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  • Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 7
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  • November Theme Of The Month: I Don't Work Here!
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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!

    Go From Feeling Low To Feeling J-Lo

    | Cornelius, OR, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids

    (I am checking out a customer and her young son.)

    Me: “Did you find everything all right?”

    Customer: “Yes, thank you.”

    (Meanwhile her little boy is staring at me open mouthed. I figure it’s because I’m a little shorter, not as skinny as his mom, and have thick poofy hair that looks like it belongs to a witch. But I smile at him.)

    Me: “Hi!”

    Little Boy: *in awe* “Mommy! She’s pretty like Jennifer Lopez!”

    Me: *stares back in shock as my heart melts* “Aww! Compliment lying already! You’re going to make your girlfriend very happy when you get older!”

    Smoking Away The American Dream

    | WV, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Wild & Unruly

    (A family walks in and gets some cigarettes and snacks. They walk to their vehicle and after ten minutes, the father, who was pretty rude earlier, walks back inside.)

    Me: “Hello.”

    Customer: “I need a new pack of cigarettes.”

    Me: “Okay, sir, which kind?”

    Customer: *tells me name of the cigarettes*

    (I go to ring them up, at which point he stops me.)

    Customer: “No, no, no! I want to exchange the ones I just bought for those!”

    Me: “Okay, sir, may I have the other pack?”

    (The customer hands me the opened, and half-gone pack of cigarettes.)

    Me: “Sir, once these are opened, I am not allowed to return or exchange them.”

    Customer: *angrily* “THIS IS AMERICA!”

    (I am slightly thrown off and just stare for a moment. He widens his eyes and tilts his head forward wanting a response.)

    Me: “Sir, I know this is America, but with THAT logic, I can go to a bank, rob it, scream ‘THIS IS AMERICA,’ and run out with no repercussions. This IS most definitely America, but we have rules and policies here that we still have to follow.”

    Customer:“I have the receipt!!”

    Me: *knowing full-well he declined the receipt when I offered it to him* “Sir, even with a receipt I cannot return an opened and incomplete item to the shelf.”

    Customer: “Give me my receipt!”

    (I print it out and hand it to him. He leaves and his son enters.)

    Son: “I need to exchange these.” *lays receipt on counter*

    (At this point I am very agitated.)

    Me: “Sir, I cannot exchange or return open and incomplete items.”

    Son: “But I have a receipt!”

    Me: “Sir, I’m sorry but it doesn’t matter. The cigarettes are open and several have been taken out. All I can do is ring up a new pack.”

    Son: “Can I have my money back for these, then?”

    Me: “No, sir, the pack is opened and some are missing.”

    Son: “Well, I’ll just keep the pack. You just give me my money!”

    Me: “That’s not how this works. I can’t give you a refund and let you keep the pack. But I can’t give you a refund on incomplete and used items anyway.”

    (At this point THE WHOLE family comes in and is yelling at me in another language, screaming occasionally ‘This is America!’ and ‘I know my rights!’)

    Son: “We want to see the policy that states you can’t take these back and give us a refund.”

    Me: “It isn’t written anywhere. It’s common sense.”

    Son: “I want to speak to a manager!”

    (Only one person is on shift at a time. Managers are not on site either.)

    Me: “No managers are currently on site, sir.”

    (This is also at 12 am and we are directed to leave any complaining customers with the store phone number and a time when managers will be available.)

    Son: “Then give me their personal number!”

    Me: “At 12 am? Sir, I can guarantee if you call them at 12 am, you will not get what you are wanting. Besides, we are not allowed to give customers personal numbers. I can give you the store number and a time when a manager will be available, but that’s really all I can do.”

    Son: “I’m calling the cops, then.”

    Me: “That’s fine. Please do.”

    Son: “You are a horrible employee!”

    Me: “Tell me, would YOU buy a pack of cigarettes that was ready opened? Or want to even use a pack of cigarettes that someone you know nothing about opened and touched?”

    Son: “…no.”

    Me: “Exactly. So why would you expect someone else to do the same?”

    Son: “THIS IS AMERICA!”

    Save Us From The Super Savers

    | San Antonio, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Theme Of The Month

    (Every week, we have coupons such as 25% off or a certain dollar price off of a product. You have to choose only one coupon as it states in the small text, but one customer always comes in and refuses to accept it. We have a deal on Sharpies reduced to $2.00. You either get $1.50 off or 25%. She brings all the sharpies we have stocked.)

    Me: “Will that be all for you?”

