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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!

    It Pays To Be Patient, Part 2

    | Jackson, WY, USA | At The Checkout, Money

    (A customer has just bought three books and has asked me to ship them as gifts. I haven’t done any shipping projects yet, and am unsure of what to charge, so I go downstairs and ask my boss about the price before returning to the customer. Note: A coworker has been standing at the register next to me during this exchange.)

    Me: “So, the shipping for those books would be eight dollars for the regular postal service or twelve dollars UPS shipping.”

    Customer: “Oh, I want to send them through the regular postal service, but to three separate addresses.”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, I misunderstood. Let me check with my boss if the prices would be any different, one moment.”

    (I go downstairs to speak with my boss again, and come back with new prices.)

    Me: “For three separate packages, that would be nine dollars.”

    (The customer hands me one dollar.)

    Me: “Oh… I’m sorry. That’s nine dollars for the shipping.”

    Customer: “But you already took my money!”

    Me: “Well, you already paid for the books, but I didn’t take any money for the shipping.”

    Customer: “You have a very bad memory, young lady! I gave you ten dollars. You went to the register right there and rung in the money!”

    (I look over at the register, which clearly displays the last transaction. It shows his total for the three books he bought.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, but the register shows that the last thing I did on it was ring up your books.”

    Customer: “Well! You just have a TERRIBLE memory! I already paid you!”

    Me: “If you want, I can look on the register and show you the last transactions that were made, but—”

    Customer: “CHECK.”

    (I go through the old receipts, and of course there is no receipt for any shipping. I ask my coworker if she saw me ring it up, since she’s been watching the entire time, and she says no.)

    Me: “Sir, there is no receipt on the register. I promise you I did not take your money for anything but the books.”

    Customer: “Well, you certainly took care of any future plans I had to do business here!”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that.”

    (As we finish his transaction, the customer continues muttering under his breath the entire time. Once I put in his order, he suddenly stops muttering.)

    Customer: *grudgingly* “…I’m going to have to apologize for giving you such a hard time, young lady.”

    (I look over and see that he’s picked up the pile of objects he’d placed on the table during the transaction and, lo and behold, discovered the ten dollar bill he’d accused me of taking underneath. He left the store as quickly as possible and hasn’t been back since!)

    Related:
    It Pays To Be Patient

    PINheaded, Part 3

    | Brisbane, Australia | At The Checkout, Money, Technology

    (In Australia when you pay by card, you can either use a pin number or sign for your purchase if you pay by card. Regardless, you need to have your card on you.)

    Me: “Okay, so the total is $17.”

    Customer: *comes up $2 short* “Oh, I don’t have enough. I’ll just run to my car to get the $2.”

    Me: “Oh, here, I’ll save the transaction and keep your bags back here for you.”

    Customer: “Oh, I’ll just pay with my bank card!”

    Me: “Okay, go ahead.”

    Customer: “I have… a pin.”

    Me: “Alrighty, then. Did you have your card?”

    Customer: “Yes.” *stares at me*

    Me: “Ma’am, you have to put your card in the machine.”

    Customer: “I HAVE A PIN! I DON’T SIGN!”

    Me: “Ma’am, you have to put your card in the machine for it to take the payment.”

    (The customer mutters something about getting the $2 and walks off. I save the order and continue serving other customers. Returning with her money, the woman proceeds to cut the line and slams the correct money on the counter. I process the payment and think she’s about to leave when she starts yelling again.)

    Customer: “So, you’re telling me I have to keep my card with me all the time to pay, even though I have a pin?!”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. The computer can’t process the payment unless the card is in the machine. It doesn’t matter if you have a pin or sign for it.”

    Customer: “BUT I HAVE A PIN!” *storms off*

    Related:
    Pinheaded, Part 2
    PINheaded

    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!)

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