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!

Phoning In The Irony

| Michigan, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Technology

(My aunt is teaching me how to do dispatch at the gas station she owns, for whenever they’re busy. I’m too young to sell any cigarettes to a customer and someone else has to do it. If she’s busy or needs to help a mechanic she lets me run the front as long as I don’t sell any cigarettes, so I need to call for help on that a lot. A woman and her young girl walk in the store. The woman is on her phone playing a popular game.)

Little Girl: “Mommy! Guess what I learned at school today?!”

Woman: “Huh? Oh, yeah that’s great, [Little Girl].” *continues to play on phone*

Little Girl: “Mommy! I asked you to guess! It’s really fun; I promise!”

Woman: “Be QUIET! I’m busy! You can go pick up a piece a candy or something. I’m gonna pay for gas.”

Little Girl: “Okay!” *heads off, happy again, to get candy*

Woman: *walks up to our counter* “I need $20 on pump four, please.” *taps on phone*

Me: “All right, I’ll—” *I get a phone call from my aunt saying she won’t be back for a while and that I should call a coworker to help me with any cigarette sales* “—Okay, I’ll call her right away. Thank you.” *click*

Woman: *has put her phone away* “I find it very rude that you would talk on your cellphone while dealing with a customer! You young people must have those d*** things glued to your hands or something. You won’t even take the time to do your job!”

Little Girl: “Mommy, I got a [Candy Bar].”

Woman: “Yeah, okay.”

Me: “I’ll… just ring those up for you. That’ll be [total]. Have a nice day.”

Woman: *back to her game* “Huh? Oh, yeah. You, too. Come on, [Little Girl].”

(Honestly there have been dumber customers, but this really got on my nerves.)

Snacking On A Bad Attitude

, | York, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

(I work in a busy branch of a fast food place. When customers order burgers, it’s store policy to ask if they would like it as part of a deal, which is cheaper than if the food in the meal was purchased separately.)

Me: “Hello, sir, what can I get you?”

Customer: *giving me a somewhat disdainful look* “I want a [Burger] with fries and a large [Soda].”

Me: “Would you like that as part of a meal or are you buying them separately?”

Customer: *visibly annoyed, and still glaring at me* “No, I’m having them as a snack.”

(I laugh politely, thinking that he was trying to be funny.)

Me: *smiling on the outside, dying on the inside* “Is that a large meal or are you buying them separately?”

Customer: “I already told you, I’m having them as a snack.”

(I look at my supervisor like a deer in headlights. She takes over.)

Supervisor: “Sir, are you having your order as a meal or are you buying each item separately?”

Customer: *growing quite rude and ill-tempered now* “I’ve already told him that I want them as a snack. Doesn’t he understand simple instructions?”

(My supervisor is quite protective of her trainees. I know that the look in her eyes means she wants blood, but she remains calm and collected.)

Supervisor: *trying to remain polite* “We don’t sell meals as “snacks,” sir. Are you buying it for yourself or—”

Customer: *almost shouting* “Of course I am. Now get me my large [Burger] with fries and a [Soda]!”

Supervisor: *faces me and tells me to get his food prepared* “I’m ringing that up as a meal deal, sir. That’ll be £5.45, please.”

(Customer begrudgingly slams a £10 note on the counter and gives me a scathing glare as I hand him his food in a bag and he leaves the store in a huff. My supervisor realises something.)

Supervisor: “Did he want his meal to-go?”

Me: “No clue. But I did.”

A New Excuse To Have Baggage

| Grangemouth, Scotland, UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Money

(Recently, a new law has come in where all retailers have to charge 5p for a bag. This happens on the first day it becomes law.)

Me: “So, that’s £40 altogether…”

Customer: “Can I get a couple of bags?”

Me: “Yeah, that’ll be another ten pence. Is that okay?”

Customer: *suddenly angry* “No, that isn’t okay! Since when did you lot start charging for bloody bags?!”

(I do my best to not look at the various signs that have been around for a couple of months warning people of the date, doing my best to remain professional.)

Me: “Just today. The law became active today.”

Customer: “Bulls***! This is just another way for you lot to line your pockets!”

Me: “The money goes to charity, though. We don’t—”

Customer: “Save it! I’ll just go to another bloody shop that doesn’t have the f***ing cheek to charge for f***ing bags!”

(He storms off, leaving his shopping, as my manager, who was standing beside me just shrugs.)

Manager: “Where’s he gonna go, England?”

Not-So-Smart TV

| TN, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(I work for a popular electronics store. A customer comes in looking for a [Brand #1] TV. Another associate brings up the TV to customer service for me to ring out. She decides to sign up for our store credit-card to get a discount.)

