Pet Peeves
She Writes: A Best Seller

I Don't HAVE To Do Anything

By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter

How's that for a surly start to the day?  But, seriously - think about it - I (and you) don't have to do anything.  We have choices (albeit, sometimes dumb and bad ones) in everything we do.

Want to leave a bill collector speechless?  When he or she starts with "You HAVE to pay...or we'll..." politely reply "I don't HAVE to do anything." 

I have the rather nervy habit of not paying if I get lousy service or bad products. (And, yes, I document the disputes.) 

Verizon, for example.  

When I canceled my contract over two years ago, they tried to tell me I had another year to go (I sent them the contract.  "Oh.")  Then, they tried to ding me for another month.  Didn't pay it. Told them I wouldn't. They sold the debt (a whopping $52 bucks) to an agency...that sold it to another...and so it goes.  I'm still getting calls and letters telling me I have to pay, and I can now "settle" for half the amount. Yawn.

I'm not simply doing a cranky rant about bad service and products.  Here's my point: That implied contract goes both ways.  

You don't have to pay a bill...but then...

Neither does your customer. 

(P.S. I also tell EVERYONE about bad service and most women.)


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Purushyottam Ghosh

Ha-ha, interesting article, and wow, your experience with Verizon is certainly less than good. :( I would say that you did the right thing; probably I would do the same in a similar situation.

"I'm still getting calls and letters telling me I have to pay, and I can now "settle" for half the amount. Yawn. "

Ha, from debt collectors to beggars! Interesting transition. I guess it is natural considering the rather "bad economy" in the States, LOL :D

Pablo Edwards


Great post with a great point. Man, perspective changes when something works against us.

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