October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

Category: Home Improvement

Stupid customers still have to live somewhere. While we applaud them for sometimes wanting to make the place look nice, please don’t assume flat-pack furniture comes ready out of the box, or that power-tools are named as such because they need power! They make Tim The Toolman Taylor look like Frank Gehry!

Not Quite Feeling This Request

, | Madison, WI, USA | Bizarre, Home Improvement

(An artistic, elaborately dressed woman wanders in and is standing by the paint samples in a melodramatic stance. I wander over.)

Me: “Can I help you?”

Customer: *gives me a withering look and says* “I’m looking for Bittersweet.”

Me: “That doesn’t sound like one of our colors, but I can look it up in the database and see if we can match it.”

Customer: “No… I’m looking for a color that invokes the feeling of bittersweet.”

(I stand dumbfounded for a second.)

Me: “So… is that like an orange or something?”

A Slight Scratch In His Story

| Las Vegas, NV, USA | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement

(I work in a large home improvement store. I am taking a call from a customer in our appliance section.)

Customer: “My toilet is scratched!”

Me: “I am sorry, sir. Did we install it for you?”

Customer: “No, a plumber did. But it was not scratched when he put it in!”

Me: “What do you mean it was not scratched when he put it in?”

Customer: “I cleaned it and then all these scratches showed up!”

Me: “Uhm, what did you clean it with?”

Customer: “Bleach!”

Me: “Well, a lot of brands say not to soak in bleach because it takes off the glaze that helps the bowl stay clean. How long did it soak for?”

Customer: “Overnight!”

Me: “Well, sir, bleach is highly corrosive, and-”

Customer: “I expect a full refund!”

Me: “Sir, if the damage is caused by the customer, we cannot refund.”

Customer: “Yes, you can! It was not scratched when I bought it!”

Me: “That’s the point.”

Genderalising The Problem

| Denver, CO, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Home Improvement

(I work in a plumbing and heating store. I am one of three females on the staff. For clarity, the toilet roughs are the lines that run from the base of toilet to the wall.)

Customer: “I need a new toilet rough for [really popular toilet that we sell].”

Me: “Okay, do you know what size?”

Customer: “11 Inches.”

Me: “Do you mean 12 inches? Those toilet roughs only come in 10, 12, and 14 inches.”

Customer: “No, I mean 11 inches. I asked my plumber and he said that is what it uses.”

Me: “Well, the end of the valve will be in the wall, so it could appear to be only 11 inches. The entire thing, however, would be 12 inches. We have lots of those in stock.”

Customer: “No, it’s eleven inches! God, why do they hire girls to do these jobs?”

Me: “Did your plumber measure the area for the toilet?”

Customer: “No, he just knows what toilet it is, unlike you!”

Me: “Sir, what you want is not made. The rough you want comes in 10, 12, and 14 inches. It won’t be the 10 or 14 inch rough that you need, since you bought the 12 inch. You have the industry standard of 12 inches, like most people. Now, your price for that would be $68.25.”

Customer: “Can I get someone who knows what they are doing now? I don’t want to give you money. I cannot believe a place like this bothered to hire women.”

Me: “Sir, you can go to any plumbing house in this city and they will all tell you that what you want does not exist. I sell this toilet every week. It’s a 12 inch rough.”

Customer: “Give. ME. Someone. Who. Knows. What. They. Are. Talking. About!”

(I call the boss.)

Boss: “What is the problem here?”

Customer: “She doesn’t know her job! I bought this toilet from you and she won’t give me the right rough!”

Boss: “What size rough do you need?”

Customer: “11!”

Boss: “This brand does not make an eleven. It comes in 10, 12, or 14. The one you bought requires a 12 inch rough.”

Customer: *to me* “Why didn’t you tell me that!”

Male Coworker: “She did. Many times. You refused to listen and were too busy being focused on her gender.”

Customer: “I did not! Give me the right valve!”

Boss: “No. Go somewhere else.”

Customer: “But I bought the toilet here!”

Boss: ‘Then what happened to the rough it came with?”

Customer: “I lost it.”

Boss: “Not my problem.”

Hideously Illuminating

| Ottawa, ON, Canada | Bad Behavior, Home Improvement

Customer: “I’m looking for a light for over my dining table. Can you help me?”

Me: “Sure!” *we determine how big her table and room are, and set off to look at our stock* “Did you have a particular style in mind?”

Customer: “Well, what are people buying these days?”

Me: “It varies with personal taste, but…” *I gesture to one particularly popular modern chandelier* “…this one has been a good seller for us recently.”

Customer: “That’s awful! Who would buy that?”

Me: “Okay, well, did you have something more like this in mind?” *I lead her to another very popular piece, this one quite classic*

Customer: “It’s so ugly. I’d never have that in my house!”

Me: “Would you mind if I asked what in particular is turning you off? I’d like to get a better feel for your style.”

Customer: “I don’t know. I just hate it!”

Me: “Okay, how about this one?” *this goes on for a while, with me pointing out lights of various styles and colours, and her harshly vetoing all of them without giving any reasons*

Customer: “These are all hideous! I don’t understand why you’re showing these to me. Where are your nice ones? Do they only make ugly chandeliers these days?”

Me: “Well, it seems like the best idea would be to let you browse, and see if anything catches your eye. Even if something is close to what you’re looking for, it will give us a jumping-off point. We also have lots of catalogues too, if you’d like to take a look there.”

Customer: “But you’re supposed to be helping me! What kind of salesperson are you? I didn’t come here to look at some stupid catalogues. I don’t know what to pick! You’re supposed to tell me! What would you pick for your house?”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, but I only like ‘hideous’ things, so I doubt my advice would be helpful. I have other things to attend to, but I’ll be just over here if you need me.”

Customer: *storms out*

A Very Sharp Customer

| Portland, OR, USA | Home Improvement, Language & Words

(I used to work at a semi-popular retail store. On my first day of working customer service I get called up to the registers, where I see a foreign man standing by the till.)

Coworker: “[My Name], can you help this gentleman here?”

Me: “Sure, no problem.” *turn to the man* “What can I help you with?”

(The man holds up his hand, obviously asking me to wait. He pulls up his phone and types something down, then hands it to me. He’s opened a translator app, and the word he’s put in directly translates to ‘meat processing board.’)

Me: “Right this way.”

(I lead him over to the kitchen appliance section and show him our selection of cutting boards.)

Me: “Is this what you’re looking for?”

Customer: “Ah, yes! Tacktacktack! Thank you!”

Me: “You’re welcome; if there’s anything else you need just let me know!”

(Later that night after closing my coworker comes up to me while I’m sweeping the floors.)

Coworker: “So, what did that man want? He wasn’t speaking any English!”

Me: “Oh, he wanted to know where our cutting boards were.”

Coworker: “I was wondering why he was pretending to brandish a knife at me!”

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