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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!

    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 36

    | Australia | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

    (My holiday job is at a small bookshop in my town. We have a gift card system connected to another major retailer of books and DVDs. One day a man attempted to buy $50 worth of books with a $50 gift card that had only $1 left on it.)

    Customer: “I’d like to pay for these using this gift card.”

    Me: “Certainly.”

    (I take the gift card and glance at the back, where it is written underneath the original $50 that he’s spent $49 using the card and has $1 left.)

    Me: “I’m very sorry, sir, but you only have $1 left on your gift voucher.”

    Customer: “What do you mean? It says it’s worth $50!”

    Me: “Yes, but you’ve already spent $49 in a previous purchase using this card.”

    Customer: “But it says $50!”

    (My boss realises that I have a difficult customer and she comes over to help.)

    Boss: “I’m sorry, sir, but it seems like there is only $1 on your gift card. However, we will contact the [Other Retailer]’s help desk for you and just check that it’s not a mistake.”

    (I call the help desk while my boss attempts to explain the concept of using up money on a gift voucher to the man, who still doesn’t seem to understand and continues to repeat that it says $50 on the back and that someone must be trying to trick him. The help desk tells me that there is, in fact, only $1 left on his gift card.)

    Me: “I’m very sorry, sir, but there is actually only $1 left on your gift voucher.”

    Boss: “I’m very sorry, but there’s nothing we can do.”

    Customer: “That’s ridiculous! Why would they write $50 on the back if it was going to run out?”

    Me: “Because you can only spend up to $50 using this card once, just like using a real $50 note. Once you’ve spent it, it’s been spent and you can’t get it back.”

    (The man paid the remaining $49 but continued to complain about the gift card for the entire purchase. To our relief he soon left, but was obviously still upset at the revelation that money was not, in fact, unlimited.)

    Related:
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 35
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 34
    This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 33

    You’d Be A Fool Not To

    | Bay Area, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Family & Kids

    (A woman and her six-year-old son walk into my store. She asks my coworker for help, while her son makes his way over to a case containing common and semi-precious stones. They are the only two in the store, so I have fun showing him some of the stones. He has picked up an egg-shaped piece of pyrite – also known as fool’s gold.)

    Son: “Mom! Can I have it?!”

    Mom: “I don’t know, baby. How much is it?”

    Me: “It’s [price under $5], ma’am.”

    Son: “So can I, Mama? Pleeeaaassseee?”

    Mom: “Why do you want it so badly?”

    Son: *looks thoughtful for a moment* “Because it’s AMAZING, and I want to fill my room with AMAZING things.”

    Mom: *almost under her breath* “Well, I don’t see how I can argue with that.”

    Acting Out Of Border

    | Kehl, Germany | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Language & Words

    (I am shopping in a store in Germany, really close to the French border, and only one full line is open. An elderly woman with only one melon asks the cashier if they could open a second line, which they do. When the second line opens, another woman with a full cart rushes in the other line to be first. The elderly women with the melon is second, and I am third.)

    Elderly Woman: *in German* “Please, I only have one item to buy. May I go through?”

    Other Woman: *in French* “I don’t understand what you say. Please stay behind.”

    Me: *in French* “She just wanted to go through since she only has one item.”

    Other Woman: *in French* “Aw, what a shame. I was here first! And she could at least speak to me in French! Tell her she has to stay behind like everyone else would have.”

    Elderly Woman: *in French too* “Are you kidding me? You French people cross the border to do grocery shopping here and WE have to speak in French? Also, I was waiting in the other line and asked for a new line. You just rushed like you were the only one in the store. How impolite is that?”

    Other Woman: *still in French* “I don’t believe how rude those Germans are. You can be assured that I won’t shop here again!”

    (The cashier finally let the elderly woman pass first, while the other woman was grumbling. Hopefully she’ll be more cooperative next time.)

    New Ways To Sleep On The Job

    | Muskegon, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Rude & Risque

    (I am a small, twenty-year-old female working the closing shift at my store. A very large, unclean looking man is at my till about fifteen minutes before close. He’s been silent up until I’ve started ringing up the last items he has.)

    Customer: “You get out soon?”

    (I don’t find this question odd, as many people ask it just to make conversation.)

    Me: “We close at eleven, so ,yeah. I get out just a little after that.”

    Customer: “Do you want a job working for me?”

    Me: “Uh… no. That’s okay. I already have a job here, and I don’t really have time for a second job. Thanks, though. Your total is [total].”

    Customer: “Well, it’s only nights. You don’t have plans after work, do you? The job pays well.”

    Me: “Actually, I do have plans. My boyfriend is picking me up after my shift.”

    (The man grumbles something incoherent, pays with food stamps, then leaves. My manager comes over, to help close my register down.)

    Manager: “What was that about?”

    Me: “I’m not sure. I think he was trying to pay me to sleep with him.”

    Manager: “You know, I was wondering if that’s what was happening.”

    Buy One, Get One Free a From Thought

    , | Canada | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

    (A customer presents me with a buy one get one free for a burger.)

    Customer: “How much would this come to?”

    Me: “That’s [price].”

    Customer: “Okay, and how much would it be if I didn’t use the coupon and only got one burger?”

    Me: *That’s [same price].”

    Customer: “But how come it’s the same price?”

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