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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!

    The Tougher They Are, The Carder They Fall

    | Everett, MA, USA | At The Checkout, Money

    Customer: “I would like to return this dress. I don’t have my receipt, but I paid for it with a credit card.”

    Me: “Okay, no problem. I can take care of that.”

    (After running her credit card and scanning the item to see if there is a matching transaction, nothing comes up.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, looks like there’s nothing matching this item on this credit card. Did you maybe pay with a different one?”

    Customer: “NO! I always pay with THIS credit card here. There’s no way it could be on anything else!”

    Me: “Okay, maybe the cashier who did this made a mistake. Let me try a few things…”

    (I run the card several times, trying to manually match it with one of the 28 different size combinations my store has.)

    Me: “Yeah, I’m sorry. There’s nothing coming up on this card.”

    Customer: “Well, then what do we do from here?”

    Me: “Well, you can either exchange this item for the same thing in another size or color, or we can send you a merchandise credit by mail.”

    Customer: “No! I paid for this item with THIS CARD! I’d like to see a manager!”

    Me: “Absolutely…”

    (I walkie my manager a few times. She finally comes over after five minutes.)

    Manager: “Now, what’s the matter?”

    Me: “I’m trying to return her dress. She doesn’t have her receipt. So, I tried to pull it up on her card, but nothing happening.”

    Manager: “Did you try another credit card?”

    Customer: “NO! It’s definitely on THIS CARD! It’s the only card I use here!”

    Manager: “It’s not coming up on that card, though, so we have no proof of purchase. I’m not supposed to, but I can issue you a merchandise credit now, and if you find your receipt later, I can redeem it for cash.”

    Customer: “No! I want that dress credited back to the card before my next bill!”

    Manager: “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that without a proof of purchase. I’m sorry, but that’s not worth losing my job over!”

    Me: “Look, shot in the dark here—hail mary—we’ll just do this for the fun of it. Let’s just try one of your other credit cards. What do you have to lose?”

    Customer: “FINE! If it was any card it would be this one, but I KNOW it wont work!”

    (I run the card and scan the dress…)

    Me: “Hey look, a match. Okay, $29.94 will be credited back to THIS card. Thanks for coming in. You have a GREAT night!”

    (The customer pulls down her shades, looks down, and mumbles quickly.)

    Customer: “I’m so sorry. Bye…”

    Raceless Accusations, Part 2

    | Texas, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry

    (On a very slow night, I’m helping our only customer with a coworker. I notice another customer enter the store, glance around, and disappear into the aisles. Once the other customer leaves, she approaches us carrying some items.)

    Customer: “I can’t believe you didn’t help me when I came in.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, we were helping the gentleman who just left.”

    Customer: “Well, I just would like you to quit being racist and check me out.”

    (My coworker and I are taken aback at the accusation, but I remain courteous.)

    Me: “Um, sure.”

    (At that moment, the customer sees a different coworker at a register.)

    Customer: “Nevermind, I’ll just ask her.”

    (The customer returns moments later, as it turns out my coworker’s register is closed. I hadn’t known the other one was closed, or else I would have warned her.)

    Customer: “I can’t believe you’re all so racist here that you can’t even help me. I’ll call the NAACP on you, and they’ll crack down on this store!”

    Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, ma’am. Would you like me to call the manager on duty to address your concern?”

    Customer: “Yes, please do.”

    (I radio in our manager on duty, who comes quickly to the register. He is one of two black men with management positions in the store, and we only have four managers.)

    Me: “This is our manager for tonight. [Manager on duty], this woman has a concern she would like to address.”

    Manager: *smiling* “How may I help you, ma’am?”

    Customer: *deflates instantly and leaves in a huff*

    Related:
    Raceless Accusations

    Good Things Come In Small Dosages

    | New York, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, Top

    (My coworker at the pharmacy has been working with a customer who seems to be having the worst day. Unfortunately, my coworker is the victim of the customer’s mood, and he has reduced the poor girl to tears. Behind this customer is a young father in his mid-20s and his three sons, aged probably six, two, and less than a year old. The young father is clearly upset with the behavior of the customer in front of him, but, probably for the sake of his children, is keeping his mouth shut. Out of nowhere, his six-year-old son speaks up.)

    Six-year-old Son: “‘Scuse me, sir? I think you’ll probably get what you need easier in life if you’re nice to people. You’re making the pretty lady sad and she didn’t do anything wrong.”

    Customer: *clearly shocked* “Didn’t your father here teach you to mind your own business, son?!”

