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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!

    It’s Not Spanish, But Just Roll With It

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Language & Words

    (I am working the self-scanning machines.)

    Customer: “I bought two of these Chavra, but it won’t take my coupon. I’m supposed to get 75 cents off of two Chavra, but the self-scan won’t take it.”

    (Chavra is a small container of spreadable cheese. When I look at the customers order on the screen, Chavra isn’t listed.)

    Me: “You said you got two Chavra?”

    Customer: “Yes, that’s correct. See, it’s right over here.” *points to two packages of Charmin toilet paper* “I got two Charmin. ‘Chavra’ in Spanish means Charmin.”

    Me: “Ma’am, this coupon is for cheese.”

    (The customer takes a long look at the coupon, and then laughs.)

    Customer: “I guess my Spanish isn’t what it used to be.”

    Not Dropping The Charges

    | Montreal, QC, Canada | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers

    (A customer comes in to return a totally shattered phone.)

    Customer: “It’s really cold outside and I was using it and pop!”

    Me: “This looks like it was dropped.”

    Customer: “I didn’t drop it; it just cracked!”

    Me: “That’s not possible.”

    Customer: “I want to see your manager.”

    Me: “That won’t be necessary.”

    Customer: “Excuse me?”

    Me: “That won’t be necessary. Just like me, he is not going to want his intelligence questioned by someone who claims he just saw the laws of physics being broken, at the hands of an irresponsible user.”

    Customer: “…fine. I might have dropped it on the ice.”

    Me: “Now we’re getting somewhere.”

    Pre-pay Or The Highway

    | Independence, MO, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Wild & Unruly

    (I have just sold a prepaid cell phone to a customer.)

    Me: “Okay, sir. Your payment has gone through, and your next payment is due in 90 days.”

    Customer: “What? You’ve got to be kidding me! You mean I have to pay every 90 days or they shut me off?”

    Me: “Yes, sir. That’s how the prepaid plan works. You have to put at least $20.00 on your account every 90 days to keep your service on.”

    Customer: “In that case I don’t want it anymore! You take the phone and just give me my money back! I’ve had this phone for years and never had to do this!”

    Me: “I am sorry, sir, but we just accept payments for the parent company. Once the payment is sent, you have to talk to them to try and get a refund. There is nothing I can do for you.”

    (This goes on for about ten minutes, just going in circles with him. By this time I have five new customers in the store. Two of the new customers are a pair of very large Samoan brothers who happen to be regulars. Just then, the customer throws his cell phone at me.)

    Customer: “You take this d*** thing back! I don’t want it anymore!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I cannot keep your phone. It’s yours and you need to take it with you.”

    Customer: “You are s***! Your store is s***! This phone is s***! I will bury you! I will sue you all until all of you don’t even have a cardboard box to live in! I will hunt down your family’s and make you all pay! And f*** this d*** phone!”

    (He throws his phone onto the floor, shattering it into pieces.)

    Customer: “I’m going to wait outside until your shift is over, and you’ll get what’s coming to you!”

    (As he says all this, he hasn’t noticed the Samoan brothers who have been behind him in the back of the store. One of the brothers finally walks up and taps the irate customer on the shoulder.)

    Samoan #1: “Hey little man, I think it’s time to go.”

    Customer: “Who the h*** do you think you are talking—”

    (He turns as he’s talking to see the brothers, who are about two feet taller and three feet wider than he is. He turns the palest color I have ever seen a human being become.)

    Samoan #2: “As my bro said, time to go!”

    Customer: “But they are trying to rip me off! Trying to rob me! This is all BS! I am not going anywhere!”

    Samoan #1: “You walk out, or we toss you out. Your choice.”

    Customer: “I won’t leave until this p**** gives me my money!”

    (They each grab an arm, lift him three feet off the ground, and toss him backwards out of the doors. The rest of the customers then begin to clap and cheer for them. I make sure that anytime they come in after that, they get the full employee discount on everything they bought.)

    License To Bill

    | Wisconsin Dells, WI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid

    (I work in the arcade at luxurious resort. Resort guests can use their room key to get a game card to play the arcade games.)

    Customer: “Hi, can I get three cards with $50 on each for my family? And here’s my room key; charge it to the room!”

    Me: “Sure, I’ll get that for you right away!”

    (I give them the cards and the family walks away excited, when five minutes later…)

    Customer: “What the h*** is this!? This d*** card isn’t working; I didn’t pay all this money for a card that doesn’t work!”

    (She rants for a few more minutes and then throws the card at my face. I pick it up to show it to her.)

    Me: “Ma’am, this is your driver’s license, not the game card.”

    Customer: *turns really red, takes the card, and walks away sheepishly*

    To Give Credit Where Debit Is Due, Part 3

    | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid

    (Our card readers are different from a lot of other stores. If you swipe a debit card, it asks for a pin number. To use it as credit, the cashier has to push a button on the register. Pushing ‘cancel’ does not change it to credit; it cancels the card, and the customer has to swipe it again. A customer approaches my register with a nearly-full cart.)

    Me: “Hello! Did you find everything okay?”

    (The customer ignores me, and starts putting items on the counter. I start to scan and bag as usual. However the customer does not remove the bags, and instead continues unloading her cart. Eventually, I have scanned and bagged everything; however all the bags are still sitting on the counter.)

    Me: “Your total is—”

    (The customer tries to swipe their debit card, cannot do so as the bags are blocking the card reader. Rather than place the bags in the empty cart, she shoves them out of the way, sending two bags to the floor and knocking over a third. After sighing loudly, she puts the bags back on the counter, swipes their card and pushes ‘cancel’ when it asks for a pin.)

    Me: “Did you want that as credit?”

    Customer: *annoyed* “Yes!”

    Me: “Could you swipe your card again, please?”

    (The customer grumbles, swipes the card, and immediately pushes cancel again.)

    Me: “Could you swipe your card again and not push ‘cancel’ this time, please?”

    Customer: “Your stupid card reader isn’t working!”

    Me: “Ma’am, pressing ‘cancel’ does not switch it to credit. Swipe your card again and don’t push ‘cancel’.”

    (She swipes her card, and pushes ‘cancel’.)

    Me: “Sorry, it’s not reading your card. Could you swipe it one more time please?”

    (This time, I’m mashing the ‘credit’ button on the register. Fortunately, I manage to get it to switch before the customer hits ‘cancel’ yet again.)

    Customer: *sees that it switched to credit* “Why didn’t pushing ‘cancel’ work before?”

    Me: “I have no idea.” *completes transaction* “Have a nice day.”

    (At this point, the customer finally takes the bags off the counter and puts them in their cart. After they exit, I call my manager over, who witnessed part of the exchange.)

    Me: “Can I go on break?”

    Manager: “Yep. Take a few extra minutes if you need to.”

    Related:
    To Give Credit Where Debit Is Due, Part 2


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