2006_01_22_pricelineguy.jpg You have to respect Ronnie Segev's persistence. After being charged $953 by Priceline last year for a plane ticket he claims he didn't buy, the concert pianist (right) called the company up and asked for his money back. When they refused, he called and asked again. And then again. And again. And again. After his 215th call, Priceline finally sicced the NYPD on him for 215 counts of harassment. Over an unused plane ticket.

The company even went so far as to claim in court that they had to switch to an automated customer-service system in response to Segev's 215 calls (yeah, sure, have we mentioned we hate automated customer-service systems?).

A judge did later dismiss the charges, but the damage was done and Segev had already spent 40 hours in holding cell ("A tough-looking cellmate asked him, 'So, what are you in for?' 'Priceline refund' the musician sheepishly replied. It went downhill from there."). And Segev still hasn't gotten his money back, though he has just filed suit against Priceline for malicious prosecution. Somebody at Priceline needs to get their priorities in order though, as this is just the kind of story a company like that should be perfectly happy to pay to shut up. Because if they don't, you get consumers like us who are now pretty sure we're not going to be using Priceline again anytime soon...

Photo by Julie Stapen for the NY Post.