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!

In Desperate Need Of A Guide

, | Kalix, Sweden | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Movies & TV

(I’m working at a small fast food restaurant where we also have some assorted snacks, magazines, and newspapers. An elderly customer walks in.)

Customer: “Oh, this TV-guide is old!”

Me: “It is? Can I take a look? No, it’s the current one, till the fourth of December.”

Customer: “But it came yesterday!”

Me: “Yes, it did.”

Customer: “I don’t want to pay for the day I missed! Remove that day from the price!”

Me: “I’m sorry. I can’t do that.”

Customer: *angrily* “But it’s old! I shouldn’t pay for a day I can’t use!”

Me: “I don’t control what day you buy your TV-guide on…”

(She eventually bought the TV-guide and left in a snit, slamming the door behind her.)

Mocking Beliefs Will Cost You

| Vancouver, BC, Canada | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Money

Customer: “Hey, how much is this?”

(I don’t know the price either, but there is a haphazardly placed sign in front of the item that vaguely matches its description.)

Me: *looking at sign* “I believe it’s $49.99.”

Customer: “You BELIEVE? Can you go check the actual price?”

Me: “Why certainly, sir.”

(I grab the item and bring it to a cash register to scan it. It comes up as $89.99.)

Me: “Okay, sir, I checked the price for you. It’s actually $89.99.”

Customer: “What?! But that sign says $49.99!”

Me: “But sir, you very obviously had doubts about this sign, because you asked me for the price.”

Customer: “But you even said it was $49.99!”

Me: “No sir, I said that I BELIEVED it to be $49.99. You didn’t like that answer, so I went to check the price like you’ve asked me to. All I’ve done was follow your directions.”

Customer: “D*** it! Me and my big mouth!”

(He still bought it, though. After all, isn’t the customer ‘always right’?)

Not A Green Machine

| Aurora, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

(At my store our pin-pad works a bit differently if you want credit instead of debit. You slide your card and then are prompted to enter your PIN. If you want credit you hit the green button – labeled CREDIT – as the red button cancels the transaction.)

Customer: *slides card and hits cancel* “Oh, I’m sorry I think I canceled it.”

Me: “That’s okay. Just slide your card again and hit the green button for credit.”

Customer: “Okay, thanks.” *does so*

(I finish the transaction and hand her the receipt, then start ringing out her boyfriend who was in line behind her and watching the whole thing.)

Customer’s Boyfriend: *slides card* “I want credit.”

Me: “Okay, sir, just hit the green button.”

Customer’s Boyfriend: *hits the red button*

Me: “Sorry sir, you canceled it. Slide it one more time and hit the green button for me.”

Customer’s Boyfriend: *slides again and hits the red button again* “I want to do it as credit!”

Me: “Yes, sir, just slide your card again and press the green button.”

Customer’s Boyfriend: “… But I want credit.”

Me: “Yes, sir, the green button for credit.”

Customer’s Boyfriend: “To run it as credit? I don’t want to use my PIN.”

Me: “Yes sir, just hit the green button for credit.”

Customer’s Boyfriend: “But I want to run it as credit! I don’t want to enter my PIN!”

Me: “I understand that, sir. Just slide your card for me and then press the green button for credit.”

Customer’s Boyfriend: *narrows eyes and hits the red button again* “I WANT TO DO IT AS CREDIT!”

(The first customer sighs and does it for him.)

Customer’s Boyfriend: “But I wanted credit!”

Me: *smiles* “It ran as credit, sir. See it shows it here on your receipt. Thank you and have a nice day.”

Next Customer: *slides card and hits the red button*

Me: *sighs*

Got It White The First Time

| New Orleans, LA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(I wait tables at a coffee shop that specializes in cafe au lait. We mix the coffee and milk before serving it to the customer. An elderly couple comes in about four times a week.)

Customer: “Now I want my coffee a little on the light side. A LITTLE light, understand?”

(She always says this.)

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

(I fix the coffee with just a little extra milk.)

Customer: “I said a LITTLE light. This is all milk. Fix me another one.”

(I fix a second cup, a little darker, and bring it to her table.)

Customer: “Now this is way too dark. Try to get it right, would you?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

(I fix a third cup, medium colored.)

Customer: “I don’t understand what’s the matter with you people. I want my coffee a LITTLE light. Bring this back. A little light, you understand?”

Me: “You got it.”

(With a big silly smile on my face, I bring her coffee for the fourth time.)

Customer: “Now THIS is what I wanted! Why can’t you get it right the first time?”

Me: “Sorry about that, ma’am. I’ll try next time.”

Customer: “Yes, you do that.”

(After she had sent back her first coffee, I put the cup on the warmer. I served her that same coffee on attempt number four. The entire wait staff has been doing this for years now.)

Don’t Do The Crime If You Can’t Tell The Time

| TX, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Food & Drink, Money

(My store has a grocery section, including an aisle of wine and beer. Since, in my state, alcohol cannot be sold before noon on Sundays, during that time the aisle is roped off. A customer comes up to my till at 10 on a Sunday, carrying bottles of wine.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I won’t be able to sell these to you before noon.”

Customer: “What?! Why?”

Me: “It’s state law. Alcohol can’t be sold before noon on Sundays.”

Customer: “But I have to have these for a lunch party! It’s starting soon, and I said I’d bring the wine!”

Me: “Again, I’m sorry, but I can’t sell these now. It’s illegal and my register will reject it if I try to ring it up.”

Customer: “Don’t you understand? I NEED THESE. I will look like a FOOL if I show up at the party without any wine.”

Me: “That’s… not really something I’m able to help with. I can’t break the law for that.”

Customer: “What law? I just want you to sell me wine!”

Me: “Texas state law forbids the sale of alcohol before noon on a Sunday. If you’d like, you can come back after noon and buy the wine then.”

Customer: *suddenly calm* “Fine. I’ll come back later and pay for these then.”

(She then picks up the bottles and starts walking towards the door with them. I call security.)

Security: “Ma’am, you can’t take those without having paid for them.”

Customer: “But she won’t let me pay for them!”

Security: “Alcohol can’t be sold before noon. That doesn’t mean you get to walk out with it.”

Customer: “But I was going to come back and pay for it later!”

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