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  • August Theme Of The Month: Best. Customer. Ever!

    Category: Awesome Customers

    Extremely Opinion-hated

    | Springfield, MO, USA | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Theme Of The Month

    (I am on WIC (Woman, Infants and Children) support. My husband and I are having some hard times due to the fact it has been extremely difficult for me to find work. WIC covers some of the more expensive items on our food list. I’m in the store with my two-year-old daughter. There is also this older couple who are the rudest couple I have ever encountered. They are going around having something to say, loudly, about everyone they walk by. The older couple walks past a girl with maroon coloring in her hair.)

    Rude Wife: “Oh god, what a rebellious b****! I bet her parents are real proud.”

    (Next they come up on a young man in a hoodie, with his earphones from his iPod in. He has in his cart things to make a good dinner, but they are unimpressed.)

    Rude Husband:, “Well that boy is just an immature thug with his loud music in his ears.”

    (This whole time, I am being silent as they may just be having a bad day, until they get behind me in the bread aisle.)

    Rude Husband: *to me* “Get out of the way!”

    Rude Wife: “Yes, I really wish she would just pick out her welfare bread and get gone!”

    (Thankfully, at this point another older lady speaks up.)

    Older Lady: “Honey, she has WIC; it’s very different from welfare. Also, did you think that maybe this young woman has that because she is down on her luck and needs it?”

    Me: *to the older lady* “Thank you!”

    A Penny For Your Loud Thoughts

    | Charlotte, NC, USA | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (The place where I work offers ‘extended protection’ plans for select items. The plans are typically 10% the cost of the item, meaning if the item is $19.99, the plan costs $1.99. Because of this, I often just round up to the next whole dollar amount when citing the price of the item, then point out it’s a penny less if they opt to purchase it. It’s never been an issue before now. The customer is a middle-aged woman who has been very pleasant, thus far.)

    Me: “It looks as though this item comes with the option of an extended protection plan, beyond that of the manufacturer’s warranty. It only costs $3 and gives you another year in case anything goes wrong.”

    Customer: “Sure!”

    Me: “Okay!” *adds the plan* “Also, it actually only costs $2.99, so you—”

    Customer: *suddenly angry* “What? F*** you! No! I don’t want it! Never mind!”

    Me: “…um, okay? But, so you’re aware, that’s less than what I said it would—”

    Customer: “You! You said it would cost $3! YOU LIED JUST TO GET MY MONEY!” *jabs her finger towards my chest*

    Me: “I promise you, ma’am, that wasn’t—”

    Customer: “Shut the h*** up! I said no! You are trying to charge me more than what you said it would cost!”

    (At this point, the customer standing behind her speaks up. She is a regular, and just celebrated her 87th birthday the week prior.)

    Regular Customer: “Oh, for the love of Pete, you idiot! $2.99 is less than $3, not more! She just saved you a penny! And shame on you, standing here, screaming at her like this! What would your mother think? Now you apologize to this girl, buy the d*** plan, and get out of line! I’m missing my shows because of your shenanigans!”

    (At this point, the other customer shuts up, pays for her items, and slinks off without another word.)

    Me: *awestruck* “Thank you, for that. That was amazing.”

    Regular Customer: *pats my hand and smiles* “It was nothing, dear. Honestly! No respect. That’s what’s wrong with people today!”

    (I told my manager about the incident some hours later. The next time the regular came into the store? There was a $50 gift card waiting for her, as thanks from all of us.)

    This Boss Gets More Than Just The Check

    | New Orleans, LA, USA | Awesome Customers, Food & Drink, Top

    (A young gay couple has become my favorite regulars at the small restaurant where I work. One day as I am talking with them, an older, more conservative-looking man walks past us to the To-Go pickup area. He stops short next to us, and in the same moment, I see one of the young guys look down with a panicked expression at where he is holding his boyfriend’s hand.)

    Older Man: “James! I didn’t know you ate here!”

    James: *uncomfortable* “Oh yeah, um… it’s half way between work and my… boyfriend’s work, so.”

    Older Man: *glances at James’ boyfriend* “Oh.”

    (There is an awkward pause, where we all just stare at each other.)

    Older Man: “I’m sorry, I’m being rude.” *offers his hand to James’ boyfriend* “I’m Mike, James’s boss. Very nice to meet you. We all love James in the office.”

    James’ Boyfriend: “Oh! Nice to meet you too! You know, James is always talking about how much he looks up to you.”

    (James is so visibly relieved that he is near tears. The three makes some more small talk before the older man heads off to pick up his lunch. I end up taking his payment and he quietly asks me to pay for James and his boyfriend’s meal as well.)

    Older Man: “You know… when I was growing up, I was taught that being gay was bad, a sin. But that young man is the brightest kid I’ve ever known, and I can’t see a d*** thing wrong with him…” *pauses* “…or his boyfriend.”

    (He smiles at me and then walks away without another word. To this day, I can’t think about the look on James’s face when I told him that his boss paid for his nearly $100 meal without wanting to cry.)

    Phoned Then Owned

    | Forster, NSW, Australia | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Theme Of The Month

    (I work in the deli department of my local supermarket, and am calling out the numbers of the tickets.)

    Me: “Number 24? Does anybody have ticket number 24? Anybody at all?”

    (At this point, I think someone might have grabbed two tickets by accident off the ticket dispenser and decide to skip ahead to the next number.)

    Me: “Oh well, then… number 25?”

