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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!

    Sage Age Advice

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

    (I’m head cashier in a craft store, and do all the returns. I have a couple come in with several bags and are rummaging through receipts. I start working through their transactions and find items that aren’t from my company and items without receipts.)

    Me: “I am sorry, ma’am, but I cannot process a return for these items.”

    Wife: “You should give me the money for these items anyway, because I have had a hard life! I have to take care of my mother and my four siblings!”

    Me: “I can understand that, but—”

    Wife: “What do you know about taking care of the elderly?”

    Me: “Since I was 12 I cared for my father with cancer, who died when I was 18. Then my uncle was diagnosed also with cancer. He passed away two days ago. Between that I have another uncle diagnosed and living with me. Previously, my grandmother who had Alzheimer’s also lived with me and passed last summer. I’m also taking care of my mother who has severe arthritis. I have 5 siblings and 20 cousins, but everyone is dropped on me with no care or help.”

    Wife: “I’m so sorry; I guess you do know what it’s like. Does it get better?”

    Me: “No, but bubble wrap helps.”

    Past The Point Of No Return, Part 3

    | Vancouver, BC, Canada | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers, Theme Of The Month

    Customer: “Hi, I’d like to return this.”

    Me: “Okay. What seems to be the problem?”

    Customer: “I bought this yesterday, and it stopped working. I’d like my money back, please.”

    (There are a few different things wrong with what the customer has just said: although the item she brought back is indeed something that we sell, it looks severely worn out, and the box that it is currently in is an older design. There is no way that this could have been purchased ‘yesterday.’ But since I can’t be accusatory just yet, I try to diffuse the situation.)

    Me: “Okay, ma’am, do you have your receipt?”

    Customer: “No, I don’t have my receipt.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but without a receipt, we cannot do anything.”

    Customer: “Can’t you look it up by my credit card number?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but our system cannot trace back credit card purchases. But if you bring your receipt, I promise you, we will take care of everything.”

    Customer: “Oh, okay.”

    (The customer leaves the store. I thought it would be the end of it, because it’s highly unlikely that she would have a valid receipt. Not even five minutes later, she comes back.)

    Customer: “I found my receipt. I’d like my money back, please.”

    (True to her word, she has a genuine receipt! I carefully read it over. The item on the receipt matches the item she is trying to return, but the date of the receipt reads January of 2012. We’re in the middle of 2013 at this point.)

    Me: “Ma’am, the receipt says you bought this in January of 2012. I’m sorry, but I can’t help you.”

    Customer: “You promised me that you would take care of it if I brought the receipt! You’re a liar!”

    Me: “Ma’am, you told me you purchased this yesterday. The receipt is from over a year ago, and the box is an older design. You’re way past our 30-day return period, and you’ve been dishonest with me.”

    Customer: “So… I’m not getting my money back?”

    Me: “Nope. Have a nice day, ma’am.”

    Related:
    Past The Point Of No Return, Part 2
    Past The Point Of No Return

    Quantifying Stupidity

    | Ann Arbor, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Math & Science

    (We have several self-checkout machines at our store, which I am in charge of. For certain produce, the machine will ask for a quantity.)

    Customer: “EXCUSE ME, MISS!”

    Me: “Yes?”

    Customer: “The machine isn’t working!”

    (I walk over and notice the machine is asking for a quantity. It says ‘enter the quantity’ both aloud and is also displayed on the screen.)

    Me: “Oh, it just wants to know the quantity.”

    (The customer stares at me blankly.)

    Me: “How many do you have?”

    Customer: “Ohhh!”

    Getting All Hancocked Over A Benjamin

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (I am ringing up a customer. After I tell him his total, he decides to continue shopping. He tries to hand me a $100 bill, but I tell him to hold on to it until he’s done shopping. I watch him shove it in his pocket. A few minutes later, he comes back with a second item.)

    Me: “Your total today is $32.44.”

    (The customer grabs the bag and begins to walk away.)

    Me: “Sir, you still need to pay for your purchase. It’s $32.44.”

    Customer: “I already gave you $100!”

    Me: “No, I asked you to hold on to your money until you finished shopping.”

    Customer: “Nu-uh, you put it in the register.”

    Me: “Sir, it’s in your right pants pocket.”

    (He reaches in, pulls out the bill, and hastily shoves it back in his pocket.)

    Customer: “I saw you take it! Hey everyone! This b**** stole my money!”

    Me: “Sir, I assure you that your money is in your pocket.”

    Customer: “Nah, f*** you, b****! Give me back my money!”

    (He then comes over the counter at me as I’m dialing security. I give him my ‘don’t mess with me’ glare and he backs off, but moves on to threatening the other customers, saying they were all on it and that one of them has his money. Security finally arrives and escorts him out, banning him from the premises.)

    Related:
    Getting All Hancocked Over A Lincoln

    Less Scam Artists, More Scam Finger-Painters

    | CT, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Liars & Scammers, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (I work in a small specialty retail shop. It is the beginning of the day, so we only have $70 in each of the two cash registers, mostly change with a handful of $5 and $1 bills. Two customers come in and browse around, getting only a few small items each. They are the first customers of the day on my register. The first one gives me a $20 bill for a $4.79 purchase. I put the bill on top of the drawer, and count the change back to her.)

    Customer: “You’re giving me the wrong change. I gave you a $50 bill.”

    (I haven’t closed the register, and am just putting the $20 in its slot, so I show the customer the bill.)

    Me: “No, you gave me a $20 bill, right here.”

    Customer: “No, I know I gave you a $50 bill.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but it was a $20 bill. You’re my first customer, and this is the only $20 bill, and there are no $50 bills at all.”

    Customer: “You must have put it into the safe slot.”

    Me: “We don’t have one of those. Here, have a look.”

    (I pull the drawer out, and show the customer the contents and the space underneath it.)

    Me: “There’s no $50 bill anywhere. And no other bills over $5.”

    (The customer’s friend decides to intervene.)

    Customer’s Friend: “Don’t worry; it’s okay.”

    (They exchange looks, and the first customer rolls her eyes.)

    Customer: “Okay then, well, no point in making a scene about it.”

    Me: “Thank you.”

    (I check out the friend’s small purchase, who gives me a $50 bill. I give her the change and they both turn to leave. On the way out, the friend whispers to the first customer…)

    Customer’s Friend: “You were supposed to let me check out first!”

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