If you live in a major city like New York, Washington or Chicago, there’s a chance you may have utilized the services of Seamless Web to order food online to be delivered to you. If you haven’t used it before let me just say this: it’s awesome.
So I found it highly amusing when I read this story by Fast Company’s Austin Carr this morning about how Wall Street employees — one in ten of which were recently determined to be psychopaths — had found a way to use Seamless Web to scam someone, their own employers, for their benefit. You seriously can’t make this crap up. Read and learn, you guys — here’s how the 1% does it…
Until several years ago, corporate giants like Morgan Stanley made up roughly 85% of Seamless’s customer base. That figure has now tipped in favor of individual consumers, but enterprise clients still represent a significant (and growing) part of the New York-based company’s revenue–companies offer Seamless as a benefit to those who typically work long or late hours. But for employees of these roughly 3,500 corporate Seamless customers, the benefit represents a huge opportunity to game the system. And no one has worked the system for financial gain better than Wall Street hustlers.
Here’s how it works.
Typically, junior professionals are allotted about $25 per meal at the office. But there are tricks to leverage this cash on Seamless. If employees want to order dinner, for example, they have to stay until 8 p.m. “But you could still order for a 7 p.m. delivery at 6 p.m., then call the restaurant directly and tell them to bring it right away,” one employee says. “So I’d finish work around 6:30 p.m., hit the company gym, and then grab my sushi–spicy tuna rolls–on the way out.”
Ordering groceries on Seamless was–and likely still is–another practice. (Representatives at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have not responded to requests for comment.) One employee, who lived by Morgan Stanley’s Midtown offices, would even remote into her office computer from her apartment, place an order on Seamless, and then call the restaurant and change the delivery address to her apartment. The lobster-loving Morgan Stanley banker’s take on that old switcheroo? “Classic.”
Another trick: Since employees aren’t allowed to order beer or alcohol on the system, it’s not uncommon to pool money together, place a large order for random items, then call the store and request that they bring beer instead.
“We definitely get a lot of random orders,” says Seamless CEO Jonathan Zabusky. “Once in a while, I’ll sit on the customer-care desk, just to get a feel on the pulse of what’s going on. You see these orders come through, and you’re like, ‘Why are 20 rolls of toilet paper going to 200 Vesey Street [the World Financial Center]? What the hell?’”
If there is a way to get over on someone, Wall Street employees will find a way to do it. It’s just engrained in their DNA.