thing to want to seize. There is also the matter of the bill that I think they plan to send me, in which case I will have wanted to send the barbells.


There is a bank in Canada that screwed up the processing of a large number of cheques, many years ago.

In retaliation, several customers wrote their cheques on cinder blocks. The bank made a wall out of them in one of their office cafeterias – the best way they could find to keep them for the legal 7 year archiving.

When the 7 years were up, the bank removed and destroyed the cinder block cheques. The bank employees missed the wall so much they wound up building one of glass blocks in the same height and length as the cinder block one.

I was told that story while having a tea with clients in that cafeteria, but that’s the thing – not a lot of people know the story.

I think you’d be much better off tweeting/blogging/whatever your return of the gear, with photographs. The internet is forever – and public. Otherwise you’re just hurting the backs of the poor saps who have to deliver that box. Also possibly giving a free Xmas present to a teenage child of the company’s employees.


Last time I had anything similar was in 2003. I don’t go around annoyed with corporations, but once in a while their employees are collectively so unhappy and awful that it seems personal. (and overworked, I don’t blame wage slaves, it’s tough out there)

Back then I had ordered a poster from art dot com. long story short, customer service rep said someone would call me back within 5 minutes, and then their whole office closed for the day as it was 5pm. The poster was a Christmas present for my girlfriend. I was not okay with that.

Along my route to satisfaction there was me hacking their corporate voicemail system to leave a message for the CEO, and later me using the gift certificate the CEO sent me sent me (while not sending me my actual poster ) to send the head of Customer Service a 36x48 ‘inspirational’ Customer Service poster, to that persons office, overnight courier, signature required. I don’t think that option is on their website anymore.

I must have made my point because the poster I ordered showed up the next day - sent after mine arrived there - with another gift certificate - that I threw away. I had my poster and paid for it, and had my fun. I don’t accept an apology once I’ve made things right. That’s just double dipping.


Shit. Remind me to stay on your good side.


It’s very very very easy to do. :slight_smile:


Just make sure you punish the corporation instead of the courier.

If not for that, I’d recommend a bag of well-aged fish.


If I believed it would be met with a sense of humor and not open me up to a charge of some sort of harrassment, i’d send them a bag of dicks.



This is why I was considering keeping it in the 15-20 lb range. I’m now leaning towards a refrigerator or other good sized appliance box full of biodegradable packing pellets to ensure it arrives safely.


Find a junked similar piece of equipment (an old VCR or something) and disassemble that. Disassemble the equipment and ship it back one piece at a time. But sometimes send a random piece from the junked thing instead. That could provide years of satisfying vengeance.


The Brits used a related trick in WWII.

They’d get their people to build complicated-appearing machines that didn’t do anything, then shoot them up with a machine gun and throw them out of a bomber over Germany.

It drove the nazi scientists absolutely nuts trying to figure out what they were. :slight_smile:


The comedian Mark Thomas likes to use roofing slates, as they’re the perfect size to fit into a padded envelope, which he mails to them sans postage so they have to pay to pick it up.


did they have a special name for that sort of mischief-- something that google might seize upon?


Not that I recall.

It’d be covered in any decent book or documentary that covers British WWII infowar techniques, though. They did rather a lot of that sort of thing; Operation Mincemeat, Operation Fortitude, etc.

Also see:



I agree with comments above and I elaborate

  1. The idea is to hit the corporate peeps, not the shippers/people who open boxes.
  2. Social media circulate the “gift” and get it up to the muckety muck’s on whatever medium you can. I hear Facebook Pages get good response, as well as Twitters. You might look into that particular company and find out what social media account people are getting responses from.
  3. I think financially it’s a drop in the bucket on the shipping costs, so I’d go for like the Bag o’ Dicks or something that is going to look very clever on social media - something that can photograph well with lots of color and clear detail - and which has enough creativity to get people on social media interested in the idea of it.

Perhaps a vibe so they can literally Go Fuck Themselves? And then the people who open it can have their own fun with it.


Well I was going to just go with a bobcat.


xkcd has many bobcat jokes
collect them all


I once mailed someone a whole tumbleweed in a box. Caught it myself. No bobcats though. Solid plan, clear messaging.


Just to clarify, how was this the worst customer service experience of your life? That’s gotta be a mighty high bar.


If you have the talent, sing about it.


Without wanting to be “that guy”, couldn’t some of United’s losses be attributed to that whole thing where they knocked a doctor out and pulled his bloodied, unconscious body off a plane so that their own staff could make a connecting flight?

The Times (not “The Times of London” as cited in the article) is owned by Murdoch and you should be as wary of their stories as you are of Fox News. If they run a story that implies “silly millennials drove down the share price of this otherwise totally amazing company” I’m going to assume that someone senior at News International lost a bunch of money because of the fall in share price, not that what they are saying in any way resembles the truth.