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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 Warranty Comes Warranted, Part 2

    , | AB, Canada | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Technology

    (I’m selling a customer an iPad and introducing a new warranty which covers accidental damage, meaning you can replace your iPad for $50 rather than buying a whole new one. It’s a fantastic deal and, as the customer in question is buying the iPad for his eight-year-old daughter and wants the most expensive model, I am trying to convince him that the extra $99 for it is really worth it.)

    Me: “Sir, just to check, you’re getting this for your daughter, you said?”

    Customer: “Yeah. I mean, we’ll use it too, but it’s mostly for her.”

    Me: “I see. In that case, you really want to consider getting the extra warranty.”

    Customer: “But it comes with one that covers it for a year, right?”

    Me: “Yes, but it doesn’t cover accidental damage. If she accidentally drops it and cracks the screen, it’ll cost full price to replace without the warranty. With the warranty, it’s only $50 to replace it.”

    Customer: *considers it for a moment, then shakes his head* “Nah, we’ll be okay. I’ll tell her to be real careful.”

    Me: *gesturing to a nearby table where we have iPads set up for kids to play with* “Sir, I’m sure your daughter is really careful with her toys, but iPads are really fragile and kids sometimes forget they’re not as hardy as their other things.”

    (In perfect timing, a kid at the table then starts banging the iPad on the table hard. I grimace and the customer cringes slightly.)

    Customer: “Err, no, no. It’s okay. We’ll be careful.”

    (I get him to at least buy a screen cover and ring him up. He’s excited and happy at the end, so I figure everything’s all right and hopefully his daughter is as careful as he says she is. The next day, however, I see him come in with the iPad, case, and several small glass shards from the broken screen in a Ziploc bag. He sees me on his way to the tech counter and sheepishly holds up the bag.)

    Customer: “I guess you were right. I’ll get the warranty this time…”

    Related:
    The Warranty Comes Warranted

    Two Sides Of The Same Very Reasonable Coin

    | Vancouver, BC, Canada | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Top

    (Two different customers approach me at the same time to ask for help.)

    Customers #1 & #2: “Excuse me!”

    Me: “Yes, how may I help you?”

    (I soon realize that the customers have no relation to each other, as they ask me for help in two completely different departments.)

    Me: “Hmm, how should I do this? Who do I help first?”

    (Judging by their body language, neither customer wants to back down. So I reach into my pocket and pull out a coin.)

    Me: “All right, we’ll do it this way. Heads or tails?”

    Customer #1: “Heads!”

    Customer #2: “Guess that makes me tails, then.”

    (I flip the coin, and it lands tails.)

    Customer #2: “Yes!”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am, let’s go. And sir, I’ll be with you as soon as I’m done with her.”

    Customer #1: “Fair enough.”

    (I wish more customers were that easy to deal with!)

    When Write Is Wrong Is Really Right

    | VA, USA | At The Checkout, Language & Words

    (I work in a video store. This is years before gift cards. We have to hand-write the amount on a certificate.)

    Customer: “That is not spelled right.”

    Employee #1: *writes void on certificate, and tries again*

    Customer: “It’s still not right.”

    (Employee #1 calls over Employee #2.)

    Employee #2: “Ma’am, I’m sure that’s right.”

    Customer: *agitated* “I demand to speak to a manager.”

    (I come over.)

    Me: “Ma’am, how can I help you?”

    Customer: “I need this certificate for $12 and he keeps spelling it wrong.”

    Me: “Okay. What is the amount of the gift certificate?”

    Employee #1: “$12.”

    Me: “How did you spell it?”

    Employee #1 & #2: “T-W-E-L-V-E.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m not the greatest speller, but I’m pretty sure that’s right.”

    Customer: “Well, it’s not.”

    Me: “So that we don’t waste anymore gift certificates, why don’t you write the amount?”

    (The customer snatches the booklet and pen, and starts to fill in the information. When she gets to the amount she stops, confusion on her face.)

    Customer: “How did you spell it again?”

    Employee #1: “T-W-E-L-V-E.”

    Customer: “Oh. I guess you were right…”

    Unharmonious Harmonica

    | CT, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Musical Mayhem

    (I work in a musical instrument store. On our counters we have small grab-and-go items, including mini harmonicas that some people purchase as pendants for jewelry but also work as an instrument. I have just rung up Customer #1 and am in the middle of ringing Customer #2 when Customer #1 takes one of the harmonicas and starts blowing through it.)

    Me: “Excuse me, sir.Were you planning on purchasing that today?”

    Customer #1: “Of course not. I don’t play harmonica.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but now that you have used that one I have to ask you to buy it.”

    Customer #1: “That’s ridiculous. I was just testing it out.”

    Me: “I’m sorry but it’s for sanitary reasons. I cannot sell that now that you have used it. These are not a demo product.”

    Customer #1: “There’s no sign. Why shouldn’t I try it? I’m not buying that. I don’t need it.”

    Me: “Again, sir, I’m sorry, but now that you’ve put your mouth on it I can’t sell it to anyone else. Would you buy something that required you to put your mouth on it knowing someone else had as well?

    Customer #1: “I don’t have a problem with that.”

    Customer #2: “Well, I do. What if I bought that for my daughter and you had some kind of herpes or something?”

    Customer #1: “Whatever. I’m leaving and never coming back to this f****** store again. No one has ever told me before I couldn’t try them.”

    (Just before he walked away he threw the harmonica he had tried back in the bowl and shook it so I wouldn’t be able to tell which one he had his mouth on. I then had to damage out the whole lot.)

    To Give Credit Where Debit Is Due, Part 5

    | Dallas, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (I am a customer in this story, standing next in line while the person ahead is being attended to.)

    Cashier: “Okay, sir. Your total is [amount].”

    Customer: “Fine.”

    (The customer pauses and doesn’t move to get his wallet.)

    Cashier: “Sir. Cash or credit?”

    Customer: “What?”

    Cashier: “I’m sorry. Are you paying with cash, check, or credit card today?”

    Customer: “What do you mean?”

    Cashier: “For your groceries, how would you like to pay for them?”

    Customer: “I don’t get it. I only have a debit card.”

    Cashier: “That’s fine. We accept debit as well. Just slide it through the machine here.”

    Customer: “But it’s asking for a credit card. I don’t carry credit cards. People steal those all the time.”

    Cashier: “Sir, the machine will take both credit and debit. I you just follow the prompts…”

    Customer: “I don’t know. It’s asking for a credit card. I refuse to use one.”

    Cashier: “I can 100% guarantee you, sir, that the machine will read your debit card. After you swipe your card, select ‘debit’ and you’ll be done.”

    Customer: *motions to his groceries* “I can’t pay for these with a debit card. What kind of a business is this that doesn’t accept debit?”

    Me: “Sir, I don’t mean to interrupt, but I shop here weekly. They do accept debit cards. Open your eyes and read the machine prompt. It clearly has a DEBIT option.”

    Customer: “It says credit. I don’t have credit!”

    Me: “It’s that green button on the right labeled DEBIT. If you can’t see it, then I don’t think anyone here can help you.”

    (At this point the customer walks out and leaves eight full bags of groceries behind, muttering how confused he was that the store didn’t accept debit cards. The cashier has to load the bags into a cart and wait on another associate before ringing me up.)

    Me: “That probably happens way more often than it really should.”

    Cashier: “We have a pool going to see how high we can hit in a week. So far I’m at five and it’s only Wednesday.”

    Related:
    To Give Credit Where Debit Is Due, Part 4
    To Give Credit Where Debit Is Due, Part 3
    To Give Credit Where Debit Is Due, Part 2

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