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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!

    Religious Hatred Works Both Ways

    | Saint Paul, MN, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Religion

    (A customer I’ve never seen before comes in alone; he’s young and looks fairly normal. It’s slow, so it’s pretty much just me running the cash register and the bar by myself, with my manager doing paperwork in the back. There are a couple of other customers who’ve already been served.)

    Customer: “Can I have two large lattes and a medium blended mocha with peppermint?”

    Me: “Sure thing!”

    (I ring him up and begin making his drinks. I’m almost finished when he notices that I’m wearing a small silver cross necklace.)

    Customer: “You’re not a Christian, are you?”

    Me: “Well, I’m non-denominational, but yes, I’m a Christian.”

    Customer: “You can’t be serious. You know that’s all just a fairytale, right?”

    Me: “Here you are, sir.”

    Customer: “I can’t drink this. If you’re a Christian, you’ve got centuries of blood all over your hands, and I’m not touching anything you’ve touched. I want a full refund, you w****. How can you hypocrites live with yourselves?”

    (Not wanting to continue the conversation since I didn’t trust myself to remain calm, I begin a return.)

    Customer: “I mean, just look at Westboro Baptist Church! That’s more than enough evidence for me that you all deserve to be wiped off the map!”

    (He goes on like this all the while I’m processing his return. None of the other customers in the shop say anything, although I see one or two looking at us. I finally finish his transaction and hand him his money and receipt and manage to look him in the eye)

    Me: “Have a blessed day, sir.”

    (He cursed violently and knocked the two lattes off the counter. One of them landed on his pants, scalding and causing him to curse again. He grabbed his money and stormed out, still yelling about how religious people are a “disgrace to humanity” and should be “exterminated.” After I cleaned up the remnants of the lattes, I went on break and drank his blended mocha.)

    Seems To Have Enough Baggage Already

    | MA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

    (I am in the middle of ringing up Customer #1, when the next person in line dumps her purchases on the counter. She then seems to notice the items I am scanning for Customer #].)

    Customer #2: “Those aren’t mine.”

    Me: “I know. I’ll be with you as soon as I’m done.”

    Customer #2: *looks annoyed*

    (Customer #1 only has a few items that are easily carried by hand, so I ask him whether he wants a bag or not. As soon as he leaves, I start to scan Customer #2′s items, and bag them for her as well. She has several small items.)

    Customer #2: *clearly offended* “Why didn’t you ask me if I wanted a bag?”

    Me: “Sorry?”

    Customer #2: *gestures towards the retreating back of Customer #1* “You asked HIM if HE wanted a bag! Why wouldn’t you ask me the same thing?”

    Me: “Um… I figured you might need one?”

    Customer #2: “You should have asked!”

    Me: “I’m sorry. Would you like a bag?”

    Customer #2: “OF COURSE I want a bag!”

    Refunder Blunder, Part 6

    | MT, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Money

    (I work the customer service and return desk and am in the process of returning several items of clothing for a customer because they did not fit her children. Before I can finish the transaction and hand her back her money, she hands me a coupon.)

    Customer: “When I bought these items, the cashier didn’t scan my coupon. Can you just do it now?”

    Me: “… I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “Just take this coupon off during the return for me. I wanted to use it.”

    Me: “Ma’am, this is a return transaction, I can’t use a coupon on a return.”

    Customer: “Then return my items and resell them to me with the coupon!”

    Me: “So you want me to return your items, resell them to you with your coupon, and then return them a second time?”

    Customer: “Yes!”

    Me: “Knowing that if I resell you the items with the coupon, you will receive less money back on the second return because of it?

    Customer: “Yes!”

    (We had to have a manager explain to her that it wasn’t worth it to do all that just for a coupon.)

    Refunder Blunder, Part 5
    Refunder Blunder, Part 4
    Refunder Blunder, Part 3

    I Say Tomato, You Say Theft

    | CA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Money

    (As a cashier one of biggest pet peeves is when people eat the items before paying for them.)

    Me: “Hi. How are you today?”

    (I instantly notice customer has three boxes of tomatoes, and is eating away.)

    Customer: “Hi…” *continues eating one of the boxes of tomatoes*

    Me: *scans all three boxes* “Your total is [total].”

    (The customer, still chewing away, swipes her card.)

    Me: “This card was declined.”

    Customer: “Can I try again?”

    (There are only two tomatoes left in box she ate from. She swipes the card again.)

    Me: “It was declined.”

    Customer: “Let me try another card.” *swipes card*

    Me: “That was declined also.”

    Customer: “Let me just go to the ATM to get cash. I’ll be right back.”

    (The customer never came back and got away with eating almost an entire box of tomatoes for free.)

    Your Explanation Has Been Declined

    | Colorado Springs, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Money

    (We are in the middle of a huge rush where all of the lines are full. We were trying to get customers out as quickly as possible. This customer has only a few items and her total is about $12. She slides her card, and it is declined. I always try to be polite and couth about it when this happens.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. It didn’t like your card. Would you like to try it again?”

    Customer: “What do you mean?”

    Me: “The register didn’t want to take your card. You can try running it again, though, if you want.”

    Customer: “Does this happen a lot?”

    Me: “It happens sometimes.”

    Customer: *suddenly angry and much louder* “This is ridiculous! You need to fix this! It’s such an inconvenience! This always happens to me at this store! You need to fix your card reader!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but it’s not the reader. It read your card just fine but the purchase didn’t go through.”

    Customer: “No! This is terrible customer service! Type it in on your machine!”

    Me: “I can’t do that, ma’am. Our system won’t let us and we aren’t allowed. It read your card just fine. It just wasn’t approved.”

    Customer: “Why not?! I know I have money on this card! It’s your fault and you have to do something about this!”

    Me: “It really isn’t an issue with the card reader or with our system at all. If you want I can suspend this and you can contact your bank to find out what’s going on.”

    Customer: “H***, no! I’m not waiting in line again!” *starts fishing money out of her wallet* “This is ridiculous! Get me your manager! You need to fix your machine!”

    Me: “Ma’am, it really isn’t mine or the machine’s fault. The problem lies with your card.”

    Customer: “No, it doesn’t! I know I have money in this account!”

    Me: “I’m sorry. I don’t know what the issue is. You can try contacting your ba—”

    Customer: “No! What does your screen say?”

    Me: “It says it was declined, ma’am.”

    (The customer then turned beet red and threw money at me, then gathered up her things and went over to the manager. She yelled at him about how I was rude and embarrassed her by saying her card was declined in front of other customers. My manager never talked to me about it, though, and the next three customers in line all told me to keep my chin up and hang on, and hoped that my shift was almost over. It was, thankfully.)

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