Customer bills telephone company $5,481 - and gets it

This is a story about a small business person who stood up for what's right, and won.

Howard Schaffer is the owner of the media marketing firm which bears his name. During the previous year, Howard moved his business to a new location. He planned very carefully, making sure that all his contractors, vendors, and service providers could help him get things properly sewn together on his moving date. Howard encountered one unfortunate snag which developed in spite of his carefully laid plans. The telephone service of Howard Schaffer Media Marketing failed to make the move along with the company.

Howard is a patient man, and of course he's a people person by trade. So, Howard tactfully and diligently pursued his phone line troubles with his telephone service provider. However, Howard must also be a considerably intelligent man, because he did something which most people generally wouldn't do. Our friend Howard kept a carefully documented record of the details, time, and effort he invested in getting his telephone service operational again.
Once he finally had his telephone service restored, a process which took approximately one full month, our hero submitted a bill to his telephone service provider. Dan Higgins, consumer advocate at reported, the bill covered $158.85 to reimburse his employees for the use of their cell phones and $115.92 to pay a helpful jeweler for use of a borrowed phone line. Schaffer also billed his phone company, One Communications, for all the time he spent wrestling with them and for the excess administrative duties which this problem had caused him.

For those considerations he added to the bill 20 hours total, billed at $175 per hour, for an additional $3,500. In sum total, Howard Schaffer billed his telephone company $5,481.16. Surprisingly enough, it is reported that One Communications has agreed to pay the bill.

This story is a prime example of the real value of focused diligence. My father taught me that the first rule of successful business is to, "document, document, document."

By being forthright, diligent, and by keeping a documented record of his expenses, our hero, Howard Schaffer, "took it to the man," and won.
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