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  • This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 4
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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!

    Frauds Rush In

    | Canada | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal

    (I’m working the self checkouts at my store when I notice a customer about to walk out the door with unpaid merchandise. I call her out.)

    Me: “Miss, there’s a machine over here you can use to pay for those.”

    Customer: “But, you see, I’m in a hurry!”

    (She realizes she’s making excuses for stealing and glumly walks over to the machine. I watch her closely during the transaction and notice she only scans one of two items.)

    Me: “Miss, that product didn’t scan. You’re going to have to try again.”

    Customer: “I don’t have time for this. I’m in a rush!”

    Me: “Well, you don’t have to buy it.”

    Customer: “Oh, thank God!” *picks up products to leave without paying*

    Me: “But, then you can’t actually take them.”

    Customer: “Fine! I’ll deal with the stupid machine. But you should really be more considerate of people who are in a rush!”

    You Just Got Served

    | Silkeborg, Denmark | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers

    (I used to work at a gas station, and regularly had to train new people. This happens on the first morning shift of my coworker. And elderly man comes in to buy some pastries. There are two other customers in the shop.)

    Coworker: “Good morning, how can I help you?”

    Customer #1: “I would like three of those.” *points at a pastry of which we only have two left*

    Coworker: “I am sorry, but I only have two left of those. Would you like another pastry instead to get the discount?”

    Customer #1: “There you go, talking! Just shut up and do your job!”

    Coworker: “I am sorry sir, but if you would just—”

    Customer #1: “SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! Do your job, b****!”

    (My coworker is now almost in tears, and I, having heard it all, step in.)

    Me: “Sir, you have to be polite! It is her first shift, and there is absolutely no need to be rude. We only have the cakes on display, and since there are just two of the pastries you want—”

    Customer #1: “Another one! Just shut up already! I am in a hurry!”

    (At that moment, the two customers who have been patiently waiting decide they have had enough and speak up.)

    Customer #2: “We don’t want people like you here. If you can’t be nice, get out!”

    Customer #3: “Yeah, just get out!”

    Customer #1: “What poor service!” *hurriedly leaves the shop with his pastries*

    Time To Get Your Self Checked Out

    | Newmarket, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

    Customer: “I want to make a complaint! The cashier triple charged me for the cheese!”

    Me: “Really? Let me see the receipt so I can give you a refund.”

    Customer: *shoves the receipt at me*

    Me: “Ma’am, you said the cashier triple charged you?”

    Customer: “Yes, and she was very rude and disrespectful!”

    Me: “Ma’am, our receipts show which till the sale went through on. You were on self-checkout, so you overcharged yourself. Are you still wanting to make a complaint?”

    Customer: *stammers and quickly leaves, minus her refund*

    Next Customer: *jokingly* “Hi, I’m feeling guilty and would like to complain about myself as well!”

    Murray’s Law

    | Sydney, Australia | At The Checkout, Top

    (I work at a complaints and returns desk. We generally get a few unreasonable and abusive customers each day, so we’ve developed a very effective tactic for dealing with them.)

    Me: “Hello, how can I help you today?”

    Customer: “You guys are idiots!”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. What seems to be the problem?”

    Customer: “Look at this receipt! Look at it!”

    (He holds up a receipt for a purchase; it looks normal enough.)

    Me: “Is there a problem with it?”

    Customer: “God, you’re so dumb! Look how faint the ink is! I can barely read it! You want me to go blind?!”

    Me: “Ah, well, it looks like the printer’s ink was running a little low, and it can look faded because of that. Would you like me to reprint it so you can read it?”

    Customer: “NO! Then you’ll just get away with it! Stupid idiots!”

    (The customer starts getting worked up and begins a rant full of swear words and physical threats. I realise what the situation calls for.)

    Me: “I am terribly, terribly sorry sir. That looks like Murray did it. What an idiot!”

    (This stops the customer’s rant in his tracks and looks at me, breathless.)

    Customer: “…Murray?”

    Me: “Yes, Murray! He’s always causing problems for customers like you. It’s really unfair. I’ll deal with it right now.” *calling out* “Murray? Come here!”

    (As per protocol, the nearest male coworker who isn’t busy comes over to play the role of Murray.)

    Male Coworker: “Yes?”

    Me: “How dare you upset this customer! You’re fired! Get out!”

    Male Coworker: *acts dejected* “I’m so sorry…”

    (“Murray” shuffles off looking like he’s about to cry, and once out of sight gets right back to work.)

    Me: “There we are, sir. You don’t have to worry about that sort of thing happening ever again. The customer always comes first, and we take complaints very seriously. Have a nice day!”

    Customer: “Wow, you guys are really great! Thanks, and good riddance to that idiot Murray!” *leaves*

    (This isn’t simply to avoid confrontation; our manager estimates that using the “Murray” tactic to placate customers like this saves us nearly an hour of verbal abuse each day, so we have more time to actually help the customers who need it.)

    Deluded About Rude

    | Arkansas, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (I’ve just made a food order that costs less than $10. The customer pays with a $50 bill.)

    Customer: “I’m so sorry. This is so rude.”

    Me: *laughing politely* “Don’t worry about it, sir. It’s not rude at all. I’ve had people order a sandwich for $6.50 and pay with a $100 bill. That’s rude.”

    Customer: “That is rude. That’s VERY rude. But this is rude as well!”

    Me: “Well, I don’t think it’s rude, sir.”

    (I give him his change and order number.)

    Customer: “Um, where do I get my drink?”

    (This is a very common question, as our drinks are self-serve.)

    Me: “Your cup is in that blue rack next to the Coke machine.”

    Customer: *to a random customer as he walks away* “You see? I’m so stupid I couldn’t even figure out where the cups are!”


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