There is a rogue manufactured spender in my area. He’s originally from Eastern Europe (for this piece I’ll refer to him as “Spazi”) and craps on every place and deal that he touches. That may sound a little harsh to you, but every word of it’s true.
Bad for Business
Since he’s a full time MSer, Spazi makes his rounds in the city. I’ve seen him in many locations. I know he brings members of his family with him to increase his volume, but oddly enough I’ve only seen him with his (child) daughter. I’ve tried giving the guy the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the hobby, but he’s failed each and every time. Here’s a brief rundown of what I know about the serpent thus far:
There is a strict $10k purchase limit with debit cards at Simon Malls. That limit is Simon-wide, not just per store. Spazi has and does intentionally go over that limit. He did get caught once, and now brings his family members with him to buy cards for him to skirt the $10k rule. Simon could ban him from buying cards, but if it’s one thing that Simon seems to lack, it’s courage. Spazi is example A.
Spazi has gone out of his way to corrupt and violate nearly every Walmart and MoneyGram policy related to manufactured spending. Walmart workers that I know have told me that Spazi has verbally abused employees trying to make them do money orders when he’s reached his limit. When he’s asked to fill out Walmart’s MoneyGram form for transactions over $3k, Spazi has often flatly refused and verbally berated the employee for suggesting it, even though they are simply following the rules. When he has filled out the form he has frequently used a fake social security number and drivers license number. He tells people that he works as an accountant at a Fortune 500 company, yet seems to be MSing full time, as he’s getting gift cards and liquidating at all times of the day including weekdays. The latest issue is him apparently doing $10k at the same (WM) store at different intervals (with different employees).
Spazi knows each of the Walmart location that he frequents and when a employee with experience who enforces the rules is on break or away from the desk, he’s pounced on newer, less experienced employees – verbally berating them until they give into his demands for more money orders. After he leaves the employees get called to the back room where they are lectured by the store manager for violating the company’s policies, but to him the path of destruction that’s left in his wake makes no difference. He’s also committing a crime by falsifying the MoneyGram form. Walmart could ban him from the store, but again, courage to do the right thing isn’t only a Simon issue.
There’s plenty of hearsay when it comes to Spazi and his MS tactics in my area. I hear a lot of information second hand about him doing some other dodgy things, and I think some deals that have died locally are directly attributable to him too. While I can’t prove that, the odds that he’s connected to a deal’s demise is significant. Why are most of the MS issues in the area that surface connected to him? It seems odd that his name is mentioned at various stores with almost none of that information being positive. The chances of it all being a big coincidence are getting smaller and smaller. Personally, I wouldn’t trust the guy with a dime.
The downsides of people like Spazi are very apparent. He violates store and mall policies, has lied routinely, and has actually committed a crime (Moneygram form). And perhaps even worse is that his actions are leaving a wake behind him that affects others. Stores are altering their policies and MS friendliness, ultimately making a fragile MS market even more tenuous.
Update 7/15/17 – I’ve learned that Spazi has been banned from 1 of the 3 Simon malls in my city so that’s a good sign. The downside is that the other two malls and Simon corporate, won’t lift a finger to even look into his scumminess. Kind of amazing when you think about it. I’ve warned many managers at Simon and Walmarts about a guy who is breaking the law and who may pose business and even legal concerns for them, and there is barely a reaction. Disappointing to say the least. Unfortunatley, Spazi is going to continue to ruin this market. I have zero doubt he’ll leave a wake of destruction on the MS scene, making it a much worse place after he’s done, and possibly ruining the whole thing along the way.
Update 11/1/17 – Simon has retreated and is allowing Spazi full reign at the store he was temporarily restricted at. His restrictions have been lifted and he’s allowed to purchase at all 3 local Simon Malls, as long as he provides “the proper documentation” at the time of purchase.
Update 12/30/17 – Another store has curtailed its MS. There is a Walmart in the NW metro, near the Simon Outlet Mall, that was a steady 10k (MO) store. Now they have changed to a 2k max policy. The word that I’ve heard is that Spazi was doing multiples of 10k in the same day at different time intervals at the store and they didn’t like it, so they changed the limits. Strange how negative changes in the MS landscape in this city are almost all linked with Spazi. It doesn’t seem like coincidence.