Believe it or not, not only is karma real — it's pretty expensive! The internet is full of examples of times inconsiderate jerks ended up having to pay serious cash because of their behavior, and while they end up losing money, we readers gain plenty of satisfaction knowing that, sometimes, there really is justice in the world.
These stories pulled from Reddit are from people who have witnessed real-life examples of the "jerk tax" or "idiot tax": times when people literally ended up losing money because of their selfish, aggressive, and generally lousy treatment of others. Vote up your favorite karmic revenge stories below!
Taxed For Talking Over A Friendly Sales Rep
From Redditor u/technos:
A million years ago I worked for a leasing company. We leased anything from manufacturing equipment to jets, but our bread and butter was computers.
One fine day a customer calls in to find their salesman is on vacation. They don't like that, not one bit, and after being told that no, they will not be getting the number to his hotel in Aruba, they're passed on to Tommy.
Tommy was the new guy, but in a good way. A customer would ask for something and he'd spend two days reading white papers, benchmarks, and calling vendors to find the answer himself when there was a guy fully conversant in that technology two cubes away.
Anyway, the customer wants sixteen workstations in a hurry. SGI Octane, dual-processor, with 128MB video cards, 4GB of memory, and monitors.
They don't care how much it costs, but they need them as soon as possible.
Tommy tells them he'll call back in a hour, he needs to speak to the vendors.
<Vendor1> will take three weeks at least, they're out of stock. <Vendor2> will take two weeks, and cost 20% more since they'll have to upgrade existing systems. SGI themselves quote three weeks.
Tommy, for the first time in his life, remembers we had a former executive from SGI on staff, and calls him, begging for a contact that might make it faster.
Exec: How about today? We have 20 of them in the warehouse. Sure, they're supposed to go to <customer>, but that won't be for another two months. We can play some games with serial numbers on the lease after the replacements come in.
Tommy thanked him and called the customer back.
Customer: It's been almost two hours. Next time don't promise a deadline you can't meet.
Tommy: Yeah, I know, and I'm sorry. I had to work pretty hard to track down what you need, and well, I've got some good news and some bad news.
Customer: You called <Vendor1>?
Tommy: Yep, they can't have 'em to you for three weeks.
Customer: You call any other vendors?
Tommy: <Vendor2>, they want a markup but can have it in two weeks. I also spoke with..
Customer: What about the manufacturer?
Tommy: I called them too, they also want three weeks. But we have..
Customer: How much of a markup does <Vendor2> want?
Tommy: 20%, but that doesn't matter because..
Customer: Go ahead and order them.
Tommy: You haven't even heard the..
Customer: If I never hear another f**king word out of your mouth it will be too soon. Just get it ordered, and I expect paperwork by 8am tomorrow.
The customer paid an extra quarter million dollars, plus interest and fees, and the guys in Services got an extra two months to play Doom.
With the reship delays on the order, they didn't get their machines for four weeks.
Taxed For Being Rude To The Guy Giving You Sushi
From Redditor u/Reddit_GoldMiner:
A few years ago I worked as a phone salesman at a pretty big sushi chain in my area.
We had a formula of how many packets of sauce each order can get, and if the customer wanted more, they had to pay extra for it (about 25 cents per extra packet).
Pretty quickly I figured out that as an employee, I could put down as many packets as I want as long as it seems reasonable at a glance. If a nice customer wanted 10 packets while his order only justified 8, no one would notice or care, so I made quite a few discounts like that for decent people (usually I would either give them 2 extra packets for free, or charge them half the usual fee).
Some customers were rude, so I would offer them less than they should have gotten, while still letting them ask for more, and charged the full fee for every extra packet (I wouldn't charge for what they deserved, I didn't want to get fired).
But then there was this b***h. Not only was she rude to me, but she yelled at me and was really one of the customers that ruin a shift, so I decided to get back at her like I always do, but she wasn't pleased with that either and yelled about how she needed 10 packets more than what I should have given her, and she wasn't going to pay extra for it.
So after about five minutes talking about sauce (keep in mind - we were getting bonuses based on our average call length, and mine was always around four minutes. So she f**ked up my average that day). I decided to ask a manager for something special.
I saw that she had an order history of about two - three orders every month and would always get about four extra packets for free (something we rarely did), so I asked a manager to give her two extra packets (what we almost always did), but in exchange, put a comment next to her customer details saying she can't get any free extra packets anymore, and would have to pay for each of them.
After I told the manager how horrible she was, the manager actually took my side and agreed.
