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  • Had It Up To Their Neck With Bad Customers
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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!

    Much A-Two About Nothing

    | Nanuet, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Money

    (I work at a major pet retail store. A customer approaches the register, talking on her cell phone, and puts a dog toy on the counter.)

    Customer: “[Competitor] has this for $7.99 and you’re charging $9.99! It’s too expensive!”

    Me: “I can price match it for you, ma’am—”

    Customer: “You shouldn’t charge so much! It’s ridiculous!”

    Me: “Ma’am, it’s—”

    Customer: *to her friend on the phone* “It’s so expensive here!”

    Me: “Ma’am, it’s only two dollars.”

    Customer: *embarrassed* “I don’t have two dollars. I only have a credit card.”

    Me: “We take credit for any amount, ma’am.”

    (The customer swipes her card, takes her purchase, and rushes off, talking to her friend on the phone.)

    Customer: “Oh my God, I’m so embarrassed! I just made a huge fuss and it was only two dollars!”

    Spread The Health

    | Portland, OR, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Money, Top

    (I have just finished ringing up a good-sized amount of groceries—slightly over $100 worth—for a woman. A man has been waiting quietly in line behind her. When I tell her the total, the man speaks up.)

    Man: “Ma’am, I’d like to pay for this for you.”

    Woman: *surprised* “ALL of it?”

    Man: “Yes.  I’d like to pay for your entire order, if you don’t mind.”

    (Several seconds pass, as the woman blinks repeatedly.)

    Woman: “Well, certainly, if you’re willing. But… can I ask why?”

    Man: “Well, slightly over a year ago I was diagnosed with advanced neuroblastoma. They started me on aggressive chemotherapy almost that same day, and my doctor said I only had about a 30% chance of even making it to 2012. That was on August 28th of 2011. My final round of chemo was last Monday, and today they got back the results from my latest MRI: it said ‘no evidence of disease.’ So, I’m feeling very rich right now, and I’d like to spread it around.”

    (And then he paid for her groceries!)

    Not Sure What Just Wrappened

    | Norway | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (An older customer approaches my counter and pays for a book.)

    Me: “Would you like me to wrap it up for you?”

    Customer: “Well, yes, if you really want to.”

    Me: “I would be glad to do that for you!” *wraps the book for him*

    Customer: “Thanks for the gift, dear!” *immediately unwraps the book and leaves the store*

    A Penny Saved Is A Penny Spurned

    | Freeport, ME, USA | At The Checkout, Math & Science, Money

    (I’m shopping in a store where they are currently running the following sale: Buy 1 item, get 10% off; Buy 2 items, get 20% off; and so on… all the way up to 50%. I’m buying two expensive items and realize that if I buy three cheap items as well, my total will be less then with the two items alone. I go up to the register and am second in line; the cashier is explaining the sale to a middle-aged customer.)

    Cashier #1: “If you buy three more items you can get 50% off. Why don’t you take a look at some of our cheaper items such as—”

    Customer: “Stop it right there! I only want these! That’s it!”

    Cashier #1: “Okay, but I would just like to mention that we have a sale—”

    Customer: “I told you no! If you say anything else, I’m just going to walk out and not buy anything!”

    Cashier #2: *to me* “I can help you right over here!”  

    (I go over to the other register when the customer turns to me.)

    Customer: “Don’t you hate all these add-ons? They’re always trying to get you to buy more!”

    Me: “Yes, that does happen sometimes, but the deal they’re having right now is great.”

    Customer: *under her breath* “Sucker…”

    (I ignore her comment. Almost simultaneously, both cashiers read out our respective totals.)

    Cashier #1: *to the customer* “Your total is $40.”

    Cashier #2: *to me* “Your total is $30.”

    Customer: “Wait a second!  What makes her so special?  How come I can’t get a discount?”

    Me: “Seriously?”

    Cashier #2: “Ma’am, she bought five items, so she gets 50% off of her total.”

    Cashier #1: “Yes, and since you only bought two items, your discount is 20%.”

    Customer: “Then how can I get 50% like her?”

    (The cashiers and I are grinning at each other and trying very hard not to laugh.)

    Cashier #1: “As I was trying to say before, if you buy three additional items, you will get 50% off of your total purchase.”

    Customer: “That makes absolutely no sense to me. Buy more… but less? That’s not mathematically possible!”

    (By this point I’ve paid for my things and start to walk away.)

    Customer: “I don’t know what witchcraft this is, but I don’t want any part of it! I’ll just pay for what I have!”

    Rage Before Beauty, Part 2

    | Maine, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Money

    (A customer in her late 60s walks up with her granddaughter, who is probably 18-20 in age.)

    Customer: “I want to return this crap!”

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

    Customer: “No, but you’d better take it back!”

    (I page a manager to approve a no-receipt return. It gets approved and we explain it’ll have to go on a store gift card. The customer is still angry, but the granddaughter helps us calm her down.)

    Me: “Alright, ma’am, here’s your gift card. There’s $24.83 on it.”

    (The customer snatches the card from my hands. Meanwhile, she watches the POS terminal like a hawk to see how things add up.)

    Customer: “NO, NO, NO! That was buy one, get one free!”

    Me: “Sorry, ma’am let me have someone check…”

    (As I page for someone on the floor to price check, I see a line of angry people forming behind her. We’re an insanely busy store in the summer, and it’s been a good ten minutes by this point. My coworker returns from checking the price.)

    Coworker: “It has no tag, or none near it. Where did you see buy one, get one free, ma’am?”

    Customer: “A couple weeks ago!  It was buy one, get one free!”

    Me: “Ma’am, we can’t price modify for a sale a couple weeks old.”

    Customer: “You can and you will. Let me speak to your manager!”

    (I page the manager again, and they approve the modification while giving me a “Get this crazy customer out of our store” look).

    Me: “Alright ma’am, I’ve run your gift card. That leaves $10.21 remaining on your total.”

    Customer: “I should get it free for all the hassle you people put me through here!”

    (The customer throws a 20 at me. I make change and she storms off, with the total transaction time about 16 minutes. Next up is her granddaughter, who is calm and polite. She puts her nail polish on the counter and I ring her up. Whole transaction time? 20 seconds.)

    Me: “Have a nice day!”

    Customer’s Granddaughter: “You too!”

    Customer: *to her granddaughter* “Danielle, are you FINALLY done?! What took you so long?! I swear, you young people are SO inconsiderate, like that idiot behind the counter!”

    Related:
    Rage Before Beauty


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