The stolen booster and some cash
“I flew with my two kids and so checked a booster car (a $30 value) seat for the 7-year-old. The airline lost the booster car seat. The airline gave me a loaner booster to use in the meantime, but they never found our original booster. So, per the airlines policy, because the airline completely lost a piece of luggage, they will pay me $1500. It took a little work, including filing a police report, but four months later I got a check for $1500 for our lost booster.
I still have the loaner booster.”
Get along better as neighbors
“Shortly after my divorce and a stint as Weekend Dad, I started getting my kids several days a week. So I took my ex-wife to court to try to reduce my child support payments, after she flat-out refused to agree to a lower amount.
Even though I was legally in a position to do so, my ex fought back hard because she had grown accustomed to getting $1000 in free fun money every month.
It took 8 court appearances (the ex went out of her way to drag it out as much as she could) but the judge eventually got fed up with how unreasonable she was being and instead of reducing my payments he gave me shared custody and cancelled all of my child support payments.
And then my ex and her husband lost their house because they were so deep in debt from lawyer bills.
An interesting post-script to this story is that I didn’t want my kids to have a crappy home at their mom’s, so I helped my ex find a townhouse rental she could afford. Flash forward 2 years and she’s my neighbour and we get along better than we did when we were married.”
Non-refundable blow dryer
“I pull this trick out when return policies fail me. It all started with a hair dryer I purchased that promptly fizzled and died right out of the box upon first use. The receipt was lost in the garbage, so I tried returning it the next day. They wouldn’t give me store credit, not even an exchange for a functioning hair dryer after I showed them the one I bought was completely dead. So, fuming, I went to the aisle and grabbed another hair dryer of the exact same type. Waited two days and went back in with the receipt from my second purchase and the dead hair dryer. They refunded me in full and the second hair dryer lasted me for at least ten years.”
No college diploma necessary
“I dropped out of college, however I had a summer job at a Fortune 500 company. I managed to convince them to hire me full-time because I was getting paid 1/3 what college grads were getting to do the same job. After they hired me I spent every performance review asking for wage parity with my peers and after a few years managed to get it. Eventually I left that company, got a job at Microsoft based on my prior experience, and now make over $150k a year. All without a college diploma.”
Quick road to state university
“My high school had a program with the local community college that let you take a normal high school class, then pay $15 to take a final exam from the community college, and you’d get college credit for the class. I took a few of these classes in my sophomore year and had signed up for more in my junior year. In order to get the credits and a transcript from the college they had to give you a student ID. I at some point figured out that I could use this ID to sign up for online classes directly through the college and bypass the high school.
During my junior year of high school I only cared about the classes giving me college credit and spent my other class time doing work for the online courses. By the end of the year I’d failed most of my high school classes, but had finished my freshman year of college.
I then applied to my state university as a transfer student and got accepted because transfer students don’t have to provide high school transcripts or even SAT scores. I never graduated from high school and never went for a single day of my senior year.”
Lucky day to graduate
“In college I was supposed to take two lab science classes. At my school, lab science classes were notoriously difficult and didn’t have anything to do with my field of study. I ended up finding two online science classes from the University of Nebraska that happened to coincide with an internship I had in Omaha. I got it approved through my advisor and the classes were a breeze. They were the most entry level classes on geography and climate.
Fast forward to graduation. I found out that my lab science classes are supposed to be hands on. My advisor assumed that since I was interning in Omaha that the classes were in person. I was two months from graduation when we figured this out so they just accepted the credits. I got lucky that day and learned some rad stuff about geography and landforms.”
Just following the law
“Here in Maine, we have this weird law called the Maine Implied Warranty Law. It basically says that if something breaks within the expected lifespan the retailer has to replace it. It’s a rarely used consumer protection law. Earlier this year my phone stopped connecting to networks. I go to the fruit themed phone manufacturer store and they say it’s a carrier issue. I visit the carrier and they say it’s a hardware issue. I revisit the phone manufacturer and mention that it could be an issue with the SIM card tray, which these models were known for. They take the phone out back and open it up and confirm that the SIM card wasn’t making contact. They came back and told me that and said, ‘Unfortunately your phone is no longer covered by FruitCare so your options are leave or buy a new phone at full price.’ I paused and said, ‘Have you ever heard of the Maine Implied Warranty Law?’ Without skipping a beat he said, ‘Let me go chat with a manager,’ and walks away. I watched him have a 5 second chat with another guy. He then came back and said, ‘Let me go grab you a new phone from the back.’ New phone. $0.”