• Understood The Concept Swimmingly
    (1,532 thumbs up)
  • November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

    Category: Crazy Requests

    Some customers can be demanding, but within reason. These customers however make some requests that go beyond demanding, beyond reasonable, beyond possible! These requests, like the customers, are crazy!

    The Wrong Supermarket For Super Hackers

    | Saranac Lake, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

    (It is the early 1990s. It is my last week of work at the only department store in town and we are just rolling out the first UPC scanners in the store. This is new technology at the time and understandably sometimes things scanned wrong. After a third item rings up at the incorrect price:)

    Customer: “You are making things ring up wrong on purpose just so you can pocket the extra money!”

    Me: “Believe me, lady, if I knew how to hack the computer system here to change the prices I wouldn’t be working here!”

    Have No Stomach For Your Complaint

    | UK | Crazy Requests, Health & Body

    (I work for a large health food company; however our store happens to be very small.)

    Me: “Hello, what can I help you find today? ”

    Customer: “I am looking for 100mg pantothenic acid.”

    Me: “I’m afraid we don’t stock that here, but we do a 500mg if you’re interested?”

    Customer: *suddenly angry* “No! That upsets my stomach. Every other branch of this company I have ever been in stocks the 100mg. YOU should, too. The other one hurts my stomach and I have to cut it into quarters just to take it.”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Would you like me to look it up on our system to find out if we can order it in?”

    (At this point we go over to the till and I search for her item. No results come up, meaning it is not a product that any of our stores stock. It doesn’t show up as a deleted line either, meaning in all likelihood we have never stocked it.)

    Me: “Oh, sorry but I’m afraid that isn’t an item the company stocks after all.”

    Customer: *irrationally angry* “I know I have bought it at your other store before! YOU need to phone your head office and YOU need to get them to stock this item HERE.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but I have no say in what head office decides to stock. I can offer you a freepost feedback card if you’d like to suggest it to them?”

    Customer: “No! I don’t have time for that! I have things to do! YOU should do it! I don’t understand why whenever I come in here you don’t have the product I want!”

    Me: “Well, without you sending a feedback card it is very unlikely head office will ever know about this. They listen to the opinions of their customers, not their shop assistants, on matters like this.”

    Customer: “Well, YOU should stock it; I’ve bought it here before! And why is everything in this shop so expensive?!”

    (At this point my supervisor came over to help and as I went to serve another customer I overhear the end of their conversation. My colleague explains repeatedly that we don’t stock the product and that our prices are higher as the company spends a lot to train us to be knowledgeable on our products. She also points out that the product is water soluble, meaning any excess is excreted out in the urine so it shouldn’t be causing the customer any pain. Eventually she leaves.)

    Me: “How did it go?”

    Supervisor: “Kill me now.”

    (It turned out, after speaking to our manager, that she came in every few months to have an argument about our company and our pantothenic acid, claiming to not have time for a feedback card despite spending around half an hour of her time berating us for something beyond our control.)

    When The Spice Isn’t Nice

    | WA, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

    (I have worked in a Thai restaurant for six years and never really came into a difficult customer before. I am training a friend of mine and watch her take a customer’s order on her own.)

    Friend: *smiles* “Hello. Are you ready to order?”

    Customer: “Yes, I would like Chicken Spicy Basil, but I do not want the spice in there.”

    Friend: “I’m not sure that’s possible, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Yes, it is. Just don’t add the spice to the dish. I don’t want any spice in there.”

    Friend: “May I have a moment? I need to talk to the head waitress.”

    (She comes over to me without a word, because I was listening. It was the strangest request I have ever received.)

    Me: “Miss, we can’t take the spice out of the Spicy Basil sauce. It’s not possible once it’s already made.”

    Customer: “Yes, it is, and I don’t want the spice in it at all. Figure it out for yourself.”

    (Not knowing what to do, I went and talked to the cook, who was also my older cousin. She was really confused, but ended up using a different sauce for the dish. That customer gave us a bad review on some site, calling us liars and bad names, which actually caused no new customers to come in for a week.)

    Wish You Could Vet The Customers

    | MN, USA | Crazy Requests, Time

    Caller: “Hi, I am looking for pricing quotes for my dog.”

    Me: “All right, no problem. What is going on with your dog?”

    Caller: “My dog can’t walk and I want [dangerous medication], and my current vet will not sell it to me without checking her blood work first, because it is potentially hazardous to her health. So I am switching vets!”

    Me: “Well, our exam cost is [amount] but that only includes the exam, no diagnostics or medications. Once the doctor does her initial exam, we can get you a more accurate estimate based on what the DOCTOR recommends for your pet in order to get her the help she needs safely.”

    Caller: “No, I am the paying customer. I tell the doctor what I want and they do it. That is how this works.”

    Me: *speechless*

    Caller: “I want an appointment. When can I be seen?”

    Me: “Our earliest appointment would be tomorrow morning. Would you like me to schedule you in for that?”

    Caller: “No, I want to be seen right now. Thank you for wasting my time!” *click*

    You Can Snake Around But The Answer Will Be The Same

    | VA, USA | Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals, Tourists/Travel

    (I am a ranger at a state park, leading a group of tourists on a short hike and telling them about the park, then an activity that involves digging through swamp muck to find critters that live in the swamps. I have a ball running and participating in this program and find that most people from 3-70 have as well, though it is geared mostly towards younger kids. Among others, I have with me a family of French speaking guests: a mother, a 7- or 8-year-old boy, and two teenagers.)

    Boy: *in broken English* “You will show me snake?”

    Me: “If we see a snake I will point it out! I can definitely tell you what type it is and all about it! Keep on the lookout.”

    Boy: “No, you show me snake.”

    Me: “I… can’t just make one appear. But we do have a good number of snakes in our park! Hopefully we will see one today.”

    Boy: *points* “Snake. You tell snake?”

    Me: “Oh, did you find one already? Awesome! Show me where? I can tell you all about it!”

    Mother: *expectantly* “No, he wants you to find him a snake out here, right now. We want to see a snake, now.”

    Me: “I… can not just make one appear, I am sorry. They are wild animals that live in this park and come and go as they please.”

    Mother: *scoffs, then talks to her family in French, who also all scoff* “This is not a good program for teenagers!”

    Me: “Okay? It is geared towards younger kids mostly, though all ages find it enjoyable, I have found. I had an elderly couple having a ball with me yesterday! You might have more fun if you participate in searching?”

    (They continued to talk to each other angrily in French and shoot dirty looks my way as I continued on with the rest of my program for the others. Next time I turned to them, they were gone. 10 minutes later we spotted not one, but three snakes!)