Me: “I’ll just need you to enter you social on the pin pad.”

Customer: “Okay.” *enters social*

Me: “All right, now it’s going to ask for your yearly income.”

Customer: “Oh, no, I’m not doing that. That’s confidential. I don’t want to do this.”

(Internally I was wondering how her income was confidential, but her social was not. I backed out and proceeded to ring her up. The transaction was finished.)

Customer: “Now, [Brand #1] IS made in Japan, right?”

Me: “Either Japan or China. I’m not positive. But I can find out.”

Customer: “Yeah, find out. I don’t want it if it’s made in China. I need to see on the box that it says made in Japan.”

Coworker: “It says right here: made in China.”

Customer: “I don’t want it.”

Me: “Okay, I can undo the transaction. That’s fine.”

Customer: “Find me one that’s made in America.”

Me: “I doubt that anything we have will be made in America, but I’ll go look.”

(Customer follows me to our home theater department. We find a [Brand #2] that says ‘made in California, U.S., assembled in Mexico.’)

Customer: “I’ll take this one. I guess it’s okay that it’s assembled in Mexico. I mean Mexico is part of the United States. Like New Mexico.”

Me: “Um… Well, actually… Yeah… Anyway, are you sure you want this one? It’s a smart TV, and you told me you don’t have Internet.”

Customer: “Yes, I want this one.”

(I take the TV back to customer service.)

Customer: “So just void that old transaction. I don’t want an exchange. I need it voided for my banking, and you may not be here.”

(No idea what that even means, but I void the transaction and ring up the new TV. My manager overhears her talking about not wanting anything made in China. He proceeds to jump in and tell her that all our TV’s have Chinese parts in them.)

Customer: “Are you serious? Well… the [Brand #2] will still be better right? Since it’s assembled in Mexico, and that’s in the United States.”

Manager: “Uh… well… no.  [Brand #1] is traditionally better.”

Customer: “Well, maybe I’ll get the [Brand #1].”

(My manager, not understanding what he was getting himself into, proceeds to try and sell her on a warranty by explaining that there’s a chip powering these TVs and lightning can destroy them easily, and our plan covers that.)

Customer: “Oh… wow… So what you’re saying is none of these TVs are any good?”

Manager: “No, no, I’m saying any of them can be destroyed. Our plan will cover it as long as it’s not physically damaged.”

Customer: “Oh, lord, no. That wouldn’t happen. I’m single.”

(My manager finally wises up and walks away. I ring up the extra warranty.)

Me: “Okay, now, your phone number again. It was—”

Customer: “Shh! Don’t say it out loud!”

Me: “I’m sorry.”

Customer: “People are everywhere listening to get your information. I’ll write it down.”

(The customer finally leaves with the [Brand #1] she initially bought. Later that night she calls back.)

Customer: “I’m trying to register my TV, but it wants an email address. I don’t have one. I wanted to see if I could use yours…”

Not The Cream Of The Crop, Part 3

| UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Money

(On the particular day the dairy fridge has broken down AND we have quite a lot of stock with a ‘best before’ sticker for that day. So I decide to reduce all that stock lower than I usually would just to get rid of it.)

Customer: “I would like to speak to the manager, please.”

Me: “That would be me. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I bought this cream AND this cake today. I poured the cream over the cake for my family only to find it was off. So it ruined the cake. I want a refund for both.”

(She hands me a receipt which shows that both items had been reduced quite heavily. I apologize profusely while trying to explain that we were sure the dairy fridge breakdown didn’t damage anything.)

Me: “And that’s all done for you! Here is your refund of £1.”

(The customer holds the £1 coin in her hand and looks slightly confused.)

Customer: “I wanted a refund.”

Me: “…and I gave you one. According to the receipt you gave me you only paid £1 total for those products.”

Customer: “But it was bad. Surely you should give me a refund of the full price.”

Me: “Do you sell things on eBay?”

Customer: *taken aback* “How is that relevant?”

Me: “Indulge me.”

Customer: “Yes. I sold my husband’s PS3 last week.”

Me: “Okay, so let’s say I bought your husband’s PS3 for £100. But when I connected it to my TV it didn’t work and I insisted that I get a refund. Do I ask for the £100 I paid you or the £400 you probably bought it for?”

(Somehow this confused her even more. She decided I made a valid point and left the shop in an almost dream-like state. We never saw this customer again and we still don’t know to this day if she was attempting a scam, or just a little dim.)

Related:
Not The Cream Of The Crop, Part 2
Not The Cream Of The Crop

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