December 19, 2023 at 2:47 am

Company Tells Him They’re Not Paying For A $25 Phone Card, So He Racks Up A $1K Bill

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Reddit/AITA

Company policies exist for a reason, but according to Reddit, there sure are a lot of times when they make absolutely no sense – and end up costing the company more money than they were trying to save, too.

OP worked for a big company back when cell phones were just becoming a big thing. He didn’t have a personal one, but when he needed to travel for work he would buy a $25 prepaid card for his otherwise unused flip phone.

I worked as the North American IT manager for a $300 million company. I was based in the largest development office and I went to a few remote offices a few times a year on a regular basis.

I live in a rural area and at that point in time we had no cell service around where I live. I got a cheap flip phone and a service I could put a $25 “charge” on the phone for a trip, and for a long time this was never an issue.

When the company was bought, the new bean counters couldn’t make this compute. The next time he was supposed to go out of town they told him they wouldn’t pay for the $25 card so not to turn it in.

We got bought out by a much smarter company, and after my first trip I got questioned at great length about my $25 phone charge. Why not just get regular full service and the company would pay for that?

I told them that the only time I use the phone was when I was away from the area and the regular unlimited service was expensive.

That seemed to shut them up, but the next time I had to hit one of the remote offices I was told not to buy a phone card, and I would not be reimbursed for it if I did.

Instead, he used his $2 a minute hotel room phone to check in at home and at the office, resulting in a $1k bill instead.

I lucked out an my flights went well so no need for a phone there, but when I got to the hotel and I wanted to call home and them them know I got there OK, and call my office to make sure things were OK, my only option was the phone in my hotel room.

This was right when cell phones were starting to squeeze that revenue stream out at the hotels and they were charging upwards of 2 bucks a minute for calls.

I made sure to call home every night as well as the office every AM, and in a week I ran up a phone bill of over a grand. I had a hard time keeping a straight face when I put that in my expense report.

They tried to rake him over the coals but couldn’t. Eventually, he found someone up the chain who got what he was saying and his $25 prepaid card was approved.

Needless to say I got called up about that, and all I could do was forward the email from my manager telling me that if I got a $25 phone card for my cell phone the company would not pay for it.

He tried to back talk, and than say that he had no way of making sure ALL of the $25 was being used and on and on, like I had a swiss bank account I was salting away cell phone minutes in and this was going to be a cash cow for me somehow.

Thankfully the director who he had called me up in front of had a brain. He asked me why I got the cards, I told him about the phone situation and that the only reason I even owned a cell phone was for traveling for work and it was never ever an issue in the past.

I got excused from the conversation and later on I got the begrudging OK from my manager to buy a $25 card for my phone if I was going to be on the road.

I thought he was going to cry when he gave me the OK though. Man that guy was a brown nosing putz.

That should not have taken so long!

The top comment says there have to be more important things to worry about, right?

Source: Reddit/AITA

They just always have to be right.

Source: Reddit/AITA

There is no logic involved.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Pride comes before the fall and all of that.

Source: Reddit/AITA

They want you to just be a silent cog.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This story is wild to me.

The teller is a good writer, too!

If you liked that post, check out this one about an employee that got revenge on HR when they refused to reimburse his travel.