After about a month I remembered her and decided to check if she made more orders, and indeed in every single order after the one I took, she payed extra. In a month she payed more than double what she refused to pay for this single order.
I just pity the salesman who answered her calls...
Taxed For Trying To Show Off For Your Friends At The Club
From Redditor u/WaterboardedApples:
So this story was from about 8 years ago so my memory may be a little hazy, so I was 18(M) and working a bar in the town centre somewhere in UK.
We’re based between two of the grimiest pubs and the clubs in there, so we got a lot of dodgy, rude and drunk patrons on a regular occurrence.
One night at around 12am this group of guys come in wearing suits and I immediately can tell they’re pretty drunk and obnoxious, they come to the bar which was about 2-3 deep (around 20-30 people waiting ahead of them), they start loudly asking for service even though there’s people patiently waiting in front of them. Me and my team just roll our eyes and get back to serving people.
I get round to serving them and they all shout “Finally! Some f***ing service, what took you so long?” I just ignored that comment and asked what they wanted, they then started talking amongst themselves, like they didn’t have enough time to work this out while waiting.
The ring leader proclaimed that they’re going big tonight, so they wanted a bottle of Grey Goose vodka. I said “I can only see you a maximum of a double in any one drink, if you want make it stronger go for it.” He ignores most of what I said and just says “Didn’t you hear me? ONE BOTTLE OF GREY GOOSE” (we can’t sell the bottles of spirits under any circumstances). I call the manager up in the back and explain the situation and he says exactly what I’ve already told the customer, so we agreed that if I explained one more time that I had to give them the drink and he just said one bottle again, I’d do it.
What Ring Leader didn’t realise is that I have the put the whole bottle through as doubles, which was about (8.50 per double without any mixers) so this bottle ended up costing him £170 quid before any mixers when its only £35 quid in the local supermarket.
He throws his hands up in the air saying I’ve ripped him off and he’s not going to pay that, why didn’t I say anything sooner etc etc, I said that I did and he just fobs me off and goes to walk out, little does he know I’ve already asked the bouncers to keep him in the building till he’s paid up,
His mates laugh at him as he goes white as a sheet realising he’s just spent a lot of money, his friends give him a little bit money to pay help up, Ring Leader then spends the night sulking with his £170 bottle of £30 vodka.
Taxed For Trying To Be Cheap At A Charity Shop
So this is a story that took place back when my favorite manager still worked at the op (charity/thrift shop for non-Australians) I volunteered. This woman was a genuinely nice person and helped me settle into what was, at the time, a new and terrifying environment. However, as kind as she was, she usually didn't take s**t from the customers. This is one of the few times she did, and I got some very petty payback.
M - Manager
JL - Jewellery lady, the antagonist of this story.
Me - Take a guess.
So I was working second shift at the op shop, and this lady comes up to one of the glass counter where we keep some of the nicer jewellery and asks to look at it. She also has some of the cheaper stuff from a rack in her basket. So she picks out some jewellery, I help her for a bit. To be honest, I wasn't the biggest fan of her attitude. She struck me as a little entitled and acted like she was better than me, but eh. Nothing I won't put up with to make a sale. The total comes up to about $200. Considering the prices of the jewellery we have for sale, this is a lot of jewellery. As I'm ringing her up, my manager comes to the front to check up on something, I'm not sure what. I chat with her and the customer, who's still being a little rude. Nothing major, and nothing my manager can call her out on, just ignoring my efforts at polite conversation and sighing dramatically when I pull out a calculator to check my mental math so I don't overcharge her (which took like five seconds). But again, eh, she could just be having a rough day or is shopping on her lunch break and doesn't want to run out of time. I only begin to feel a little p*ssed off when we get to the total.
Me: So that's $200, would you like to pay cash or card?
JL, in a very 'fake nice' tone: Oh, I'm spending so much here, is there anything you can do for me?
I look to my manager, as generally the answer is 'no, this is a charity ffs', but to my surprise, she agrees, knocking off $20. This may seem like a relatively small amount, but considering $1 is enough to feed two kittens, I think I'm allowed to feel a bit upset. So this woman leaves, my manager and I discuss whether or not giving discounts to people spending a lot of money is ethical, especially on non-essentials such as jewellery. She admits that she didn't really want to give a discount to the woman, but felt that it would've been impolite to say no. I briefly commiserate with her about annoying customers before she goes to the back and I go back to pretending to organize clothes.
About an hour later, JL returns. She gets my attention and wants to look through the jewellery again. After picking out another $80 worth of jewellery (including a bracelet that she had previously thought was 'cheap-looking') she goes to be rung up. I take a little longer than strictly necessary checking my math, mostly because this woman clearly doesn't have any better to be, and don't bother making conversation because why would she deign to speak to a lowly retail worker before I tell her the total.
