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  • Had It Up To Their Neck With Bad Customers
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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!

    Rebirth And Return

    | Seattle, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Top

    (I am working behind the counter at a high end department store when a customer comes up with a bundled up wad of faded fabric under her arm.)

    Customer: “Excuse me. I need to return this dress I just bought. It doesn’t fit right.”

    Me: “No problem. Do have the tags or receipt?”

    Customer: “Of course! Here.”

    (She hands me what I’ve asked for. They’re both incredibly old; the paper is actually yellow with age. The brand of the dress is one we haven’t carried in years.)

    Me: “I’m sorry. I can’t return this.”

    Customer: “What are you talking about? This store always takes returns!”

    Me: “This dress is too old for me to return.”

    Customer: “Impossible! I only bought it a few months ago. I live far away so I haven’t had a chance to return it until now. Here, I even have the business card of the woman who sold it to me.”

    (She hands me the business card, which, while legitimate, has the company’s old logo which was switched out in 2000. It is now 2012.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but the sale is too old for the computer to recognize. I can’t return it.”

    Customer: “This is unbelievable! I just bought this dress and it looks awful on me so I want to return it.”

    Me: “This receipt is from 1985. You bought this dress before I was born.”

    Now Has Self-Scanning Under Their Belt

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology, Themed Giveaway

    (I am working the self-scans when I see a customer put some grapes on the electronic scale and enter the produce number.)

    Self-Scan: “Place your item on the belt.”

    (The customer leaves the grapes on the scale.)

    Self Scan: “If you wish to purchase this item, please place it on the belt.”

    (The customer still keeps the grapes on the scale.)

    Self-Scan: “Please remove all items and try again.”

    (After the self-scan says this, the customer takes the grapes off the scale and places it on the belt. The customer then tries to scan another item but nothing happens.)

    Self-Scan: “Please remove all items from the front belt.”

    (The customer takes the grapes off the belt, places them on the scale and re-enters the produce. Once again, when the customer is told to move her item to the belt, she leaves it on the scale. She then takes the grapes from the scale and places it on the belt. Confused about what is happening, she calls me over.)

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. How may I help you?”

    Customer: “I keep trying to purchase these grapes but every time I put them on the belt, it tells me to take it off.”

    (I put the customer’s grapes on the scale, enter the produce number, and place them on the belt when I’m told.)

    Customer: “What did you do?”

    Me: “I entered your grapes, weighed them, and placed them on the belt when told to.”

    Customer: “But that’s what I did.”

    Me: “Actually, what you did was put them on the belt after the self-scan told you to remove them.”

    Customer: “So when do I put them on the belt?”

    Me: “The first time it tells you to.”

    Customer: “So when the self-scan tells me to put something on the belt, that’s when I do it?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

    Customer: “You learn something new every day!”

    This Scam Is Not Ready To Roll

    | UK | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Liars & Scammers

    (We are known for our breakfast rolls, which can have five different toppings. This morning two students walk in.)

    Student #1: “Hi. I’ll have a breakfast roll please.”

    Me: “Sure thing! What would you like on it?”

    Student #1: “I’ll have sausage, bacon, beans, tomatoes and a hash brown.”

    (I set about making his sandwich while my coworker serves his friend. They pay and I hand [Student #1] his sandwich. He opens the box, looks at his sandwich, nods, and goes upstairs. One hour later, he comes back down.)

    Student #1: “There are no mushrooms on this.”

    Me: “You didn’t ask for any.”

    Student#1: “B****! I want my food for free!”

    (This continues for a few minutes before I explain to the customer that I charged him for a five-item breakfast roll, so he didn’t pay for mushrooms. Regardless, at any point during the hour he’d been there he could have come down and asked for mushrooms, and he’d checked the sandwich before he went upstairs!)

    Student #2: *laughs* “I told you it wouldn’t work!”

    Fresh Out Of Fresh

    | FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

    Customer: “Is this chicken fresh?”

    (I tap a huge sticker on the top of the meat case that says FRESH.)

    Customer: “Does that mean it’s fresh?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Because I only want it if it’s fresh.”

    Me: “It is fresh, ma’am.”

    Customer: “How fresh is it?”

    Me: “Uh…”

    Customer: “Because I only want it if it’s fresh.”

    Me: “It is.”

    (The case has four trays of chicken breast in it. She looks between the trays.)

    Customer: “Is this chicken fresher than this chicken?”

    Me: “No, I put them all in there at the same time.”

    Customer: “Well, this one looks fresher than that one. Are you sure this one isn’t fresher than that one?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Well this one looks fresher than that one. Can I see how fresh it is?”

    Me: “Uh…”

    Customer: “Because I only want it if it’s fresh.”

    Me: “As I said, ma’am, it’s perfectly fresh.”

    Customer: “Can you get me the chicken that’s the most fresh? This one looks the most fresh. Definitely more fresh than that one. Can you get me the freshest one?”

    Me: “Absolutely. I know all about being fresh.”

    Customer: “Great!”

    (I grab the nearest chicken breasts and put two in a bag for her, seal it, price it, and hand it to her.)

    Customer: “This is the freshest, right? More fresh than the other ones?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Because I only want it if it’s fresh.”

    Me: “I can assure you that I’ve been as fresh with you as I can get away with, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Great!”

    (She pays and walks out the door.)

    Coworker: “Jesus shoe-shining Christ, how many times did that lady say the word ‘fresh’?”

    Me: *shrugging* “I was really trying not to use a different F-word with her.”

    Keeping Borders Secure And Identity Insecure

    | CO, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Extra Stupid, Top

    (I am waiting in line, the next to be up, when I hear this a customer start shouting about how she refuses to show ‘some Mexican’ her ID in order to purchase something.)

    Customer: “I don’t know where you get off asking to see MY ID! I don’t ask to see your green card!”

    Employee: “Your credit card doesn’t have a signature on it, so I have to get an ID or I can’t let you use it.”

    Customer: “This is so rude! I cannot believe you people are even allowed to ask for it, for ANY REASON!”

    (Having had enough, and just wanting to buy my videogame, I start walking towards the customer.)

    Me: “Ma’am, what’s the problem here?!”

    Customer: “This illegal wants to see my ID!”

    Me: “She’s obviously not illegal, but if you don’t want her to see your ID, then maybe you can just let me see both cards and I’ll verify it to her?”

    Customer: “That’s fine. A nice American boy doing the right thing. Thank you.”

    (The clerk hands me the credit card, and the woman hands me her ID. I look at them and nod to the clerk. I don’t hand the lady back her ID, though.)

    Me: “So… your name’s [Name].”

    Customer: “Yes, that’s right.”

    Me: “You live at [Address]?”

    Customer: “That’s what the ID says.”

    Me: “Do you know my name?”

    Customer: “Uh, huh? No, I don’t. Of course not. Don’t be silly. We just met.”

    Me: “Do you know my address?”

    Customer: “Well, obviously I wouldn’t. What’s your point?”

    Me: “[Full Name] who lives at [Address], why would you give me your ID without knowing who I am, what I want, or what I would do with it? I know who you are and where you live now.”

    (The customer just stares at me, speechless as I hand her back the card and the clerk gives her the items she came in to buy.)

    Me: “Oh, and by the way – I’m Italian, so think about how badly you just screwed up as you walk back to your car. I’m not saying I would change my locks. I’m just saying I’d be smarter about things!”


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