Featured Story:
  • Always Time For A Rhyme
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  • Category: At The Checkout

    The customer has seemed normal and maybe even intelligent throughout the shopping purchase. But then they get to the checkout and as soon as human interaction is required it all falls apart. The checkout operators really are our first line of defense against the stupid customer!

    Receipted All That Was Coming To Her

    | CA, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Theme Of The Month, Wild & Unruly

    (I work at a large retail store. A customer is just about to approach my register, when my counter phone rings. It is security.)

    Security: “For this customer, just allow the return, then step away from my counter.”

    (That is all they tell me. The customer then approaches.)

    Me: “How can I help you today, ma’am?”

    (The customer hands me an expensive bedding set.)

    Customer: “Yes, I would like to return this, please.”

    (I look at the receipt, and notice it was paid by cash.)

    Me: “Okay, one moment, ma’am.”

    (I process the return, give her the cash, and step away from my register as if to tidy shelves nearby. The customer walks away, and two minutes later my coworker from another department runs over and grabs me by the arm.)

    Coworker: “What in the world just happened? Are you all right!?”

    Me: “I’m fine. What’s going on?”

    Coworker: “Security and the police just tackled your customer into the lingerie displays!”

    (It turns out the customer was a scammer that would come in with just a receipt, pick up the item from the shelf that matched the receipt while a worker was busy, and then return the ‘bought’ item for cash. The customer had done this to 12 other stores before us. She was tackled when trying to run, after being confronted by the police.)

    Following Instructions In A Manner Of Speaking

    | Albuquerque, NM, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Language & Words, Technology

    (I am finishing ringing up a sale for a customer. The final step on the signature pad is to confirm the transaction total.)

    Me: “Okay, sir, just say ‘yes’ to confirm the total on the signature pad and I’ll get you your receipt.”

    (The screen on the pad has two buttons: one reading ‘yes’ and one reading ‘no.’ The customer leans down with his mouth close to the pad and shouts…)

    Customer: “YES!”

    Sage Age Advice

    | USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Health & Body

    (I’m head cashier in a craft store, and do all the returns. I have a couple come in with several bags and are rummaging through receipts. I start working through their transactions and find items that aren’t from my company and items without receipts.)

    Me: “I am sorry, ma’am, but I cannot process a return for these items.”

    Wife: “You should give me the money for these items anyway, because I have had a hard life! I have to take care of my mother and my four siblings!”

    Me: “I can understand that, but—”

    Wife: “What do you know about taking care of the elderly?”

    Me: “Since I was 12 I cared for my father with cancer, who died when I was 18. Then my uncle was diagnosed also with cancer. He passed away two days ago. Between that I have another uncle diagnosed and living with me. Previously, my grandmother who had Alzheimer’s also lived with me and passed last summer. I’m also taking care of my mother who has severe arthritis. I have 5 siblings and 20 cousins, but everyone is dropped on me with no care or help.”

    Wife: “I’m so sorry; I guess you do know what it’s like. Does it get better?”

    Me: “No, but bubble wrap helps.”

    Past The Point Of No Return, Part 3

    | Vancouver, BC, Canada | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers, Theme Of The Month

    Customer: “Hi, I’d like to return this.”

    Me: “Okay. What seems to be the problem?”

    Customer: “I bought this yesterday, and it stopped working. I’d like my money back, please.”

    (There are a few different things wrong with what the customer has just said: although the item she brought back is indeed something that we sell, it looks severely worn out, and the box that it is currently in is an older design. There is no way that this could have been purchased ‘yesterday.’ But since I can’t be accusatory just yet, I try to diffuse the situation.)

    Me: “Okay, ma’am, do you have your receipt?”

    Customer: “No, I don’t have my receipt.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but without a receipt, we cannot do anything.”

    Customer: “Can’t you look it up by my credit card number?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but our system cannot trace back credit card purchases. But if you bring your receipt, I promise you, we will take care of everything.”

    Customer: “Oh, okay.”

    (The customer leaves the store. I thought it would be the end of it, because it’s highly unlikely that she would have a valid receipt. Not even five minutes later, she comes back.)

    Customer: “I found my receipt. I’d like my money back, please.”

    (True to her word, she has a genuine receipt! I carefully read it over. The item on the receipt matches the item she is trying to return, but the date of the receipt reads January of 2012. We’re in the middle of 2013 at this point.)

    Me: “Ma’am, the receipt says you bought this in January of 2012. I’m sorry, but I can’t help you.”

    Customer: “You promised me that you would take care of it if I brought the receipt! You’re a liar!”

    Me: “Ma’am, you told me you purchased this yesterday. The receipt is from over a year ago, and the box is an older design. You’re way past our 30-day return period, and you’ve been dishonest with me.”

    Customer: “So… I’m not getting my money back?”

    Me: “Nope. Have a nice day, ma’am.”

    Related:
    Past The Point Of No Return, Part 2
    Past The Point Of No Return

    Quantifying Stupidity

    | Ann Arbor, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Math & Science

    (We have several self-checkout machines at our store, which I am in charge of. For certain produce, the machine will ask for a quantity.)

    Customer: “EXCUSE ME, MISS!”

    Me: “Yes?”

    Customer: “The machine isn’t working!”

    (I walk over and notice the machine is asking for a quantity. It says ‘enter the quantity’ both aloud and is also displayed on the screen.)

    Me: “Oh, it just wants to know the quantity.”

    (The customer stares at me blankly.)

    Me: “How many do you have?”

    Customer: “Ohhh!”

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