Me: Wow! You've practically cleared out our jewellery, that's $80.
JL, in the same 'fake nice' tone: Yeah, can you do anything for me, since I'm spending so much here?
Now, here's the thing. According to policy, I can't. Only the manager can authorize discounts. Not that it'll stop me if you're being nice or just a few dollars short. But this lady has not been nice and she can clearly afford this. So I give my big retail smile and say in a tone that tried very hard to mimic her own, with the added twist of a slight chuckle:
Me: Oh I'm sorry Ma'am, I'm not authorized to give discounts. Only my manager can do that, and as I'm the only one near the counter right now, I can't go and get her. But it's all going to charity, so not that big a deal, right?
JL: I guess.
She looks disappointed, but ultimately pays up. I wrap her jewellery as badly as I can in newspaper, she leaves and I file her away under 'stuff that was definitely petty on my end, but worth it.'
Taxed For Not Valuing Employees' Time
From Redditor u/hiddenblackdragon:
To set the scene, I used to work for a phone network in the UK in the late 90s as a shop salesman.
The company had an problem with declining sales as they thought themselves better then others and people would pay the privilege of being with them (well the public didn’t and it showed). Of course head office couldn’t comprehend this and along with a string of draconian measures they insisted that if you missed any one of your 21 key targets each month, You had to travel to wherever your area manager was and explain in person why you failed and how you will correct this for next month. (And if you didn’t they started disciplinary proceedings).
I and a lot of other staff realised the colossal mistake they made in the wording. First off, we could choose when to travel to them and the company had to by law pay for it. (They even said they would pay travel and “other expenses in the announcement and linked to the government website stating it)
Cue the maliciousness! I had actually taken a new role in a different industry and was on my 3 month notice. And this new policy came into affect in the first of the 3 months. And I missed 1 of my targets (for amount of accessories sold) by 2%. So I got the summons to see the area manager.
I had been informed that there was a meeting of area managers to be held in Inverness (the far north of Scotland) in two weeks so scheduled my meeting with him accordingly.
Now I lived and worked near the other end of the country (in England) So I used the company system to book my travel and due to the journey times (9 hours to get there) I had to book a hotel for 2 nights. I also opted to pay the optional £50 to upgrade all my bookings (first class rail ticket, and a 4 star hotel instead of a welcome break or other budget option.)
So on the Monday I travelled up. Stayed overnight. Tuesday afternoon held my 15minute meeting which went like this.
Area Manager: so why are you here?
Myself: I missed my target for sales of accessories by 2%
Area Manager: how do you plan to correct this so we don’t have to start a formal disciplinary
Myself: I don’t
Area Manager: I BEG YOUR PARDON!?!
Myself: I have no intention of making a huge effort to sell £4 more stuff. I officially leave the company in 3 weeks time.
Area Manager: (turning red with anger) what the hell are you doing here then? Why have you even bothered?
Myself: well you see I need a good reference so I’m following all the rules.
I’ll end it here but you get the image. I also showed him how much they paid to send me up there. Train tickets (first class both way) close to £800 and was Hotel around 400 for two nights. Remember I used the optional upgrade system and paid £50 in total for the upgrades on the system. So they spent close to £1150 to send me most of the way up the country to tell the manager I was leaving. Oh and they also paid me for 3 fulls days work to attend this meeting (again as they said it was on company time so we got paid). Due to then location I would need to travel up monday, attend the meeting on Tuesday afternoon (his only free slot) and then get the train Wednesday back home.
I also know from speaking to other friends I worked with that they also did similar tricks and it basically cost them tens of thousands of pounds to send staff here there and everywhere to these meetings. It also caused a huge turnover in staff who had just had enough with all the garbage. I heard around 3 months after I left they stopped doing this as the cost was astronomical plus the amount of staff downtime was also astronomical.
The company has slowly learnt their lesson, mainly through replacing most of the top brass with people who has a clear idea of what they are doing. But yeah that was the best trip I ever had to Scotland!
Taxed $80,000 For Road Rage
From Redditor u/nomadic_memories
I was working as a civilian with the US Military Overseas and I lived off base in an apartment complex popular among the US Military. One morning I accidentally hit another soldier's vehicle.
