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Man Paid Electric Bill with Duffle Bags of Pennies

John Almany David Crigger was surprised to find that his electric bill jumped to $350, so he decided to get even with his utility company:

That many pennies weighs about 170 pounds, so the two men worked to carry the duffle bags into BVU's Lee Highway office.

"We pulled into BVU about 2 (p.m.) and took the bags of unrolled pennies to the pay counter," Almany said. "To make my case better, I noticed a man just paid cash right before me. I laid my bill on the counter and told the lady, 'Here is my bill and I'm here to pay every penny of it.'"

After about 20 seconds of silence, Almany then explained what that meant.

"She seemed shocked and told me, 'We can't take that.' She said we'd have to wrap that up and repeated they couldn't accept it. I asked her if she was refusing my payment and she said she wasn't," Almany said. "They said they didn't have the manpower to count all those pennies and I said as much as BVU is billing its customers, they ought to have all the manpower they need."

http://hamptonroads.com/2009/03/virginia-man-pays-his-350-electric-bill-pennies - via Rue the Day (Photo: David Crigger / Bristol Herald Courier)

Previously on Neatorama: Don't Mess with New Jersey: Paying with Pennies Got Man Into Trouble


WOW! I'll bet they rolled back their prices right then and there!

The worst part about stunts like this is that some front desk community college graduate with three kids, a mortgage and a laid off husband (not to mention an equally unfair utility bill) will end up sorting it all out if they do in fact accept you pennies, NOT the "Powers That Be". So basically, you're just torturing a minimum wager to make your point.

Sorry man, d*ck move, no matter how you look at it.
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Yeah, pretty assholish move. Besides, my family's electrical bill is more than twice that. Then again, it's winter here, and our heaters are electric. But the others who posted are right. You're not sticking it to the man, you're proving yourself an idiot to people with bigger problems than yourself.
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Everything under a quarter should be eliminated. Just admit it, dimes, nickles, and pennies are worthless, unless you toss them in a jar, as I do, and redeem them once a year.

Why does he use so much electricity anyway. $350.00 would pay my bill for about 10 months. What does he have, 4 T.V.s running all day long?

I have no gas. It's all electric. (wood heat) and my bills still average about $40.00 a month. (more in the winter because of the short days, and the blower on my furnace) How can someone use that much juice?
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@Earnest: Sounds great until every single one of your purchases is rounded up an average of $.125 to the nearest quarter. That'd probably cost me a buck a day or ~$350/yr.

Screw THAT idea.
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I'm always for sticking it to the powers that be, but I have to agree with Miles - it's only some poor low-wage schmuck who's going to have to suffer.
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I had a friend in grad school that felt he was being unfairly taxed by a new fee that was being imposed (~$750/semester), so he dressed like a pirate and delivered a chest full of Sacagawea dollars (disclosure: the bank didn't have enough coins, so half of the booty was actually dollar bills).

The penny thing is really a jerk move, and honestly had the bursar office not found it hilarious, then I would have said the same of his stunt.

I'll try to find his post about online and add it to the queue.
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That's ridiculous. Not only is he not making life any harder on the folks that could fix his issue, just on the poor workers who have to deal with the pennies, but he's wasting his own time as well. Assuming that there is actually the right amount of pennies in the bag to pay his bill, and that he's not scamming the company, he had to count them all himself,too. What a waste of his effort. Instead of counting hundreds of dollars in cents he could have had a much better chance at bringing about real change if he had done something real with his time, like calling someone at the company that might really be able to adjust the prices, or calling the government officials involved in energy policy, or something. Maybe they would have been able to do something for him, maybe not, but at least there would have been a chance. Just making a lowly cashier's day harder has a near zero chance of being effective.
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I'm all for people trying to stick it to someone that's wrongdoing them, but he only did this to be a douchebag. There was absolutely no reason for him to pull this stunt... at all.
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@Earnest:

The amount of one's electrical bill (based on same usage) will vary from state to state, and even from city to city. For example, my mother and I use approximately the same amount of electricity per month in our homes. She lives in a small town in north Texas and pays about $50 a month. I live in DFW and pay $150 a month. I have gas heat, water heater, range/oven.
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What a moron. He went through the trouble of collecting the pennies, unwrapping them into duffel bags and then driving them to the office. So he wasted a few hours of his life to do what? Teach "the man" a lesson? I am sure the management at BVU is working hard to cut their rates and contemplating lay-offs to ensure this myopic retard doesn't teach them another lesson.
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Back in the '70s a college student at MSU got in trouble with his landlord & they went to court.

He was forced to pay his back rent, and he did so with pennies - the judge said that that was a no-no.

So he paid with a watermelon-check - the judge ok'd that one...
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Am I the only one who thinks this guy rocks? After being shafted by my electric company for years now, I have no sympathy for the schmucks who work there. They knew the company was evil when they took the job. If they don't want to deal with customers who are angry about being screwed over by a company that they have no choice but to patronize, then I would suggest they get another job.
Good for you, Mr. Almany!
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This just isn't funny. It's not as if the executives of the power company were going to be locked in a room and forced to count $350 worth of pennies. It's the poor unfortunate workers on the front line who have to deal with this jerk. Be careful, John Almany, karma's a bitch.
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I am amazed with the response from all of you, but in a very good way. I totally agree that it was a very pointless and inconsiderate move effecting the wrong people. When I try to explain to friends and family that people shouldn't be rude to the mcdonalds cashier because the cook messed up on their burger, or yell at the computer guy on the phone because their computer stopped working, they look at me like I'm out of my mind. FINALLY some people that get me.

Thank you guys!
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Jenny Snyder,

You probably also short a server their tip because the chef overcooked your chicken don't you? There are several other variables to the selfish situation you suggested. You don't like it when people are rude to you for unnecessary reasons. I dont understand how people can be so cold and single minded
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Paying an electric bill and tipping a server are two totally different things. The only effect paying in pennies has on that clerk is that they have to count it, while getting paid, it will not affect their pay, unless of course they get overtime. But to use your example, if the server gave me good service, I am capable of using my brain to separate the server from the cook. However, if the server slams my food down and tells me tough s**t, just eat it, they will not be receiving a tip. This is the type of treatment I have received from my electric company, apparently only graduates from their asshole academy are allowed to answer their phones. I have no pity for any of those people and frankly I hope people treat them like crap because they treat the customers like crap so they deserve it.
This is just my experience. I generally treat any service workers the same way they treat me.
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Let me get this straight...he was angry that he used so much electricity so he wanted to hold up the line at the payment center? He should have called the PSC in his state and filed a complaint if he felt he was paying too much.
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Whats do bad about making the clerk count coins? I really wouldn't mind it if it was me, it would be getting paid whilst doing a whole lot less work.
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