    Customer: “Yes.” *hands me about 20 coupons for $1.50 off and 25% off*

    Me: “Ma’am, you must choose one coupon to use and only one coupon per transaction.”

    Customer: “The coupon doesn’t say that.”

    Me: “Yes. If you read here it says only one coupon per person per transaction and it’s not valid with any other offer. You can only get $1.50 off one or you can take 25% off your entire purchase.”

    Customer: “Well, I’ll only take one, then!”

    (We have to take all the sharpies back. She comes in the next week with a price match of Crayola markers for $0.97 and a $1.00 off coupon. She again, has every box we have in stock.)

    Me: “Ma’am, we cannot give you $1.00 off an item that is $0.97. I can ring them all up for $0.97 or I can take $1.00 of one of the boxes.”

    Customer: “Why? Let me see your manager.”

    (My manager comes and explains the coupon to her and tells her it states in the small print, one coupon per person per transaction.)

    Customer: “Can’t I just do separate transactions?”

    Manager: “No.”

    Customer: “I’ll take one, then!”

    (After she left I asked my manager if we could just ban her.)

    Causing Bay-hem

    | Syracuse, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Movies & TV, Theme Of The Month

    (Unfortunately, customers often receive gift cards from another popular chain of movie theaters as gifts, as they are sold in retail stores as preloaded gift cards. So we often get this sort of thing.)

    Customer: “Two for [Movie], please!”

    (The customer places a gift card for our competitor on the register.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but we are [Theater], not [Competitor], so I cannot accept this card.”

    Customer: “You’re kidding, right? My grandma got this for me! It says right on it ‘cinemas.’ See?”

    (Shoves gift card in my face.)

    Customer: “CIN-E-MAAAAS. Right there. And it’s all going to the movie company anyway, so you should take it.”

    Me: “I can’t accept gift cards for another theater. I’m sorry.”

    Customer: “Why not?”

    Me: “Because your grandma paid money to our competitor for this gift card, and you’d be getting tickets from us for free.”

    Customer: “But the movie company will pay you back.”

    Me: “That’s not how this works, sir.”

    Customer: “Give me the number for the movie company.”

    Me: “I don’t have that, sir.”

    Customer: “Yes, you do! They pay you to work here. Give me the number of the movie company!”

    Me: “[Theater] pays me to work here. I can give you their corporate number if you wish.”

    Customer: “Yes! GOD!”

    (I give him the number to corporate and proceed to hear him yelling into the phone that he wanted to speak to ‘Steven Spielberg or Michael Bay or one of those guys.’ The worst part? Just to shut him up, they authorized a free replacement gift card for him, which I was forced to honor at that time, and the whole time the man was mumbling about how he was right and ‘at least the directors understood him.’)

    How To Package Crazy

    | NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

    (Due to a mistake on the shipper’s part, I need to go to the local UPS depot to pick up a package sent to me. As this is a depot, not a store-front, they only have a single desk off to the side for customer service, and today there’s an unusually long line for assistance. This happens once the person in front of me gets up.)

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

    Customer: “I’d like to set up a PO box, please.”

    Employee: “I’m sorry ma’am, this is UPS, not the post office. I—”

    Customer: “Look, I’ve been in line for a half an hour now. You’re going to help me or I’ll get your supervisor!”

    Employee: “Ma’am, I am the supervisor on duty right now, and that doesn’t change the fact that you’re at the wrong location.”

    Customer: “Don’t you tell me I’m in the wrong location! I live a block and a half from here; this is DEFINITELY the right location!”

    Employee: “No, it’s NOT, ma’am. This is the UNITED PARCEL SERVICE. You are looking for the US POSTAL SERVICE. Their office is across the street and down two.”

    Customer: “Oh, you’re just trying to confuse me. This is the same place! This is just the union one and that’s the non-union. Now help me with my box!”

    Guy Behind Me: “LADY! Do you go to a car dealer and demand to see their selection of birthday cards, because ‘car’ and ‘card’ are one letter apart? Because that’s what you’re doing here! Now get out of the line you’ve been in for less than FIVE minutes and stop harassing that poor man!”

    (Somehow this was the employee’s fault, and she took another minute yelling at him about ‘letting that guy talk to me that way.’ Finally she storms off, yelling that she will ‘call President Obama on you all,’ and I step up.)

    Me: “Yes, can I pick up my FedEx package? Oh, and also I’d like some of whatever pills she’s taking!”

    Employee: “I think that’s the problem. She didn’t take her pills today!”

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