Upon exiting the vehicle I noticed that both our vehicles were what you could call a Hooptie. A Hooptie is an old car that is pretty beat up that has been passed around from service to service member and they generally sell for $1,000-$2,000. I also recognized that I was at fault for the accident. It was a very minor accident. His rear bumper was dented in slightly. But I could hear both our cars still running
I approached the driver who had already gotten out and he was in uniform and I apologized and said if it was alright with him I'd like to negotiate a payment that I will pay him in cash and we don't involve the authorities. I wanted to keep this simple. I'll be honest the accident was so minor I honestly expected him to say "Nah man it's good" but even if he wanted some money I'd have paid him. I have always been of the opinion if you have a fender bender and can negotiate agreeable terms between both the parties its best to not involve insurance/police.
He told me he wanted to call the police, I said we could call the police or we could go on base together and I could give him $300. He said that wasn't enough. So I upped my offer to $500. He proceeded to punch me in the face. It was a sucker punch, he got into his car and took off and in the process nearly ran me over.
Now I had a black box in my car which recorded everything. I went to the provost marshall office on base (The police station) and reported the accident and the assault and showed the MP the footage. Which they used his license plate to track him down. I was also asked if I wanted to involve the local authorities/press criminal charges off base.
Honestly, I felt like the soldier would learn his lesson if I let UMCJ (the Military Court basically) handle this and I said, "Not at this time," I was told it was an option.
The end result was the soldier in question got 60 days of extra duty, reduction in rank, and forfeited a portion of his paycheck. Essentially if he dealt with that, this would have been the end of the whole ordeal. Honestly, at this point I assumed our little ordeal was over.
Well a few days after his punishment was decided on, which was not long after the incident itself I was in the commissary (Grocery store on base) shopping when the soldier who assaulted saw me and began to insult me. I told him he needed to clam down, that he should learn his lesson, he told me I was a pussy who didn't know how to take a punch I reminded him that I held back on destroying his life he told me he's already been punished and I can't touch him again.
He left me be.
A store employee witnessed the entire encounter and I got the employee detail and reported this interaction to his command. His commander told me he had been ordered to not interact with me and would take action. His commander also recommended me I involve the local authorities since this soldier obviously isn't learning his lesson.
So I did. I contacted an attorney. The attorney was unsure if we could successfully sue the soldier and said he would need a cash payment to take the case. Honestly I was mad and I wanted to teach this guy a lesson. I agreed, it was not cheap.
To keep this story short, we ended up in a court off base. We presented our evidence. The soldier in question had decided to represent himself. Several times in the court he had outbursts. The Judge ended up granting me a judgment of approx $50,000 USD. When the judgment was given the soldier called the Judge a son of b***h, and that the Army would cover for him.
So the Judge changed his judgment to $80,000 and the Judge then asked me if I also wanted to press charges against this soldier in criminal court. Honestly, it was obvious this guy wasn't going learn a lesson, I told the judge I wanted to pursue criminal charges in addition to the judgment.
My lawyer later advised me that if I ever wanted to see the money I should persue an international hold. With my judgement its likely that a judge would grant me an international hold. An international hold is basically where this soldier would not be allowed to leave the country until I was paid my $80,000. Also he told me that according to the agreement between the US Military and the host country the US Military would honor the international hold. Basically the US Military would not protect him or move him out of country to avoid punishment.
Honestly, by this point I had paid my lawyer thousands of dollars, and I honestly didn't feel like paying thousands of dollars and getting nothing for it. So I said yes I want to go forward with the international hold.
About a month later the international hold was granted, and the US Military was informed of this. 2 months after that the criminal case was over and the soldier was sentenced to 90 days in jail. By this point the soldier had been moved onto the base into his barracks by his commander. I remember the day I was informed the MPs handed him over to the local authorties to begin his 90 day jail setence. Did I mention he still owed me $80,000?
I heard nothing for a year, and then one day I get a call from his commander, his commander wants me to make a statement in regrads to the case. I go in and make the statement. During the statement I find out the US Military was in the process of chaptering the soldier out of the US Military. The commander also informed me that he was close to coming up with the money to pay me so he could have the international hold lifted. The commander also asked me if my lawyer would be willing to make a statement.
I contacted my lawyer who also made a statement about the facts of the case.
A few weeks later his ex-wife contacted me, when this all started I knew he was married, guess his wife decided to divorce him. She informed that his ex husband had the money and needed the details on how to pay me. I provided her the details, and a few days later I got the payment and contacted his ex-wife to inform her I had been paid. She then asked me to send a reciept so he could have the international hold lifted and return to the states. I asked her how he got the money, she said he maxed out his credit, and also had family help out. Also during this conversation, I had found out the Army had chaptered him out of the Military
I sent her the reciept and that was the last I ever heard from his side.