    (The customer with ticket 25 starts ordering what she wants, when suddenly the customer with ticket 24 storms over. She has clearly been on the phone.)

    Customer #24: *huffed voice* “Excuse me? I was before this lady. I was number 24!”

    Me: “Just one second, ma’am. I’ll serve you after this customer.”

    (Customer #25 smiles shyly at me.)

    Customer #24: “Well, I was before this lady!” *puts a rude smirk when referring to her* “Clearly, because I was number 24!”

    Me: “Well, I was calling your number for a good while before I started serving this lady. You weren’t even at the deli counter.”

    Customer #24: “I WAS STILL FIRST!”

    Me: “Ma’am, if you just let me serve this customer quickly, I’ll get to you in just a—”

    (Suddenly, Customer #25 decides they’ve had enough of Customer #24 and speaks up in my defense.)

    Customer #25: “Well, how the bloody h*** is he supposed to know he’s skipped someone when nobody answers his calls?! How’s he supposed to know you’re off in another aisle on the phone? You know it’s people like you that make his day so much worse!”

    Customer #24: *stomps off*

    Lodging A Compliment

    | Truro, England, UK | Awesome Customers, Hotels & Lodging

    (I work on the reception of a large hotel chain. We do a deal where you can get cheap nights at a hotel under three circumstances: 1) you book and pay in advance, 2) you don’t alter the booking in ANY way, and 3) you book online. As there’s minimal person-to-person interaction, there are plenty of people who tick the ‘terms and conditions’ without reading them. The biggest catch is that if you cancel, as you’ve paid in advance, the hotel still charges you the stay.)

    Me: “Hello, this is [hotel and chain] and I’m [name]. How can I help you today?”

    Customer: “Hello, I’ve made a booking for the 21st until the 23rd but I’ve changed my mind, and I’d like to come the following weekend instead. Could you change this for me?”

    Me: “One moment, sir. I’ll just bring up your booking…”

    (I take his details and quickly notice he’s on this deal, and therefore I cannot make any changes.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, it’s not possible for me to change it. You’ve booked through our [offer system] and therefore we can’t make any alterations to the booking.”

    Customer: “What do you mean? I just want you to change the dates. What’s so difficult?”

    Me: “I understand, sir, but you’ve made this booking under the deal, and part of the contract of that is that there cannot be any changes to the booking.”

    Customer: “What?! What contract? I signed no contract!”

    Me: “The details of the offer are in the Terms and Conditions when you made the booking. We do advise you read those.”

    Customer: “Fine! I don’t want to come to your hotel now at all. Just cancel the booking.”

    Me: “Of course, sir, but you must know that we’ll still charge you for the stay. That’s also in the terms and conditions. If you cancel for whatever reason, [chain] will still charge the money.”

    (The customer explodes down the phone at me, and I have to hold the phone away from my ear because of the noise level. He begins threatening to go to the media, ruining the chain’s reputation and generally being abrasive. At this point, two women walk into the reception and I ask them politely to wait as I’m currently dealing with the customer on the phone. They both lean on the counter and can clearly hear the man on the other end shouting at me. Finally, he calms somewhat.)

    Me: “I completely understand your predicament, sir. I have been wondering if my system would allow me to change the dates of the stay in such an event but haven’t been able to do so for obvious reasons. The only thing I can offer you is that I, out of curiosity, change the dates on your booking. I warn you, I have no idea if this will be successful, as I’ve not attempted it before. If I change it you may still be charged. This is the best I can offer you. Do you understand?”

    Customer: “Yes, I understand. You’re going to try to change it, but your system might not allow it?”

    Me: “Yes, sir.”

    Customer: “And if the system doesn’t allow it, I may be charged.”

    Me: “Yes, sir.”

    Customer: “Let’s do it, then!”

    (I change the dates and luckily, it allows it. He is still on the offer, but on different days. I explain this to him.)

    Me: “So, you’re booked in for [dates] which will cost you [price] and I do suggest that, next time, you don’t use this offer. It’s quite tempting, but if you aren’t absolutely certain on the dates of your stay, it’ll cost you extra.”

    Customer: “Thank you so much! I’ve written down your name, I’ll enjoy meeting you. You’ve been such a help and I’ll bring you a bottle of bourbon for you when I get there.”

    (I end the call, and make a note of his attitude on his booking, as warning for other receptionists that might encounter him. I look up sheepishly at the two women still waiting to be checked in.)

    Me: “How can I help you today?”

    Woman #1: “Get your manager down here right now.”

    (I call down the manager, knowing what they’ve heard me do is against company policy, and that I could be in a lot of trouble for doing it.)

    Manager: “What can I do for you, ladies?”

    Woman #2: “This girl has just shown the best customer service we’ve ever seen.”

    Woman #1: “Yes, we stay in these hotels all the time, and I’ve never seen anyone handle a bad customer like that.”

    Woman #2: “It was amazing! You should’ve seen it! She deserves a medal for keeping her cool. Definite customer satisfaction, and she hasn’t even checked us in yet!”

    Manager: “Thank you, ladies, I’ll make a note of it. If that’s all, I’ll leave her to check you in?”

    (I got a commendation from head office for my conduct, although they weren’t entirely clear on the details of why I should get it. It’s not monetary reward, but having ‘outstanding customer service award’ from one of the leading hotel chains in the UK does look rather good on my CV… and all for breaking company policy!)

    (P.S. The man didn’t bring me the bourbon after all!)

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