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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!

    Driving Miss Crazy, Part 3

    | Askim, Norway | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (I work in a supermarket. This particular day, an old lady who is a regular customer comes in. She’s just paid for her groceries.)

    Customer: “Oh, I can’t get home. You have to help me.”

    Me: “Sure, we can call you a taxi. That’s no problem.”

    Customer: “NO! Don’t call a taxi! It’s too expensive! I live on welfare!”

    Me: “Who else should we call?”

    Customer: “I live on welfare. I can’t afford a taxi! It’s too expensive!”

    Me: “Okay, is there anyone else we can call?”

    Customer: *ignores me* “Oh, how am I supposed to get home now?”

    (It’s only fifteen minutes before we close, so I talk to my colleagues about this, and we agree that the quickest and simplest solution is for me to drive her home in my own car. We get to the nursing home where she lives, and I help her bring the groceries to her room.)

    Me: “Okay, there we are. Take care now.”

    Customer: “Oh, thank you very much for your help! That was very kind.”

    (This is the first time I’ve ever heard her say anything nice.)

    Me: *closing door*

    Customer: “YOU DRIVE LIKE A PIG!”

    Related:
    Driving Miss Crazy, Part 2
    Driving Miss Crazy

    Surrogate Swearers

    | Hampshire, UK | At The Checkout, Language & Words, Top

    (I am working on a till that frequently has problems with the scanner. I attempt to scan a customer’s item, but the barcode won’t go through and I mouth a swear to myself.)

    Customer: “Go on, say it.”

    Me: “Sorry?”

    Customer’s Husband: “What did she do?”

    Customer: “Swore under her breath.” *turns back to me* “You can say it. Vents the frustrations!”

    Me: “I’m afraid I’m not allowed to swear in front of the customers.”

    Customer: “Shall I say it for you?”

    Me: “If you like.”

    Customer: “Bugger!”

    Me: “Ah, I feel better now.”

    Mad As A Bull In A China Shop

    | Long Island, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (At our china shop, we’re having our biggest sale of the year. This requires me to manually lower the prices on items. I’m dealing with an incredibly rude and snappy customer, who is causing quite a line to build up behind her.)

    Customer: “That was supposed to be $4.97, NOT $9.99!”

    Me: “I know ma’am, that’s why I’m adjusting the price. See?”

    (This continues until the grumpy customer has been completely rung up. She then returns a few minutes later, receipt in hand.)

    Customer: “You charged me $10.99 for this plate! The sign outside says $6.97!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, the owner keeps marking down prices, and as the lower price wasn’t on your item, I didn’t realize it should have been less. Here, give me your receipt and card and I’ll refund you the difference.”

    Customer: “Well, you should know all the prices and be more careful! This place always rips me off!”

    Me: “Here’s your receipt. I’ve credited your account. Can I have the next customer, please?”

    Customer: *suddenly pleasant tone* “Thank you so much!”

    (I help the next customer.)

    Customer: “I really appreciate it!” *in a more aggravated tone* “Good luck with the sale!” *even more upset* “Keep smiling!” *yelling on her way out the door* “HAVE A SPARKLING DAY!”

    Painting Yourself Into A Corner

    | New York, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal

    (I’m working on returns when a customer comes in with a can of paint from our store. An off-duty cop in his uniform just happens to walk in behind her, but she doesn’t notice.)

    Customer: “This paint is crap! I don’t have a receipt, and I didn’t pay with a card, so a merchandise credit will be fine.”

    Me: “Well, ma’am, this paint was never tinted, and it clearly says here ‘Must Be Tinted’. Also, our cashiers cannot check out anyone with paint unless they have a valid tint code, or the paint does not need to be tinted.”

    Customer: “Are you accusing me of stealing?!”

    Cop: *still standing behind her* “He gives a valid case.”

    (She whips around, and turns the whitest color I have ever seen. After confirming with the manager, the cop has her arrested for petty theft; double-checking on the cameras throughout the day confirmed she did indeed steal the paint.)

    Selective Comprehension

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

    (I work for a large, upscale retailer. One night, I’m assisting a lady with several items.)

    Me: “Alright, ma’am, your total is [price].”

    Customer: “I believe those are all supposed to be 40% off.”

    Me: “No, ma’am, these are all regular price.”

    Customer: “No, I believe everything is 40% off.”

    Me: “No, ma’am, there may be a sale like that upstairs in the Ladies’ area, but we don’t have any discounts like that here in Men’s.”

    Customer: “Well, there’s a sign in your front windows that says everything’s 40% off!”

    Me: “Well, perhaps I’m mistaken. Would you mind showing me where you saw that?”

    (She leads me out the front door of our store and points to a large sign in the window.)

    Customer: “See? 40% off!”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am, but it says 40% off ‘Selected Items.’”

    Customer: “Right! And these are the items I’ve selected!”


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