    (The young father is actually grinning proudly, and reaches over to high-five his son.)

    Father: “Actually, I taught him not to raise his voice at good, honest people.”

    Customer: *clearly embarrassed, pays and leaves quickly*

    Six-year-old Son: *to my coworker* “Can I give you a hug? If anyone gives you trouble, call me!”

    (My coworker was very impressed by the brave little boy’s actions, while his father proudly teared up. I doubt the family will ever have to pay at our pharmacy again, and my coworker has a new best friend!)

    Thank God His Name Isn’t Johnson

    | Ann Arbor, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Rude & Risque

    (I’m ringing up a middle-aged lady.)

    Me: “Do you have a rewards card?”

    Customer: “Yes… last name is ‘Jones.’”

    Me: “Under ‘Jonathan?’”

    Customer: “Yes, as much as possible!”

    Me: *stunned silence*

    Self-Serving Stupidity Will Not Be Served

    | Cincinnati, OH, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Top

    (I am a customer, standing third in line behind a very well-dressed woman in her 50s—we’ll call her Customer #1. The cashier, in her 70s, has just finished ringing out a young 20-something woman with pink hair. It is about 1 am and I am dead tired, literally swaying on my feet. There are three other customers behind me, which we’ll call Customers #2-#4.)

    Cashier: *to Customer #1* “Oh dear, just a moment!”

    (With that, the cashier runs off after the pink-haired customer, who has left behind a gift card she just purchased. Angrily, Customer #1 slams a 24-pack of canned drinks on the counter and turns to me.)

    Customer #1: “I bet she is going to try to make me put this back in my cart, but I won’t. It’s a little game I like to play called, ‘Who’s Getting Paid for This?’”

    (Note: Customer #1 has left a 40-pound bag of cat litter and 20-pound bag of cat food in her cart, both heavier than the drinks.)

    Me: *shrugs*

    (The cashier returns, panting and out of breath.)

    Cashier: “Sorry about that. She left her gift c—”

    Customer #1: “I don’t care. Just ring my purchases up!”

    Cashier: “Oh, um… right, sorry.”

    (The cashier rings the small items through, double-bagging the cans and folding the clothing with care, before using the hand scanner to ring up the drinks, the litter, and the cat food.)

    Cashier: “Your total is [price], ma’am.”

    Customer #1: “Well, it’s about time. Load my d*** cart so I can get the h*** out this s***hole!”

    (The cashier sets the bags in the cart around the litter and cat food, and then looks at the 24-pack of drinks.)

    Cashier: “You’ll have to set the pop in the cart, ma’am. I’m sorry, but I can’t lift it.”

    Customer #1: “You can’t lift it? What kind of bulls*** is that? Why the h*** not?”

    Cashier: “I can’t lift over 10 pounds; doctor’s orders.”

    Customer #1: “That is none of my business. Why are you telling me this? Just do your d*** job!”

    Customer #2: *to Customer #1* “You asked her why; that is why she’s telling you. Ugh!”

    Customer #1: *glares at Customer #2* “Well, this is not acceptable. Get your manager over here now. Maybe he can load my cart since you are too lazy.”

    (At this point, I’ve had enough and grab Customer #1′s 24-pack of drinks and set it in her cart.)

    Customer #1: “What the f*** are you doing?!”

    Me: “Lady, it is 1 am. I am tired and want to go home. I will load the d*** groceries in your car if it gets you out of the way faster!”

    Customer #1: “You have no right to touch my groceries!”

    Customer #2: “And you have no right to be such a b****. You didn’t have to lift it, she did…” *points at me* “…even though you obviously were able to put it in the cart and on the counter by yourself. You got your change, so get out of the way!”

    Customers #3 & #4: *echoes of agreement*

    Customer #1: “Well, I never—“

    Me: “It is obvious you have ‘never.’ You have NEVER had to work a low paying job with a**hole customers who get enjoyment out of making your life harder. We get it. Now go away!”

    (I set my two items on the counter as Customer #1 stomps away to customer service.)

    Cashier: *crying silently* “Thank you so much.”

    (Customer #2 and I stand away from the register for a few minutes talking after that. Customer #1 has caused enough trouble at this point to be escorted out of the store by the store manager and security. Afterwards, the store manager hugs his cashier and sends her to break so she can calm down. As it turns out, the cashier is his ailing aunt who has been working while getting chemotherapy. She really isn’t supposed to be working at all, but is unable to afford treatment otherwise.)

    Store Manager: “There is only so much stupid I can tolerate!”


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