We had to redo one of our policies because of one guy.

I work for an organization that has a policy where if you have an EBT card, you can get any of our usually expensive tickets at a veeeery steep discount.

It’s meant to boost our community engagement and help us be more accessible to as many people as possible. We get some sort of grant from the state to do it. I think, in principle, it’s a good and worthwhile idea!

We’ve only had one call come in with regard to ordering with an EBT card so far because everyone who was eligible to order tickets prior to fairly recently had to be a donor; and, of course, if you can afford to donate $500+ to us, you’re probably not starving.

The prior call happened to be one of mine, in fact; it ended up causing a huge mess because our instructions at the time were such that we needed to take the ticket money from the food stamp card itself, processing it like a credit card. I did as I was told; thankfully everything got sorted out in the end, but we had to take another look at the policy after that.

Anyway, earlier this week, a call came in from a guy who was asking about the rule of using a SNAP card to buy tickets. NB: my supervisor was not in the office at this point; she had a meeting and left me alone to take calls.

I was happy to inform the patron of my new and updated knowledge: each ticket was a flat $15 (our tickets usually cost around $90), and you need to provide us with the first few digits of the EBT card for verification at will call. Totally fine with him.

Then he asked if there was any limit on how many tickets you could purchase.

I paused. There wasn’t any limit, but the fact that he was asking did make me a little uncertain.

I replied that there was no limit, but, anecdotally, “most people“ (although, of course, I was literally only drawing on experience from one order) only order five tickets (total), and he specifically said, “Oh, that’s fine, I don’t think I’ll be ordering more than five.”

We proceeded with the order. At first he wanted to get four tickets to our first show of the season, then one ticket to the next show. Okay, cool.

Then he proceeded to have me go through every. single. date and time. to check for ticket availability for twelve more shows. Something like 40 total events in all.

I couldn’t say anything. I knew it wouldn’t be okay to judge him or call him out on his spending, but he wasn’t breaking any rules and my supervisor wasn’t there… what could I do?

In the end, he ordered… 39 tickets. The total value of his order without the discount came out to about $2200. With the discount applied, it was significantly cheaper than that, but expensive enough to the point where I honestly wondered if I was being scammed, because this just did not seem like a purchase someone on food stamps would be so cavalier about making.

I even made a point of looking his name up on LinkedIn “while the next screen is loading” to see if perhaps he was actually a banker/lawyer/accountant type in Manhattan, as most of our patrons are, who decided to try it on with a young female employee. Nope, a teacher a few miles away from our office. That checked out.

Finally, my supervisor got back to the office – well after the order had gone through – and I told her about what had happened. She was equally shocked and confused, but admitted that, yes, he had technically acted entirely within our policies… but that that still seemed like an exploit.

She got in touch with her supervisor, and first thing the following morning we got an entirely new set of EBT guidelines going forward.

One of my coworkers later suggested that perhaps he thought that I had meant five tickets per show, which, again, he did not exceed.

Still. That was quite a memorable call.

submitted by /u/CommandanteAlighieri
[link] [comments]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

My last week in a call center!

Its all in a name