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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!

    Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount

    | St. Louis, MO, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (The lingerie company I work for has a very large sale twice a year, and it is always quite popular. We mark down prices on much of our merchandise again as the sale goes on, to move old stock. We do offer price adjustments on sale items that have been discounted again. The customer in question here is a notorious returner.)

    Me: “Thank you for shopping with us today. How was your experience with us?”

    Customer: “Whatever. I need to do a price adjustment.”

    Me: “Okay. Do you have all your receipts?”

    (The customer hands me at least 20 different receipts.)

    Me: “Oh…wow. There’s a lot of receipts here. Which items did you want price adjustments on?”

    Customer: “All of them.”

    Me: *whimpers* “Um… okay. Just so you know, this will take a few moments.”

    Customer: “Yeah, yeah. Just hurry up.”

    (I look at the first receipt and notice that all the items on it were purchased at full price outside of our 90-day return policy, before the sale even started.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m really sorry, but this receipt is from almost five months ago. We only have a 90-day return policy, so there’s nothing I can do with this receipt.”

    Customer: “But the items on there cost less now. I want the sale price!”

    Me: “Yes, and if you had purchased these items within the last 90 days, I’d be happy to do the adjustment. But as you can see, you bought them several months ago, and the system won’t process it.”

    Customer: “Well, what about the other receipts?”

    (I go through the receipts and note that only four of them have dates within the 90 day policy, so I hand the stack back to the customer.)

    Me: “All right, so it looks like only these four have dates within the return policy, but I’ll be more than happy to scan these through and give you your discount.”

    (The customer huffs, but says nothing. After scanning all four receipts and rescanning every single item on them, I tell the customer her refund amount.)

    Me: “Ma’am, it looks like you’re going to be getting back $1.50 for all of these.”

    Customer: “What? That’s impossible! Everything on there has dropped in price again!”

    Me: “Actually, that’s not true. The bras you purchased were $15.99, and that is still their price today. The only thing you’re saving any money on is this perfume, and that’s only $1.50.”

    (I process the transaction and put the $1.50 on her credit card. I assume the transaction is done, until she hands me the out of date stack again.)

    Customer: “Now do these. I’ll get more back on these.”

    Me: “Ma’am, as I’ve already explained, these receipts are just too old to do a price adjustment on. I’m sorry, but my system won’t process it.”

    Customer: “No! You will give me my money back!”

    Me: “Ma’am, as I said, I’m terribly sorry, but my register will just deny the transaction. There is literally nothing I can do.”

    Customer: “Fine. I’ll just go to [other store location] and get them to do it!”

    (The customer leaves in a huff. I call the other store to let them know she’s coming. They don’t process her return either.)

    Popped Off

    | Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Theme Of The Month, Wild & Unruly

    (A customer walks into the store and walks over to the service desk with a cart FULL of pop.)

    Customer: “I want to return this pop. I didn’t seem to need it.”

    Coworker: “I’m sorry, sir, but this isn’t a brand we carry. You have to buy the pop here at our store in order to return it here.”

    Customer: “I bought them here last week! I just want my d*** money back!”

    Coworker: “Do you have a receipt?”

    Customer: “I don’t have my d*** receipt. Don’t you have it on file?”

    Coworker: “I apologize, but we don’t.”

    (The customer immediately kicks over the whole cart of 30 bottles of pop and storms away. We all stand there in shock after, but on a positive note we all got to keep the pop that he had left behind!)

    Pregnancy Test Versus God’s Test

    | NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Family & Kids, Health & Body

    (Two male customers approach my line not knowing each other. The first appears to be a teenager and the second seems to be in his late 20s. The younger of the two approaches first with only a pregnancy test, which we offer in our ‘family planning’ section.)

    Older Customer: *to me* “Pregnancy test? This is what’s wrong with teens today, right? All of them think they’re adults and decide to f*** each other.” *to the younger customer* “God hates you! You should be ashamed of yourself!”

    (The older customer continues going on about the younger customer, and I’m about to say something when the younger customer turns around.)

    Younger Customer: “Sir, I would like to get one thing straight with you. This pregnancy test isn’t for me. It’s for my sister who refused to get out of the car because she was terrified that she’d be judged for buying one. I went straight to get this test, grabbed it off the shelf, and walked around the store a few times to prove a point. Not one person has said a thing about me until now.”

    (The older customer appears like he’s going to respond when the younger customer continues. At this point people have begun to stare.)

    Younger Customer: “Furthermore, I have to admit that I find it funny that you, of all people, are the one to react, claiming that God hates me. You decided to preach about the evils of lust when a quick look at your cart would suggest you are a worse slave to it.”

    (The younger customer proceeded to take two particular items out of the older customer’s cart: a naughty magazine and an ultra-large bottle of lotion! The younger customer said this entire thing without once breaking eye contact with the older customer, or breaking stride. Embarrassed, the older customer pulled out of the lane, which by now had formed a line of at least seven people, and went to a register several lanes away.)

    Don’t Let Your Hair Down

    | UK | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Money, Wild & Unruly

    (I am a cashier. An older woman and her son come in, and spend about 20 minutes perusing the sweets section, all the while glancing back at me and smiling quite creepily. She finally comes to the counter with two bags of Jelly Babies.)

    Me: “Hi. How are you? Will this be everything?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “That will be £2.10 please.”

    (She gives me a £50 note.)

    Me: *sighing inwardly for having to get such a large amount of change* “Thank you. Here is your change, £47.90.”

    Customer: “No, no, no. I am only paying £1.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but individually they are £1.05. That won’t be enough.”

    Customer: “No, this is not right. I don’t want to pay that.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but the price is clearly marked on the shelf, and they have scanned into to till at the correct price.”

    Customer: “Well, fine, but I want smaller notes in my change.”

    (I oblige, and change out the larger notes for smaller ones, noticing there is now a queue of about 5 people behind her, looking impatient.)

    Me: “Thank you very much. Have a nice day.”

    Customer: “You have nice hair. So long, such a nice colour.”

    Me: “Err, thank you. Is there anything else I can get for you today?”

    Customer: “Yes. No. I don’t want these sweets. Refund me, and I want my £50 note back.”

    (By this point I am getting quite impatient, but I still remain polite, and do as she asks, taking her change back off the counter and putting it back in the till drawer.)

    Me: “Okay. Here is your £50 note. Have a nice day!”

    (The customer suddenly lunges over the counter and grabs my hair, pulling me halfway over the counter, which is quite painful!)

    Customer: “Such nice hair! I want it! SO nice!”

    (I manage to get my hair free and jump back, quite startled.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, but it is not okay for you to invade my personal space and yank my hair. If you do not wish to purchase anything today, then I will have to ask you to leave as you are holding up a line of customers!”

    (The customer gives me a dirty look, practically snarling at me, and flounces out of the shop.)

    Next Customer: “What the h*** was that about?”

    Me: “I… I have no idea.”

    (Apparently the woman came back into the shop later in the week when I am not working, did the same long, drawn out process with the £50, requesting a lower price after the transaction has gone through, and then asking for a refund. She also asked after me, ‘the rude girl with the nice hair.’)

    If You Behave Like Children…

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

    (I have just finished a long and difficult transaction. I have been calmly trying to guide the customer through the transaction, but the customer has become increasingly frustrated and angry. The angry customer has just had a temper tantrum and stomped off, and I start to help the next customer.)

    Next Customer: “Wow, some people get so angry about really little things. How did you stay so calm all that time?”

    Me: “I have kids.”

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