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Quirky, extraordinary stories highlight 2011

Published: Saturday, Dec. 31 2011 10:46 a.m. MST

Peeved patient proud of penny protest Next » 2 of 10 « Prev
Geoff Liesik, Uintah Basin Standard
In May, Jason West brought smiles to a handful of people in the waiting room of the Basin Clinic in Vernal when he paid a disputed medical bill in pennies.

West said he had already paid a $25 charge for a previous visit, and that a billing clerk at the clinic had refused to help him when he tried to have his questions resolved. So he went to the clinic May 27 with 14 pounds of pennies and asked the clerk, "Do you take cash?"

"She very haughtily said, 'Well, yes we do,'" West said. "So I said, 'Lucky for me, I happen to have it on me.'"

Police say the pennies were "strewn about the counter and the floor," and that West's actions "served no legitimate purpose."

West, 38, was charged with disorderly conduct in the incident, but he said he doesn't regret his penny protest.

"I would say that I had a legitimate purpose," he said. "It was to resolve a billing dispute and pay it, and to protest how I'd been treated."

West said he wanted to show his frustration for what he says was poor customer service, and he wanted to have fun doing it.

"I did stand-up comedy in college,” he said. “This is how I deal with stress. I make jokes."
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